Fitting a temporary gas tank in a Catalina 27

I installed a 6 gallon tempo portable tank in the lazarette. It's a spare tank I had hanging around for my outboards that I rarely need to use. It's an almost perfect fit on the lazarette shelf. It goes in and out rather easily by tilting it a bit, though it's a bit heavy when full (about 45 pounds?)

I hooked it up with a solid brass quick-disconnect, just like you'd have for any OB tank you want to remove (I didn't want plastic). It fits almost perfectly on the little raised platform. I installed a holddown strap and two SS strap holders, through bolted to the shelf surface. The tank is very securely fastened -- it ain't going anywhere, even in a knockdown.

Another consideration is ventilation: you *must* have a vent in the top of the lazarette and one at the bottom. The OEM lazarette drain in the center bottom is perfect for the bottom. Either one of the clam shell vents on the quarters of the transom would do for the top vent, except that the blower hoses for the IB are still connected there on my boat... conveniently, the PO on my boat left a 1" +/- diameter hole in the top/center of the transom where an OEM(?) stern nav light used to be, so that's fine on my boat.

Another consideration is chafe on the gas line where it passes through the bulkhead. I had a couple of extra holes in the forward plywood bulkhead of the lazarette through which I passed the gas line on it's way to the Raycor. I cut an 8" length of extra hose, split it, and put it around the gas line and taped it to the gas line at the ends to hold it -- for chafe protection. I bought a rubber padded pipe clamp for attaching it to the bulkhead even more securely, but haven't installed it yet (I need to return it for a larger diameter one...ooops). It'd be a good idea to seal around where the hose goes through the bulkhead with something like 101 (or other gas resistant goop), to prevent fumes from entering the bilge/cabin in the event of a tank failure or something other unforeseen failure.

That brings me to another point -- IMO, there should be some sort of rigid wall in the lazarette to protect the tank, hose and fittings from getting hit by stuff in the lazarette in rough seas or a knockdown. You'd hate to snap off the fittings or cut through the hose if a big ole anchor or something else flew sideways and either punctured/broke something or chafed against it for an hour. A vertical plywood divider would do the job just fine and could be easily attached and removed. The 6 gallon Tempo tank is small enough to lend itself admirably to fitting a plywood wall; I don't know about the 12 gallon tank Deb and John have.

The last consideration is weight in the stern. The boat already squats back there from the IB. 50 or 100 pounds of fuel back there doesn't help, I'm sure. So, I'm seriously considering putting an 8-11 gallon plastic tank in to replace the failed aluminum one. I believe (hope?) I can get one to fit through the openings, but if not, then I'll cut the fiberglass between the two locker covers to get it in or out.

Return to Judy B's Catalina HomePage