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Replacing Fiberglass fuel tank in a Bertram

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  • Replacing Fiberglass fuel tank in a Bertram

    I need to replace the fiberglass fuel tank in my 25' 1973 Bertram Sportfisherman and cannot find a way to get the old fuel tank out of the hull. I've removed everything that can be removed to get at the tank, but am at a loss as to how to remove the tank itself. It seems to be fiberglassed in. Has anyone removed one of these fuel tanks? How do they come out without cutting them into pieces (I need the old one to get a new unit fab'd from stainless steel and eliminate the ethanol problem that ruined the old one)? Does anyone know of a web posting that addresses this issue?

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Replacing Fiberglass fuel tank in a Bertram

    Hi gang green, You have a boat from one of my favorite old boatbuilders, and from the famed Richard Bertram. A highly prized and restorable boat. I have repowered one of the 30's with diesel, and the tanks in it were glassed in during the building process and used stringers and bulkheads as part of the tank. I think you will find that the actual removal of the "tank" is nearly impossible as it is part of structure. We cut the top off and secured another tank within the space. If nobody else comes up with your answer, I can make a phone call....or go to www.billfish.org and e-mail the chairman, John Brownlee.
    BOAT=Best Of All Times

    "Everyday above ground is a good day"

    Winterization=sneekers, jeans and a sweater.

    Same Ship.....Different Day.

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    • #3
      Re: Replacing Fiberglass fuel tank in a Bertram

      Thanks for the response. The tank in my boat is not part of the structure of the hull itself, it's a separate tank. The tank seems to be glued or probably glassed onto the bottom of the hull. I can't just cut out the top of the old tank and put a new one in as that would cost me 35 or so gallons of fuel capacity (if I were to use a commerically available tank -- they hold only 80 gallons) and I'd not to be able to take my favorite trip any longer.

      Anyhow, thanks for getting back to me.

      Gang Green

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      • #4
        Re: Replacing Fiberglass fuel tank in a Bertram

        so what did you end up doing gang green?? Im doing exactly the same thing right now.

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        • #5
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          Many years have come and gone, but I'd like to finish this off as I had the same exact problem and came to the solution the op was seeking. Maybe it can help someone else out. The original tank has large fill and pickup flanges at the bow port side (fill) and stern starboard side (pickup). My tank had previously been fitted with matching inspection plates on opposing tank corners. You can easily cut 6" holes in the tank without destroying it, for repairs or making a mold or whatever if needed. All these holes are big enough to feed a 16" piece of 2x4 into. Fix ropes, straps or chains to the 2x4's through the holes on each corner, attach to a hoist and pull evenly. It should pop out while keeping the tank intact. The 2x4's will spread the pulling force through the whole top of the tank. Mine would not come out with any leverage or hand tool force I could apply but it popped out easily with the hoist. The tank is simply secured with a pool of thickened resin and what appears to be a layer or two of glass mat slapped on the very bottom of the V. The resin separated from the tank without causing damage. Good luck.

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