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fishman38 OK20


Fishman38
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Good question K2BA.  Something I may eventually regret and actually am not especially proud of :mellow:.  I spent hours studying fuel tank specs trying to find one that would fit the limited space under the deck and that I could route a filler and vent hose to from the gunwale.  Finally gave up and put a 20 gal tank over the keel between frames 7 & 8 with the fittings & fuel sensor at the aft end.  So what you see there is a chase (cover) for filler and vent hose and fuel line. Filler cap will be located in the engine well which while being convenient, I did it that way with some trepidation for safety reasons.  I ran all this by the Yamaha dealer who didn't see any problem with it.  There is one issue.  The filler cap I bought includes a fitting for the vent hose and (I realized later) if the vent hose is connected to it could allow water to be sucked into the tank in rough conditions.  Obviously that would be big trouble.  I'll either get a different filler cap or just plug the vent fitting and run the vent hose to a fitting at gunwale level next to the port hatch cover. That chase cover will be fastened in place.

 

I probably should have run this issue by the forum gang and come up with a better solution.

 

Thanks to you and everyone else for the kind words.  The support provided by folks on this forum is awesome!!

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Don't plug the vent. Plug the hose at the filler neck and run the vent up, maybe to the top of the transom, to vent over the side (butt).

 

Bad weather has us all at the moment, though I'm seeing light at the end of our tunnel. The ten day forecast has us back in the high 70's low 80's, after then next round of lows move through. Yeeeha, spring's almost here (flowers start to bloom in mid February).

 

Lastly, never trust an engine dealer to know what they're talking about. They sell and install engines on production boats, with little else, if any experience with the regulations or home builds. No real pro would have had you install the filler like that, let alone forget about the venting concerns.

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I used to build a line of skiffs with center consoles. At the time,the USCG inspectors that go around to the manufacturers kind of turned a "blind eye" to fuel tanks under the console with the fill and vent on the top or side of the center console, but regulations state that they should be where they will vent over board. I suppose that the USCG let it go since the center console boats are open with self bailing cockpits, and there is no way to get the vent and filler hose to work going under the sole and then back up to the top of the tank.

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Swirling fuel and fumes in the cockpit, isn't a good idea (just ask the crew) and no serious professional, would do something like that. It can't be that hard to snake the filler up to the aftdeck or sidedeck, where it belongs. No production boat manufacture would get away with that sort of thing, no designer worth their salt would consider something like that. The only time you see, this is when someone that doesn't have a clue, is telling/selling you and "it 'auta work . . .", without realizing the issues they're creating, is the retort. So, imaging a boarded wave or a cooler full of water spilling in the cockpit, with the fill/vent at the aft end. Where's the water going to go? Now imagine how long the fuel hose must be at the local gas station, just to get the tank filled, as you stand inside the boat, hoping there's enough to reach the fill neck. Of course, you'll never overfill or spill fuel, but if you did, where's it going to be and how's this going to affect you enjoyment and paint job. Yeah, way too many issues for a reasonable professional to ever consider.

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Paul,

 

You have me a little concerned about my fuel installation on my 'Salty' Marissa 18.  It is center console with the fuel tank central under the console and under the cockpit floor.  It is vented and filled on the starboard side of the console.  This is basically the way Graham has it on his and I believe on the plan.  It has worked very well in the year since launch.  However, I have overfilled the tank a few times and had to wipe up a small amount of fuel. Fumes seem to dissipate quickly. Once I learned the sound of the filling tank, I no longer spill fuel.   I do not believe there would have been a way to vent and fuel on the side deck. The top of the tank is just about level with the cockpit floor.

 

Is there anything I could do at this point to make it safer?

 

See attached photos. Not sure if you can see the filler but the vent is visible in the starboard photo.

post-124-0-22594500-1453219378_thumb.jpg

post-124-0-88747500-1453219484_thumb.jpg

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Center consoles are unique in this regard, because often the tank is in or under the console, making for filler routing headaches. It's not uncommon to have the filler and vent on the console and in your case Dale, you've got it about as reasonable as is practical, with the filler/vent is as high as you can get it. This eliminates most of the issues I'd be concerned about, though climbing into the boat, hoping the fuel hose will be long enough is still an issue, I'm sure you've learned how close to the pump you need to park by now. 

 

My main concern was the "boat dealer" trying to say this was an okay thing. I'm a "speak what you know" type and I just hate it, when someone that should have said "well to be honest, I don't know" says, "yeah, buddy, that'll be okay", typically followed with "we do it like that all the time" or some other stupid, irresponsible BS. I see this too frequently, when things come in for repair and the excuses some of the marinas and boat dealers use, just astound me. My apologies, if I came off overly harsh, but if I had done this and fire, accident or other reason for an insurance claim occurred, guess who'd they try to sue.

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   Dale - The danger is that gasoline fumes are heavier than air and pool in low spots.  When there is an ignition source in a low spot that has pooled gas vapors there is a risk of explosion.  If your spark source (the motor) is on the other side of the transom there is a very low risk of an explosion (from the outboard, anyway).  If you're venting the fuel into the cockpit there is a risk because the cockpit can hold gas fumes if there is no wind, so be careful about any ignition source in the cockpit and if there is a chance the fumes may drain back into the bilges and if you've got a potential spark source down there, be worried.  If you've got nothing in the bilges that might create a spark there is much less reason to worry.

   That is just my opinion as an unwashed amateur, so assign all due gravity to it.

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Any electrical device can have a poor enough connection to spark. For example, though I see it all too often, Dale's image above has lots of potential spark makers, right where the vapors will collect. I almost always isolate the fuel/vent lines inside chases, which are also vented, usually at the filler neck on a setup like Dales. Down here in sunny Florida, we read and occasionally see folks blow up their boats on a regular basis. It's not as bad as it once was, but happens enough that I'm probably a little more anal about it than others.

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Paul and everyone, thanks for your advice.

 

I did not mention it before, but I do have a two 4 inch vents in the console.  One in front under the seat and one high up on the port side.  Also, I have hole above the foot kick area.  So I am thinking I should generally get some air flow from the aft foot kick area up and out the vent. Likewise from the forward vent.  Also, whenever I start the engine I have the double doors in the aft console open.

 

dale

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Dale,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have discussed the tank fill on the side of the console with the Coast Guard inspectors like Chick has. Because it is an open self draining cockpit they reluctantly say that it is okay. I do not recommend the battery and open terminals in that compartment, I have mine under the seat in front of that compartment. 

 

I like having complete access to the hoses and clamp so that they can be monitored for degradation or looseness rather than buried under the sole.

I also like the fact that I can clean up small gas spills rather than dumping it in the water. One of the first things that they teach at Fire Behavior school is that fuels like wood and gasoline etc. do not burn. It is the gasses that they give off that burn. One of the down sides is that gas vapor is heavier than air and will therefore sink, so it is important that they not be allowed to get below the sole. You can see from the text below that a spill into the cockpit will soon be dispersed by the large volume of the cockpit and quickly get below the 1.4% air to gas ratio, and even quicker if there is some breeze.

 

Having watched quite a few videos of boat fires and surveyed boat fires, it is almost always gross negligence or stupidity that blows boats up. Inboard gas installations have much more potential for accidents because any fuel leaks go right into the bilge. Anyone with an inboard gas installation should poke their nose in the engine compartment to sniff for gasoline odors before they even switch on the exhaust blower and only then after a reasonable length of time should they hit the ignition switch.

 

While I do not want to be cavalier about safety, but I would not expect anyone with common sense to light up a cigarette or hit the ignition switch while refueling.

 

The flammability range of gasoline is between 1.4 and 7.6%. If the ratio of gasoline to air is less than 1.4%, then the mixture is too thin to burn. The mixture cannot burn when it contains more than 7.6% gasoline because it is too rich to burn.The vapor density is the weight of a vapor relative to the weight of air. The vapor density of gasoline is heavier than air and therefore will sink when in air.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

This question has nothing to do with the foregoing discussion gasoline, filler hoses, etc.  I just think since my boat is about finished I should insure it.  There's lots of companies out there that insure boats but apparently not all of them insure homemade boats.  I'm hoping someone can recommend a company that does and at a competitive price.  Anyone?

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Insurance can be very tricky, so look around and read the contract carefully, as many basic policies don't cover much of anything. The best ones are those companies that offer "declared value" policies. You pay more for these, but you actually have insurance that will not deny your claim, which is what happens with 90% of the claims made on standard marine insurance.

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