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Saddle Tanks or Standard 23 gallon tanks
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cgypsy



Joined: 02 Mar 2015
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City/Region: Vancouver Island
State or Province: BC
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C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C Gypsy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:49 pm    Post subject: Saddle Tanks or Standard 23 gallon tanks Reply with quote

I am putting a new fuel tanks in my 22' cruiser and I would like some suggestions as to how to proceed.

The obvious simple answer is to buy a pair of Muelleur tanks but I have looked into that and they will take several weeks to come. I should have ordered them in the fall, but I didn't so now I want to look at all my options.

Custom tanks may be a little more expensive but I could be on the water much sooner - although I may still decide to order the 23 gallon Muelleur tanks and wait for them to arrive. However, this seems like a good time to upgrade to slightly larger tanks.

At present my boat does not have any fuel tanks because just over a year ago someone decided they wanted them more than I did and both of my tanks disappeared one night and I haven't used the boat since - but now I want to get back out onto the water.

I have twin hondas and would like to have two tanks so each motor has a different gas tank.

My questions are:

What are the advantages/disadvantages of aluminum tanks?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of plastic tanks?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of saddle tanks? Do they fit in well and does anyone have measurements that worked for them?

Do you have any tidbits of advice that save me from making costly or stupid mistakes.

I will have to hire someone to do all the work so I know this will be an expensive undertaking. All the lines, brackets and hoses will have to be replaced as they were all destroyed during the removal of the original tanks.

Any and all suggestions are gratefully appreciated.

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pcg



Joined: 31 Aug 2018
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Saddle Tanks or Standard 23 gallon tanks Reply with quote

cgypsy wrote:


What are the advantages/disadvantages of aluminum tanks?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of plastic tanks?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of saddle tanks? Do they fit in well and does anyone have measurements that worked for them?


I can't speak from experience, but I've been researching the same topic, and can summarize what I've learned.

The advantage of aluminum tanks is that they can be built to a custom size and shape. The disadvantage is that they are not as durable as plastic or stainless steel. They are often used, but have a limited lifetime (compared to plastic) due to corrosion (especially if exposed to continuous moisture). They are also prone to cracking after repeated rough use (banging hull in rough seas). I wouldn't use them unless they were mounted so that they had air circulating all around them and some sort of shock absorbing mount.

The advantage of plastic, specifically high density polyethylene (HDPE), is that it is light and very durable - will last longer than aluminum. The disadvantage is that custom shapes are very expensive to have built and the tools required are beyond the budget of a DIYer.

If I had unlimited funds I would build stainless steel saddle tanks for my 22. I did a quick CAD design for 50 gal. saddle tanks (100 gal. total) that also provide a shallow step for entering the boat or resting one's foot while fishing. Coast for the SS alone is over $1000 so I won't pursue it.

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MikeR



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandra that's terrible about the tanks getting stolen! Hope you are able to get back on the water this season. Can't speak to the advantages of the metal tanks (I'm sure there are lots), but I'm a huge fan of the translucent plastic tanks on the current 22's. No fussy gauges, sending units, and no guessing when to slow down during fill up. You just look directly at the tanks while cruising or filling and instantly know your current status. I've even stopped re-setting the fuel levels on my Garmin / Merc after filling up, I just prefer the old school turning my head around to see how much is left in the tanks. Although, the advantage of improved weight distribution of saddle tanks would be tough to argue with. Probably more of a project for the modification than what I'd have patience for, if replacement tanks could just be dropped in to get back on the water sooner.



Mike

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Sea Wolf



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IF I WERE IN YOUR POSITION, I'D APPLY THE KISS PRINCIPLE:

1, Get the standard rear tanks in polypropylene. See how much more the ones the factory cost are than those otherwise available. If you can justify it, buy those and the slotted cover panels from them. If not, buy them elsewhere and build your own slotted cover panels. Consider larger than standard tanks, if desired.

2. If you have fore-aft balance issues, first move what you can in the boat.
Then either add house batteries up front (Gel Cell or AGMs inside the cabin), chain in the locker, or move the water tank and other storage up under the V-berth. Add a hydrofoil and trim tabs to balance the boat under way.

Still out of balance? Trade your wife or fishing partner in on a newer model as necessary to balance the boat. This may be the most expensive option,so do it as a last resort. But it's only money!

Good Luck, and Enjoy! Laughing

Joe. Teeth Thumbs Up

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thataway



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Properly installed aluminum tanks are very durable--probably more than the Poly ethylene. The problem is that many boats are built with improperly made and installed tanks. Best if the welds are kept to a minimum, and metal folded for most of corners--more expensive. The metal should never be in a situation where it is constantly immersed in salt water. Many builders put the tanks on some "rubber" which contains carbon--this is a no no. The builders "foam in the tanks"--this assures that the tanks will corrode with moisture trapped against the tanks.

First the tanks should be made of salt water resistant aluminum alloy. They should be only placed on plastic or silicone rubber material, to hold them off the bottom of the boat. No carbon containing material to touch the tanks. The tanks should be sanded etched, acid washed prepped with two part epoxy primer--coal tar epoxy is good--and then painted. Done properly they will last many years. We did this for tanks in a cruising sailboat boat over 35 years ago--The boat has been continuously cruised and the I am told the tanks are still in like new condition--no corrosion.

There have been some instances in both the 25's and Tom Cat 24's where the polyethylene tanks have begun to leak--and had to be replaced--in several cases in only a few years. On the other hand, there are some boats with tanks over 30 years old. I have seen some C Dorys with custom aluminum tanks aft under the splash well--all of the way across, and they were aging well--having been properly installed.

Fitting the saddle tanks may be a challenge. Also strapping them down. I would advise cleats epoxied to the inner hull surface (cockpit "deck"), with footman loops attached, and then footman's loops bolted up under the gunnel to hold the top of the straps. I would pad the tanks with a non carbon containing silicone rubber. They should be properly prepared, epoxy premiered and painted. Some aluminum alloys are fine left raw., But characteristics which make for good tank material, may be somewhat in conflict with the best corrosion resistance. For example, malleability for bending the sides, to keep welds to a minum. You are going to have to make patterns for the custom saddle tanks. I doubt that they will be cheap. You will have to move the fills most likely.

100 gallons of fuel is going to weigh over in 600 lbs if you want to increase the tankage to this level...not sure where you will be going where a range of 400 to 500 miles is necessary? Perhaps the lower Mississippi, where there are no marinas??

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Robert H. Wilkinson



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plastic tanks need to be seasoned(filled with gas) before they are secured as they will expand. New ones will probably come with these instructions.
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cgypsy



Joined: 02 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Trade your wife or fishing partner in on a newer model as necessary to balance the boat.


Interesting concept. That is one way to balance the boat. However the extra weight of an extra person would require bigger gas tanks as I usually single hand my boat.


Last edited by cgypsy on Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
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cgypsy



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate all the good information. There really are a lot of factors. I will see if I can get a more specific date as to how long it will take to order the stock tanks. I know they won't arrive before boating season starts as they have to be cusrom made at the factory and shipped to Vancouver Island.
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pcg



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please let us know lead time and price when you have that information.

Thanks.
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Marco Flamingo



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised to see that the translucent poly tanks are still available. I thought that EPA regs (2011) required less permeable plastic tanks, but maybe that's just for portable tanks? I know that a newer less-permeable hose is now required (A 1-15). Be sure to look for that when doing the install, as NOS hose (and old tanks) are still around and being sold.

When I put in my single 23 gallon tank (CD 16), the only poly tanks that met the new perm requirements had a black nylon lining. That meant the you could no longer sight read the amount of fuel. Some inconvenience, but on the plus side the gas stays fresher longer and less brain damage (in theory). Maybe that is the regulation. Impermeable tanks are required if in an enclosed space?

Mark
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ssobol



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marco Flamingo wrote:
I'm surprised to see that the translucent poly tanks are still available. I thought that EPA regs (2011) required less permeable plastic tanks, but maybe that's just for portable tanks? I know that a newer less-permeable hose is now required (A 1-15). Be sure to look for that when doing the install, as NOS hose (and old tanks) are still around and being sold.

When I put in my single 23 gallon tank (CD 16), the only poly tanks that met the new perm requirements had a black nylon lining. That meant the you could no longer sight read the amount of fuel. Some inconvenience, but on the plus side the gas stays fresher longer and less brain damage (in theory). Maybe that is the regulation. Impermeable tanks are required if in an enclosed space?

Mark


The problem with the new portable tanks is that they are sealed and expand when the ambient temp increases. I had a square tank get very round when leaving the container in the cockpit of my boat one summer. I can see the possibility of a container cracking or some other failure do to the high pressure inside. There is also the possibility of gas spraying out under pressure if you don't vent the tank correctly.

I think the new gasoline container laws were a fix for a non-issue.
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hardee



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always thought that for the heavy aft C-Dory, (which is mine and most others) that Saddle tanks would be the ultimate, and if built right, (heavy enough material, placed right) they could also provide a nice intermediate step for exiting the cockpit, (or entering). The other advantage would be that you could increase the tank volume from 25 to 40 gal on each side, adding more weight midships, and much more range.

Don't think you could get a way with sight glass tubes, but maybe sighting ports could work. ( That would be in keeping with the KISS principal -- less gauge and wire stuff.)

Yes, it will be expensive, but could also be a good sell point for down the road. No doubt it will be a custom job. Oh, and Sandra, this will be the time to replace all the fuel line hose anyway.

Harvey
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cgypsy



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I called and sent an email to C-Dory but have not heard back.

Dealer 1: $457 CAD for one tank and $607 CAD for the other - probably 8 weeks 4 weeks to get them made and 4 weeks delivery

Dealer 2: $1139 CAD for the pair. 4 weeks to get them made plus extra time for delivery or an extra $200 CAD for quicker delivery.

$1,100 CAD is about $850 USD

😒
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pcg



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cgypsy wrote:
$457 CAD for one tank and $607 CAD for the other

Aren't the tanks mirror images of one another? Why the price difference?
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cgypsy



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Aren't the tanks mirror images of one another? Why the price difference?


That's what I said but he didn't have an answer.
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