Topics

Fuel Bladders


Mark Erdos
 

I ask this more out of curiosity than anything else. What are people opinions of fuel bladders for excess diesel on longer passages?

 

I have seen some conversations where owners have bladders atop the aft cabin and lashed to the hand rails. To me, this seems like it would be a lot of weight in the wrong place. How does the fuel not cause a greater angle of heel and, the bigger question,  are the hand-hold railings strong enough to hold the weight of potentially shifting diesel (0.832kg/litre)?

 

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


Colin - ex SV Island Pearl
 

Everyone will have different reasons for carrying so much fuel, and of course, this could be very different now due to some exceptional COVID related issues (for example, a close friend of ours recently had to sail directly across the Pacific all the way from Panama to Bundaberg, Australia) ....but for those just setting off and/or preparing to circumnavigate in an Amel SM, 54 or 55, rest assured that you will mostly find that with both your generous main tank fuel capacity, plus say 9 x 23L jerry cans (in our case all in the life-raft locker of the SM), you should have much more fuel than you would need for all the longest legs, even with many mild to windless days, and even with the occasional need potentially to run for many hours at very high revs to get away from the odd suspect pirate "fishing" boats who may try to catch you in certain areas.

We circumnavigated on an Amel SM2000 with the above setup between 2017 and 2020, always with plenty of fuel leftover even on all the longest stretches, with many days of zero to 10kts of wind in the South Atlantic and Pacific, plus in the North Indian Ocean (Thailand to the Maldives leg).

Colin Streeter
ex SM2K Island Pearl II
Brisbane, Australia

On Tue, Apr 6, 2021 at 3:48 AM Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I ask this more out of curiosity than anything else. What are people opinions of fuel bladders for excess diesel on longer passages?

 

I have seen some conversations where owners have bladders atop the aft cabin and lashed to the hand rails. To me, this seems like it would be a lot of weight in the wrong place. How does the fuel not cause a greater angle of heel and, the bigger question,  are the hand-hold railings strong enough to hold the weight of potentially shifting diesel (0.832kg/litre)?

 

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 



--
Colin Streeter
0411 016 445


eric freedman
 

Hi Colin,

Instead of dealing with 9 jerry cans , why not have a pair of tanks fitted to the locker as we have done .

We use an electric pump to empty the tanks. That is much easier than having to deal with a jerry can in rolling sea. The reason I had 2 tanks fitted is that

you cannot fit one big 80-gallon tank through the hatch. Also, each tank is separate. In case of a major leak or contamination you will still have 80 gallons of good fuel.

Fair Winds,

Eric

Sm 376 Kimberlite

 

_._,_._,_


Colin - ex SV Island Pearl
 

Hi Eric

Yes, indeed your fixed tank idea is a far better idea, and I was aware of it from you before we set off around the world but too late for us to have enough time to get this done before leaving.

With our system, we always emptied the cans from the liferaft locker immediately as soon as we had created enough space in the main tank and whenever we had suitably calm conditions to do so to ensure the best possible stability. This was never a problem and we became quite skilled at doing so without spilling even a drop of fuel ... however ... of course, a nice easy electric pump system from your fixed tanks would be so much nicer to have.

The one possible advantage of our jerry can system (for us) though was that we very seldom ever trusted filling up directly from the fuel stations into our main tank during our circumnavigation as we always filtered all fuel first, unless in some French or UK territories, and so mostly did so via jerry cans anyway. Certainly, most of our fuel was sourced from normal "on-land" motor vehicle fuel stations via Jerry Can and Dinghy travel and so we would still have needed to store 10 empty cans somewhere anyway with your system.

Colin Streeter
ex SM2K - Island Pearl II
Brisbane 



On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 8:31 PM eric freedman <kimberlite@...> wrote:

Hi Colin,

Instead of dealing with 9 jerry cans , why not have a pair of tanks fitted to the locker as we have done .

We use an electric pump to empty the tanks. That is much easier than having to deal with a jerry can in rolling sea. The reason I had 2 tanks fitted is that

you cannot fit one big 80-gallon tank through the hatch. Also, each tank is separate. In case of a major leak or contamination you will still have 80 gallons of good fuel.

Fair Winds,

Eric

Sm 376 Kimberlite

 



--
Colin Streeter
0411 016 445


rossirossix4
 

Hi Colin,
Last saw you as you were in your dinghy hanging onto our rail in Bequia to inform me of your decision to immediately move on through The Canal back to Austrailia. 

Just curious--even though you transfer from the cans to the tank when you can--by your calculations, did you ever need the extra fuel you carried?

Bob, KAIMI SM429


 

Bob,

For ocean crossings, we carried almost 200 liters of extra fuel in jerry cans in the port side deck locker. We never needed any of it and the lowest our 600-liter fuel tank got was about 1/2 full.

Bill
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 9:27 AM rossirossix4 <rossidesigngroup@...> wrote:
Hi Colin,
Last saw you as you were in your dinghy hanging onto our rail in Bequia to inform me of your decision to immediately move on through The Canal back to Austrailia. 

Just curious--even though you transfer from the cans to the tank when you can--by your calculations, did you ever need the extra fuel you carried?

Bob, KAIMI SM429


Colin - ex SV Island Pearl
 

Hi Bob

Good to hear from you, and we trust you are doing well. I remember that Easter Sunday in 2019 very well when we chatted at Bequia. We had decided last minute on waking up that day not to spend another season in the Caribbean, and to sail directly to Panama departing that same day as it enabled us to transit the canal still in early May, plus sail all the Pacific Islands which we had not sailed before, plus still make it all the way back to Australia before COVID struck.

In answer to your question, we did not ever actually need all the extra 200L of fuel but always had emptied all of it into our tank before reaching our destinations. 

Please note we only filled those Jerry cans ahead of our longer trips and before spending 4 months in Indonesia (just in case) so 90% of the time they were empty on board in the locker and cleaned & dried out. Since we spent 4 months in Indonesia in many off the beaten tracks remote locations, where fuel was often black in colour, full of sticks, hairs and lots of dirt, and sold in old coke bottles on the side of the road from very dodgy suppliers we also filled all cans with good clean fuel in Australia, and so needed very little fuel all the way through till Singapore.

Having endured fuel issues on a previous yacht in Sydney Harbour and then almost been swept into a major car bridge in swift-running currents due to a fuel-related engine failure at the most difficult moment possible, I had become extremely cautious regarding fuel and so had fitted both dual Racor filters PLUS a large Fuel Polishing Unit ahead of leaving on our around the world trip. In addition, we also carried a portable WestMarine fuel filter and filtered all fuel when pouring from Jerry Cans into the main tanks, and then also periodically ran our large automatic fuel polisher to turn over all fuel in the main tank. This could rightly be seen by many here as overkill, however, that extra precaution, plus over-servicing the engine myself with good quality oils far more often than the engine manual suggested,  helped Lauren and I sleep better fortunately our little Yanmar 75HP always purred away happily all the way around the world never missing a beat.

Although we didn't ever need all that fuel I would do exactly the same again if we ever do another big lap.

Regards

Colin Streeter
ex Island Pearl II
Brisbane


On Thu, Apr 8, 2021 at 12:27 AM rossirossix4 <rossidesigngroup@...> wrote:
Hi Colin,
Last saw you as you were in your dinghy hanging onto our rail in Bequia to inform me of your decision to immediately move on through The Canal back to Austrailia. 

Just curious--even though you transfer from the cans to the tank when you can--by your calculations, did you ever need the extra fuel you carried?

Bob, KAIMI SM429



--
Colin Streeter
0411 016 445


rossirossix4
 

Hi Bill,
That's been my experience so far as well although I do subscribe to Collins idea of topping of the tank when I have had a chance.  Backfired on me in Gibraltar.  Filled my tank, left Queensway to the fuel dock to discover they wouldn't fill jerrys.  Evidently enterprising individuals were filling them up and selling the duty free diesel to locals!
Bob, KAIMI SM429


 

I had that issue in Gib. I told them I would fill them myself and on the boat. They agreed.
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 3:36 PM rossirossix4 <rossidesigngroup@...> wrote:
Hi Bill,
That's been my experience so far as well although I do subscribe to Collins idea of topping of the tank when I have had a chance.  Backfired on me in Gibraltar.  Filled my tank, left Queensway to the fuel dock to discover they wouldn't fill jerrys.  Evidently enterprising individuals were filling them up and selling the duty free diesel to locals!
Bob, KAIMI SM429


Alan Leslie
 

Hi Colin,

We have the same setup and the jerry cans are very useful when there is no fuel dock.
The previous owner crossed the Atlantic and Pacific and never ran out of fuel.

Cheers
Alan
SM437 ...soon to return to Elyse in NZ !


Colin - ex SV Island Pearl
 

Hi Alan
Good to hear that you are soon able to get back to Elyse in NSW no doubt as part of the upcoming AU/NZ COVID travel bubble. Enjoy!
Best regards
Colin

On Thu, Apr 8, 2021 at 8:06 AM Alan Leslie <s.v.elyse@...> wrote:
Hi Colin,

We have the same setup and the jerry cans are very useful when there is no fuel dock.
The previous owner crossed the Atlantic and Pacific and never ran out of fuel.

Cheers
Alan
SM437 ...soon to return to Elyse in NZ !



--
Colin Streeter
0411 016 445