Question about fuel tank material and placement.

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by PaulSherwood, May 20, 2015.

  1. PaulSherwood

    PaulSherwood I Love!

    Hey everybody,

    just wanted to pick your brains on some things.

    1. I notice that there are a lot of people mounting fuel tanks forward. What are your reasons?
    2. Most people make a point of mentioning aluminum tanks. Why is there a preference over plastic?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
  2. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    A properly built and installed aluminum tank will outlast nearly any other type of tank.... and if installed towards the bow, will aid to balance the load in any skiff -when all the passengers are seated towards the stern.

    Years ago, back when many I knew were building their first shallow skiffs (your only production choice back then was a Mako 17 or a Hewes Bonefisher - and neither one was a lightweight in the early seventies.....) one of your first tasks was to get whatever hull you had in the water, then add this and that to it while trying to make sure that the boat floated as level as possible. We'd add engine, battery(s), fuel tanks (or something of equivalent weight, like sandbags). All of it was pretty much a Rube Goldberg proposition (go to Wiki for that reference all you young'uns...). Once you were decided on where things went that's how you rigged it -then came the fun part about how everything worked when you were up and running on the water. That's where we all ran into one difficulty or other (things like porpoising, or it's opposite where the bow wouldn't lift properly to allow you to run up on plane...). One of the quickest cures for porpoising (bow very light and wanting to keep bouncing while you were running when it should be stable and not bouncing at all...) is to add weight to the bow. Voila! Fuel tank in the bow - no porpoising and you aid any hull in jumping up onto plane from a standstill...

    This just a brief glimpse of some of the problems that boatbuilders, the folks that rig them, and those that actually run them have to deal with. Hopefully everyone can afford a high quality skiff where all of this was worked out long ago... but for all the rest of us you end up learning a bit at a time.

    Aren't boats fun?

  3. PaulSherwood

    PaulSherwood I Love!

    Thanks Cpt., I guess thats what I was expecting. And "reduce draft". I'm going to end up going this route on my boat, but between the tank, the battery bank and the trolling motor, my concern is my weight up on the bow.