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kmahren 05-13-2008 11:45 PM

Bladder for second fuel tank?
Searching for a new boat, 36 to 40, under 100k, and finding some interesting ones' in that range. Except most of these boats have less than 40 gallon fuel tanks. That worries me. Knowing that unfortunately we spend much more time on the iron genny than we'd like, 35 gallons seems to be a constant worry about fuel on occasion.

What is the "consensus" on bladder tanks for fuel? Springing a leak would be catastophic inside your boat. Are these things prone to popping?



sailingdog 05-14-2008 08:40 AM

They're pretty durable...but really need to be installed properly, with chafe protection and padding. IMHO, you'd be much better off installing a second hard tank, rather than a bladder. Hard tanks are much more durable.

BTW, don't even think of using a bladder if your boat is Gasoline powered.

Valiente 05-14-2008 10:21 AM

I agree. And "iron genny" aside, most moderate-displacement 36 footers will cruise at 4-5 knots at 1,900 RPM with a 30 HP motor, and will use about 1.0-1.2 gallons/hour. That a DAY AND A HALF of continuous cruising or 150 nautical miles (all figures are conservative).

If you are doing daysails or coastal, you are unlikely to run out of fuel, and, of course, assuming this is a sailboat we are discussing, you can always sail.

It is simple to carry two 5 gallon diesel jugs lashed to the mast or the rail. This alone extends your range by 10 hours of running time.

I would suggest you not worry about an extra tank until you've got a couple of seasons with the new boat under your belt. I have trouble on my 33 footer using 11 gallons of gasoline for my Atomic 4 per season...because it's a sailboat.

camaraderie 05-14-2008 10:23 AM

So...a 36' boat for $1K? I'd be worried about a lot more than buying a fuel bladder that is worth more than the boat! Hell...the winches or a working engine on such a boat would be worth more as salvage. I hope you have about $30-50k in the bank to make that $1k bargain ready for sea.

sailortjk1 05-14-2008 10:44 AM

I think he forgot a couple of zeros.

ehmanta 05-14-2008 10:44 AM

If the boat is only 1k, what are the sails like???? Can't be good. I would get the primary means of propulsion(sails, rig) topnotch before worrying about extras. Like CAM said, I'd be a lot more worried about the Money you would have to spend on it than a little extra fuel.:eek:

DrB 05-14-2008 11:20 AM

Hmmm... 40 gallons goes a long way
I have a 33 ft boat, 12,500 lb displacement and a Yanmar 27 HP engine. A two weekends ago I ran it for almost 8 hours at 2800 rpm in pitching and rolling seas. I burned maybe 7 gallons of fuel, so I think that at 1900 rpm at 1 to 1.2 gallon/h is a little high. Even so, I agree 40 gallons will go a long way in mileage in a 35/36 ft boat even at a 1.2 gallon an hour.

Last season I burned 15 gallons of diesel total for 50 h of engine time, that included idle and cruising to and fro the mooring to the harbor. Thats a little more than a 0.3 gal/h.

I wouldn't install a bladder tank unless one thought that they were going into areas of questionable fuel and or extended offshore crossings.

If you are worried about it, I agree with Valiente, buy one or two 5 gallon jerry cans, fill them and lash to the mast. At 1.2 gallon/h for 5 NM, that will be another 20 NM of distance per can.


kmahren 05-14-2008 12:07 PM

oooppps... for $100,000... where did I put my glasses cleaner?

sailingdog 05-14-2008 12:21 PM

36-40' for $100,000 is still pushing it. :)

ehmanta 05-14-2008 01:15 PM

Ahhh!!! a 99k difference is huge. Which models are you looking at? There should be several to pick and choose from.

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