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  #1  
Old 09-01-2007
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Fuel Tank Relocation (pros & cons)

Hi folks,

currently, I have a 12 gallon fuel tank that is located just forward of the engine in the bilge ( I have a full keel and a relatively deep bilge). Many of the people that I know that sail the same model boat as I have (Albin Vega 27'), have removed this tank and replaced it with a larger (usually 16-18 gallon tank) and have moved it up and back into the port locker where it is easily accesable, gravity feeds the pumps, and actually cuts down on the distance of the run from the fuel tank to the first stage, primary filter.

I have considered doing this as a split fuel line dumped about 6 gallons of diesel into the bilge about a month ago and the clean-up was a nightmare as I have very limited access to the bilge to clean and air out. My batteries sit conveniently on a shelf that was built over the tank in the bilge as well and they are out of the way an fairly close to the engine and switch.

My concerns with this project are:

1.) I like having the weight of the diesel (roughly 8 lbs/gallon), down low. With the two batteries there as well, I effectively have added 200+ lbs to my ballast (where it probably should be)

3.) If I replace the tank and move it back up higher and to the portside, will I throw the ballast off and will she sit too low in the stern?

The idea of having my fuel and batteries in an area that could potentially be under water is not great, but the bilge is always dry on this boat. Despite the dry bilge, it probably is a better idea to get the tank up where it is safe and can readily be inspected.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks
Chris
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Old 09-01-2007
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I'm not crazy about the idea of moving the tank up into the port locker. That's about 175–200 lbs. of weight that you'll be putting there when the tank is full, and you're removing about 150 lbs. from the bilge. However, if many people have made this modification without problems, it should be okay for you to do it... and then you could convert the space where the existing tank is into additonal space for batteries... and make a larger house battery bank.
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Old 09-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
and then you could convert the space where the existing tank is into additonal space for batteries... and make a larger house battery bank.
This is true...
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Old 09-01-2007
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I think the move will be fine and will give you 50% more range under power. The 150 lbs or so is not critical and has less impact than someone sitting on the port side of your cockpit.
It makes good sense to me.
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If the tank is not leaking now, I would leave it, and use it.

My guess is that 12 gallons would probably take you about 160 miles?

If you are trying to add to your fuel range, and the tank is to be used on those occasions where you are crossing the Gulf of Mexico or something, adding another tank is not a bad idea methinks.

I would leave it empty if I did not need it though.
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Old 09-01-2007
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Why not add a 5-10 gallon "day tank"? I put in a 12 gallon Tempo tank to replace a 15 gallon Monel, and it's fine, and lighter as a tank.

You can put in a lift pump and a return line from the keel tank and gradually fill the day tank with "polished" and therefore dependable fuel. Then you can fill the keel tank and just transfer as needed. The day tank can be gravity feed in a pinch.
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Old 09-02-2007
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Figure your diesel at about 6.5 lbs per US gallon.
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Old 09-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Why not add a 5-10 gallon "day tank"? I put in a 12 gallon Tempo tank to replace a 15 gallon Monel, and it's fine, and lighter as a tank.

You can put in a lift pump and a return line from the keel tank and gradually fill the day tank with "polished" and therefore dependable fuel. Then you can fill the keel tank and just transfer as needed. The day tank can be gravity feed in a pinch.
I agree with Val, you will be garenteed good clean fuel and a positive use rate.
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I wonder about having the batteries in the bilge, sure it is dry now but when it isn't?
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Chris,
It is generally not a good idea to stow them where they could become immersed. When in the process of surviving a bad day at sea it's not helpful to have a boarding sea immerse your batteries, shorting them out. It is a tempting location, though.(g) The OP seemed to indicate that they were on a shelf of some sort, presumably above the bilge. It is certainly a topic worth more discussion.
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