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Old 23-01-2018, 07:40   #1
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Boat: Mahe 36, Helia 44 Evo, MY 37
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Helia 44 Fuel Tank

A 2nd Helia 44 Fuel Tank is one of the best upgrades you can make on your Sail Cat.

The Helia 44 was designed to have a 2nd 124 gallon fuel tank under the Stb. Stern berth.

Itís not on the FPís price sheet, but if you ask, they may factory install it for you.

For those of you that have had your boats delivered, you know that all the lockers are loaded with lots of 5 gallon jerry canís to make the Atlantic crossing to the USA.

This 2nd 124 gallon Fuel Tank has been added on quite a few Helia 44ís now.

With a 2nd fuel tank you will have a range of 1712 miles if you motored with one engine at 6 knots and 2000 rpmís.
That is why these Cats are one of the most efficient boats on the planet sailing or motoring.
You can easily double the 1712 miles, if you put the sails up with the trade winds and currents.

Hereís a few pictures that our friends on ďZiezoĒ have shared to show how itís done. "JB", the owner is in one of the pictures.
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Old 23-06-2018, 10:48   #2
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Re: Helia 44 Fuel Tank

We like this idea a lot and want to do the same for our Helia Evolution. Any idea on how I can get the parts from FP or an aftermarket group? Thanks in advance!
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Old 24-06-2018, 15:07   #3
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Re: Helia 44 Fuel Tank

Whoa there Pilgrim.... (John Wayne)

Look, Fountaine Pajot originally designed the Helia with a cast fuel tank in the starboard side. I pioneered the first one. Here is a picture of the tank before I patterned it up and flat packed it, to slip the pieces together then bolted. My Stainless Shop did it in MIG for some reason, I thought the TIG everything, but for some reason these heavy baffles and all were done in Mig.

Now I left about 75 mm clearance all around, the limber holes in the above are a good idea, but on a Cat I did not think it necessary. It has to be flat packed and sleaved, so you can get it down the companionway.

Now here is the important bit, and what you need to check out DIRECTLY FROM F.P. !!! Mine was hull number 8... I am sure the tank casting carried on for a few more after that as the Production Pieces could have been made in advance. But somewhere early like mine, they stopped offering it, took it off the menu.. . My tank was about 1/2 thick, proper fiberglass fuel tank. But when they stopped offering it when the Helia went over-weight, WHY WOULD THEY KEEP ON CASTING THE HEAVY TANK INSTEAD OF A LIGHT FIBERGLASS STORAGE AREA??? I would want to check it out directly from F.P. and somewhere about hull 40-50 in production, why would they go to the expense of adding the tank ??? Once they used up those readily made slip in pieces, why would they keep on making a thick solid fuel tank they were not going to offer...

Just because it looks like a tank, does not mean it is. BE CAREFUL... Make sure you indeed have a thick tank made for diesel OK? I am afraid they would not have kept on doing it, when they decided it was not an option, and that might just be a lined storage area they dropped it. OK?

Get a qualified and secure answer from F.P. to avoid an expensive disaster...!!

Helia 44, hull number 8 "AVALON"
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Old 24-06-2018, 16:10   #4
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Re: Helia 44 Fuel Tank

I was the first to pioneer this... Per the above I want you Helia Owners to just make sure they cast in the heavy tank, as they stopped offering it around Hull number 8, and I would be concerned that you only have a thin storage area after they ran through what castings they had already made.. OK?..

If you get the confirmation, this is how I patterned it up:
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Old 24-06-2018, 16:30   #5
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Re: Helia 44 Fuel Tank

Thanks for the update, I will be in touch with FP today and see what the options are for the last few Helias on the production line. Will get back to you soon
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Old 24-06-2018, 16:31   #6
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Re: Helia 44 Fuel Tank

Again, Per the above Posts, NOTE the warning OK:

I was the first to pioneer this... Per the above I want you Helia Owners to just make sure they cast in the heavy tank, as they stopped offering it around Hull number 8, and I would be concerned that you only have a thin storage area after they ran through what castings they had already made.. OK?.. You really need to confirm this before building it..

If you get the confirmation, this is how flat pack built it up: It is heavy alloy ad deep penetration MIG in bolt together configuration with about 30 bolts...

I did not put in limber holes, as I allowed 50-75 mm clearances all around...

Tips: The sealant is big sausage tubes of Marine Diesel Sika-Flex, then screwed down through the Sika...

Last picture is of the finished product, zero leakage, heavy structural... Sleaved and then through bolted... Big time..

Final other warning: Now this is perfect for coastal cruising and inside the Great Barrier Reef islands where I cruise OK? But it did load up the Helia, without much reserve buoyancy in the stern. This is fine for inshore or leaving with big motoring in mind in calm weather but: I would not sail off-shore with big seas leaving with full tanks.. The worst I saw, was about about 12'-14 seas I got caught out in, and I though AVALON was a big sluggish to respond with the full tanks OK>>
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Old 06-08-2018, 13:02   #7
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Re: Helia 44 Fuel Tank

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for the feedback. I checked with our dealer who in turn reached out to FP. This is what we got back:

Yes

The counter moulds are the same between the 2 hulls. It means you can bound a plate on starboard side.

But the main issue is that we balance the weight between the 2 hulls (equipment vs le tanks).

If you add a second tank it means the boat will be heeling a little.

Regards

ALex
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Old 06-08-2018, 16:15   #8
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Re: Helia 44 Fuel Tank

Hello Sailing4us!!

I hope this is a bit of help for you, I now am Blessed to own a Saba 50 that is just a big Helia 44 on steroids.. Heh he, anyway here is some practical input for you:

I have done a bit of cruising up and down the east coast of Australia, in the Great Barrier Reef and 200 or so continental islands in my Helia 44 AVALON. It is just over 500 nautical miles from the jump off point at Mooloolaba, with a few detours, to Hamilton Island or Abell Point Marina in Airlie Beach, that is about in the middle of the GBR. A couple of years ago, it was time to go home, and we were becalmed with flat seas and not much wind. It was good to just go, trolling all day, island to island, port to port or safe anchorage, and ten days running home with detours ran through that 470 litres...

Sometimes like that, I just go straight thru, for various reasons, and I have filled both tanks maybe 8-9 times at the jump off point, OK?.. Here are the practical results for you:

There is no noticeable "heel" as you say. Full tanks, means with the batteries on the starboard side, that hull set maybe a half inch to one inch lower than the port side hull. It is not noticeable but: I used the diesel to starboard first.

The final remedy was to change over the Helia batteries to Lithium, and move them forward to a dead space just aft of the galley in the cockpit. On measure, two 300 amp Lithiums would slide in nicely with their associated BMS systems and so on, and this would be a large savings of weight on the starboard hull as a few hundred pounds savings was moved to mid ships and forward a bit. The only reason I did not do it, was the existing batteries were working just fine and it would have been wasteful IMO.

My only warning and reservation on this, is my report from F.P. was that they stopped offering it at around my hull #8, for weight reasons. Here is my only warning and I cannot substantiate it as it may just be my feel, but leaving Mackay Marina a bit early in a "Southerly Small Craft" warning in your terms, we had about 10-12 foot following seas due to my being careless about the tides mounding them up. I thought, Avalon was a bit sluggish to respond to the following seas. It could just be me, I cannot quantify it, but if I was going offshore big time I would use that diesel up first. And, change over the batteries and move them forward as I said...

Other that that, what a fabulous thing to do. The gen set is great, a 9.5 kva Cummin Onan, and forward.. Having the extra fuel was luxury and security, and I would definitely do it again.

Hope this is a help, and my vote is yes, do this.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:19   #9
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Re: Helia 44 Fuel Tank

Hi Helia 44,
Thanks for the follow up and the story. Helps us as we head into the cost / benefit discussion.

In part of your comment, you mention the Lithium battery placement. We are going to do this as part of our retrofit before heading out. The location you mention. Was this for your Helia or your Saba? If for your Helia, we'd like to understand more details on the location. We are parsing this with our yard manager.

We don't have the option of using any of the under bench locations in the Salon, as these house the A/C units. Right now the best option for the ReLion batteries we will use is in the engine compartment - with blowers installed to better manage the temperature (we've followed the temperature discussion and discussed it with the ReLion Distributor and Factory). We are going to install the RB300HP (3 of them. 20.5 x 10.5 x 9.0” -or- 520 x 267 x 229 mm)

We look forward to our time in your area in a few years!
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Old 08-08-2018, 14:07   #10
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Re: Helia 44 Fuel Tank

Hello Sailing4us....

I actually have opened up both. But the Saba was going to get a ss icemaker in that location and it failed as there is a separation bulkhead of one of the drop in modules in the middle, so I just put in a tall door and a plywood box for maintenance gear like polishes and such in that place..

On the Helia, it was wide open, big enough to slide in two 300 amp Lithiums or maybe three. It is just before the galley area, on face just outside the door, a big dead area between the propane storage under the seat and door walkway.

I cut in a small circular access hatch with the spin off lid, to do my investigation, and I would suggest you do the same before getting carried away, just in case they have changed something.. It is just outside the sliding door, below the galley sliding window that slides to port. It is mid ships, on the propane storage side, on the face that is perpendicular to door, under the sliding window, just aft of the trash collection cupboard. It extends over to port side cabin wall, between the settee in the cockpit and the galley...

BTW, I would not waste the Varta batteries, don't bother switching over until they are dead. My Helia was 2013, hull number 8, and I sold it with the batteries five years old and still good...

God Bless, and God Speed, Helia 44
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