I'm in the process of removing the original fuel tanks from my 31 Commander. I know there's a few here that have done it or had it done and wonder what size tanks you replaced them with.

I plan on having new aluminum tanks built, Looks like I can get a tank that's about 22in high, by 22-24in wide by 40in long at the bottom and 46in long at the top in there if I pull the exhaust off the engines in the center of the boat. That should give me about 85-95 gallons/side.

Any insight/ tips? I've done this once already on my Catalina, but just had the stock tank reproduced.

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I replaced mine and they are about 88 gallons each. I did same, removed both inside exhaust manifolds measured between heads and the height and fixed that as my size. I tapered the outboard side toward the gunwhale so I could still use a stick to check gas. I got exactly 5 gallons in cans, dumped it in and marked the stick. I can tell within a gallon or so how much fuel I have on board. 176 gallons is way better than 100! Dave

wow - That is excellent work!!!!!

Mike H said:

I do enjoy a good science project lol. I've been looking on Ebay too, so far all I've seen is the smaller 2.5 inch Chris Craft Mufflers. I wouldn't want to spend very much on one I can't go physically see since they really need a good inspection to know if they're any good. Most of what goes bad on the fresh water ones seems to happen on the insider or cracks.

Where you mounted your mufflers is where I'm thinking of moving mine to, that will give me some length on the hose to the transom to allow me to raise them above the waterline. That's also right where my fuel tanks are, the idea will be the I'll have access to both ends of the muffler by placing them next to the fuel tank, one end infront of the tank and one behind. This area is fairly narrow with about 6-7 inches between then hull and the tank, so the only fiberglass muffler that would fit between the tank is the VernaSki, the others would have to go behind the tank where the mufflers where originally mounted as their diameter is just too big. I wish I had those factory mounts for the mufflers that your boat has, mine has nothing, they where just held up by the hoses, obviously they decided this was not the way to go in subsequent years.

Just a couple thoughts on your installation, I would fabricate some sort of a bracket near the front of the muffler to hold it up rather than the hanger on the drain tube. My though is that the drain is very close to the waterline an over the years the weight and vibration could possibly cause that tube to crack. Also I would double clamp all those hose connections to bring it within ABYC standards. Some "interesting reading"

ABYC Exhaust Standards

I also took my fuel caps and trim rings to B&L Plating in Warren to get rechromed yesterday, that was abit of a sticker shock, but I'm sure they'll look great when done and hopefully last at least another 5 decades lol.

I'll have to try an be better about taking pictures, when I'm deep into a project that's kinda the last thing on my mind.

Here's a pick of my mock up tank after I built it.

Mike - does the company you had fab the new gas tanks still have the spec's/patterns?

Thanks - JFL

jodypackerfan1@yahoo.com

Mike H said:

Got the tanks in the boat where the belong, hooked up the vent and ran ground and sender wires as once the tanks are in position you can't access them. Above is the pictures of the finished tanks just before putting them in the boat. Still have to mount them.

Possibly, I know they’ve made a few mufflers off mine. Give them a call, Keherig MFG Chesterfield MI. To do it again I would move the fuel sender and vent outboard as they’re inaccessible once installed. 

Jody Karls said:

Mike - does the company you had fab the new gas tanks still have the spec's/patterns?

Thanks - JFL

jodypackerfan1@yahoo.com

Mike H said:

Got the tanks in the boat where the belong, hooked up the vent and ran ground and sender wires as once the tanks are in position you can't access them. Above is the pictures of the finished tanks just before putting them in the boat. Still have to mount them.

Regarding the placement of fittings (like Mike H said) make sure to put them where you can access them in the future. 

On my tanks I put the sender and pickups as far outboard as the angle in the side allows. 

For your vent I'd concider locating them on the inbord side of the top. By doing this you will have a much lower risk of fuel splashing out of your  hull side vents when the boat rolls.  So when you roll to port if your vent it as the inboard end of the top , there will be no fuel in side the tank at that corner. Then when the boat rolls back the other way to STBD.  fuel would be in that corner but would have to travel uphill to exit the port side of the hull. 

In this picture my pickup is under the piece of tape next to the sender

 On the other side(the inboard side of the tank) there are two fittings. One is for the vent and the other will not be used at this time but was designed into the tank as a return since When I had the tanks made I had not yet decided which engines I would be installing and diesels and even some fuel injected gas motors require  them. In my case my new motors are returnless so ill just plug the extra hole

Thanks Mike - those really are great - I didn't see in the string anywhere but are you wiling to share what they charged you for them?

Mike H said:

Possibly, I know they’ve made a few mufflers off mine. Give them a call, Keherig MFG Chesterfield MI. To do it again I would move the fuel sender and vent outboard as they’re inaccessible once installed. 

Jody Karls said:

Mike - does the company you had fab the new gas tanks still have the spec's/patterns?

Thanks - JFL

jodypackerfan1@yahoo.com

Mike H said:

Got the tanks in the boat where the belong, hooked up the vent and ran ground and sender wires as once the tanks are in position you can't access them. Above is the pictures of the finished tanks just before putting them in the boat. Still have to mount them.

It’s been a few years, it was about $2,000 for the tanks and mounts. It could have been abit less but I opted for 3/16ths instead of standard 1/8th aluminum due to the self supporting design I used. For basic tanks they used to run around $10/gal. I think I had around $2,500 in the whole project with new lines all the way to the fuel pumps. 

Jody Karls said:

Thanks Mike - those really are great - I didn't see in the string anywhere but are you wiling to share what they charged you for them?

Mike H said:

Possibly, I know they’ve made a few mufflers off mine. Give them a call, Keherig MFG Chesterfield MI. To do it again I would move the fuel sender and vent outboard as they’re inaccessible once installed. 

Jody Karls said:

Mike - does the company you had fab the new gas tanks still have the spec's/patterns?

Thanks - JFL

jodypackerfan1@yahoo.com

Mike H said:

Got the tanks in the boat where the belong, hooked up the vent and ran ground and sender wires as once the tanks are in position you can't access them. Above is the pictures of the finished tanks just before putting them in the boat. Still have to mount them.

outstanding -thanks for the response! I would/will have done the same on thickness. I have a good friend that owns a metal fab business locally. I think I might be able to get them fab'd little cheaper

JFK 

Mike H said:

It’s been a few years, it was about $2,000 for the tanks and mounts. It could have been abit less but I opted for 3/16ths instead of standard 1/8th aluminum due to the self supporting design I used. For basic tanks they used to run around $10/gal. I think I had around $2,500 in the whole project with new lines all the way to the fuel pumps. 

Jody Karls said:

Thanks Mike - those really are great - I didn't see in the string anywhere but are you wiling to share what they charged you for them?

Mike H said:

Possibly, I know they’ve made a few mufflers off mine. Give them a call, Keherig MFG Chesterfield MI. To do it again I would move the fuel sender and vent outboard as they’re inaccessible once installed. 

Jody Karls said:

Mike - does the company you had fab the new gas tanks still have the spec's/patterns?

Thanks - JFL

jodypackerfan1@yahoo.com

Mike H said:

Got the tanks in the boat where the belong, hooked up the vent and ran ground and sender wires as once the tanks are in position you can't access them. Above is the pictures of the finished tanks just before putting them in the boat. Still have to mount them.

I looked into a local fab co for the first tank Ihad made. One thing to consider is getting the tanks certified. Kehrig as well as some others Coast Gaurd certify their tanks. 

Jody Karls said:

outstanding -thanks for the response! I would/will have done the same on thickness. I have a good friend that owns a metal fab business locally. I think I might be able to get them fab'd little cheaper

JFK 

Mike H said:

It’s been a few years, it was about $2,000 for the tanks and mounts. It could have been abit less but I opted for 3/16ths instead of standard 1/8th aluminum due to the self supporting design I used. For basic tanks they used to run around $10/gal. I think I had around $2,500 in the whole project with new lines all the way to the fuel pumps. 

Jody Karls said:

Thanks Mike - those really are great - I didn't see in the string anywhere but are you wiling to share what they charged you for them?

Mike H said:

Possibly, I know they’ve made a few mufflers off mine. Give them a call, Keherig MFG Chesterfield MI. To do it again I would move the fuel sender and vent outboard as they’re inaccessible once installed. 

Jody Karls said:

Mike - does the company you had fab the new gas tanks still have the spec's/patterns?

Thanks - JFL

jodypackerfan1@yahoo.com

Mike H said:

Got the tanks in the boat where the belong, hooked up the vent and ran ground and sender wires as once the tanks are in position you can't access them. Above is the pictures of the finished tanks just before putting them in the boat. Still have to mount them.

Excellent point Thanks for the heads up - He is a really high end shop - does all kinds of commercial/technical work. I know he does fab work for the aviation world and that's about inspected/certified as you can get.  Well maybe nucular stuff :-)  I wouldn't be totally surprised if he already has the marine certification stuff in place.
Thanks againJFK

Mike H said:

I looked into a local fab co for the first tank Ihad made. One thing to consider is getting the tanks certified. Kehrig as well as some others Coast Gaurd certify their tanks. 

Jody Karls said:

outstanding -thanks for the response! I would/will have done the same on thickness. I have a good friend that owns a metal fab business locally. I think I might be able to get them fab'd little cheaper

JFK 

Mike H said:

It’s been a few years, it was about $2,000 for the tanks and mounts. It could have been abit less but I opted for 3/16ths instead of standard 1/8th aluminum due to the self supporting design I used. For basic tanks they used to run around $10/gal. I think I had around $2,500 in the whole project with new lines all the way to the fuel pumps. 

Jody Karls said:

Thanks Mike - those really are great - I didn't see in the string anywhere but are you wiling to share what they charged you for them?

Mike H said:

Possibly, I know they’ve made a few mufflers off mine. Give them a call, Keherig MFG Chesterfield MI. To do it again I would move the fuel sender and vent outboard as they’re inaccessible once installed. 

Jody Karls said:

Mike - does the company you had fab the new gas tanks still have the spec's/patterns?

Thanks - JFL

jodypackerfan1@yahoo.com

Mike H said:

Got the tanks in the boat where the belong, hooked up the vent and ran ground and sender wires as once the tanks are in position you can't access them. Above is the pictures of the finished tanks just before putting them in the boat. Still have to mount them.

I replaced my tanks a few years ago because of concerns of bad gas and bad tanks. The big issue for me was that I did not want to store 100 gallons of ethanol gas due to the evaporation and additive that attacks carburetors. I moved the boat from the coast to a lake which had plenty of gas available at the marina and the ability to import from the highway. My tanks are 35 gallons for each engine, I use Sea Foam religiously and try to take the level down to 2'' and then replace with fresh. So far so good, no bad gas issues to date. At 2000rpms I burn about 2 gal an hour per engine so that gives me 15 hours of run time conservatively. The other issue that came into play was wanting access to the steering mechanism for maintenance etc. What was notable was I paid a tech to remove and he literally cut them apart in the boat and removed. I had to admit I couldn't watch, I could just see my boat exploding before my eyes. But, the tech new what he was doing, fortunately.  All in all, it was the right decision, just took a little planning an picking the right tank with the holes positioned properly for use of the gas fill and other lines.

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