Saturday, September 1, 2018

Fuel Tank Cover

Sunbrella Fuel Tank Cover

On longer trips, we carry spare fuel for the Engine and Generator in portable tanks secured to the Starboard Lifeline Stanchions, To Secure the Tanks, I tie them down with a line to a horizontal Stainless Tube that runs between two of the stanchions. It's a pain to tie and untie the lines in order to use the tanks and they should really be covered.

So, armed with some old Sunbrella from the remants of our Sail cover no longer required.

The Diesel Tanks are typical 5 gallon, stubby rather than the taller models. Eximius holds 25 gallons and that's enough for about 33 hours at 3/4 Gallon per hour, our typical consumption at 5 knots under motor, or 166 miles. 

We use the plan of 1/3 out, 1/3 return and 1/3 reserve, so that gives us an outbound range, under motor, of 55nm. That's about the distance to Bimini from our dock.

When we go to the Bahamas, we carry an Extra 10 Gallons in 2 tanks on deck.

We also carry 5 Gallons of Gasoline for the Generator, that's enough to run the AC for a couple of days. Of course, we only run the Genny if it's hot and we're at Anchor. If we're sailing we use the Wind powered AC unit ;).

I used the template concept. Using tape over along the seams of the Diesel Can, then Basting Tape and Template material in 3 pieces: Side, Front (spout), Back (handle). 

For small designs like this, I use Builders Tyvec fabric for my templates, it's a lot cheaper than the Dura Skim, but it's nowhere near as easy to use. I find that Dura Skim is much nicer to work with and have several yards of it ready for when I make our new Dodger & Bimini bridge piece.
Here's the first cover, the tube is just a piece of Aluminum tubing to mimic the Stainless tube on the boat.

The Straps are left over from when I made the Outboard Cover a few months ago. They are sewn to the back face of the cover at an angle which eases the turn around the tube, seems to work ok.






Inboard view of the cover and straps.
The straps are connected with a re-purposed two piece buckle from an old life jacket.

FYI, before tossing out any old jacket, backpack, life-jacket, or anything with a re-usable Zipper, Buckle or Strap, I cut them off and put them in my 'One Day I'll use that' box'.

Time to make a cover for the Gas tank. I'll follow the same design.

Sty tuned.



Five Gallon Gas Can














Fillament Tape applied to center seam and corners (on one side as I mirror the end templates.

















I know, it looks like denim, it's just the light.

This is the handle end piece, mirrored.

Yellow line are transferred from the edges of the cleaned up template

Red lines are with 1/2" seam allowance.

FYI, I gauge the seam allowance with my thumbnail, consistent and really ease, just put my thumb cuticle inline with the yellow line then mark the seam line with a chalk next to the tip of my thumb.






Spout end following the same technique.


















All four pieces marked up[, cut using my hot knife and ready to sew.













Ready to start sewing, threads restrained using one of my magnetic thread restraints.

The two pieces are placed outsides together.

Sewing sequence is.
All four Corners up to the angled section
Sew the straps onto one of the side pieces.
Then the two pleats in the handle end.
Next, sew 4 angled seams.
Finally, sew the bottom hem all the way around.




Gas Can Cover complete with Securing Straps & Buckle.

I'm really pleased with how these turned out. There's enough slack in the jackets to allow for a bit of tank expansion rather than be to tight and split a seam.

I used Profilen thread, my first choice for any outdoor sewing projects.

See you on the water.

Paul