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Old 20 September 2019, 19:34   #1
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Fuel Bladder on Hurricane 590

Some folks might find this of interest. This is the fuel bladder setup on my 590 that we use on longer camping trips. Three years back I was trying to figure out how to do a 300+ mile trip on the British Columbia coast around Moresby Island in Haida Gwaii. Biggest obstacle was carrying enough fuel as there are literally no services the entire distance other than a few boat in/fly in tourist operations that don't sell fuel. Bladders have the advantages of being easily stowed once empty and there is no dangerous transferring of fuel from open cans, no dangerous spills, no mess. Downside, well, pretty obvious -- scary having 50+ gallons of fuel in a flexible bladder on deck. Relatively tall narrow dimensions of my custom bladder requires it be supported on all 4 sides for stability, per the manufacturer. Not shown in the pics are the camping gear and coolers that get stowed around the bladder for stability, or the additional protective cover I made to cover the top of it while in use. Bladder is shown inflated with air. The final photo is the dry bladder in it's stow bag. Each day or after a couple hours run time I draw down the ratchet straps to keep it well secured. When near empty on the bladder I open the valve to the main tank so I never run the motor dry, all but about a quart of fuel gets drawn from the bladder while running off both tanks to where it's easily stowed away. Since the trip around Moresby its been great not having range anxiety or having to go out of the way for frequent fuel stops on week plus camping trips. We plan our trips so we do most of the big miles at the beginning, then stow the bladder.
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Old 23 September 2019, 10:58   #2
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That's a 50 gallon fuel bladder?
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Old 23 September 2019, 14:51   #3
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How'd the trip go? I've been thinking of getting up there.

Great setup - what was the max fuel you carried and how did you tie the bladder into your fuel system? Pump and wiring?
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Old 23 September 2019, 23:28   #4
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Originally Posted by brveagle View Post
That's a 50 gallon fuel bladder?
Maybe you think it looks smaller? If you actually calculate the volume it's closer to 55 US gallons. Yeah, eleven 5 gallon (US) cans!
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Old 24 September 2019, 00:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerfoo View Post
How'd the trip go? I've been thinking of getting up there.

Great setup - what was the max fuel you carried and how did you tie the bladder into your fuel system? Pump and wiring?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerfoo View Post
How'd the trip go? I've been thinking of getting up there.

Great setup - what was the max fuel you carried and how did you tie the bladder into your fuel system? Pump and wiring?
Assume you mean Haida Gwaii. Great trip, posted some pics in an "album" I posted to the site. West side of Moresby is a bit scary as you are on your own over there, many places you can't even clearly get the weather, let alone anyone hearing you if you get in trouble. West side is largely not charted, a lot of the substantial inlets don't even have any soundings. We hit a number of large kelp fields like a mile off shore that the charts did not suggest should be there (WTF!). You need to give yourself enough time to wait out weather if necessary, something we didn't really have, took a weather day at a couple camps, but wished I had more time to explore the west side of Moresby. Mostly we just scooted on down that side. My inspiration to go there was: Boat Camping Haida Gwaii: A Small Vessel Guide to the Queen Charlotte Islands by Neil Frazer

For Haida Gwaii trip I probably put 50 US gallons in the bladder, plus we took eight 5 gallon cans on top of the 35 gal built in tank. Tie in to the fuel system is ridiculously simple. Marine fuel filter heads typically have 2 inlets and 2 outlets. Installed a shut off valve before the filter from the main under deck tank. Second inlet hose runs from the filter to quick disconnect at bladder which has it's own shut off, done. Engine fuel pump takes care of it, so no electrical. The manufacturer recommends keeping their bladders full for stability until transferring the entire volume into the boat tanks all at once. I've not had a stability problem, but with that much fuel on deck of our little boat I sometimes feel like this:
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Old 24 September 2019, 08:41   #6
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Maybe you think it looks smaller? If you actually calculate the volume it's closer to 55 US gallons. Yeah, eleven 5 gallon (US) cans!
Wow that's nuts. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 25 September 2019, 19:04   #7
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Thanks for the book recommendation Boydo. I'll have to pick that up. What's your rule of thumb for fuel consumption vs. distance when trip planning?

Did you drive all the way up the coast or trailer up Vancouver island and launch at Port Hardy?
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Old 26 September 2019, 12:29   #8
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Thanks for the book recommendation Boydo. I'll have to pick that up. What's your rule of thumb for fuel consumption vs. distance when trip planning?
Believe the typical recommendation is plan to have 25% left when you return to the dock. Going out for several days I find it difficult to be stuck with a ridged float plan, enjoy the freedom to go with the weather, and what we find along the way.

Did you drive all the way up the coast or trailer up Vancouver island and launch at Port Hardy?
Of course there is no road up the coast, it's way inland, then out to Prince Rupert, a marathon from Seattle. 2 hard days driving to Rupert, then catch morning ferry where you get to show off your backing up skills on a narrow 100m+ gently curving ramp onto the ferry, a third overnight in Queen Charlotte Village as by then it's way too late to fuel, load and launch. There are ferries from Port Hardy or Alaska ferry from Bellingham that you can explore as alternatives to driving, all difficult. The ferry workers at Rupert ask if you need someone to back your vehicle and trailer onto the ferry. Wish I had taken the offer, but they kindly don't question your manhood when you look bad. You may not want to get Neil Frazer's book.
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