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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious if anyone has used any fuel bladders/collapsable gas cans, such as the following:


I had a buddy when I lived in Louisiana that used a much bigger one of these to run way offshore and then would fold it up and store below deck while he fished his way back in over the course of a few days. I’m wondering if there’s a smaller version for my camping trips going deep into ENP but the BS reviews on this product website don’t exactly instill confidence. Would like to hear if any members have used something like this on a skiff in a similar application.
 

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What most use in the backcountry of the Everglades are simply five gallon plastic jerry cans to carry extra fuel for an extended trip. At times I've seen houseboat with what looked like 10 to 20 cans on board as the houseboat is serving as a mother ship for a few small skiffs..

The guys who would really know about fuel bladders? They're mostly dead or still in prison back when running this or that from the islands was ongoing (back in the seventies and eighties...). Doubt the current crop of people smugglers even bother since they tend to run stolen boats that have enough fuel capacity that the bladders aren't needed.. but that's just a guess on my part... I was a young - then not so young... cop back then - but I always refused any chances to run my outfit's patrol boat. I figured they'd catch me with a fishing rod on board and I'd be out of a job...

For what it's worth my best stories always end with "but I was a lot younger then..."
 

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Used fuel bladders as far back as late 60's very early 70's. We were some of the first (I was a 12 - 14 yo pinhead) to run from Point Loma to southern Baja fishing grounds and Cabo San Lucas before the advent of long-range open party/charter sportfishing boats with more fuel (and bait) capacity. Only other ways to get to Cabo at that time was a dirt road from Tijuana or dirt airstrip. Bladders worked fine but you realy want to keep them secured. They got in the way of the stern for fishing some but we managed. Those were some special times in my life for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What most use in the backcountry of the Everglades are simply five gallon plastic jerry cans to carry extra fuel for an extended trip. At times I've seen houseboat with what looked like 10 to 20 cans on board as the houseboat is serving as a mother ship for a few small skiffs..

The guys who would really know about fuel bladders? They're mostly dead or still in prison back when running this or that from the islands was ongoing (back in the seventies and eighties...). Doubt the current crop of people smugglers even bother since they tend to run stolen boats that have enough fuel capacity that the bladders aren't needed.. but that's just a guess on my part... I was a young - then not so young... cop back then - but I always refused any chances to run my outfit's patrol boat. I figured they'd catch me with a fishing rod on board and I'd be out of a job...

For what it's worth my best stories always end with "but I was a lot younger then..."
Thanks Bob. I think I'll stick with the Jerry cans as well. If you were a cop around there back then, then maybe you knew my old neighbor Jack Lloyd?
 

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Curious if anyone has used any fuel bladders/collapsable gas cans, such as the following:


I had a buddy when I lived in Louisiana that used a much bigger one of these to run way offshore and then would fold it up and store below deck while he fished his way back in over the course of a few days. I’m wondering if there’s a smaller version for my camping trips going deep into ENP but the BS reviews on this product website don’t exactly instill confidence. Would like to hear if any members have used something like this on a skiff in a similar application.
I am interested in doing the very same thing with a bladder as I try and plan for a week long trip this time next year through the ENP. I was looking at the 25 gal bladder made by ATL. 25 Gallon (100 Liter) ATL Petro-Flex Fuel Bladder - P/N 105405
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Fuel bladders are very common for boats fishing the Gulf offshore or running from CA to Cabo. That said, most of those are inboard, diesel-powered sport fishers.

For safety and cost factors, you're probably better off using the plastic jerry cans on a skiff, as Capt. LeMay suggested.
 

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One idea I liked on my previous ankona for extended range in south Texas Or Louisiana was to keep 2-4 of the 1 or 1.5 gallon plastic gas cans under the bow near the tank. Their smaller size helps them pack a little easier in my opinion. Those armadillo fuel bags look nice but are a little pricey for the volume you can carry. If space was a major issue I would definitely look into them.
 

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I think they are a great idea if rigged properly. Most of the guys in the offshore world set them up with valves and quick connections directly to the fuel lines. They also run on them first so they can get the bags off the deck.
 

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If I used them I’d have four or five
5 gal cans bungied to the front of my cooler. My old Maverick is a bit bigger than a microskiff and has an 80 sized cooler in front of my center console…
As a side note they come in handy during hurricane clean up when you might have to get creative to have fuel for your boat (or to load fuel from your boat to your car(s)…).

For Alex… the day I came out of Dade’s Academy there were 27 different Police departments in Dade county alone. That didn’t include state or federal outfits either so I-only knew folks I worked with. Nowadays there’s even more outfits in the county and I don’t even know most of the folks at my old department… Get’s a bit old when you think about it…
 

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For perspective, I just returned from a camping trip to the Everglades. Boat (BT Mosquito with Yamaha F70, 15-gallon tank), was full on departure from Everglades City. We had a serious load of gear on the way out, fished hard for 2.5 days and carried a 5-gallon jerry can. I refilled the skiff and had gas left over in the can when we returned to the dock. At 4+ mpg or more with a four-stroke outboard, you have considerable range if you're not running WOT everywhere.
 

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Always use to carry 5 gal cans made for gas.

Did a lot of house boat trips with 3 skiffs over the years and we would carry 10 to 15 5 gal cans on those trips.
Camping in ENP we use to leave them at the camp site we were staying at or on the chikie hut we had reserved for the weekend.

In my 1648 john boat I had a 9 gal boat tank in it and a lot of days I carried an extra 5 gal can to get back to Flamingo when needed. Jon boat could burn some gas some days especially when running deep into the back country or out to the gulf.

I suggest you get 5 gal cans and then you have some cans for the house when needed. I have a total of 12 cans in my shed and garage. Great to have at hurricane time as Capt Bob said above.
 
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