Deck Bladders

Fuel capacity usually isn’t an issue in home waters, but it becomes important when long-range cruising sailboats have to motor for extended periods.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
ODCT-October-1

Fuel capacity usually isn’t an issue in home waters, but it becomes important when long-range cruising sailboats have to motor for extended periods. The common solution is to carry jerry jugs, but flexible tanks or bladders that are carried on deck and can be stowed away when empty are well worth considering. Historically these have had a mixed track record, but the technology is now fairly mature.

A good example is the “Super Deck Tank” shown in the photo, which is specifically designed to carry diesel fuel and, according to the manufacturer (turtlepac.com), can survive a drop of over 30 feet. The inner bladder is electronically welded and protected from puncture, chafe and sunlight by two outer envelopes with double-welded and stitched seams. Reinforced stainless steel grommets and webbing tie-down loops are sewn to the outer envelope. The tanks have an anti-surge harness with an adjustable stainless buckle. The inner bladder can be accessed through a flap and is removable for inspection, repair or replacement. All in all, it seems a rugged bit of kit.

A great advantage to having this kind of auxiliary stowage capacity is that fuel can be gravity-fed straight from the bladder into the main tanks via their deck fills. No more handling messy jugs. Capacities are also deceptively generous. The small bladder in the photo holds over 50 gallons—equivalent to about eight jerry jugs. Given suitable lifting tackle, a flexible bladder can also be carried in a dinghy to a refueling point that is inaccessible to the yacht, such as up a creek to a gas station that has cheaper prices than the local marina.

Photo courtesy of Turtlepac

Related

CCA-story-2048x

Safety Culture Starts with the Skipper

Sailing might not be the first pastime that comes to mind when you think of extreme sports, but that’s not to say risks don’t abound. The Cruising Club of America tackles many of them head-on in their newly released guide for skippers, Creating a Culture of Safety: The Skipper’s ...read more

GMR19_F53_0539

Boat Review: Beneteau First Yacht 53

Luxury performance-cruising isn’t entirely new. You can go fast and still be comfortable. You can even race if you make the right tradeoffs—or so says Groupe Beneteau, which recently launched its First Yacht 53, in the process also reinventing the company’s “First” brand. ...read more

BirdonBoard

Cruising: Birds of a Feather

One of the neatest things about sailing offshore is the other lifeforms we encounter. We smile when we see flying fish skimming over the surface of the sea. We cheer when dolphins leap and dance in our bow waves. We are duly reverent when mighty whales sound and spout, and ...read more

pirate-marlin-logo

Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament

This Spring has felt a bit like a slow day of fishing but it’s almost time to time to Bait…and Switch. The Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournaments offer something for every member of your crew. Exceptional fishing, fun times with family, old friends and new. Our run is short, our ...read more

Tusk.00_00_16_21.Still001

Tusk by Spyderco

Spyderco's Tusk knife combines a blade and marlinspike to create a multitool perfect for marine use. Made with corrosion resistant materials like titanium and LC200N steel, a nitrogen alloyed steel, and Spyderco-exclusive locking mechanisms, this knife is one of the toughest ...read more

IY11.98_fTaccola©DJI_0200

Italia 11.98 Performance-cruiser

This past winter, SAIL principal editor, Adam Cort, check out the new Italia Yachts’ new 11.98 performance-cruiser at the boot Dusseldorf show in German, and says he can attest to the fact it’s a boat more than worthy of the attention of North American sailors. Available in ...read more

01-LEAD-2017_IDALEWIS_0219

Racing: Doublehanded

I was born in 1955, and although I was a tad young to actually follow the first Observer Single-Handed Transatlantic Race, I grew up in the age of the pioneers of solo offshore sailing—Francis Chichester, Robin Knox-Johnson, Alec Rose, all Knighted for their singlehanded ...read more

newport-400c-updated

Spectra Watermakers

The world's quietest and most energy-efficient watermakers. Our product line ranges from hand operated desalinators that can make 6 gallons a day to our largest system that produces 20,000 gallons of fresh, potable water per day. Spectra Watermakers has the complete package: ...read more