Author Topic: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed  (Read 5789 times)

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Offline ak-angler

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Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« on: September 28, 2011, 01:11:33 AM »
I know most folks are happy with the 20-27 gallon tanks that the factory puts in the 17-foot Sea Rangers. And, especially with a modern outboard getting 5 or so mpg, that much fuel usually provides plenty of range. But, I use my Sea Ranger for long distance multi-day cruises out of Whittier in Prince William Sound. By long distance, I'm talking about regularly running 100 to 130 miles round-trip. And, up till now, the distances I cover on these trips has only been limited by the amount of fuel I can carry. With the Keith being so thirsty, it's necessary take a couple of 15 gallon drums in addition to the 20 gallon factory tank for the "short" 50-mile runs out and back. For the longer trips, I load up a third. So, with an extra gallon squeezed into each drum, it's not uncommon to run with as much as 68 gallons on board.

After leaving Whittier Harbor, there are no ports and no fuel available on these trips. So, adhering to the rule of thirds, the 68 gallons I could carry could theoretically allow me to make the 70 mile (one way) run to my property on Latouche, to good deer hunting areas, or to good halibut fishing, but it wouldn't leave me any fuel do anything once I got there, like checking out different hunting spots, moving from one fishing hole to another, or running around checking shrimp pots. So, if I was ever going to be able to get to where I wanted, I had to do something. And, the drums are constantly in the way. Moving them from the cockpit to the v-berth and back several times a day is annoying when they're empty. At close to 100 pounds, it's a real bear when they're full. So adding another drum was as much out of the question as was buying a bigger boat.

Well, I finally decided I needed to ditch the drums altogether and just install some larger tanks. I found a pair of 34 gallon units for sale a while back and, after checking the measurements, I decided they should work for what I was planning. So I dug through the couch cushions, checked old pants pockets, emptied out the junk drawer, and eventually came up with enough cabbage to be the proud owner of a couple of fancy aluminum boxes. And after staring at them for months in my garage, trying to convince myself I wasn't crazy, I finally got the nerve to go ahead with the install. I removed the seat pedestals and mounted the tanks in their place, with the seats on top. I installed the tanks on strips of cutting board material to allow air to circulate under them, and secured them to the deck. Then, after relocating the shift/throttle controls forward a few inches, I plumbed the filler and vent hoses from the tanks through the upper shelves to a pair of filler necks with built in vents. I ran the fuel lines, with a shut-off valve and a squeeze bulb at each tank, to a three-way valve mounted starboard of the helm to allow me to switch tanks while underway. From there, I ran the fuel line back to another three-way valve on the motor well, allowing me to switch between the forward tanks to the aft tanks. From there, the fuel line runs through the transducer for the fuel flow meter, and into the Racor filter. From the filter, I have separate lines going to the kicker and main. I then mounted a fuel gauge on the helm and wired the sending units in the new forward tanks through a switch so I can use a single gauge to read the fuel level in either tank. To finish off the install, I labeled the valves and switch so I wouldn't have to remember what position was for which tank.

Now, just in the forward tanks, I have the the same capacity that I used to be able to carry total. And, I don't have to deal with all those cumbersome drums. Plus, I have an additional 20 gallons in the original tank. With a total of 88 gallons on board, I should be able to run 90 miles out and back (180 miles round-trip) and still have a third of my fuel in reserve. Or, using just the fuel in the forward tanks, I'll be able to make 70 mile runs out and back, and still have the 20 gallons in the factory tank to burn while I'm out there. That should be good for about 60 miles of running around checking shrimp pots, or scouting new fishing holes, or just putzing around checking out the scenery, without ever worrying about running out of fuel. And, although I haven't actually made a trip with the new tanks installed yet, it definitely seems like there's more room on the boat without all those drums in the way.

So far, I'm definitely happy with the new setup. And, if I ever repower with a 4-stroke, I'll be able to offset the added weight on the transom by simply removing the 20 gallon factory tank. As a bonus I would be up to a range of about 115 miles one way. Heck, I could run all the way from Whittier to Cordova and back without having to refuel. Now, that would really open up the Sound for us.


(Here's a couple of pics to prove I actually completed this crazy project. I'll try to get some more later.)


« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 07:48:02 AM by Danno »
1985 Sea Ranger 17 Skiff Top with 2012 Suzuki DF90A

2007 Cape Cruiser Marinaut 26 with twin 2006 Honda BF90's

Offline CanvasGuy

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2011, 04:53:24 AM »
WOW!... talk about long runs ...  :arms:
thats a doo..ze..Nice work and thinking..
Now I see you have the Tempress seats also,
 Did you put some descent foam in the seat bottoms?
 when I purchased mine.. first thing out of the box I removed the bottom
covers and re foamed the center bottom with some dense resilient foam..the stuff they come with is less than adequate... :facepalm:
 I would never buy these again.. much better seats are available as in the Centric seats..for example..
 for a long run like that you may want to redo Your seat at least... :wink:
 or you could ship one to me I'll fix it and ship it back..I am sure you have upholsters up there right?...
just thinking of your tired derrière....

again thanks for the report and pictures..Impressive


CG 
 
Gary Smart
-1980 Hardtop Glasply Sedan"VistaCruiser" 
 http://www.smartcustomcanvas.com
“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Arthur C. Clarke

Offline Salmon King

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2011, 08:12:04 AM »
Man AK...that's one heck of a project!  ...and WELL DONE too I might add. :clap:

That was a brilliant solution you came up with. 
When you going to add a Pilot house for that unpredictable AK weather?

Where'd you come up with the tanks anyway?  Not planning a project like that...just information to stash away for future ref. that's all.

Again...well done man!

Terry B.
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Offline ak-angler

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 10:53:49 AM »
I've been running those Tempress seats for, what ... has it been two summers now? ... and I haven't had any problems with them. The wife and I both think they're much more comfortable than the factory seats I took out. Of course, when I installed them, I mounted them on shock absorbing pedestals. So... that may have something to do with it. In fact, those pedestals were part of the reason it took me so long to start this tank project. I knew the seats would have to get relocated to the tanks. Now that they are hard mounted, I may find that I need to address the comfort issue. Time will tell.

As far as a pilothouse conversion goes, it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. I have the old Skiff-Top version hard top, and it's too low for me to stand up in. But, I haven't found any good way to raise the top cheaply without destroying the lines of this great looking boat. Besides, the low top is a great place to stow the shrimp pots, and it offers less wind resistance than a taller top would. So, maybe someday, but not today.

I bought the tanks used. But, they were custom built at Karold's Welding and Fabrication in Fairbanks. They've got a pretty good reputation for their workmanship, and the tanks are pressure tested and USCG certified. So I didn't have any hesitation buying them once I figured out that they should fit. And as far as fitment goes, I think I've looked at just about every commercially manufactured tank available over the last few years, trying to find a size that would fit properly and still provide the extra capacity I was looking for. But, I couldn't find any of the plastic tanks that would fit the bill, with the biggest issue being that you can't mount a seat on them. And the stock sized aluminum tanks that would work were really expensive. Plus, shipping to Alaska was always a deal breaker. I even considered having custom tanks fabbed up locally, but the quotes I was getting for what I wanted were more than what I was willing to pay. Eventually, I found tanks that would fit pretty well without that custom order price tag.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 10:03:23 PM by ak-angler »
1985 Sea Ranger 17 Skiff Top with 2012 Suzuki DF90A

2007 Cape Cruiser Marinaut 26 with twin 2006 Honda BF90's

Offline BigMac

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 07:33:47 PM »
AK Angler,

Great project with great results. 

The thought of crabbing, fishing for halibut, and checking out the scenery got me to drooling.  You're sure in a beautiful area of the country.

Some buds and I have looked into bareboating out of Whittier and know the long runs you are talking about.

(Dave)

Offline ak-angler

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 09:30:23 PM »
Hey Danno, I noticed you modified my post. What did you change, and why?

Quote
« Last Edit: Today at 06:48:02 AM by Danno »


BigMac: I updated my sig and added a pic of the last bucket of shrimp we hauled up. Sorry, Danno made me pull it. I guess sig-pics aren't allowed here. Maybe I'll post it in another thread.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 09:04:58 AM by ak-angler »
1985 Sea Ranger 17 Skiff Top with 2012 Suzuki DF90A

2007 Cape Cruiser Marinaut 26 with twin 2006 Honda BF90's

Online Danno

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 03:41:30 AM »
Hey Danno, I noticed you modified my post. What did you change, and why?

Hi AK,

I changed the font so it was a bit smaller (it's still larger than normal). It makes the post easier to read.

I'm also going to ask if you would please pull the photo out of your signature and keep your signature line to a a few lines so that the size of the signature doesn't overshadow the size of your posts. We do want to see the picture of your catch. Just include it in your post rather than your signature.

Here's a thread where I discussed it once before and my reasoning behind why I prefer to see limited signatures:http://arimaboatownersgroup.com/index.php?topic=329.0

Thanks!
-Danno
Previously owned a 1998 19' SR

Lures are designed to catch fishermen not fish.

Offline GoodDays

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 07:34:44 AM »
Hey Danno, I noticed you modified my post. What did you change, and why?

Hi AK,

I changed the font so it was a bit smaller (it's still larger than normal). It makes the post easier to read.

Danno...You should know , Everything is bigger in Alaska !!!!!

GoodDays Greg !!!
Canadian Arima Addict and Chinookaholic !!!

Offline wedocq

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2011, 08:17:34 AM »
AK,
Sounds likes you need a Honda 90!  Those things sip fuel and last forever. A friend that's a Honda mechanic says it's not uncommon to see those with 3 or 4000 hours and still running strong. Congrats on the new installation, that should work out great for you. No ports? That would be a little nerve racking!
Shawn
2002 21' Arima Sea Ranger HT  Suzuki DF175 4-stroke.
WEDOCQ= WE DO SEKIU! It pays homage to my Uncle Jay who died of cancer.

Offline ak-angler

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2011, 09:32:31 AM »
Hi AK,

I changed the font so it was a bit smaller (it's still larger than normal). It makes the post easier to read.

I'm also going to ask if you would please pull the photo out of your signature and keep your signature line to a a few lines so that the size of the signature doesn't overshadow the size of your posts. We do want to see the picture of your catch. Just include it in your post rather than your signature.

Here's a thread where I discussed it once before and my reasoning behind why I prefer to see limited signatures:Signature thread

Thanks!
-Danno
My signature is now "fixed". (Reminds me of a dog I had once, he was "fixed" too.) And, I repaired the URL you posted and made it an active link in the quote above. I suppose any further discussion of sig-pics should happen over there, and this thread can get back to talking about my tank install. :redface:
1985 Sea Ranger 17 Skiff Top with 2012 Suzuki DF90A

2007 Cape Cruiser Marinaut 26 with twin 2006 Honda BF90's

Online Danno

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 09:59:35 AM »
I suppose any further discussion of sig-pics should happen over there, and this thread can get back to talking about my tank install. :redface:

BTW, that is a fantastic find on the tanks! I'll bet it really helps the balance of the Arima. Nice install.
Previously owned a 1998 19' SR

Lures are designed to catch fishermen not fish.

Offline wedocq

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2011, 10:17:45 AM »
AK,
You said shipping is the big cost inhibitor for getting things up there. How about this for an idea? When you find that awesome deal on a 4 stroke motor to replace Keith, I can throw it in the back of my diesel truck, grab PNW Pride, (or whoever wants to go) and we drive it up for you. In exchange, you take us fishing for a few days! Don't laugh, I told Rory I would drive anywhere to look at a boat with him, and we ended up driving to Southern California and back (from the Tacoma, WA area) in one weekend to pick up his 21' Sea Ranger!!! I am getting excited just thinking about it! ROAD TRIP!
-Shawn
2002 21' Arima Sea Ranger HT  Suzuki DF175 4-stroke.
WEDOCQ= WE DO SEKIU! It pays homage to my Uncle Jay who died of cancer.

Offline ak-angler

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2011, 11:20:02 AM »
That is definitely an intriguing offer. I get a motor delivered, and another excuse to splash the boat. I'll have to keep that in mind. :biggrin:

Now, I suppose all I need is to find a killer deal on a four-stroke that I can't pass up.
1985 Sea Ranger 17 Skiff Top with 2012 Suzuki DF90A

2007 Cape Cruiser Marinaut 26 with twin 2006 Honda BF90's

Offline Croaker Stroker

1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline ak-angler

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2011, 01:32:19 PM »
Nice looking motor there CS. But, I run really heavy. So I'm leaning toward at least a modern 90 horse, and maybe even a 115 to replace Keith.

Alright. Enough of this motor talk. I'm headed out to take a few more pics of the tank install.
1985 Sea Ranger 17 Skiff Top with 2012 Suzuki DF90A

2007 Cape Cruiser Marinaut 26 with twin 2006 Honda BF90's

Offline wedocq

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2011, 02:55:14 PM »
CS,
I might be crazy, but not crazy enough to drive to SoCal first before heading to Alaska!  :biggrin:
2002 21' Arima Sea Ranger HT  Suzuki DF175 4-stroke.
WEDOCQ= WE DO SEKIU! It pays homage to my Uncle Jay who died of cancer.

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2011, 02:56:01 PM »
http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/boa/2624057382.html. (would need a jack plate)

Shawn, Not up for another road trip.? I'll go with you to pick it up.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 03:04:28 PM by Croaker Stroker »
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline ak-angler

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2011, 03:17:02 PM »
Here's some more pics of the tank install.

The filler/vent hoses run from the tanks to the filler necks.


I had to notch the shelf walls to get those big hoses to fit. I was going to run them up through the bottom of the shelf, but that wouldn't work due to the angle of the filler necks. This way works just fine.


I had to relocate the engine control box a few inches forward to clear the hoses. Even still, it was a tight fit on the starboard side. And as you can see, I have a fuel shut-off valve mounted on each tank, right before the squeeze bulbs.


The fuel line from the port tank runs through the v-berth to the three way valve I mounted in front of the controls on the starboard side. The line from the starboard tank goes to the same valve.


The wires for the sending units run to the on-off-on switch mounted above the fuel selector valve and then to the fuel gauge I mounted on the port side of the helm.


The fuel line for the forward tanks runs to another three-way valve in the motor well. I have the position for the forward tanks labeled as the main, and the position for the aft factory tank labeled as the reserve. From that valve, the fuel line runs through the 'ducer for my fuel flow meter and into the Racor, where it splits to the main and kicker.
1985 Sea Ranger 17 Skiff Top with 2012 Suzuki DF90A

2007 Cape Cruiser Marinaut 26 with twin 2006 Honda BF90's

Offline CanvasGuy

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2011, 03:20:38 PM »
Sweet!, nice work :applause:
thanks for the pics  ak-a

Cg
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 04:24:40 AM by CanvasGuy »
Gary Smart
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 http://www.smartcustomcanvas.com
“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Arthur C. Clarke

Offline wedocq

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2011, 05:37:16 PM »
Very nice!  :clap: I would have to say you have the most fuel capacity of any 17' Arima in the world!  :beerchug:
2002 21' Arima Sea Ranger HT  Suzuki DF175 4-stroke.
WEDOCQ= WE DO SEKIU! It pays homage to my Uncle Jay who died of cancer.

Offline CanvasGuy

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Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2011, 04:26:41 AM »
AK-A

by the way, I have a newer Honda 90 on my 16 chaser..I have a plastic 12 gal removable tank and carry two 5 gals
 but have never ran out..of the 12 gal.close but not out.typically my trips are 8 to 20 miles out with trolling also in between.
 as I don't carry a kicker.so if You get a newer 4 stroke...holy cow.. you could go tuna fishing off the Oregon coast from your place... :bigshock:

Cg
Gary Smart
-1980 Hardtop Glasply Sedan"VistaCruiser" 
 http://www.smartcustomcanvas.com
“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Arthur C. Clarke

Offline Tunacious

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2011, 07:28:35 AM »
AK-A,
Nice job.  You had a problem and you solved it, way to go.  Looks nice.
Penquin
2003 Sea Ranger 21' HT
2003 130 Honda

Offline wedocq

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2011, 02:03:36 AM »
AK-A

\.so if You get a newer 4 stroke...holy cow.. you could go tuna fishing off the Oregon coast from your place... :bigshock:

Cg
lol
2002 21' Arima Sea Ranger HT  Suzuki DF175 4-stroke.
WEDOCQ= WE DO SEKIU! It pays homage to my Uncle Jay who died of cancer.

Offline woody

Re: Project complete: BIG fuel tanks installed
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2011, 06:00:57 AM »
AK

When I built my box seats a couple of years ago, design was just like your tanks.  Got a couple of inquires re: converting to gas tanks (you?).

If not check my gallery ... clones.  I don't need that much gas but you took it to the next level.  Impressive.

Woody