How to Choose the Right Boat Gas Tank
Fitting out a boat properly means choosing the right equipment and hardware. An important decision is the motor for the boat, gas tank, and its accompanying gas tank vent. There are a number of components to consider and a number of choices to be made, but taking the time to consider all options means the final product will be the boat of your dreams.
Below Deck or Outboard
The first choice to be made is whether the boat gas tank will be stored above deck near to the motor or below deck, hidden away. Outboard tanks are typically made of plastic through which gasoline can be seen. These tanks are connected to the engine through a fuel line, and the operator needs to pump gasoline with a hand pump to prime the engine. These boat gas tanks are susceptible to the elements and must be replaced regularly, especially on ocean going vessels, to avoid air mixing with the fuel. Below deck tanks, on the other hand, can be made to last and to order. These can be stored in readymade hull storage areas under the deck, or built into the boat’s deck itself, with only an easy access valve for fueling purposes.
Secondly, a boat owner must decide what fuel capacity is needed. If the boat is going to be used primarily for deep sea fishing or long trips, a larger boat gas tank may be necessary to accommodate the extra fuel needed. No one wants to be stranded at open sea on empty, so the larger, sometimes, the better. For close shore fishing or lake and river cruising, smaller boat gas tanks are perfectly acceptable. Keep in mind, boats typically have much larger fuel tanks than cars do; don’t use car tank size as an appropriate measure.
Any below deck gas tank will require accurate gauges. Because the tank cannot be easily opened or peered into, gauges are the only way an operator can know whether the tank is full or nearing empty. Most boat gas tanks possess custom gauges that accurately assess fuel levels, but some come without. Another important gauge is an electrical gauge which could measure amps or volts; these are particularly important for boats that rely on a lot of electrical equipment for fishing, as well as living appliances.
Gas Tank Vent
Unlike cars, boat gas tanks are not pressurized to keep air and fuel from escaping. Instead they come equipped with a gas tank vent that allow air and pressure to move freely in and out. This is a safety measure to keep fuel pressure from building up and creating a potentially explosive situation. The gas tank vent must be kept clear of blockages at all times. A thru-hull gas tank vent can help prevent rain, water, and other fluids or objects from entering the gas tank. Vents like these can be purchased and for best ventilation they should be installed properly with vertical routing, which allows air and pressure to escape when the boat is in use or being fueled.
Installing a boat gas tank can seem intimidating, but with the right knowledge about the boat and its equipment, anyone can make the right choices. Always check with experts to make sure the gas tank vent will properly ventilate, and that fuel lines are installed properly.