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Tommy Neely

18 ft Lappy - Purchase and Restoration

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Determined to by a Hewes Lappy but need some advise from you folks. I’m somewhat comfortable determining if the boat needs to be reworked and if gelcoat repair is needed. I’m concerned about the condition of the fuel tank on a 20 plus year old boat. Is there a way to determine the condition of the fuel tank or other components that aren’t visible? Given the fact you can’t get to the tank, I wouldn’t think you could determine the condition. If I’m correct, should I assume it needs to be replaced? I don’t see making necessary repairs to the hull, re-wiring and other work to find out months or a few years latter that the tank needs replacing. Also, how do you replace the tank other than removing the hull cap. Put another way, what are the in’s and out’s of evaluating the condition of the inside of the hull. I would appreciate any advise you folks could share.

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I have a 1996 BF18 and mine is good... for now. Honestly it's a crap shoot and you should go into it expecting to do a gas tank replacement. I'm not doing it until I have to. You don't need to remove the cap, there are plenty of repair shops that make the deck cut and install a new tank - it does not look that complicated to me. Pull the tank and have a new one made, drop it in, glass the cut and slap on some gel coat and you're done.

Chuck

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Agreed, buying a 20 plus year old boat is a crap shoot! My non MBG bay boat I bought started leaking after 1 year. However the manufacturer made it so the entire center console along with a portion of the deck was removable as one piece. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!

  If you do have to replace, just make the corrections and make it better than it was, document it and if you ever sell it that documentation will add value to the boat.

  Heck, if it makes you feel better, my buddy just sold his boat that is notorious for rotting gas tanks and he never replaced it and between the non MBG boat (starts with a "C" and ends with "der") and a new motor he got $43,000 for it and it was 20+ years old and the buyer new about the tank issues with the boats.

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