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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 10-17-2011
rdw rdw is offline
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fuel bladder placement

I am doing the Caribbean 1500 ( Hampton Virginia to Tortolla). I have a 46 foot boat.

We have purchased a 50 gallon fuel bladder for additional fuel reserve. We are planning on putting it on the deck in front of the mast. My question is weight and placement of that weight for optimal safety and boat handling. Below in the bilge would be the best place for the weight but I have no room below.

Any body got any experience or advice?

RDW
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Old 10-17-2011
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I see you got mostly negative responses from Cruisers Net. Maybe someone here will have some good advice. (Let's assume he really needs 50 gal. more fuel on board 'yall)
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Old 10-18-2011
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Bladder problems

Bladders are great when they can be put securely in the bilge. There, they can conform to the (otherwise underutilized) space and not detract from performance or boathandling by being in the way on deck. Bladders out in the open are difficult to secure properly, and are susceptible to puncture, shifting, and leaking from any number of causes. Jerrycans would be easier to carry aboard, secure, (to rails, where they might also act as spray guards) empty, and (possibly) dispose of. In the Cruiser's Forum you suggest placing the bladder by the mast. Forward of the mast would tend to sink the bow, which can be very slow. Aft of the mast would likely put the weight on top of the cabin trunk, (raising your center of gravity and adding to rolling) and interfere with the boom vang. Everything on a boat is a compromise, but a bladder this big, even on a 46' boat, does not seem like the best solution for providing extra fuel if you can't stow it below.
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Old 10-19-2011
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I think you already know this is a bad idea and that is what prompted the question...low and centered...if you seriously need the extra fuel, five 5Gal cans forward and five aft seems like better solution.
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Old 10-19-2011
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Or if on the same tack for days, how about most jerry cans on the windward rail? Or would that compound your problems in the event you had to tack in bad conditions.
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Old 10-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdw View Post
I am doing the Caribbean 1500 ( Hampton Virginia to Tortolla). I have a 46 foot boat.

We have purchased a 50 gallon fuel bladder for additional fuel reserve. We are planning on putting it on the deck in front of the mast. My question is weight and placement of that weight for optimal safety and boat handling. Below in the bilge would be the best place for the weight but I have no room below.

Any body got any experience or advice?

RDW
Fifty gallons of diesel weighs in at about 358 lbs and I can guaranty you that you don't want a bladder that weighs in at that much rolling around on your fore-deck and it will roll, I can guaranty you of that.

Your Morris is fitted with a 75 gallon tank of which at least 70 gallons is usable. The typical engine for that yacht was a 56 hp Yanmar the burns roughly a gallon an hour and should give you about 6 knots on your water-line. You might want to carry a couple of jerry jugs of spare fuel, which can be lashed to boards fastened vertically between two of your stanchions on each side of the yacht just aft of amidships (and they'll be protected to some extent by the bulworks) but beyond that you really shouldn't need much more fuel than that for the trip--and surely not 50 gallons. After all, it is only 1500+/- miles.

Frankly, you may have other things to be concerned about as that Rally can be fairly challenging. The mere fact that there are other yachts around you with a similar destination guaranty's you nothing vis-a-vis safety. Remember, there were 320+ yachts in the Fastnet in '79, all sailing the same 600 mile race, and yet there was carnage.

FWIW...
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Last edited by svHyLyte; 10-21-2011 at 11:37 AM.
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