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-   -   Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck? (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/115650-mount-above-deck-gas-tank-below-deck.html)

bajaking 01-06-2014 10:54 PM

Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
On a new-to-me Cal 27, the p.o. installed an outboard engine to keep sailing despite a dead inboard (which I intend to remove). He just kept the gas tank sitting on the cockpit floor full time. Needless to say, I find this arrangement dissatisfying. Long term, I'll probably install a new diesel or an electric, but for now, the outboard stays.

Is it a horrible idea to move the gas tank below deck? I mean, yes, it's a horrible idea, but just how horrible? If I install a vent hose on the tank that runs to an outlet on the transom, and run the fuel line through the transom to the engine, is that really any different from a standard belowdeck setup? I can use the old engine blower to vent the bilge and will be removing the tank when I fill it. I'd rather not invest the money & effort for a "proper" belowdeck fuel tank and deck fill and fuel gauge and all that goes with it, just to remove it all in a couple years anyway. Engine use is just in-out of the slip and occasional no-wind get-home-faster trips of an hour max.
I also don't want an early, fiery death.

As a reference point, on my Santana 22, the 6 gal "above deck" style gas tank for the outboard was stored on a platform inside the lazarette full time, even when in use. Boat didn't blow up. Granted, a full bulkhead separated the lazarette from the cabin (although the lazarette was probably 25% of the boat's volume). All Santanas have the same setup, and no one has made issue of it. Probably many other small boats do the same.

My only other option is to mount it on the pushpit, which offers its own set of problems.
Anyone have ideas or suggestions?

PaulinVictoria 01-06-2014 11:10 PM

Re: Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
Can the outboard suck up the fuel from below decks?

paulk 01-07-2014 06:59 AM

Re: Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
Does the bilge ventilator fan still work? Wouldn't want a spark from the new fuel pump you'll probably need to install to ignite the fumes in the bilge. Celebrating the Fourth of July on launch day is generally frowned upon. This is one reason people use diesels, and keep outboard fuel on deck, outside the cabin.

tommays 01-07-2014 07:45 AM

Re: Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
http://i565.photobucket.com/albums/s...612_141847.jpg

http://i565.photobucket.com/albums/s...13_1338231.jpg

It is a good bit of work and a good bit of money to install a SAFE below deck fuel tank

On my smaller J24 a strap and some fittings kept the tank in place above deck without issue for 30 something years

JoeLena 01-07-2014 08:24 AM

Re: Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by paulk (Post 1282089)
Does the bilge ventilator fan still work?

In the OP he says it does.

There are newer vent-less outboard tanks that seem to work. While testing my A4 I used one in the aft lazarette. The compartment was already wet and vented, and I had no issues with fuel but it was above the inboard. I did replace the permanent tank before long.

You would not need a gauge since you use it so little, but the one I had did sport a gauge on top.

Would seem that is mounted high enough it would still be above the engine. It is your boat and responsibility so whatever makes you feel safest. The hysteria over using gas instead of diesel is just that. Gas has been used a long time, on a lot of vessels without issue.

bajaking 01-07-2014 12:58 PM

Re: Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
Thanks for the input, folks. I don't think fuel delivery will be an issue since I would install it at about the same height it is now, just on the other side (inside) of the cockpit wall. But I am paranoid about having gas belowdecks, especially given the poor construction of current portable tanks. I have more thinking to do. Maybe I'll just get a smaller (2-3 gallon) tank and mount it on the pushpit so it's out of the way.

Does anyone know how similar sized boats with factory outboard options are set up (e.g. Catalina 27, Ericson 27)? Do they have fully "compliant" belowdeck tank installations? I'm guessing a portable tank in a separate, enclosed well? Hmm...maybe I could go that route. Just a little plywood & glass.

bajaking 01-07-2014 01:44 PM

Re: Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
I see the Catalina 27 has a large, proper lazarette (my Cal 2-27 cockpit runs right to the transom). The 4th pic at the listing below shows a portable tank in the lazarette with a couple of vent hoses. Can any Cat 27 owners confirm if this locker is completely sealed off from the rest of the boat?


1984 Catalina 27 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

svHyLyte 01-07-2014 02:05 PM

Re: Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bajaking (Post 1283330)
Thanks for the input, folks. ...But I am paranoid about having gas belowdecks, especially given the poor construction of current portable tanks. I have more thinking to do. ....

Why not simply use a 6 gallon transom mount tank, hanging on the outside of your transom? You could add a pad-eye along the center-line of the transom just below the bottom and another above the top of the cross piece of the tank to fully secure it in place even though the hanging brackets would take the weight of the thing. For example:

http://content.westmarine.com/images...ge/3704160.jpg

That would solve your problem with less chance of blowing-up/burning down your boat.

FWIW...

miatapaul 01-07-2014 02:13 PM

Re: Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeLena (Post 1282250)
The hysteria over using gas instead of diesel is just that. Gas has been used a long time, on a lot of vessels without issue.

Well I agree and disagree with this statement. Yes gas can be perfectly safe, if installed in a safe manor, with proper ventilation. But diesel is inherently safer by a large margin than gas. Gas has a very low flashpoint and if not properly vented fumes can pool and explode. diesel on the other hand has a much higher flashpoint and does not create explosive vapors at normal boat temperatures. It basically has to be squirted out of a fine jet to atomize it enough to be flammable. You can drop a lit match into a cup of diesel and the match will go out, not so with gas. So I don't think it is hysteria at all, just that a proper system must be maintained for gas to be safe. Some know that many will not maintain the systems well so recommend diesel instead. Same thing is true of propane, yes it is in fact more dangerous than CNG but as long as you have the proper systems and they are maintained then it is fine.

The bottom line is if you are moving a gas tank below decks you have to make sure the compartment is sealed from the rest of the cabin, and that there is proper ventilation even with a non-vented tank.

Seems to me that a boat like this is likely going to only need a small amount of fuel to have sufficient range, I would get the smallest tank I could find and install it on the stern rail, somehow. If you are going to go cruising for a longer time then you could always put a jerry can on deck. This would get the can out of the cockpit, and the smaller tank would encourage the use of FRESH gas since today's gas is only good for a few weeks at best before you wind up with carburetor issues anyway. The other thing to look into is if it had an A4 (or other gas engine) originally where is the original tank, and if it is sound perhaps you could use that and add a small electric fuel pump inline.

svHyLyte 01-07-2014 02:17 PM

Re: Mount above-deck gas tank below-deck?
 
1 Attachment(s)
For the sake of the exercise:


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