Filling my diesel tanks

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    ‘morning all,
    Does anyone else have two extra diesel wing tanks like me.? Sea Eagle has 2, holding 25-30 gallons each.
    When I filled up the other day I found that the main tank above the keel filled very quickly from the standard deck-filler, & then I had to bring the diesel supply nozzle into the cockpit to fill the Port wing-tank, which filled reasonably quickly to about 1-2″ below the wing-tank filler cap.
    The problem was that for the diesel to equalise across to the Starboard tank took for ever, as I was only able to ‘dribble’ the fuel in to the Port tank or it would come gushing out all over the cockpit locker. This may be down to the size of the breather/vent pipe on the St’bd wing-tank, but I’m strongly considering having another deck-filler & piping installed on the St’bd deck, above the wing-tank & entering directly into the inspection-plate on the top of the tank.
    It must have taken me 30 minutes to get both wing-tanks almost full & eventually I gave up, so I think it’s a good idea.
    Any comments.?

    Arild Jaeger


    Far Out also has two wing tanks used for diesel. There is a deck filler for each of the wing tanks. Each wing tank then has a pipe leading down to the centre tank. I normally start by using the dip stick in the centre tank to find out how much fuel I need to add to it. Then I fill it with the specified volume through one of the wing tanks. As it takes some time to get it all down from the wing tank to the centre tank, I then proceed by filling the other wing tank (with the valve leading to the centre tank shut) before I shut the valve from the initial wing tank and fill it up.

    I think all three tanks have separate vent pipes.

    To really top up the wing tanks, I occasionally open the inspection lid on the top of each wing tank and fill through those instead to see what is going on inside each tank.

    And – as a side topic – I always add the DFT 1500 Hammerdown fuel additive.

    When I worked at the ship engine laboratory at the Norwegian Ship Research Institute (now Marintek) one of my colleagues tested all kinds of fuel conditioners, etc., including the use of magnets along the fuel pipes. He found that DFT 1500 Hammerdown had the best effect.

    Kind regards,

    Ronar M


    Ronar M also has two wing tanks but the one on the starboard side is used for water. I have put a liner in this one and it fills from inside the locker. The port one holds diesel and fills inside the port locker. There is a hatch in the bottom of the locker and below that is the filler for the diesel. We seem to use so little diesel that I am pleased to have the extra water tank rather than an extra diesel tank. Normally I fill up the keel diesel tank and the diesel wing tank once a season (63 gallon in all) and that more than sees me through.


    michael bennett

    I have the same set up as you Trevor, and I have considered for some time changing the use of the starboard wing tank from diesel to water, (never filled it with fuel anyway)which I use much more of.
    It can be isolated from the main fuel tank by the stop valve in the engine bay leading from it to the tank. It should not be to difficult to redirect to the main water tank using a much smaller bore pipe to allow it to top it up.
    I have a 50ltr. and a 20 ltr. heavy duty containers which lives in the lazerette which can be used to store diesel if required.
    Has anyone else done this or contemplated doing it.


    Voltair’s stbd tank is water and the port tank diesel. Whoever installed them used ordinary gate valves on the pipes which connect them to their main tanks, which are a real pain, since they are very difficult to shut off properly. To drop the water down into the main tank (or shut the valve after) requires a gorilla with very long arms to swing under the battery box and reach the valve. Would have been much better with 1/4 turn ball valves, but maybe these weren’t so available in 1972.

    michael bennett

    I have just re-read my previous post, and would like to correct errors in it, the tanks should have been as follows, the port tank is for diesel, which I have never used, it requires filling separately via a hatch in the floor of the port cockpit locker. It has a gate valve between the wing tank and main which appears to be working correctly, but without diesel in the wing tank difficult to be certain.
    i use the starboard wing tank for water which fills automatically from the deck filling point. I must add, a little red faced, that this tank has a looped vent tucked against the lockers forward bulkhead, which will vent water when the tank is full, and left filling unsupervised! It was only when I saw water flooding in the little starboard locker in the aft cabin forward bulkhead. I was not immediately aware it was from the vent, and at first, wrongly investigated a leak in the filler tube to the main tank, but soon found the true cause, so no more unsupervised water tank fillings. Luckily at the time I was converting the small locker to house another 180 amp. battery, which works perfectly now.



    This reminds me of an “adventure” this summer. Had just finished a month on the hard in Port Townsend rebuilding the rudder, etc. and was setting off for our home port. Beautiful Pacific Northwest late Fall morning, crisp and sunny. Pulled into the marina there to fill up the tank for the winter. Opened the little port on top of the tank and used the ancient wooden stick to measure the fuel level. Calculated the amount we needed (leaving a little room for error) and asked the attendant for exactly 23 gallons (US). Left the little port open so I could check it after the fuel was in. Since I could not see the pump, I said, “can you watch the pump and shut it off at 23 gallons?” “Sure” she replied, “happy to do that!”. So I started fueling with my back to the pump and to her. After a long while, I had a sudden chill, and the image of diesel pouring into the main cabin flooded my mind. I turned around and looked at the attendant. She was meditating with the ducks at the far end of the dock, oblivious to the fuel pump. OMG. I shut off the nozzle and rushed down into the cabin. The diesel was within half an inch of overflowing. Not even one pint of room, not even one cup – maybe two teaspoons. Slowly, I screwed on the little cap, swearing I would never, ever trust anyone again, and would always, always screw that little puppy on tight at all times.

    michael bennett

    That was close! bad enough with water but diesel would be such a mess to clean, and soaking into the wood means the smell would be around for a long long time.
    talk about in the nick of time eh..

    michael bennett

    By the way, when I now fill the water tanks, I clip a piece of hose the the end of the loop vent which runs into a bucket, which tells me both tanks are full, safely… my main tanks have an overflow into the galley sink so not a problem.

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