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Old 16 June 2012, 21:40   #1
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Boat name: Classic Mark II C
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Securing portable fuel tank to aluminum floor

I'd like to balance the weight out in my Zodiac Classic. I want to put the fuel tank (and maybe even the battery) towards the bow. Any suggestions for securing it to the floor? I was thinking of cutting a rubber mat to size, and adhering it to the bottom of the tank. That might prevent it from sliding. But I'm sure it'll still bounce like crazy. Maybe use bungee cords somehow secured to the floor rails???

Any thought would be very much appreciated
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Old 17 June 2012, 04:28   #2
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If it has floor rails it must have the aluminium floor? Zodiac sell a kit with strap fasteners that locate in the floor rails and a plastic fuel tray for the tank to sit on. The strap on the fuel tray doesn't look up to much, but at least stops it sliding about. Details here: Zodiac Marine - Accessories - Fuel tank support

The strap kit is Z1226.
http://www.ronhalemarine.co.uk/super...p_Tie_Down_Kit
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Old 17 June 2012, 07:14   #3
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Hi

When positioning your fuel tank and battery, plese bear in mind that the majority of movement on a boat happens at the bow. The stern, where most are positioned, stays relatively stable as it is the pivot on which the bow bounces. The wave action at the bow will stir up your fuel and battery fluids quite a bit.

If you want to go ahead, your Aluminium floor does not need to be watertight, so you could easily fix some straps to the bow section. I used to put my tank in the bow of my Airdeck and secure it to the lifting davits with bungee cords! Crude but effective, without any drilling.
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Old 17 June 2012, 07:22   #4
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My Yam had a 3 section floor - I was able to move the section that had the tie downs built in from the stern to the bow and use the ones supplied - is your floor sections or one piece?
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Old 17 June 2012, 18:14   #5
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Zodiac's ply floors also have rails. Besides which, the bow section on those boats spec'ed with an aluminium floor is ply anyway.

Personally, I'd say putting the fuel tank up-front is a bad idea. The strain on the fixings if your out in sloppy conditions will be huge. I've snapped the webbing straps on my bow bag before now; a full fuel tank strapped down will probably tear itself free.

As for the battery. Forget it, IMO.
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Old 17 June 2012, 20:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbyte View Post
I've snapped the webbing straps on my bow bag before now.
Ouch! That don't sound good!

What happened, and how can I prevent it from happening to me???

So the general consensus seems to be to leave the fuel tank at the rear. It seems like an awful lot of weight in the back. The 15hp motor weighs around 120. I'm a hefty guy, and the fuel tank adds even more weight! The only thing towards the bow will be my young daughter (hardly enough to balance the load). Do you all think this would impeded performance or damage the boat? Could the weight disproportions be counteracted by adjusting the trim?
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Old 18 June 2012, 06:42   #7
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Not a big problem - easily repaired - but it gives you an idea of the forces at work at the bow when it cuts up a bit rough and you're maintaining a decent speed.

The bow bag contains our anchoring gear and probably weighs 20kg, or so.

Why not stick the fuel tank amidships? We've had no problems with ours fitted just infront of the console. Our battery (60ah) is fitted by the transom.

I know that getting as much gear as far back as possible is best for ultimate speed, but to be honest, for anything other than calmish waters, you can't beat spreading the load slightly.

The boat is as solid as a rock, and very predictable, with never a hint of flipping even in the strongest headwinds and lumpy conditions.
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Old 18 June 2012, 10:13   #8
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Interesting comments regarding the movement of batteries and weight forward. I certainly don't agree with those who think that moving the gas tank and battery forward is not a good idea. My futura mk2 gets run out to surf spots through overhead surf. I also use it to pull wakeboarders and hydrofoilers. Moving the weight forward (not necessarily all of the way to the bow) has more effect on the handling of the boat than my trim tabs do. Tail heavy sibs like to stand on end when dealing with large waves and full throttle hole shots.

I have included a few shots of my set up. At first I had the large plastic gas tank strapped down to second wooden floor section. The footmans loops are bolted down with the nuts recessed into the bottom of the floor. I had no problem with the full tank coming free or that floor section pulling up. Most tank straps are polypropylene. If you have trouble with the straps breaking replace then with nylon. Nylon straps are stronger and more UV resistant. Nylon tubular strap is ridiculously strong. Strapping down the tank is not a big deal.

I moved my tank under the console bench (modded the bench to fit) and that freed up floor space. The move back onto the front aluminum floor section did not significantly change the boats handling. When I purchased a custom aluminum tank I had room to move my battery from where it was strapped under the bench seat to the same spot under the console. Very nice hole shot with this lay out! No excessive bow rise. I also still use my large plastic tank for extended trips with it strapped in on the wooden floor section. With everything in place and full the boat is actually a little bow heavy, but I run like that with a full load of gear and that balances everything out.

Have not had any problem with the gas getting sloshed too much or the battery failing (but I do run an AGM battery that can take abuse). My zodiac did not handle well until I made the move to get weight forward. I would never run with a tank and battery at the back of the boat. To each his own!
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Old 18 June 2012, 10:26   #9
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As far as fastening methods go. I used stainless steel footmans loops to strap down my tanks to the wooden floor board. They are bolted through with the cap screw and washer in a counter sunk hole on the bottom of the wood floor section. I filled over the bolt cap with epoxy to avoid any chafing. I ran with my tank strapped down to the aluminum section by fastening footmans loops attached with stainless steel pop rivets. I had some concern about the loads that this placed on the aluminum top sheet, but it didn't crack or fail over a two year span. When I moved the battery and installed the custom tank I used an aluminum plate to span the floor, bolted that to backing plates that are inserted into the sides of the floor section with the cap off and these plates key into the side rails. Very strong and secure. The photo below is how I did the same technique when preparing to mount my ski pole. Probably total overkill for most uses, but I throw it out there for what it's worth.
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Old 18 June 2012, 12:31   #10
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Kelson, your gear is not in the bow, but midship. The OP was saying to move the gear into the bow. I agree with others this is not the best place for heavy mounted objects, and specifically chose not to put my fuel tank and battery in the bow for fear of tearing the boat apart. Midship would be a great location if running a center console or using some kind of seat setup, but not so good if using a tiller and sitting on the tubes.

FWIW I have a 6 gallon fuel tank mounted on the port side stern. No problems, but we tend to load the boat with heavy dive gear most of the time. People will want to stay back further in the boat, as the bow is the roughest ride.
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