water tank to diesel tank conversion?

Would it be practical to convert the aft water tank to a fuel tank? I
don’t need both water tanks…or would it be more useful to simply
leave one of the two water tanks empty? It would be great to have
another 25 gallons of fuel aboard…

Hello:

I am not sure what your situation is, but speaking from the experience of 3 years cruising in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, we were grateful for every gallon of water we carried. We have a small engine, to be sure, but found that the 25 gallons of fuel we carried (10 in the tank, 15 in jerry jugs) was ample (okay, in the ICW on the Gulf of Mexico we bit nails a little, unnecessarily it turns out). Having 100 of water was far more valuable - plus, we reasoned, we could sail where we wanted if necessary.

Long and short of it is that I would think long and hard about changing a water tank to fuel. That is not a conversion that can be reversed.

I would love to hear your reasons for not needing more water, just for my understanding.

Thanks.

Nica Waters
Calypso, BCC #6

Thanks for your feedback. The reason I’m considering conversion is
that during my cruise from S. Carolina to Florida, the area off the
coast of Georgia was generally difficult to find fuel services,
requiring long detours into the Sounds and ICW for fuel (which in
itself consumes fuel), and also Central Florida, which is not usually
a problem, seems to still have many of it’s fuel docks down from last
year’s hurricanes. Much of my breeze came from ahead as I sailed
south, and so I motor-sailed to make up time (sailing single-handed).
In order to make an anchorage before dark. I always had enough water
on hand, and one night thirty miles offshore I had to run the engine
for an hour just to charge my batteries (I’d been conserving fuel,
tacked offshore, and was trying to save fuel for the long motor into
St. Simons). The radar seems to have run down the house banks, which
need reinforcing, it seems.

My thinking is that if I were to give up one water tank, I could keep
the other topped off with a watermaker. Your point that it’s a
conversion which can’t be reversed is well-taken, and I’m not going
to jump right into it. There may be other places to put collapsible
fuel tanks.

Hi!,

What about less tankage and using a water maker?..

Cap’n Kirk

Thanks for the explanation. It’s convenient for me to forget those days when we just wanted to get somewhere, regardless of the wind (rose-colored glasses, you know!) Also our engine is really small (we have one of the 10 hp Sabb single-cylinders) and so we probably used it less than we might have if it really pushed us fast.

I suppose that if you do cruises like that one often, it might make sense to have more fuel. Jerry jugs? Temporary tanks of some sort? The watermaker is a great idea, but that uses still more battery power (and is something that can break!)

What size water tanks do you have? If you lose one, what is your remaining capacity for potable water? What’s your current fuel capacity?

21 questions later,

Nica

Many BCC that cruise the Sea of Cortez have water makers as the water is even harder to get there than fuel. A water maker is a wonderful thing. Good Old Boat had a great article on how to make one and you can buy and install a Spectra for about 5K total, which is a lot of money!
Kate

Kate Christensen
RogueWave Yacht Sales & Services, LLC.
1806 Dreams Landing Way
Annapolis, MD 21401 USA
410 571-2955 Office
410 703-5008 Cell
801 681-9741 Fax
kate@roguewaveyachtsales.com
http://www.roguewaveyachtsales.com

Hi Jon,

We are thinking the same for Aloha, but we also found that we might have to replace the tank as it is oldish and then have a fuel transfer pump. It is more complicated than I first thought…as most things are. If I had a new BCC built, I’d definitely go for more fuel and a water maker. Please do share what you determine as I bet many of us would like more fuel…Bermuda here we come.

Kate
Kate Christensen
RogueWave Yacht Sales & Services, LLC.
1806 Dreams Landing Way
Annapolis, MD 21401 USA
410 571-2955 Office
410 703-5008 Cell
801 681-9741 Fax
kate@roguewaveyachtsales.com
http://www.roguewaveyachtsales.com

A previous owner of Fritha also desired to carry more fuel. A 13 gallon tank was installed just under the deck in the space between the cockpit and the transom. A 1 1/2" line was run from the 13 gallon tank to the existing 23 gallon tank below the cabin sole. Fritha, being an owner finished boat, has no lazarettes which made the space between the cockpit and the transom difficult to get to anyway. Since I don’t anticipate needing that much fuel, I have since converted that 13 gallon tank to liquid paraffin for my stove and lamps.

Doug Beu
s/v Fritha