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Old 03-27-2003
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gasoline below deck

Question- I am curious some feedback on how paranoid I should be about my 18 gallon gas tank. I have a blower installed blowing air into the bilge and my boat is a 1970 Cal25- with the tank under the cockpit sole and open to the cabin.
To what extent should I go overboard exercising caution dealing with the gas. Sounds like a stupid question, and I DO have a bit of common sense so....aside from the obvious....I am interested in feedback on how everyone else may handle below deck gasoline- running blower constantly/sensors and gadgets/re-mounting gas tank in a better locale...etc.

Thanks all!!
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Old 03-28-2003
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gasoline below deck

Most of the Cal 25''s that I have been on are outboards and carry the fuel tank in the port sail locker. Sime that are only raced carry a very small tank and bring it into the cockpit. Others leave the fuel in the sail locker which I believe is sealed off from the interior of the boat (although I can''t say that I have ever looked). Because most of these boats have outboards without an electrical charging system, there is no bilge blower. On most of these boats there is simply an intake vent at the deck and an exhaust vent that goes to the bilge with flex hose both of which are venting this same port sail locker. I have not been aboard a Cal 25 with an inboard. If you have an inboard then you should have an explosion proof blower and switched and run the bilge blower for five minutes before starting the engine and while the engine is running. Before starting the engine you should lift the floor boards and sniff the bilge for gasoline. With even half way decent maintenance on the engine and the use of proper marine electrical components you should be fine.

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Old 03-28-2003
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gasoline below deck

As a 30 year user of gas powered sailboats I concur w/ Jeff on using a blower even when the engine is running. I go one step farther and sniff the bilge when I first come on board after the boat has been closed up. This is before I turn on anything. If a leak developes while the boat is closed up, one could count on plenty of fumes in the bilge.

I would be concerned about a portable/outboard style can inside the cabin area. Too many things could disrupt a tank that is not permantly and solidly mounted. If you have a mounted tank, I would look for a way to at least somewhat seal the area off from the cabin. Certainly, it is imposible to make that seal vapor proof, but anything would be better than just being open to the cabin. I know I like to smoke a cigar now and then, but I won''t do it when my engine compartment is opened up into the cabin.

Not only should you have the blower/vent, but you should also have a passive system that includes a vent to take air in while the blower vent allows air to go out even when not running the blower.

I have more thoughts on this, but I have gone on enough.

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