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Old 01-06-2021, 09:58   #1
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Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

The gas tank for the outboard on my small boat was stored in the cockpit bench locker when I purchased the boat. I've since kept it in the open in the cockpit to ensure good ventilation, but it's an annoying place to keep it and I'm a little concerned about UV degrading the tank & lines since I don't leave the bimini top up when I'm not around.

Would it be safe to move it back to the bench locker? The locker is totally isolated from the cabin and has drains at the bottom so theoretically if the vapors are heavier than air then they should just drain out, right? There's also no electronics or other ignition sources in there.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:02   #2
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

Where are the drains leading to, Inside the hull or outside?
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:09   #3
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

Iíd be willing to bet thatís where the builder intended the tank to be kept
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:13   #4
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

I would think that you will have to decide for yourself.


Many newer boats have fuel lockers that vent overboard. Mine does.


You might consider using an outboard that does not require a separate fuel tank. 6hp should be plenty for you, and 6hp motors with internal tanks are available.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:24   #5
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

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Originally Posted by sailormed View Post
Where are the drains leading to, Inside the hull [cockpit] or outside?
Gasoline produces ignitable vapors that are 3 to 4 times heavier than air, and gives off enough vapor to flash, when exposed to an external ignition source at temperatures as low as minus 45 degrees F.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:25   #6
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

sailormed - The locker drains to the cockpit, which has always-open scuppers through the transom, so there's no open connection with the cabin. (You can see the drains in the picture in the original post).

Jammer - I actually am running a 6HP with a built-in tank, but it came hooked up to an external tank and I actually prefer the external setup - easier to gauge fuel level and easier to take it to a gas station and refill.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:33   #7
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

I have a similar storage compartment where I keep my outboard gas tank all the time. There are no vents to the boat interior. I keep my small propane bottles in there, too. Any leaks are going to find there way out the cockpit drains if not blown away in a breeze.

As you noted, it is nice to have that tank out of the way and to be shielded from direct sunlight. I was less worried about the long term UV degradation and more concerned about the daily expansion/contraction from heating/cooling.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:55   #8
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pirate Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

Its just fine in that locker..
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Old 01-06-2021, 12:35   #9
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

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Its just fine in that locker..
Agreed, after seeing your answer in P6.
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Old 01-06-2021, 12:42   #10
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iansan5653 View Post
The gas tank for the outboard on my small boat was stored in the cockpit bench locker when I purchased the boat. I've since kept it in the open in the cockpit to ensure good ventilation, but it's an annoying place to keep it and I'm a little concerned about UV degrading the tank & lines since I don't leave the bimini top up when I'm not around.

Would it be safe to move it back to the bench locker? The locker is totally isolated from the cabin and has drains at the bottom so theoretically if the vapors are heavier than air then they should just drain out, right? There's also no electronics or other ignition sources in there.
If it's sealed from the interior of the boat entirely, I dont see why not.
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Old 01-06-2021, 13:21   #11
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

Thanks all for the input. It's good to have the peace of mind that I'm not unknowingly doing something dangerous.
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Old 02-06-2021, 08:36   #12
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

I believe that's what that particular locker was intended for. I have a different boat, C22, and it has the same fuel locker design.
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Old 02-06-2021, 09:19   #13
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

You're probably OK but if it were me? I'd add an overboard drain as well (belt and suspenders). With gas there is no such thing as 'too safe'.

In any case, make sure you clean out the lines regularly; spiders love 'em.
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Old 03-06-2021, 15:06   #14
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iansan5653 View Post
The gas tank for the outboard on my small boat was stored in the cockpit bench locker when I purchased the boat. I've since kept it in the open in the cockpit to ensure good ventilation, but it's an annoying place to keep it and I'm a little concerned about UV degrading the tank & lines since I don't leave the bimini top up when I'm not around.

Would it be safe to move it back to the bench locker? The locker is totally isolated from the cabin and has drains at the bottom so theoretically if the vapors are heavier than air then they should just drain out, right? There's also no electronics or other ignition sources in there.
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Old 06-06-2021, 11:19   #15
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Re: Safe to store gas tank in isolated cockpit bench locker?

Just don't open that locker while smoking ...
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