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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Originally I was keeping my 3 gallon portable gas tank in the cockpit under foot where everyone else keeps it. When I was going to be out for a while I would close the vent and make sure the cap was on tight then stow it in a compartment in the back of the boat where I keep my extra anchor, rope and other bulk items that get in the way. Eventually I found the space it was occupying in the cockpit is a perfect place to keep a cooler so I decided to keep my fuel tank in the compartment and just open/close the vent as needed for running the outboard. I would consider this to be below deck although it is not directly connected to the cabin. This space is also vented and at no time over the last 2 years have I smelled any fumes in the cabin or back in the compartment. This year I plan to replace the 3 gallon with a 12 gallon so it only needs to be filled up once a season. I am a fair weather, day sailor on lake Erie and run the motor for 5 minuets or less before I'm in open water with the sails up. The boat is a 26 ft fractional sloop with a swing keel. I would like your opinion if you think I'm going to blow myself up.
 

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Chastened
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You're using an outboard, right?
Unless you're causing sparks down below, I doubt you'll have a problem.
Gas can still slosh out of the vent though, so be wary of spillage.

You could cut a small air vent near the stern somewhere, and put a small blower on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yes the boat is fitted with an 8 HP outboard. Adding a vent sounds like a good idea. I was thinking with a 12 gallon I would keep 6 in it so there is plenty of expansion room. since I started using marine fuel stabilizer and ethanol treatment I have had no problems with gas even after a year of sitting.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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If you are blowing yourself up, I'm right behind you...

The s2 7.9 has a set of lazarettes that open to each other, leaving a dead space directly below the cockpit, and open on both sides... the "default" location of the fuel tank is on a table-like apparatus on center below the cockpit. The "standard" fuel tank is a 4 gallon steel tank, with a primer-hose fed up to the port side, and through a tiny hole in the transom, to the motor, that is mounted there.

I am toying with the idea of replacing the metal can (which by the way is 30+ years old and shows NO signs of rust), with a nice plastic 6 gallon model. Now, I'd likely need to get creative with how to secure the tank, because the present tank barely fits in rails on the table to keep it from sliding while heeling...

The S2 does not have ANY vents, or exhaust ports... and due to bulkheads there is no smell down below of fuel. HOWEVER, I think this "standard" design is an unsafe one... but that being said, I used it for about 2 months last summer, and it would appear the prior owner used it for 10+ years that way.

By the way, am I backwards, doesn't one pop the vent open relieving pressure before they leave the boat, then close it back off? I've not tried it either, but I usually leave the vent closed while motoring on the tank... can't figure out how the primer would work if the vent were open. I thought the number 1 issue with fuel was exposure to air making the fuel stale before it's time, therefore one should try hard to keep air out of the fuel system...

PS... we've JUST this past summer gained access to ethanol free fuel, and I'll be using it exclusively for my fill-ups going forward for my boat... I've had no end of trouble with fouled carbs... even with me running fuel out after every use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
my understanding of the vent on a portable container is to allow air to enter the tank when pulling fuel out of it. If I run the motor with the vent closed after a few minuets the engine stalls due to the negative pressure build up in the tank not allowing the fuel to siphon to the motor. The primer bulb is to fill the hose with fuel so it will siphon.
 

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One of None
Hunter 34
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Gas expands when it warms up... even slightly. The vent needs to relieve pressure build up too. This WHY! gas tanks are vented
 

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Master Mariner
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I had a sportfishing boat for 18 years that had two honking big 454's and 340 gallons of gas onboard. And I was a smoker.
IMO the only thing dangerous about gasoline on a boat, is the people on the boat. With proper precautions and a reasonable amount of common sense, gas shouldn't be feared.
 
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Gas expands when it warms up... even slightly. The vent needs to relieve pressure build up too. This WHY! gas tanks are vented
Boat in my marina recently shut the vent on his outboard fuel tank on a cool afternoon.

The warming of the tank the next morning pressurized the tank and outboard fuel supply line to the engine, causing a fuel leak that dripped and ran into the water.

The smell of fuel vapor was almost overwhelming when I descended the brow six slips downwind of him.

Polluted the water on both sides of the dock. Opening the tank vent stopped the leakage.
 

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Well, I used to work at a refinery, and they understandably trained us to be especially cautious - but I would be pretty uncomfortable stowing gasoline belowdecks where any spills or vapors could migrate into the cabin, as opposed to being vented overboard. Gas fumes are heavier than air.
Try a google search for 'Yachting Monthly crash test boat explosion' - this was LPG, but I think gasoline vapors would have a similar effect.
The two outboard powered sailboats I owned, a Paceship PY23 and a Pearson 26 One-Design, both had dedicated cockpit lockers for the gas tanks, isolated from the interior of the boat and vented into the cockpit.
 

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Barquito
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Venting, fumes, explosions... pish posh! I am just going to pour my gas directly into the lazarette! I'm just kidding, of course. I would stick with a small tank in the cockpit, or install a permanent tank with proper venting. I have an Atomic 4, so, I am pro gas.
 

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Dirt Free
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Chances are that all you fella's storing portable gasoline tanks in lockers are breaking the law. I doubt anything described in these posts regarding portable fuel tank storage comes close to the legal requirements. Are illegal acts insurable ?

Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations
Sub part 25.40 - Ventilation

and

Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations
183.620, Natural Ventilation System
 

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One of None
Hunter 34
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I read some where, that just the vapors in a gas can are close to a stick of dynamite
 
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