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Old 24 January 2017, 08:10   #1
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Stainless steel vs plastic vs internal vs external fuel container

Ok. About to order 5.2 m RIB boat ( high quality chinese boat).
Have the option of fixing 90 liter stainless steel container in the hull through building process, other option is plastic inside hull, other option is inside console stainless or plastic or simply putting the regular external 25 tank on the floor near transom.
Boat would be trailered.
I assume internal would be less prone to movement and also i wont have each time fueling having to carry container or protect from heat or so.90 liter Internal would save valuable needed space and give option for very long journeys if needed (deep sea fishing).

Question is what would you recommend? Any negative sides for internal fuel box? Any special needs? Position? Internal seperators to avoid fuel movement and balance disturbance while sailing in xhopy sea?

Would love getting your valuable opinion.
Sameh
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Old 24 January 2017, 08:32   #2
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OMO i dont like hidden tanks under the floor if i have any problems i like to investigate without cutting the floor etc. tank in the console worked for me backed up with two reserve tanks for long distance 70ltr, 2x 25ltr.
with my SIB i have 43ltr in the bow and a spare 22ltr for top up & reserve also helps if main tank has a problem seperate fuel source.
tanks under seats/consoles are the best way out of the weather neat and tidy and balancing the weight in the right area.
others may disagree and like the main tank low down in the hull for weight and balance.
plastic tanks also never had a problem if they are strapped down.
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Old 24 January 2017, 10:17   #3
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Under Deck every time for me..I like stainless.
With the obvious proviso that they are well fitted and engineered!
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Old 24 January 2017, 10:27   #4
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Under Deck every time for me..I like stainless.
With the obvious proviso that they are well fitted and engineered!
Agree, although I prefer plastic.
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Old 24 January 2017, 15:49   #5
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I have a stainless underdeck tank, albeit carrying diesel, that is 26 years old and there is nothing wrong with it so from that perspective, underdeck stainless.

Metal tanks can apparently suffer from condensation which may cause an issue. I've not suffered from it and the filters probably remove water if it's present.

In the motorcycle world a number of plastic tanks are suffering from the effects of ethanol in the fuel which are causing the tanks to become porous. I've yet to hear of it affecting tanks on here so it may not be an issue for boats.

External tanks are plentiful, relatively cheap, easy to refill but take up space.

I think the quality of the tank will be one of the key factors - you could look at the Tek Tanks website. They have a good design guide for what is possibly the ultimate plastic tank.

Baffles - depending on the shape but I'd imagine one or two transverse baffles.

Position - around the LCG wouldn't affect the trim as the fuel was used. Up forward will help keep the bow down but may increase time to get on plane. Back aft will minimise piping runs and will replicate where external tanks would be.

If I was asked to pick an option I would have an underdeck stainless tank around the LCG (which is around a third of the way from the back to the front).
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Old 25 January 2017, 07:33   #6
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Also think about filling the tanks. A fixed tank means having a water side petrol pump (e.g. in a marina), taking the boat to the filling station or carrying fuel in smaller containers and decanting into the main tank each time you use it.

Personally, I have a fixed plastic tank in the console. I wouldn't be against it being in hull as removing the console is no small task to get it out anyway. It's plastic so won't rust at least. My boat lives out of the water so I drive it to the petrol station to fill the tank as there is no waterside filling in the area. I carry a few extra liters reserve in a plastic container to pour into the tank if I run out for some reason. On a longer cruise I'll take bigger spare tanks and do the same. If you intend to keep the boat on the water and don't have an accessible filling station near by, consider portable tanks. If you can fill, I'd go fixed in the console or under deck (which leaves more console storage space).

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Old 25 January 2017, 08:25   #7
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Also think about filling the tanks. A fixed tank means having a water side petrol pump (e.g. in a marina), taking the boat to the filling station or carrying fuel in smaller containers and decanting into the main tank each time you use it.

Personally, I have a fixed plastic tank in the console. I wouldn't be against it being in hull as removing the console is no small task to get it out anyway. It's plastic so won't rust at least. My boat lives out of the water so I drive it to the petrol station to fill the tank as there is no waterside filling in the area. I carry a few extra liters reserve in a plastic container to pour into the tank if I run out for some reason. On a longer cruise I'll take bigger spare tanks and do the same. If you intend to keep the boat on the water and don't have an accessible filling station near by, consider portable tanks. If you can fill, I'd go fixed in the console or under deck (which leaves more console storage space).

Phil M
hi
my situation exactly as you describes where it is recommended inhull tank-boat on trailer, alot of gas stations in the road.
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Old 25 January 2017, 08:30   #8
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hi guys
thanks for your support..

looks i am gonna go for the stainless steel option. am also enthusiastic about it as it would be my first boat with this "luxury" style

attaching a picture sent from the factory as example for the tanks they provide..
I don't know if you can get details from it, anyway would be happy to get your opinion if you are able to criticize the picture..
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Old 25 January 2017, 13:54   #9
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A number of things I notice:

The fuel filler appears to be in the aft end of the tank which means that once the tank is over a certain amount full, fuel will run up and down the fuel filling tube which I would have thought wasn't ideal. With the shape of the tank this will happen once the tank is a bit more than half full.

The tank sender is just off to starboard which seems OK although may not plumb the bottom of the tank.

There is possibly a fuel pick up at the forward starboard corner. If so and on the assumption the pick up is angled to the bottom of the tank, its probably at the shallowest end of the tank which means you won't get to use all your fuel.

I can't see a breather pipe or, if the fwd stbd corner pipe is the breather, a fuel pick up.

There doesn't appear to be an access 'hatch' in the top for inspection / cleaning.

Finally, it appears that the tank is glassed in. I think that due to differential contraction between the tank and the FRP, the tank will become unstuck from the FRP.

I'm sorry to be critical of your boat particularly as you've obviously invested a lot of time and money on it.
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Old 25 January 2017, 14:44   #10
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Quote:
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A number of things I notice:

The fuel filler appears to be in the aft end of the tank which means that once the tank is over a certain amount full, fuel will run up and down the fuel filling tube which I would have thought wasn't ideal. With the shape of the tank this will happen once the tank is a bit more than half full.

The tank sender is just off to starboard which seems OK although may not plumb the bottom of the tank.

There is possibly a fuel pick up at the forward starboard corner. If so and on the assumption the pick up is angled to the bottom of the tank, its probably at the shallowest end of the tank which means you won't get to use all your fuel.

I can't see a breather pipe or, if the fwd stbd corner pipe is the breather, a fuel pick up.

There doesn't appear to be an access 'hatch' in the top for inspection / cleaning.

Finally, it appears that the tank is glassed in. I think that due to differential contraction between the tank and the FRP, the tank will become unstuck from the FRP.

I'm sorry to be critical of your boat particularly as you've obviously invested a lot of time and money on it.
I don't think the Wema gauge sender is far enough of centre to be an issue but 100% agree with everything else. Can't fit this tank like that.....endless problems.
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