Fuel Tank Failure in Parker Boats

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scoggin0728

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I have owned three Parkers two 18s and one 17 that I have now and have never had to replace a fuel tank but the discussion of fuel tank replacement is almost daily . What I cannot understand is that tank failure seems to be common and is accepted by Parker owners . Why can't Parker install a fuel tank that will never fail using perhaps using stainless steel or something sturdy enough not to fail . The cost may be more but not enough as the cost of replacement later .
 
Here’s my take. A 20 year old Parker with a foamed in tank that is or has been kept in the water will need a new tank from corrosion. On the other hand, a 20 year old Parker that has been kept out of the water and in a dry environment like Southern California, will have less corrosion and may not need a new tank within that time
frame. It’s case by case, but Parker’s stored in water have a much higher rate of tank corrosion. See photos from a moored 1994 Parker which had a low spot on the foam bed which collected water and eventually turned the tank into white dust. IMG_5310.jpegIMG_5305.jpeg
 
I have owned three Parkers two 18s and one 17 that I have now and have never had to replace a fuel tank but the discussion of fuel tank replacement is almost daily . What I cannot understand is that tank failure seems to be common and is accepted by Parker owners . Why can't Parker install a fuel tank that will never fail using perhaps using stainless steel or something sturdy enough not to fail . The cost may be more but not enough as the cost of replacement later .
My guess why Parker (and a lot of other planeing-hull boat manufacturers) use aluminum for fuel tanks is weight (they are light-weight), and cost (they are a low-cost alternative). Other boats I've owned had black-iron fuel tanks, S/S water tanks (two, 100 gallon tanks), and one had monel (at least that's what we were told). The boat with the black-iron tanks is a 1986, and both of the 150 gallon tanks still are like new. With displacement-hull boats, the heavy tanks were a stability asset. In a boat that planes, it would not be an asset.
 
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My opinion on why Parker fuel tanks fail are the pry out pie plate inspection ports that Parker puts in the deck above the fuel tank. Unless those pry out are replaced with Armstrongs or semi permanently sealed with silicone or some other sealant, they all LEAK and the fuel tank has salt & fresh water almost continuously leaking on to them, saturating the foam and filling the coffin the tanks sit in with water.

Might be other issues but I know for a fact leaking pie plates were a major factor in my tanks demise….
 
What I cannot understand is that tank failure seems to be common and is accepted by Parker owners .

Here is what you need to understand. It's all manufactures with a 15+ year old tank.... It's not exclusive to Parker.

Mako, Grady White, Cape Horn, SeaVee, I've replaced a Plastic tank in a Mavrick also. Tank was warped and sender would not seal.
 
I have owned three Parkers two 18s and one 17 that I have now and have never had to replace a fuel tank but the discussion of fuel tank replacement is almost daily . What I cannot understand is that tank failure seems to be common and is accepted by Parker owners . Why can't Parker install a fuel tank that will never fail using perhaps using stainless steel or something sturdy enough not to fail . The cost may be more but not enough as the cost of replacement later .
I called Parker in about 2015 when I began smelling a trace of fuel odor and questioned them about tank life. They said it would "Last the life of the boat".
 
As a Parker owner who has replaced his fuel tank twice on a 1997 25' pilot house, I'm interested in finding the best (most waterproof) inspection plates. I found the screw in plates leaky even after replacing and greasing the O rings. Replaced those with the pry out style and considering sealing them with silicon which sounds like a pain re sealing them every time I pop them open to check. Any thoughts?
 
Aluminum tank manufacturers say foaming tanks in leads to problems, needs to be left open for air circulation. This ain’t new news, why do builders keep foaming them in?

While the tanks are Lag bolted they are foamed to hold them in place with 4lb density foam. There is Nothing wrong with foaming a tank in. The problem comes from water leaking into the foam and touching the alum.

Alum by nature self seals from air. There is no air circulation in the bilge of a Parker. Not unless provisions are made with solar fans in the pieholes. Even then it's not like a larger craft that has air all around it .

The bottom line... Keep water away from the alum and it will not rot. I've given detailed instructions in the past on replacement tanks and How to never have that problem again.
 
I have a 2016 1801 and happy to say no tank issues here... I have dreamed about getting a bigger tank in the boat though. Has anybody ever when in need of a new tank replaced a 40 gallon tank with a bigger one to get more fuel capacity?
 
Yes the odor got stronger, $7000k in 2016. 4 holes
About the same price in 2021 for my 23 deep Vee (155 gallons). The tanks were 1/8 thick originally and today they have to be at least 3/16 by USCG standards and that's what the new tank was.
 
I have a 2016 1801 and happy to say no tank issues here... I have dreamed about getting a bigger tank in the boat though. Has anybody ever when in need of a new tank replaced a 40 gallon tank with a bigger one to get more fuel capacity?
Mine has a 60 gallon. If I ever needed there is plenty of room for a longer tank going aft. I'd estimate It could add at least 10-15 gallons, but don't forget the additional weight it adds.
 
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