… for the Max from your sailing!

In my 38, the fuel tank is situated beneath the side galley. Looking aft from the galley sea cock hatch, the forward end of the fuel tank can be seen, at the base of which a drain plug. Ideally when the tank contents are low, but can be done with care when full, this plug can be removed and replaced by a tap available from your local plumbing merchant. From this tap attach a short length of fuel resistant tubing. This will assist in periodically running a small amount of fuel off into a container. After the contents have settled, it is easy to check for any water or bug content, thereby action can be taken, hopefully, preventing more serious problems at a later date.


There is a possibility of galvanic corrosion between the fuel tank and fuel tap, depending on materials used. If in doubt, Nigel Calder’s ‘Boatowner’s Mechanical & Electrical Manual’, has a comprehensive section on this. If you make sure that the tank vent is sealed with tape and fuel taps are turned off, this will minimise fuel leakage Don’t forget to remove the tape and re open the fuel taps

Barry Powling, Khamsin {Brittany France}


We’ve had the following comment from John Cook regarding his Maxi 38+…

“In my 38, the fuel tank is situated beneath the side galley exactly as described by Barry in his article above. The drain pipe has a nut on the end as described and I suspect this arrangement may be repeated in other Maxis.

This is Corsair’s 9th season and I have never had cause to drain the tank, and so the nut has remained untouched. As I was removing a bag of charcoal stowed in the locker space forward of the fuel tank (under the cooker), a gush of diesel spurted into the bilge. Luckily I was able to put my finger in the drain pipe to stem the flow until a suitable wooden bung could be located (those bags of bungs ARE useful!).

Remove finger insert bung ASAP as of course yet more diesel gushes out of a nearly full 200 litre tank during the process. After cleaning out the diesel from the bilges the Nut was found, completely corroded at the thread. The nut also appears to be stainless, but it had a copper washer that must have enabled electrolysis to set in, given that there would occasionally be some salt water sloshing about in that part of the bilge in a good blow on Port tack.

It seems to me to be a bad design and I have sent the nut and washer to Mike at SD Marine for discussion with Maxi HQ. I suggest everyone carries out an inspection of the drain pipe and nut if it is similar to the 38 design.

Meanwhile the wooden plug is absorbing fuel and allowing seepage. A fuel grade transparent 20mm pipe has been fitted over the bung and pipe and clamped with a jubilee clip. The other end of the pipe is bunged and jubilee clipped. However, the weldings on the tank around the now truncated drain pipe seem to be preventing the jubilee from seating properly, and in spite of maximum tightening there is fuel in the pipe and slight seepage into the bilge.

Barry talks about a tap from a plumbing merchant, but I have no thread left!