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New fuel tank   Total Page Hits: 1978

Post Type: Technical/Project

Boat Part: Not Specified

Date Modified: 07/22/2017 5:28 PM


Our boat came with an Attwood 3 gallon tank. It had never been used and turned out to be the single worst piece of gas related equipment I've ever dealt with. In every single possible situation it leaked like a sieve, just dribbling out the top. I looked online and it's a common problem with the design.

I don't like sailing with the tank in the cockpit. Besides looking bad, my boat is crawling with small children and a gas tank is a bad thing to have underfoot. Last of all, we went out for a spirited sail and forgot to close the cap on the lousy tank (it has to be open, since there's no vent cap on top) and it splashed out into my cockpit, causing me to trail an oil slick.

In our last M17, Little Breeze, we had the tank in a locker. I couldn't remember which locker or how it had been done, but now I realize it must have been just like I ended up doing this time.

First I measured the opening to the only closed off locker, the ice chest on the starboard side. There was only one tank that fit, the Scepter 3 gallon. I ordered it and when it arrived it fit like a (kind of tight) glove. It has to be slipped in one end first, but once in the locker there is plenty of room.

Then I cut a 1 3/8" hole in the side of the locker. I positioned it so that the hose within the locker would have room to snake around and exit without any tight turns. I had to file a couple corners in the hole to make room for the rectangular fuel fitting. I could have cut it more specific to the hose, but I have terrible skill free handing with a dremel and a holesaw was a lot easier.

Then I got an Attwood clam shell vent (large size). It secures with three screws, so I drilled three holes for #6 machine screw. I tapped the three holes to 6-32.

The vent is secured with three 6-32 brass knurled screws. It's set a little bit high to keep the hose from kinking as it comes out. The whole thing unscrews easily to allow the hose to be pulled completely out. If the threads in the fiberglass wear out I'll just throw wingnuts on the backs of the screws.

There's also enough hose left over to pull the tank out of the locker and leave it in the cockpit if fumes become an issue during storage. The Scepter tank seems to not have any of the problems of the Attwood, though, so I'm not sure that'll be necessary. I'll test it this week on my wife, who can smell gasoline from a mile away.


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