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Thread: Replacement fuel tank for 38-200

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2016
    Hinesburg, Vermont

    Replacement fuel tank for 38-200

    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?

  2. #2
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Los Angeles
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    I don't have a local source, but such fabrication is fairly standard for any metal shop. And if you take the existing tank to them, they would have an opinon about another repair.

    This video may help visualize the installation.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here

  3. #3
    Contributing Member II
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Durango Colorado
    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.

  4. #4
    Principal Partner Tom Metzger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Clifton Park, NY
    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.
    Last edited by Tom Metzger; 06-02-2019 at 05:08 PM.
    Tom Metzger
    E-34 Xanthus

  5. #5
    Contributing Member III
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    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.
    E38-200 #267

  6. #6
    Principal Partner Kenneth K's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    Gig Harbor, Wa
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    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.

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    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.
    Last edited by Kenneth K; 06-03-2019 at 08:45 AM.
    '85 E32-3 "Mariah" #641
    Universal M-25

    "Saltwater is the cure; sweat, tears, or the sea......"

  7. #7
    Sustaining Member Lawdog's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Old Orchard Beach, Maine
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    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.

  8. #8
    Contributing Member III
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
    Quote Originally Posted by Lawdog View Post
    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.
    Do you have pictures? going to do it Monday
    How did you repair sides you cut away?

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