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Message board > Engines > Fixed Fuel Tank Location

Message 3 of 3
Posted by member colin on Saturday 20 July 2024

I think what Greg says is correct from my experience, the inboard fixed engines (diesel etc) had fixed tanks and the Outboard versions usually had 'loose' fuel tanks, usually situated on the deck below the splash well for the OB.

A previous boat of ours, a Norman 20 cruiser had a 1500 Ford crossflow inboard and fixed steel fuel tank,
whereas our Newbridge Navigator yacht had an inboard OB well/locker and adjacent plastic fuel tank.

Not sure about the 20s which may have more space below deck, our MS18 has space but I am not too sure it would be possible to fit such a tank in there.

Our MS18 has a stern mounted Honda 4 stroke OB on a bracket, as opposed to the 'normal' MS18 set up of an OB fitted in the stern locker in an OB well.

It has the original Honda fuel tank which has some fairly untidy surface corrosion which I believe to be largely 'cosmatic'. This is located in the large central stern locker, the position normally houses the Internal mounted OB on the other variants, so on ours, a fairly spacious locker.

My intention is to replace this with a plastic type fuel tank of the type you suggest, indeed I have a nearly new one from a previous boat languishing in the garage which could be ideal for the purpose.

The typical arrangement is a fuel line incorporating a priming bulb for OBs (apart from the smaller OBs that have an integral fuel tank) so possibly from a 'trim' point of view, the lower and more central the better? for situating a heavy fuel tank, another consideration would be how you secure this as you wouldn't want it moving around under a heavy sea with the risk of connections failing and fuel spillage. I would use some form of rubber strap arrangement that would hold the tank securely but allow easy removal is so required.

I would have thought it better for this fuel line to be as short as possible with some degree of slack to avoid stress or possible decoupling in use (heavy seas again)
The weight of the fuel tank full of fuel is a consideration as to where it is placed on the boat, or else trim can be affected, if you know the weight of a full fuel tank you intend to use, you could get something of an equivalent weight (old car bettery or bag of sand etc) and try positioning it in different locations on the boat to see where would be the best location from a point of trimming the boat in the water.

Not an expert, I am just saying how I would do it!

Good luck with it and keep us informed of how you did it!



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Message 2 of 3
Posted by member Greg Lingard on Sunday 7 July 2024

I think the outboard equipped ones had a removable tank as standard. When I bought mine it had a 66L tank under the engine well which really helped keep the back end down, not ideal. I'm currently doing a major refit and I have moved the tank to be permanently installed in the space below the sink on mine, there's a large amount of room there and it should bring the weight further forward and counteract the weight of the skipper.
I also replaced the decks on mine and I'm not sure you'll find enough room under the cockpit deck too get a sensibly sized tank there.
Hope this helps

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Message 1 of 3
Posted by member Kate on Wednesday 3 July 2024

* We are contemplating installing a fixed fuel tank on our Pilot 20se.
Initially thinking of under the cockpit floor but would be interested to know where the factory fitted tanks were placed and what others have retrofitted.

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