Weight distribution/battery/fuel tank


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Jun 27, 2020
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I am new to the world of small metal boats. Most of my marine experience is on bigger stuff and jetskis and a little bit of hydroplane/small raceboat experience. I have been around the last category but never raced those. On larger stuff, it doesn't care a whole if the battery is right at the transom of a couple of feet forward because its simply not a big deal overall (a battery basically being one exhaust manifold and riser on a mercruiser). It strikes me that a whole lot more care is required when rigging a smaller and lighter boat. Two batteries and a full tank of fuel being over half the weight of a 45 cubic inch OMC twin, I figured I should ask for advice on my setup.

The boat is a Fisher Hawk 3v. Not the bulkier Marsh Hawk. Its 15 feet long and about 60 inches across the gunwales. Starboard side console, has a factory front and rear deck. No wood except the hatch up front and the live well hatch and the transom board. The rear deck has a hatch which flips up giving access to a well for batteries and fuel tank. I will be running a 50 hp Evinrude twin with manual trim on this.

I guess my question really pertains to locating the battery and fuel tank. The boat came with a low profile 12 gallon Moeller tank, and no battery setup at all. There are holddowns on the floor at the front of the compartment for a battery on each side. The moeller tank takes up one entire half of the compartment. Should I mount both batteries on the port side to offset driver weight? Should I swap over to two 6 gallon tanks and put the batteries back against the transom since 2x60 pounds of weight of the batteries is "fixed"? Or install them forward in the compartment like they were presumably done from the factory?
I guess I can always go to the ramp on a weekday when it isnt crowded and arrange things and see how it "sits". I need to get a tach setup for this thing so I can play with rigging as well. I am really trying to maximize those 50 horses :lol:
I always liked to have as much weight forward as possible.

My battery and trolling motor are in the front on/under a small deck and everything else gets stored there also.

Being as this is a console boat having your batteries offset to counter your weight is a good idea.
Without loading the boat I don't know how to know for sure. It feels like 12 gallons of fuel is a lot in the rear of a 15' aluminum boat.

Rule of thumb: 1 gallon of fuel per hour for every 10hp. 50hp outboard = 5 gallons per hour burned. 12 gallons = 2 hours at cruise speed plus a little reserve. A 50 hp on a 15' aluminum should cruise around 30mph. That's a 60 mile range on one tank. I know I never travel that far in one day.

I have a 40 hp on a 17' aluminum. I cruise around 26 mph. I carry a spare 5 gallons just in case but have never emptied my 6 gallon tank.
I’d put the batteries to the side to offset the operator weight too.

Note setting ‘trim’ on small boats, especially with motors w/ no power trim is CRITICAL and often there is no 1 ‘set it & forget it’ trim pin or gear location position. Add another person and you need to adjust.

Unlike the other poster, I prefer weight in the boat astern - it carries better, is safer, the boat will take/handle seas better and the boat will be faster ... ‘provided’ that the correct trim attitude has been achieved.

Easiest to move around is 6-gallon fuel tanks.
I really wish electric trim and tilt were in the cards. If I run across a parts motor with the stuff, or a used cmc unit, I will snag it. I think I am gonna shelve the 12 gallon tank and go with 2 sixes or a single six. Our lake is pretty big and fuel is not scarce, but you can find yourself way back in some coves if you aren't careful. Two sixes = 6 to get you there and 6 to get you home. I am unsure how well I will like this small boat life.
yesterday I remembered I had an old 6 gallon atwood tank stashed, so I dug it out and put it in the rear compartment. 2x 6 gallon tanks will work way better than a single 12.

this isnt my boat and i have zero affiliation other than it was the first link with pics of the sam ehull.


There is room under that rear deck for a built in tank. Then the flip up rear compartment could be used for gear storage and batteries. I currently have the deck covering off to check out the hoses for the livewell and add some more wiring before i turf it. I doubt I do this though, six gallon portable tanks have worked fine since the 50s, no need to change now. :)
I moved my battery to the front, I have 3-bench seats. I made a bracket with a shelf and mounted it to the front seat. 2- supports for the bracket goes down and rests on a rib for support. So far so good I've hit some big wakes and everything is still tight. Have to be sure to use large enough cable.
so no trim,

this is what i would do. if you are going to be using the boat with a buddy most of the time i would ask someone to go along. i would fill the 2 tanks. hook one to the motor. then i would pick a calm day and take the boat out full speed have your buddy move from the back to the front in slow steps with the extra tank setting it down now and then noting the speed of the boat. make sure you go the same direction with or against the wind if there is any. it may make a big differance in top speed and it may not. but at least if it dose make a difference in top speed you will know were the weight should go.