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Old 28-09-2015, 21:53   #1
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Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

Hello,

I found a 35' boat that has a 185 gallon fuel tank. Sailboatdata indicates that it came from the factory with a 33 gallon fuel tank.

Doing the following calculations:

33 x 7.25# = 239 pounds of diesel
185 x 7.25# = 1341 pounds of diesel

That's an increase of 1102#, before the boat is provisioned and crew get's on board.

How do you determine the safety factor, sailing it, etc, etc, before you buy it?

Any ideas and comments will be appreciated.

Best regards,

Mike
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Old 28-09-2015, 22:05   #2
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

Lol. First I'd find out if it was a misprint. Then I'd ask the owner why he did it.
No matter what he said I doubt that I'd buy it, two many other boats out there.
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Old 28-09-2015, 22:22   #3
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

If this vessel is of very very heavy displacement, an extra thousand pounds might have little effect. If the boat is lightweight, that much added wieght could be totally unsafe.

If the fuel happens to be held in tanks below waterline (like in the keel), the added fuel wieght might actually improve stability and performance.

For average 35 footers, 185 gallons of fuel would likely be too much.

Then again, there is no law that says you have to fill the tanks.

I have a 34 footer with 90 gallon fuel capacity but I much prefer to keep the fuel quantity to less than 60.

Steve
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Old 28-09-2015, 22:23   #4
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Lol. First I'd find out if it was a misprint. Then I'd ask the owner why he did it.
No matter what he said I doubt that I'd buy it, two many other boats out there.
I did verify that the information is accurate.

Also, I did find another boat, same model, different year, that has 112 gallon
fuel capacity.

So maybe they can be modified to carry that much fuel.

Thanks for the reply,

Mike
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Old 28-09-2015, 22:24   #5
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

Much better than having jerry cans all over, and you don't have fill her up if you don't need to. Just check the tank is ok in all aspects.

BR Teddy
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Old 28-09-2015, 22:31   #6
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

A Cal 35 is the boat that I am checking out .......
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Old 29-09-2015, 08:30   #7
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

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Much better than having jerry cans all over, and you don't have fill her up if you don't need to. Just check the tank is ok in all aspects.

BR Teddy
That's exactly right. We frequently see cruising sailboats with as many as 8 jerry cans lashed to the lifelines so there is obviously a need for greater fuel range on many boats. Better too much than too little, and there's no need to fill the tank for local cruising.
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:07   #8
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

Just a question out of curiosity, mbuckner, do you happen to know if the owner of this Cal35 converted his water tanks into fuel tanks?
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:10   #9
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

With that kind of tankage you'd need a polishing system. Really just a good electric pump & a dual Racor would suffice. Diesel doesn't go bad like gas but stuff can grow in it so it needs to be filtered regularly. I'd do this for any boat.
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:15   #10
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

I would start by asking where this fuel is stowed. it the 185 is right something had to be sacrificed to make room. I would also look at the effect on the balance of the boat if it's a single tank not centered. if balanced, the extra weight should be no big deal on a boat your size.
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:17   #11
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

I carry 330 gallons in steel hull. I always see guys with tiny factory tanks with a dozen 5 gal jerry cans on deck. The PO did you a favor. Russ
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:30   #12
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

Diesel stores pretty well but does suffer from bug infestation if not religiously treated and will deteriorate over time. Most of us own sailboats so we can sail. Fuel consumption is very low so fuel can remain in tanks for ages. Too much fuel tankage can result in stale fuel and engine issues.

I'm sure that some boats need additional tankage that Gerry Jugs provide, but that is probably in the minority. Most of us carry Gerry Jugs as a way to refuel where we have to schlep the fuel to the boat and backup for boat tank issues with bad fuel or contamination. Some of those Gerry Cans may be water or gasoline as well. Never leave home without enough water in Jugs to make the passage just in case the boat's tanks are compromised.
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:45   #13
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbuckner View Post
A Cal 35 is the boat that I am checking out .......

I know you said you checked and verified, but that amount of fuel on that size boat may well be a physical impossibility. Unless he took either for V berth or aft cabin out. I'm not kidding.
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:53   #14
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

185 gallons would require 25 cubic feet.
Thats a lot of space on a 35' sailboat.
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:53   #15
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re: Can a Sailboat carry to much Fuel?

First question is are you going to cruise the boat, or day/weekend sail it?

If you are going to cruise, then the extra fuel below is nice to have.

If you are going to day/weekend sail/cruise, then you will need to clean the fuel AND the tank more often than you like. Your fuel tank can be just like your aquarium at home with the green stuff growing in it.

And what did the current owner give up to put the larger tank in? Water tanks, valuable storage, etc.

And since the prior owner has such a large fuel tank, I would guess he relied on the engine more for cruising and would take a closer look at the condition of the engine.
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