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Old 12-06-2008, 09:56   #1
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"Just in case" gas can

I know I'm gonna get flamed, so to speak, for this question but here goes anyway.
I'd like to know of any safer/safest way I may be able to keep a few gallons of gas in a container in my boat. It's a 20' bowrider Regal I/O with alot of storage space in the rear on either side of the engine ( and not much elsewhere) While it is well compartmentalized to keep stuff from sliding around too much, it's all one "airspace" under the hatch that runs almost from one side to the other. Of course it's fairly well ventilated as mandated by law, but still a closed compartment, with an engine in it. Well, the airspace is actually contiguous with everything under the deck but you get the idea, so would the ski locker be any better a location?
I've seen the round "safety cans" and the military style rectangular ones, but is this just a path I need not to go down?? It would be nice to have 3-5 gallons in reserve just in case, but...
A reserve fuel switch would be nice, too, but probably difficult to retrofit in an existing tank.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:37   #2
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Since you said "a few gallons" I am going to assume a 5 gallon red jerry can. I wouldn't place it below deck at all. Likely safe, but all it takes is is one time and it "used to be" a 20' bowrider.

I would use a plastic jerry can and put no more than 4.5 gallons in it. When tightening up the lid, sgueeze the can between your legs to make it thinner and push air out. It creates negative pressure and won't vent fumes until it gets hot. Once it is in the sun, it will expand and become more round and you may need to do it again.

I would keep it on deck wherever it is least intrusive. Up under the steering column on the floor maybe. Possibly back against the rear seat. Like I said, put it below and it only takes one rare freak thing and you are calling Allstate during the ambulance ride.

As a side note, are you running an outboard with exterioir fuel tanks? If you are as soon as one tank is empty refill it with the jerry can and then throw the jerry can under a seat or in storage.
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:42   #3
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I was looking at this can maybe- don't know about the spring loaded thingy though- just how "safe" are they...

Justrite UNO Type II Red Safety Gas Can, DOT Approved Omark Safety Equipment
or

Justrite UNO Type II Safety Gas Cans Omark Safety Equipment
or
Justrite 3 Gallon Type II Safety & Gas Can Omark Safety Equipment


Jonesee-it's an inboard/outboard-VolvoPenta with a 42 gal tank, with a "non-linearly" moving gauge- ie drops like a rock in the last 1/3 of a tank. Seems the least they could do is calibrate the guage( OEM Faria) markings to more accurately reflect tanks remaining volume.
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Old 12-06-2008, 13:29   #4
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I agree with Jonesee for the most part but I would prefer a vented storage locker topside, assuming you have one.

That's a real beast of jerry can! Looks like it could be used as a boat defense option.
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Old 12-06-2008, 15:16   #5
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Impressive gas can. I would recommend plastic however. Sooner or later in a marine environment, that can is going to rust a likely leave rust stains on your carpet or wherever else it is sitting. I personally don't know anyone that carries metal cans on their boat. (now we will see dozens of replies saying they do) I believe a company called "blitz" makes the 5 gallon jerry cans I carry. I've seen that at marine stores, auto parts stores and of course walmart. About $6.00 per can.

Just a curiosity, what is your range with 42 gallons?
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Old 12-06-2008, 21:13   #6
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sorry- long reply

Jonesee- Range? Really good question. We only have about 50 hrs on the boat, and between day trips on a lake while blasting around and cruising river trips with off/on plane spells it's been hard to figure. Certainly my impression has been that it's much better MPG going there than coming back! Seriously, that's the problem-it seems like I can go forever on the 1st 2/3 tank, then it sucks it, which is ass backwards from a load perspective. If I had one of those fuel totalizers linked to GPS I could tell you more. FWIW it's a VP 5.0 ltr GXI/280 HP in a 3700#? boat. No performance issues at all, just range and consumption unknowns.
I'm not too worried about rusty can as it would be removed altogether when the boat sits in the garage. I'm just worried about the big KABOOM potential. While I have a half dozen plastic cans around the house and farm here for various internal combustion toys, all of their tops either are sealed tight or will pop off with a finger flick done just right- neither being ideal. Is any gas venting "OK" inside an engine compartment/under deck environment? For example, my ski locker is fore ship/just ahead of the cockpit and under the bow on midline, but it actually shares air through various passages with the engine compartment- it is all under deck. Is that locker a gas-fume-kosher environment? Might a sealed tight and out of extreme temperatures ( say always 80 to 110 F') steel can a safe situation?
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Old 12-06-2008, 22:15   #7
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Is it safe? I grew up on inland lakes and there are 10,000 knucleheads making 100,000 mistakes every single day and yet other than what I have seen in the news I don't know anyone personally that has seen a boat explode. (although we all know it happens)

I would never give advice I don't follow myself, but I wouldn't store gas below deck. It just seems like an unecessary risk.

Check out the Blitz cans. I live in hurricane country and currently have about a dozen of them holding gas for my generator. However the gas can you are looking at is impressive! If you can swallow the price go ahead, but I don't think it will be any safer than the plastic. And I still wouldn't put it below deck.

The advice is worth what you paid for it.
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