If your boat doesn’t have a built-in gas tank, then you’ll need a portable one that you can easily dismantle. These fuel tanks are available in different designs and sizes. But what’s important is that it fits onto your boat. This is why it’s advisable to first take measurements of the area of installation to purchase the right fit.
If you’re in the market for one, we list our top 5 recommendations to aid in your decision making.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Portable Boat Gas Tank
Because of the potentially hazardous nature of the product, it’s paramount that boat fuel tanks meet the industry-standard safety requirements. The two main governing authorities for this type of product include the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) and the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association (NMMA).
Your fuel tank has to be certified according to the NMMA type fuel system in terms of design, installation, and performance. This is to ensure that your boating experience remains safe and enjoyable.
What is its Capacity?
Fuel tanks range between 3 and 15 gallons - with the latter being rather heavy. This capacity is based on the weight of fuel inside the tank.
Bear in mind that you’ll be constantly removing it and mounting it onto your boat, so you want one that’s easy to carry. A larger capacity will mean more running time. But chances are you’re placing this portable fuel tank on a small boat which won’t utilize much fuel.
Opt for a tank that has a capacity which is somewhere in the middle to strike a balance where portability and running time is concerned.
Rolling Gas Cans
It goes without saying that fuel tanks will be carrying a potentially volatile liquid. As a result, safe transportation of the product must be first on your priority list.
Opting for a gas can with wheels will allow for easier - and safer - transportation. If your tank has a larger capacity, you’ll find a rolling gas can much easier to move around with.
The last thing you need to is to run out of fuel mid waters. That’s why purchasing a gauge indicator is non-negotiable. This way you’re always aware of the fuel levels in your boat.
Generally, fuel tanks are designed to be safe. But we recommend that you only fill it up to 90% to avoid spills. Also, gas tends to expand, so if you fill it up all the way, the unit can get damaged. For your safety considerations you must:
- Look for a tank that has vents on the side to release pressure.
- Use fuel that doesn’t contain ethanol. This is because over time ethanol tends to sink to the bottom of the tank causing damage.
- Always remove the tank when it’s not in use to avoid accidents.
Important Fact: Tanks tend to swell due to heat because gasoline expands when heated. Most people don’t like it but know that it’s completely normal. You don’t have to worry about any explosions because fuel tanks are designed to sustain such pressure.
The Top 5 Best Portable Boat Gas Tanks
1. Moeller Portable Fuel Tank
Here we have a portable gas tank that’s ABCY and NMMA compliant for your safety considerations. Made of seamless and thick-walled plastic, you’re guaranteed a durable product on your hands. This tank is approximately 30% tougher than other brands.
Thanks to the 6.5-gallon capacity, it’s considered to be a lightweight product that allows for hassle-free transportation. The unit comes complete with a sight gauge so that you can clearly see the fuel levels. When closed properly the tank produces an audible click sound on the closure tap.
This tank features vents on the cap to release system pressure but a few users have noted that it tends to leak. But this is usually caused by not using Teflon tape sealant on the threads. We recommend that you read - and follow - the instructions in the manual to eliminate such problems.
- Dimensions: 21.5” x 13.18” x 10.1:
- Capacity: 6.5 gallon
- Weight: 7.8lb
2. DuraMax Flo n' Go LE Fluid Transfer Pump and 14-Gallon Rolling Gas Can
This DuraMax tank has a larger capacity when compared to other brands. But the manufacturer added wheels on the unit to allow for easy transportation. It’s the product to pick if you own a relatively large boat.
You’ll find a patented gas pump handle on the unit which allows for convenient handling. Spills and overfills are eliminated because the pump is designed to stop & restart the flow of gas during filling.
The tank is made using high-density polyethylene which makes the unit resistant to corrosion and denting. This is a definite indication of its durability.
The tank features a shut-off valve which works by sealing internal gas pressure and vapors when closed. It also has self-vents that prevent pressure from escaping and polluting the environment when in the open position.
Our only concern is that it doesn’t drain completely. It tends to leave about a gallon of fuel at the bottom. But you can always turn it upside down to completely empty the contents into the funnel.
- Dimensions: 16” x 13” x 34”
- Capacity: 14 gallon
- Weight: 9lb
3. Attwood 8806LP2 EPA and CARB Certified 6-Gallon Portable Marine Boat Fuel Tank
Here we have a portable fuel tank that has a capacity of 6 gallons. Carrying it around will be easy because it’s not heavy. Weighing a little over 1lb, you can tell that it’s a lightweight product which adds to its portability.
The tank features an automotive-grade, multi-layer construction. As a result, it’s designed to withstand considerable pressure build-up associated with expanding gas.
The cap on this fuel tank has an integrated vacuum valve which eliminates manual venting. For your safety concerns, the tank meets the ABYC and NMMA regulations making it a safe product to use.
By picking this product, you’ll get a well-built unit that functions as expected.
Note however that this is a non-vented tank. This can luckily be solved by purchasing a fuel demand valve to prevent the tank from pushing gas into your engine.
- Dimensions: 15”x 22: 11”
- Capacity: 6 gallon
- Weight: 1.17lb
4. Attwood 8803LP2 EPA and CARB Certified 3-Gallon Portable Marine Boat Fuel Tank
Here’s a cheaper version of the Attwood model reviewed above. You can expect the same features typical of all Attwood products on this model. This includes the solid multi-layer construction which guarantees a long-lasting product. The tank is also EPA and CARB compliant to give you peace of mind.
The major difference is the smaller dimensions which makes it ideal to use on your smaller boats. Also, it has a smaller capacity of 3 gallons. This means that carrying it will be even easier. The only trade-off would be the shorter running time of your boat.
Unfortunately, the cap isn’t vented but this isn’t uncommon with all Attwood fuel tanks. You just have to purchase an additional fuel demand valve to relieve the pressure build-up. Also, be sure to add some Teflon tape to prevent any leaking.
- Dimensions: 7.4” x 11” x 16.5”
- Capacity: 3 gallon
- Weight: 4.28lb
5. TERA PUMP TRFA01 4 AA Battery Powered Fuel Transfer Pump
Last but definitely not least we have this 35” Tera pump which allows you to pump fuel at 3 gallons per minute. Thanks to the flexible design of the hose, refilling your fuel tank will be quick and easy.
You’ll be impressed by the auto-stop nozzle which is designed to eliminate any spills.
The pump needs four AA batteries to function. Unfortunately, they aren’t included in the package so you’ll have to purchase them separately.
This is a versatile unit which you can use to transfer to several outlets including gas cans and lawnmowers. You’ll appreciate how it can fit most North American plastic fuel cans thanks to the different sized-adapters included.
By using this pump, you can enjoy a hassle-free refilling experience - plus you won’t leave a mess.
We’re only concerned with the durability of the product. The plastic housing tends to break over time. But it’s expected considering the very low price of the unit.
- Dimensions: 14” x 6”x 3.5”
- Power: 3 gallons per minute
- Weight: 8oz
Are you ready to pick one? Ideally, the fuel tank you pick must be easy to use and carry. With regards to functionality, make sure you pick one that doesn’t allow for leakages so you can avoid wastage of fuel. And if you can find one with vents that’ll be ideal to relieve the pressures associated with closed fuel systems.