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Pontoon Transom Fuel Tank Installation Article by CPP client Joe M. Sims

During the process of building our new pontoon boat I started looking for a gas tank that would fit in the new transom pod that I purchased. I was having problems finding one until I came across Chicago Pontoon Parts. They had one that looked like it would fit according to the dimensions they provided so I went ahead and purchased one. While I knew I was going to have to do something to hold the tank in the transom pod, I didn't know what it was until after I received the tank.

After looking at it and thinking about it for a little while, the idea came to me. It was a really simple idea. I needed to make a cradle for the tank to sit on and then weld it to the bottom of the transom pod. So, I took some detailed dimensions of the bottom of the tank and then opened a CAD program that I have on my laptop and made a detailed drawing of what I needed. And because the tank has a "V" shaped bottom I wanted the cradle to have the same shape so the tank would have full support once fastened to the cradle.

Now that I knew what I needed, I started looking for a sheet of aluminum 3/32" thick x 24" wide x 48" long online and wound up at Amazon.com, they had the best price for it. The next issue was bending the sheet to make the cradle. I found a metal fab shop and took the drawing and the aluminum sheet to them to make the bends I needed.  Now that it was bent to the shape I needed I did a test fit in the transom pod so I could figure out how much to cut off the overall height.

I figured that since the boat doesn't sit level when in the water I needed to adjust the cradle such that the front of the tank was sitting lower than the back of the tank so that I would be able fill up the tank completely. If the front of the tank was higher than the back of the tank then there would be a good chance an air pocket would develop at the front of the tank when filling it up and thus, not be able to fill the tank up completely. After figuring how much to cut off the sides of the cradle to get the height and angle right, it was time to have it welded to the bottom of the transom pod.

Oh, to get the height and angle of the cradle right I made a mark 1" from the bottom side at the back of the cradle and 1 1/2" from the bottom side at the front, drew a line and cut that off of both sides. So now I had two strips 1"x1 1/2" x 48" left over that I used to make the strap that holds the tank to the cradle. I also had a couple pieces of 1/8"thick x 1 1/2" wide aluminum bar that I used to weld an "X" brace on the underneath side of the cradle at the backend of it to firm it up so it wouldn't sway from side to side while operating the boat.

Thank You, what a great article. CPP

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