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Old     (jklein)      Join Date: May 2001       06-24-2005, 11:10 AM Reply   
What is everyone doing when you're going to take a 4 or 5 day trip where your boat is going to be on the water pretty much the whole time, and you want to prevent getting bent over at the Marina Gas Pump?

I would bring 25 gallons worth of gas cans with me and fill up down the road at the local gas station. However, houseboat rentals do not permit the storage of gas containers on-board.

Is it safe to store them in my truck in the parking lot?

I guess I could keep them in my boat and store them on the shore after the houseboat is tied to the shore.

Maybe it's just too much hassle to save 1 dollar per gallon. I figure, I would save about 100 to 150 bucks over 4 or 5 days.

What have other people done?
Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       06-24-2005, 11:30 AM Reply   
"I guess I could keep them in my boat and store them on the shore after the houseboat is tied to the shore."

that is what our plan is. we are bringing about 45 gallons in cans, and will be storing them on the shore. prices at Mead right now are about $2.90 per gallon, so anything you can do to save money, is worth it.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       06-24-2005, 11:45 AM Reply   
I pack 30 gallons in Gerry cans on my swim platform to where the houseboat is moored then put it on shore. Be careful with tides or rising lake levels, they float. From a cost/quality standpoint I like to avoid marina gas. In the past we have taken as much as 60 gallons on our big trips!

If the cans don't leak you can probably put them on the rear of the houseboat and cover them with a towell, but it's against their rules. If they leak they will set off the houseboat's gas detection system.
Old     (jeffr)      Join Date: May 2002       06-24-2005, 12:08 PM Reply   
It depends on how far away your houseboat is from a launch or marina. We have done it a few different ways at Shasta. If you are leaving your boat in the entire trip… it’s gas cans or pay up at the inflated marina gas prices.

We usually fill up at least 30 gallons in cans and leave them on the shore to fill up during the day…. If you are far from the marina this will extend your riding time and minimize having to run back for more gas.

You may want to scout out ramps and local gas stations to see if you can park your truck and trailer somewhere other that the pick up spot for the houseboat to make for a convenient way to pull the boat out and gas it up off the lake. If you have a large enough group… dividing the 100-200 is not a big deal.

Also check the available gas grades… if you run mid or higher…. Some marinas don’t carry it.
Old     (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-24-2005, 12:50 PM Reply   
A few thoughts:

Gas cans can be quite a hassle. If you are not really careful they will leak, and get gas all over your boat, towels, etc. Not fun. Be sure to open the vent side of the can first!

If you already have the cans, great. If not, consider that a gas can costs about $20, so if you save $1 a gallon ($5 a fill) you will need to use the cans four times just to break even.

Gas cans are heavy. Gas weighs a little over 6 pounds a gallon, so a 5 gallon can will weigh in around 35 pounds. It gets old real quick lugging these around.

Gas smells! If you have a truck and can carry them in the open bed then great. If you have a SUV and plan on carrying them in the passenger area you may have problems. If you store the cans in the cab/passenger space on a hot day your car will reek of gas for days.

It is not all that easy to handle a gas can on a boat in the water. Be real careful that you don't drop the gas can caps into the lake, as that pretty much ruins a $20 can.

In California you can't buy the good old style gas cans anymore. Now they are all these "CARB" regulated cans, which have "no spill" spouts. I don't know what these spouts will pour into without spilling but it sure isn't the typical boat gas fill! They don't fit, and you end up pouring gas all over the gunnel of the boat trying. They also pour VERY slowly!

Gas cans are worthwhile if they save you from making trips to the marina. In my experience, they are not worth the cost savings.

Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       06-24-2005, 2:31 PM Reply   
Everyone here has valid points. We've been bringing around 30 gallons whenever we go away for the weekend. We store them in the shade on a houseboat and haven't had any problems. To get around the rules we transport them out on our boats.

The old style gas cans are still available. You just have to go to a race shop. Even our local NAPA has them, but they call them fluid storage containers now. The new CARB legal cans are junk and spill everywhere. The cost of the cans is offset after a couple trips, so that doesn't bother me. The biggest issue for us is that you don't have to drive all the way back to the marina for a refill. At Don Pedro everytime we drove in it was a quarter tank of gas. That and I appreciate not worrying about the quality of the gas going in my boat.

I've definitely done it both ways and next weekend at Shasta we'll probably be hitting the gas dock (since we're staying in cabins without private docks), but I prefer to bring gas with whenever I can.
Old     (shredhead)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-24-2005, 3:34 PM Reply   
We usually pump gas out of the houseboat tank into the ski boats on long trips. When you return to the marina just use your cans to refill the houseboat.
Old     (csquared)      Join Date: Jan 2002       06-26-2005, 9:58 AM Reply   
We live on the lake and fill up all year with cans. Saves about $0.50/gallon compared to marina prices ($20.00/full tank or one free tank of gas for every four). I got a bunch of cans for $4.50 each from WalMart so I think it is a good value.

Tryinig to dump a can into the boat using the spout is a huge PITA. Here is a trick that I learned from Travis Moye that makes using the cans very convenient:

Get a piece of 1" ID clear vinyl hose from HD. A 4-5' piece is good.

Put one end into the boat, leave a small loop that is below the level of the gas can and the other end into the gas can a few inches under the level of the gas. Seal your hand around the hose at the can and blow INTO the can. It doesn't take much and as long as the can is sealed, the pressure pushes the gas into the loop in the hose.

Pick up the can, push the hose to the bottom of the can and let the siphon do the rest.

Very easy, very fast, no unpleasant side effects from starting a siphon the old fashion way and no spills. Takes about 6-10 minutes total to transfer 30-35 gallons of gas.
Old     (2step)      Join Date: Oct 2004       06-26-2005, 10:20 AM Reply   
Shawn- That is a pretty good idea!

What we normally do is fill a 55 gallon drum and leave it on the dock. Transportation is a CSer but once it is there it works great. I recommend using a plastic drum and you can pick up a hand pump at almost any race shop fairly cheep. You can get drums from many places; I got mine from my local VP gas dealer.
Old     (csquared)      Join Date: Jan 2002       06-26-2005, 11:10 AM Reply   

I looked into something like that but since we are on a TVA lake, the corps of engineers has very strict rules for fuel storage at the dock. Anything that doesn't fit in the boat can't stay on the dock.

I tried a pump that I borrowed from a friend but the siphon has been faster and less effort than a manual pump. Once you get the hang of starting the siphon, it is hard to beat.
Old     (2step)      Join Date: Oct 2004       06-26-2005, 11:55 AM Reply   
Shawn- I am on a corps lake also, I have had the game warden on my dock and he did not say anything other than not to be selling it to make a profit (like 55gal is enough to make a profit). I did transport it by boat though, so maybe thats why he let me slide. I think I am going to try your siphon idea with the drum this year. Those little siphon pumps can be a pain some times.
Old     (csquared)      Join Date: Jan 2002       06-27-2005, 8:47 PM Reply   
I guess our ranger is not as understanding. Safety concerns and possibilty of fuel spills in the lake and all that. Basically he made sure that we knew he didn't want to see any gas cans, full or empty, on the dock. Rattled off some rules, etc etc
Old    kujito            06-27-2005, 9:20 PM Reply   
last time I went to Powell, i strapped 6, 5-gallon wal-mart tanks to the swim platform and it worked wonderfully, not to mention the added 180 or so pounds of ballast on the ride down. especially since the houseboat we were hooking up with was about 40 miles from the nearest gas. they had drums burried in the sand and covered w/tarps so we stored ours there. just run a cargo strap from the transom tie-downs, thru the handles on the jugs. it's money
Old    cobius            06-28-2005, 10:12 AM Reply   
overtons's, boater's world, etc. sell a gas caddy with wheels and a hand pump. About 280, and it's 28 gallons. A friend of mine has one and he keeps it in his campsite when going for a week or more. In the back of his truck he has an old 50 gallon plastic tank from a boat salvage yard that is in like new shape. During the week if the caddy runs out, he can refill it with the 50 gallon. If that runs out, we can just hop in his truck and go into town for a refill. After the trip, he just pumps any unused gas into his truck and stores the tank in his yard for the next time. At up to a 2/gallon savings it can easily pay for itself in a season.


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