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Post Info TOPIC: fuel header tank


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fuel header tank

Hi, i have a friend with a beta 25 (i think about 5 years old). he has fuel pick up problems because of the shape of his fuel tank

on his sailboat when sailing on one tack. He wants to add a second pick up at an lower point by cutting into his tank!!!

I suggested a simpler approach is  he add a small alum  header tank, fed from the regular pick up via small electric lift pump. you suggested similar to somebody doing a new install with a remote fuel tank

If my friend does the same but feeds a small header tank (2-4 gal?) with the pump first that will act like an accumulator to account for occasional

fuel pick up issues.  I think he would need a 1-2 psi relief valve in the top of the tank to allow any air to return to the tank by tee-ing into the return line.

this should be way simpler than twin fuel pick ups etc. He is in central America so the tank may have to be improvised or made from some large dia pipe he can add the fittings too.

what do you think ?

many thanks  warren.



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Posts: 192

Hello Warren,

Installing a second pickup tube will not solve the problem if the first pickup tube is not blocked off. Otherwise it will still suck air.

Installing a new pickup tube that drops down to a lower section of the tank and does not draw air when under a port or STBD tack is not an unreasonable solution.

It sounds like what you are describing is a 'Day Tank'. These work fine but have their own draw backs. You need the space and a location to mount an adequate sized tank with a proper vent. The tank needs to be vented into the atmosphere and overboard not inboard. You must remember to keep the tank full. A transfer pump is required to keep the tank full. The tank will receive the return diesel fuel, which will be hotter after running awhile. The tank must be sized large enough to allow the hot fuel to cool before being drawn back into the engine. Diesels don't like hot fuel. The system would require more fittings and pump and valves to be installed.

The best fuel system is a simple fuel system. The best fuel system has as few parts, pieces, pumps, valves and hose connections as possible and does not require special instruction for operation.


Best regards,


Technical Sales and Service for Beta Marine, US Ltd. Minnesott Beach, NC   PH: 252-249-2473


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Posts: 2

Thank you Farron,
yes I was thinking of a day tank type set up , but it Could take more management . I was trying to think of a way to have an inline accumulator with a vent to let out picked up air but prehaps an air separator is available that could be put in the line to remove picked up air.
Having said that.........
Twin pick ups if it can be done simply with a 3 way valve to switch over when on opposite tacks may be a simpler solution.
But if opening up the tank will show the fault with the existing pick up it may become obvious and fixable (broken pick up tube or whatever)
I will pass this on to my friend
thank you warren

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