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Old 21 May 2013, 21:46   #1
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Fuel consumption and tank size questions

I recently purchased a Zodiac FC-470 and I am new to boats. In general terms, what kind of fuel consumption can I expect from a 2-stroke versus a 4-stroke? Also what tank size in usually recommended? I am trying to decide between a 6 gallon tank and an 18 gallon tank and i would like to know advantages and disadvantages of each.
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Old 22 May 2013, 03:46   #2
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There's a lot of variables there.

What size motor? What AGE motor?
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Old 22 May 2013, 09:02   #3
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Other thing to be very aware of when reading replies - Nautical vs Statute miles and UK vs US Gallons. (At least Litres & KM are such a different name it's obvious the numbers are different!)


To expand on Nos' question -

2/4 stroke is one thing, but how you use the engine will give a much varied consumption for any pair of engines you might be comparing.

For example - if you blast out for 10 mins, drop an anchor and spend the day fishing, you'll use next to nothing. and you could use a 1958 engine with planet destroying emmissions and still see no perceptible difference in consumption.

Next stage - you blast out to your favourte bay & start trolling. That is where the difference between 2 & 4 stroke will be most obvious. Old engines throw way too much fuel in at low RPM - it;s the nature of the beast. (Also don't forget that new DI 2- strokes are up there with the 4- strokes in the consumption world at low RPM)

If you head out & spend the day razzing up & down at wide open throttle, the 2/4 difference will be negligible. Yes, there wil lbe a small difference, but real world unless you are out all day every day I doubt it will make a big difference to the dent in your wallet.



Now, you have a Zodiac 470. I guess thatls 4.7m long, so on a par with mine. If you do a search for "fuel consumption", you'll find on a rolling average most ribs will do about 1L/mile. Mine clocks 0.83L/ Nautical mile on a 20/22Knot cruise, bizarrely regardless of sea state. I did one trip down a canal (Falkirk Wheel 10th Anniversary - I was the only RIb at the event!) - 14 miles at 4 (statute)mph and I was chiselling the soot off the plugs when I got home. 2 L/nautical mile recorded.

If nothing else it's a snapshot to show that a premix 2-stroke of 60s design is actually more efficient at speed & Illustrates Nos' point!
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Old 22 May 2013, 11:40   #4
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I have a Zodiac 470 Pro II with a Yamaha 40 4 stroke. I have gotten ~10mpg with 2 adults on smooth water at about 18mph (~3600-4000rpm). My 6 gallon tank will give 60 miles range which is plenty for us. (Yes, I was surprised by that, 30 miles down river and 30 miles back.)

I usually take a 6 gallon main tank and a 3 gallon reserve when we go out. In the way we use the boat I have never had to use the reserve for that purpose. (I occasionally use the reserve tank to burn off the older gas.)

Having an 18 gallon tank would take up a fair amount of space. Also a full 18 gallon (US) tank will weigh about 115 pounds (just for the gas). This can be hard to move around.
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Old 22 May 2013, 12:57   #5
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FYI you can get 3, 9 and 12 (US) gallon tanks too.
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Old 22 May 2013, 13:34   #6
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Thanks everyone. Very helpful. I'm a European living in the US so yes I'm very familiar with the difference between gallons, miles, etc.

I'm planning a trip this year with a fully loaded boat (4-6 people plus gear) and I want to make sure I don't run out of gas.

I'm planning on getting the Zodiac Milpro fuel bladders. Does anyone have experience with them? I is possible to get two 6 gallon bladders and connect them so that they can be used individually? It seems that would be a better way to go over the really large 18 gallon bow bladder. I'm concerned about storing that much fuel in one place.

I haven't purchased an engine yet but I have access to a 10 HP 4-stroke Evinrude engine until I figure out my needs and preferences. In the spirit of keeping the boat original I am also looking at a 2-stroke 35hp Johnson Durajet engine but the only concern I have there is the emissions of the 2-stroke.
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Old 22 May 2013, 14:50   #7
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Four to SIX!?? People.. +Pluss Thier Gear+ Pluss On deck Fuel Bladders!?
Not wishing to Pour Cold Water on your Plans but seems like ALOT of Loading for a Zodiac of that Size!!..Mine seldom went out with more than 3..and then was'nt exactly ''Spacious''.
Anywhere Near That!....I'd make sure it was Plenty Flaaat
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Old 22 May 2013, 15:18   #8
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Probably 3-4 people with gear and make two trips to/from the destination then ( = more gas needed).
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Old 22 May 2013, 16:03   #9
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As far as I can tell you can't find gasoline fuel bladders in this country. Only diesel ones and they are stupid expensive. I don't think the gas ones are approved fuel containers here. 18 gal is a shiit-load of fuel for a 10hp. Heck its 3x+ as much as most 35hp 2 strokes might carry around.

You mention all the people, but no mention of how far this trip might be...
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Old 22 May 2013, 17:17   #10
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I will check with the inflatable boat store on this. To my knowledge MilPro gas bladders of various sizes are available from Zodiac.

I need to plot out the trip on a map or software. Does anyone have a recommendation for how to do this? is there an app for that?

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Originally Posted by captnjack View Post
As far as I can tell you can't find gasoline fuel bladders in this country. Only diesel ones and they are stupid expensive. I don't think the gas ones are approved fuel containers here. 18 gal is a shiit-load of fuel for a 10hp. Heck its 3x+ as much as most 35hp 2 strokes might carry around.

You mention all the people, but no mention of how far this trip might be...
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