I added two 100 liter (26 gallon) Vetus tanks
to a race
boat that I was bringing home from Hawaii
. The bladders sat on the inside of the hull
with no permanent plumbing
. I think there was a fuel fill inlet on the top center of the tank, which was not ideal, but also not used very often. The fuel outlet was a 5/8" barbed fitting to which I attached a few feet of hose, and then corked off the bitter end.
I used an impeller pump from Jabsco
that pumped about 5gpm to pump the fuel into the main tank, using a longer piece of small diameter fuel hose. There was no vent, no permanent plumbing
, no spillage, etc. Very simple. When I had pumped the tank dry, the transfer pump made a different sound and I turned it off, plugged up the discharge line, and waited until I would need the other bladder (several days later). No vent required.
I could roll up the empty bladders and store them off the boat. They want to assume a pillow shape, so you need to have enough space so they can "fluff out" to their normal shape.
As a cautionary note, the only time I did this was in 1983 when the 67' boat I was captain
her 10,400# keel
in 12,000' of water
, about 300 miles north of Kauai
. The boat did not capsize
, thankfully, and we were able to power back to Waikiki, although we came close to rolling over on a number of occasions. Had we rolled over with the unrestrained bladders full of fuel, it would have made a terrible situation just that much more terrible, but it's not easy to restrain a full bladder of fuel, unless you have a securely bolted "top" to it's containment area.
Former boat captain
of "Charley", Holland
Winner of the First to Finish, Transpac, 1983.