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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Carrying extra gasoline on the rear deck _without_ using a rack

    Note: I am posting this here as the method is not limited to a specific brand or model.

    We often ride long distances and sometimes additional fuel is not available on the water or it is a lower octane grade than preferred. We ride a pair of 2017 Yamaha GP1800 SVHO with the 91 octane engine tune.

    The stock fuel tank holds about 70 liters (18.5 US gallons). By the time the Low Fuel warning is active there is about 10 liters of fuel remaining. Carrying another 60 liters would provide about double the usable cruising range.

    There are several companies making and selling metal racks that mount to the back deck of the PWC. Some of the designs concentrate the fuel weight onto a few small feet or a couple of bars pressed against the watercraft rear deck.

    I want to avoid having the rack entirely. Don’t want to store it, mount it, and do not want to risk damaging the rear deck material with concentrated weight. Since I have two PWC I would also have to buy two racks.

    The method described here is an experiment, still in progress. I expect and hope to refine this as I gain more experience. So far we have traveled several hundred miles with one, two and three fuel containers on the rear deck.

    Objectives;
    Minimal additional gear beyond the fuel containers themselves.
    Compact storage for the added gear
    Straightforward configuration that can be installed or removed in minutes.

    Adjustable to carry one, two or three fuel containers, each with about 20 liters usable capacity

    The fuel containers must be stable and secure while riding in rough water. Not intended for offshore or continual pounding conditions, but we ride in a variety of water conditions and sometimes it is just not going to be smooth.

    I welcome suggestions for improving on this method.

    Some of the fuel may be used to refill other watercraft that are traveling with us.

    Note: Refueling would only be done in smooth water, such as a protected cove, beach or perhaps beside an available dock.

    I will use a different external marine fuel tank configuration when I require refueling without stopping.
    Last edited by K447; 08-21-2020 at 10:26 AM.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Three fuel jugs strapped down and braced on rear deck (~60 liters)

    I will start with the three container configuration.
    Together these hold almost 60 liters of gasoline.

    The key component is the plastic cross bracing between the handles. When the ratchet straps are tight the tension clamps the handles of the fuel jugs to the braces. This significantly stiffens the structure overall.

    Without the bracing the strap tension simply accordions the containers together. The result is twisting and stress on the containers. They do not want to sit square on the deck and tend to slide from side to side as the hull impacts and torques in corkscrew motions going over rough water. More strap tension does not help.

    The shape of the fuel containers matters. These are squat enough in shape to be stable when strapped down. The handle shape is flat sided enough to be gripped by the cross braces.

    There are two strap webbing loops. One strap runs across the rear brace and attaches to the two tie down hoops low on the transom, below the rub rail. The brace is notched to fit snuggly around the gas can handles and guide the strap while under tension.

    When refueling the straps will be undone and laying loose. I did not want to use the end hooks that typically come with ratchet straps. If a hook falls off the ski loop while refueling the strap could be lost. So each strap has a stitched loop in the end and is looped around the tie down. It cannot fall off. The strap length is also not quite long enough to be drawn into the jet pump inlet and reach the impeller.




    The ratchet mechanism is attached with the strap length adjusted so the ratchet sits between the fuel tank handles, where it can easily be accessed while sitting on the seat facing rearwards. I can also glance over my shoulder while riding and confirm everything is still secure.



    The front brace is also notched to hold the handles, but with a different strap routing.



    Strap is tensioned forward and slightly down to the PWC tow hoop.

    Again there are no hooks on the strap. Webbing is a single length that loops around and comes back to the ratchet.



    When disconnected for refueling the straps slip out of the brace notches and the brace slides out from under the gas can handles.



    The strap with the ratchet attached is adjustable in length. No hook, I do not want anything that could fall away and sink.

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    Last edited by K447; 08-20-2020 at 03:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    So you can see how the fuel jugs sit on the rear deck, no underpad is shown.

    In actual use a thin rubber pad will sit between the rear deck and the bottom of the fuel jugs. I have some spare hydroturf or I can use an old yoga mat.

    The weight of the fuel is directly sitting on the rear deck surface, spread across the full bottom area of the fuel jugs.


    Right now I am using old ratchet straps that are ‘good enough’. Once I am happy with how it all works and know the lengths are correct I will buy some new straps that look nicer. Maybe in yellow.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Two fuel jugs strapped down and braced on rear deck (~40 liters)

    Same idea, but these braces are cut and shaped for just two fuel cans.



    The same ratchet straps are used for all configurations - three, two or just one fuel container on the rear deck.

    The right side strap length is adjusted so the ratchet sits between the two jug handles.



    I think this is my favorite configuration. Carrying nearly 40 liters provides a substantial improvement in cruise range.



    This is what it looks like when the cans are unstrapped, ready to transfer into the main watercraft fuel tank.

    The straps are laid to the sides, and cannot be lost even if they fall overboard.
    The plastic braces are bright yellow and lay in the footwells.



    Since I am using the same straps as with three cans, the extra length can be routed through the hollow brace tubes and tied off to reduce flapping in the wind while riding.

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  5. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Single fuel jug strapped down and braced on rear deck (~20 liters)

    Seems simple enough, a single fuel jug and some straps.

    Same straps as with 2 and 3 jugs. No hooks, the strap ends are tied to the lower hull hoops.

    Strap length is adjusted so the ratchet is easily accessible and there is no metal contacting the plastic jug. I don’t want the ratchet metal to abrade against the fuel can material.

    I have marked the adjustable strap so I can set the length to match the number of fuel jugs, then it is easy to fit it all together in a couple of minutes.



    With a single jug it is possible to create a lot of tension stress on the jug handle. It needs to be tight enough to keep the jug in place but you do not want to stress the jug with excessive strap tension.





    This amount of extra fuel is enough to take the worry out of riding when getting close to the low fuel warning. The extra fuel can be transferred into the main tank anytime after about the first 1/3 of the fuel has been used. By the time my dash says 1/2 tank remaining I know I can dump the 5 gallon entire jug into the front without risk of overfilling it.



    Extra strap length is tied off to limit wind flapping.

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  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    The fuel containers I use are sold by Scepter. Possibly also sold under other brand names.

    I bought These ‘5 US gallon’ cans in the USA.
    Apparently there is also a 20 liter version sold in Canada?





    To make it much easier to actually pour the gasoline into the watercraft filler neck the gas cans have been fitted with EZ-Pour HI-Flow replacement spout and vent kits.

    The kit includes a nice big yellow cap for the gas can.

    And a special ‘push in vent’. Use a very sharp drill bit to make a 1/2” hole in the hollow handle (Hole size must be exact). The vent presses in and is a tight fit.



    The flexible spout has a long extended neck with a yellow end cap.
    While riding the long spout is tucked into front storage.



    Ready to pour, the vent is open and the long spout attached.



    The jug will balance nicely on the footwell gunwale while I get the ski ready for refueling.
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  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    This is the big advantage to the EZ-Pour spout. The end of the neck can be inserted into the PWC filler opening before the gas can is lifted up to begin flow.

    This greatly reduces the risk of spillage compared to the stock filler spouts that modern gas cans are sold with.



    And the vent allows plenty of air flow in as the fuel pours out. These things can really move the fuel.

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  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Tip: Sometimes the vent cap will pop open by itself.

    And sometimes the little web flap breaks, allowing the vent cap to be lost.



    My ‘fix’ is to tightly wrap a Velcro strip around the vent. This holds the vent cap in place.

    When I want to use the fuel I slide the wrapped Velcro loop along the handle and open the vent. Then slide the loop back over the vent cap when I am done using that can.
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  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Arrow

    This is what the entire hold-down kit looks like *



    The longer pair of braces at the top are for carrying three gas cans together. I will use this rarely and only made it for one ski.

    Also shown are the two shorter brace kits that hold two gas cans each, one kit per ski.

    Plus the three straps for each ski. Two ratchets and one with just a stitched end loop.

    Only the straps are used if carrying a single fuel can.



    I do not have actual measurements (yet) for the brace tubes or the straps.

    The angled cuts are shaped to conform to the gas can handle side profiles. And the center slot is sized to provide a fairly snug grip on the handle.







    Painted yellow so I can see them easily if one gets away while we are on the water.

    The tubes and straps are labelled so I don’t have to remember which piece goes where and facing which way.


    * rubber underlay pads not shown

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    The shape of the gas can matters. These are not too tall and fairly square.

    This allows them to be stable on the rear deck. The straps hold them in place, but cans that are too tall or narrow will want to flex and lay over during rough water riding.

    The hull motions can be violent and twisting in multiple directions suddenly and quickly, which tends to yank the straps and loosen them.

    If you rig up something similar, be sure to consider whether it will hold up to worst case conditions.





    In this video clip the jugs are empty. When full I find they are even more stable.


    Why are the gas cans oriented with the fill cap towards the rear?



    Well, the way the strap webbing angles over the corner ‘shoulders’ of the fuel jug helps stabilize it and resist side to side motion. If the can was turned around the rear strap would not work the same way.

    Also the vent cap might leak if it was not at the highest possible location relative to the liquid fuel inside.

    We remove the gas cans from the PWC deck for filling. I sometimes tilt the container back to allow a little ‘overfilling’. The gas cap is tightened and the vent cap snapped closed, then the can is positioned back on the rear deck and strapped down. The cap is not loosened until the can has been unstrapped and we are about to use the fuel.


    I will carry one or two extra/spare ratchet straps in front storage. If somehow one of the modified ratchet straps breaks or a strap is lost I can use the spare to get us home.
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    Last edited by K447; 08-21-2020 at 10:32 AM.

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