Replacement fuel tank for 38-200

Will Patten

Junior Member
I've found and patched a leak once.
Now there's another and all the fuel is in the bilge.
Anyone have a source for new 54 gallon fuel tanks for 38-200's that lie under the aft cabin?


Member I
Had a couple of leaks in mine as well. Had to trim off a little to get it out, but did it. Had it pressure tested and repaired in Mexico so maybe an option for you. Now have 52 gal tank.

Tom Metzger

Sustaining Partner
I've had welding done at a fabricator south of downtown Burlington by the lake a long time ago. No idea of the name, but a Google search turned up a few places you can try. I do remember that it was a lot cheaper than I expected and in walking distance of the dock. I was younger then.
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Member II
Ya same thing happened to me full tank of fuel in the bilge. Did the clean up and removed the tank. Easy on the 38-200 compared to other sailboats. Brought it to a welding shop and they found two areas with pin holes. Amazing that all that fuel came out of the those holes. They patched it up it been fine since and that was about 5 years ago. It cost me $70. I'm sure that any decent shop can build a new one if you brought them the old tank.

Kenneth K

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Temporary Fuel Tank

If you want to buy some time and evaluate fuel tank repair options (without missing sailing days), you could rig a temporary tank from a basic, plastic outboard gas tank. That's what I'm currently running with since pulling my aluminum tank last month.

The 3 gal tank gives a 35 mile range in an E32. Carry a spare 5 gal diesel jug, and it's nearly a 100 mile range. In a 38 footer, though, I might try a 6 gal tank.


You have to add a vent port and a fuel-return port to the tank. I did this by tapping into the supply-housing (the thickest plastic on the tank) with a 1/8" NPT tap.

The 90 degree elbow on the right took a 1/4" hose for the return line (this location is nice because you can visually verify pump priming, i.e. fuel return, through the clear tank quantity indicator).

The vent line required a 90 degree elbow on top of a 1/8" pipe nipple (in order to clear the housing to thread it into place). From the elbow, I ran 5/16" hose and a 5/16-to-5/8 hose adapter to match the existing vent hose at the stern.

Supply line is 3/8" hose with a barb-to-flare adapter that threads directly to the boat's original copper supply line.

It's been working well. I'll probably run with it all summer and deal with the aluminum tank this fall.
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Member III
I had the same problem with a leaky fuel tank in my E38 and I also had to cut the tank to get it out of my cabin. My new tank is roughly 45 gallons, which is more than enough.


New Member
Ericson 38 Fuel Tank Removal

I had the same problem with a leaky fuel tank in my E38 and I also had to cut the tank to get it out of my cabin. My new tank is roughly 45 gallons, which is more than enough.
Hello Richard, my name is Brian Sayers and I have an Ericson 38 that also has a leak in the fuel tank that runs down into the battery box. I will need to cut that glassed right edge as well to expose the tank I am concerned that I may cut through hoses and/or wires on the right side. I know there is a large ribbed hose on that side that the bilge water runs though to the stern. Were you able to cut through the glassed over righ side without hitting wires or hoses?

I understand the tank was also installed with expanding foam that may make it difficult to remove it. I'm hoping to tackle this project in the next 2 weeks or so.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions.

Brian Sayers,
1983 Ericson 38