Even if we were consummate sailors, I doubt we’d get rid of our diesel jugs. When we got them originally it was to extend our cruising-under-power range. After all, we were just about to head out on a non-stop trip from Neah Bay, Washington to Newport, Oregon and had no idea if we’d have any favorable winds for the trip and had no desire to cross the notorious bars at the entrances of Grey’s Harbor, WA and Astoria, OR for fuel. As it turned out, the winds were nearly non-existent and we had to use much of the diesel in our spare jugs.
New we keep the jugs aboard mainly because that’s how I like to refuel. I prefer hauling the jugs to and from the fuel dock in the dinghy and then filing the main tank from the jugs. That way I can take the time needed to run all the fuel through a 2 micron filter before putting it into the main tank. Some of the fuel docks we run into are set up more for commercial boats than sailboats and are very difficult to use, especially without messing up your boat on ragged concrete or barnacle-encrusted pilings. But, even at the civilized floating docks, there’s always a good chance that you’ll have to wait a long time while some big ol’ maxi-yacht fills his twin 1000 gallon tanks. Pretty much always room for a dinghy to pull up and use a different pump.
Anyway, the four yellow 5-gallon diesel jugs are here to stay. Up until very recently they have lived on the foredeck, lashed down on either side of the milk crate that holds the rode for our secondary anchor. They ride great but the do take up some deck space that we already have precious little of.
I’ve seen boats that had modifications made to their lifeline set-up so that they essentially had a basket hanging off each side of the boat to hold their jerry jugs. I didn’t really want to go whole hog, but, if I could make a modification so that the jugs could ride up on the caprail and only extend over the side a little ways, I might be interested.
I drew up some plans. As luck would have it, one of Mazatlán’s best stainless steel fabricators, Felipe, was going to be at La Isla Marina not long after we pulled in. With the translating help of Mike from s/v Tortue, Felipe and his crew managed to make my design a reality.
Here’s what the new jug carriers look like from dead ahead so you can see how far they stick out the sides.
And a shot similar to the first one showing the regained deck space. Obviously the dinghy isn’t aboard and it will still completely fill the port side deck but at least we’ve regained some foredeck space.