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Tartan 33 - Fuel Tank Replacement - Part 1: Remova...
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Hi Lawrence,

I am David Gelber, owner of a 1980 Tartan 33, and I have a slow leak from the bottom of my fuel tank. I discovered fuel in the bilge - I hoped it was a loose filter or hose clamp, but no - fuel tank. I have been a member of this forum since acquiring the boat two years ago, and have found many, many helpful tips. I am hoping you are still a member of this forum and will answer me.

Please explain how you removed the tank. I am attaching pictures of my tank - also a Florida Marine Tank - but I am not sure it is secured the same way yours was. Please advise, if you would be so kind.

Welcome to the Tartan and Tartan 33 family.  I think I saw your boat on auction.  If you would like me to email the T-33 owners' manual and manuals for the Universal 5424 and a few other documents, please email me at  Also check out the Tartan 33 Owners page on Facebook to see details of a refit of a very pretty T-33.

I hope to install the new tank in the next couple weeks.  My son is visiting colleges this fall, and that has been fun but has interfered with boat work.

Best regards,
Larry Luck
Thanks for that detail explanation! I'm refurbishing my T33 also but i have a lot more than just refurbishing. Am new to Tartans so all this info is helpful to me. 
I don't know where I located it, but I had a pdf copy of the Florida Marine Tanks, Inc. diagram in my computer files for the boat.  A copy is attached.

After some Internet searches, I contacted John Gallo of Atlantic Coastal Welding in Bayville, NJ.  I had seen positive comments about his work and he has certainly been responsive to my inquiries.  

I provided him the diagram and he quickly responded with a quote for an improved tank (including secondary fuel pickup and return for a future fuel polishing module, a 6" clean out port, fabricated from 0125" 5052 aluminum, and with epoxy exterior coating) for less than $600.  The original tank was 0.090" aluminum, so the new one should be more durable.

Ordered the tank today.  John anticipates it will be ready for shipment in a week or less, so I'll have it shortly after Labor Day.  I look forward to comparing it to the original tank.

More to follow.

Larry Luck

I am in the process of refurbishing a number of items on my 1980 Tartan 33, Kelpie (Hull No. 73).  First major project is replacing the fuel tank.  After 37 years, the last several of which have been on the hard with fuel in the tank (yes, I should have known better), the tank developed a perforation on the bottom surface and I am in the process of replacing it.  That is the bad news.  

The good news is that Tartan constructed the boat in such a way that removal was a breeze.  Disconnected the fuel fill and vent hoses, fuel and return lines, and grounding wire took about 15 minutes.  The tank is supported by cleats on bulkheads immediately forward and aft of the tank (under the port "double" quarterberth) and by a chunk of poured-in foam to resist oilcanning.  It is secured on top by cleats bolted to those bulkheads.  Another 15 minutes or less and the tank was ready for removal.

With the fuel removed, the tank probably weighs less than 20 lbs. and removal is a little awkward but not difficult.  Covering the filler, vent, and fuel lines with plastic secured by duct tape (and my son's finger blocking the perforation) minimized fuel drips and the tank was quickly on deck.  Used the main halyard to lower it to the ground and removal was complete.

More to follow.

Larry Luck 

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