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Old 24-05-2006, 16:46   #1
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Diesel Fuel Tanks Tankage

I am rebuilding my Cascade 42 from floors (below the cabin sole) up. I'm almost ready to install fuel tanks and have two ready to go in. Each is @35 gallons for a total of 65-70 gal.. I like to sail way more than motor and used 40 gals. in 23 days my last trip from Hawaii to the Puget Sound (Perkins 4-107 in a Mariner 35.)
Can you more experienced sailors recommend a total number of gals of diesel tankage for my 42 with a 40hp OM636 Mercedes diesel (about a gal. an hour)?
Any help is appreciated. Kind Regards, --John--
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Old 24-05-2006, 20:06   #2
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John, check on the current ORC racing rules. I think they call for 48 hours of motor fuel, which would mean 48 gallons in your case. But...it all depends on what your own "worst case" would be. How far from a destination would you ever sail to, and need to motor back from? And how much more fuel will you take fighting a 25-knot headwind and 6' seas?
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Old 24-05-2006, 20:16   #3
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Hi SKIPRJohn:

It is hard to tell how much fuel you will need. Everyone's plans are different. For instance if yo were to cruise down to Mexico than you'd be fine. Everything is a few days sail away. On the other had if you were going to sail inside the Sea of Cortez and wanted to stay there for a couple of months w/o setting into port you might be a little short (probably nothing a couple of Jerri cans couldn't solve. I'd say that unless you were going to do some extreme uninhabited sailing you are on the right track.
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Old 24-05-2006, 22:57   #4
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Hellosailor and Charlie, Thanks for the opinions. My last boat had 80 gallons in two 40 gal tanks. I never got close to running dry and think that too much fuel will just get stale and start growing algae if I don't use it up from time to time. Jerry cans are a good idea if they can be stored safely.
Would like to know what other folks in 40+ craft think. Regards, --John--
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Old 25-05-2006, 08:18   #5
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This is a Moot Point.

You can't put 20 pounds of stuff in a 10 pound bag.

I'm assuming you've built the biggest tanks that'll fit under the sole and unless you want to convert water tanks or eliminate storage space for more fuel tanks you're gonna have to store extra fuel in jugs on deck, or in a lazarette.

We crossed the Atlantic with 100 gallons of fuel (40 in tank & 60 in jugs) and had plenty to spare upon arrival. We were running a Yanmar 3GM30F.

Our new boat came with two tanks which total 100 gallons. We've recently installed a Yanmar 4JH3E and will report on our fuel consumption once it's been reckoned.

The only thing I have learned for sure is that you can nearly double your fuel range by backing off the throttle a bit. And in these days of skyrocketing fuel prices... a feathering propeller is beginning to look more and more attractive.

Any new thoughts on folding / feathering propellers?

Kirk
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Old 25-05-2006, 12:43   #6
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Diesel Fuel Tanks

Hi Gallivanters,
Maybe for some folks it would be a moot point. Not for me. I can add another 40 gal. tank pretty easily because as I stated, I am rebuilding my boat.
My question would be: Since you have a large boat with all kinds of space, do you think it necessary to have more than 70 gal. of fuel tankage?
Kind Regards, --John--
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Old 25-05-2006, 18:19   #7
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Skipper John:

How much water will you have? What about taking the space for the third tank and putting in two twenties one for water and the other for fuel. Not based on any science or even experience I would like to have at least 100 gals of water on board.
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Old 25-05-2006, 20:24   #8
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Aloha John,

For sure, by all means!

It is entirely up to you how to use any free space you may have below your cabin sole.

I'm certainly no expert, but...

For the sake of stability... I would suggest you use the space for something heavy such as fuel / water tankage or batteries.

If you decide to add another tank athwart the keel then it would be a good idea to add baffels in order to reduce Free Surface Effect.

If the space in question is fore & aft on the centerline then I'd put batteries there.

I reckon it primarily depends on what your future intentions with your boat.

If you plan to meander along with the trade winds then water may be best.
If you're crossing the equator then fuel may be better.
If you're just gonna hang around Hawaii then I'd fill the space with da kine.

It's up to you.

It sounds like you're in a very good position to create a custom interior layout just the way you'd like it... which is enviable. Just make sure the berth and settees are at least as long as you are tall.

But - to answer your question... I've never really wished that my fuel tanks were bigger.

I departed the Ala Wei bound for Saipan in 1995 with 40 gallons of fuel and arrived 31 days & 3500 miles later with 36 gallons... only because my refrigerator was broken. The most fuel I ever carried in the 25,000 miles since then was about 100 gallons (aboard a 37 ft boat powered with a 30 hp Yanmar) when we set out from the Canaries across to the Caribbean. And this time the fridge was working... and we still arrived with plenty fuel.

I'll probably do it differently next time... but I'm really not sure.

But that's just me.

Carry on.

Kirk
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Old 25-05-2006, 20:54   #9
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Charlie and Kirk,
Thanks for your thoughts and sage advice. Sounds like I can go with just the 65-70 gals diesel and use the other tank I have in mind for fresh water. I don't intend to have a water maker.
My boat is a little weird. Low freeboard for a 42 and the bilge is really shallow - 10" at the maximum so tanks have to go under settees or in lockers next to the turn of the bilge. I plan to have about 120 gal. freshwater with tanks under the saloon settees and will try to make certain weighty things are centerline and close to center fore and aft.. I wish the boat was not so undone at this point but it does give me an opportunity to put things where I'd like them for balance which is why I asked the question about the fuel.
Any other thoughts are very very welcome.
Regards, --John--
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Old 25-05-2006, 20:55   #10
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Just a warning; Never put wet cell batteries in the keel. If salt water gets into the batteries they will generate chlorine gas, incredibly dangerous. AGM's or gel cells, OK, but wet cell batteries should be kept elevated somewhat, typically above the floorboards so at least you have *some* time to notice water and get going before it can get into them.

John-
A stray thought out of left field but maybe it works for you. It really *is* possible to put 40 gallons in a 20 gallon space, the answer is to use "blivets". The flexible bladders. If you have room for 20 gallons of "something" and you're not sure which you will need, run the plumbing and put in a 20-gallon fuel bladder, with a 20-gallon water bladder on top of it. (Water on top, so if the top bladder leaks only water gets onto the lower one.) With some anti-chafe above and below both bladders (Tyvek "house wrap" works well & is cheap) you can leave them empty for normal sailing, and if you have second thoughts some time and decide you need 20 gallons more of one or the other...just fill the right bladder as needed.
The bladders do work very well, if you use some padding or anti-chafe sheets around them (even heavy grade trash bags, unopened, or poly sheeting) so they don't get punctured.
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Old 25-05-2006, 21:57   #11
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Great idea Hellosailor:

I really like that one. If I redo a boat I'll keep that one in my bag of tricks.
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Old 25-05-2006, 22:02   #12
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It inspired me. I have figured out most of the tankage on the trimaran, but I have lots of odd sized and shaped bilge space that would work great for that.
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Old 25-05-2006, 22:53   #13
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Thanks HelloSailor. Great idea!!
Regards, --John--
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