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Watercraft Accessory Review

Go long with a Pate Plastics fiberglass fuel tank

Date: 3/1/04
Tackle type: Fuel Tank
Manufacturer: Pate Plastics
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.58

Introduction: Boaters and Anglers on the go must have everything necessary to make their expedition successful, and having plenty of fuel in the boat is just as important as the right fishing tackle and safety equipment. Pate Plastics manufactures durable fiberglass fuel tanks that will not corrode and copious capacities for those extra long offshore runs.


Pate Plastics C24 Fuel Tank Specifications

Material Fiberglass
Capacity 24 gallons
Length 30 1/4"
Height 11 3/4"
Width 19"
Color Bright white (custom colors avail.)
Features Venting fuel cap, Brass filler necks, Copper pick up tube, carrying handles, fuel meter
MSRP $390

About Pate Plastics: Founded 41 years ago, the Miami- Florida fuel tank company provides glass tanks to boaters who seek a quality unit either to replace their original can or to use as a spare. Today the family run business is operated by Joe and Barbara Pate, and continues to manufacture a wide range of different styles of fiberglass gas tanks for countless varieties of popular watercrafts.


Pate Plastics' C24 rectangular fiberglass tank holds 24 gallons of fuel


Impressions: Since some boats, such as our 2004 Boston Whaler 170 Montauk, come with two small red fuel tanks, it's very likely that anglers will swap them out for something that's at least double the capacity for those sustained runs to favorite fishing spots on the ocean, delta, or lake.


Upon arrival and inspection, right away my first impression was that the C24 Pate Plastics gas tank would be a perfect match for the Montauk.  The fiberglass tank is lightweight and has a custom bright white UV resistant paint that matches the shiny stock clear coat on the Whaler. While the company carries a few standard colors in their lineup, boaters can get their own custom color painted on these gas tanks to match their rig as long as they provide a color sample. Initial inspection of the tank verified that quality components are used throughout, and the overall construction of the unit is uniform and solid.


Pate tanks features a vented gas cap, visual meter, and solid brass components


Parts List: Before the installation process can take place, one must decide how they want to mount the Pate tank, then come up with a shopping list of components to buy. Pate Plastics does offer a hold down kit that runs for $51, but many anglers may need to do their own customization to perfectly match their individual requirements. One thing I wish Pate provided on a small piece of paper is the size of the fittings that is needed for the threaded filler necks. The parts list below will tell you what size and everything necessary for the installation of the Pate C24.


Parts List

Tempo Tank Vent Elbow (200160) Tempo Tank Connector (220141)
Liquid Teflon Two 24" Poly cords (Shock cords)
1/2" Starboard/Seaboard cut into two blocks or an entire strip Two 1 1/2" Stainless Steel screws
3M 5200 Sealant Use existing eye straps


Note: Parts may vary by Pate Tank model, boat style, and other factors.  The parts list above is for the Pate C24 mounted on the Boston Whaler 170 Montauk or any other boat that requires an on-deck fuel tank.


Installation: Fuel tanks, especially the on-deck type, are very easy to install and definitely a do-it-yourself type of project. We will show you in the following procedure how to properly plan, remove, and install a new 24 gallon Pate fiberglass tank.


Bring the C24 onto your vessel and plan where you would like to install it before taking any action. On our Boston Whaler we are going to remove the two small red tanks and place the Pate tank in its place


Step 1 (Planning): Before installation can take place, one must decide where to situate the new Pate tank. There are a few options. For those who are replacing their old container, they can mount the C24 in the existing location or figure out a better spot for an even more logical weight distribution. For example, on the Boston Whaler Montauk, some Anglers choose to put the weight of the 24 gallon tank right in front of the center console.  This way it keeps the bow down when running in choppy waters, preventing it from bouncing up and slamming down. But to do that one must extend the fuel hose.  It is easy to do, but this option isn't for everyone.


Anglers on larger sized saltwater boats that need additional fuel capacity when going on long range trips, choose to install a Pate tank on-deck at the stern. This tank would be used to carry spare fuel instead of jerry cans, and is easily hooked up with quick connects.


For our test boat, we chose to remove the existing small red cans and place the new unit in the same location.


Remove the old eye straps, patch, and then install in the new locations

Step 2 (Remove and Patch): After the decision was made where to place the new fuel tank, it's time to clean up and prep the area.  Carefully disconnect the fuel line, then remove the red(original) cans, straps, and 4 eye straps. After unscrewing the eye straps clean the area as much as possible prior to permanently patching the holes. Some people suggest using epoxy to fill the holes, then covering the area with a sealant or gel coat, but we went another route and used 3M's 5200 Marine Sealant which did the job nicely. Using 5200 sealant, squeeze as much into the hole as possible, without any air trapped underneath, then firmly pack it down and smooth out the top without creating a mess.  Allow the sealant to completely dry before allowing any contact with water, which can range from as little as 2 days in hot weather to as much as 1 week in colder conditions.

Step 3 (Position and Drill): After patching up the old screw holes, take the Pate fuel container and place it where its new home will be after the installation has be completed so you can visualize where you will be mounting the new hardware. Mark the spots and the place you'll be drilling to mount the eye straps. Because you're drilling a hole into the boat, look at the position twice and confirm it is a safe position to pierce. Then start with a smaller drill bit before going to the size you require for the right sized screw. With the Montauk, the portion under the seat has wood underneath and the screw will bite into the wood forcefully. Since the Pate tank sticks out underneath the seat on this boat, there will be no wood for the 2 eye straps closer to the stern.  What you can do is drill the hole, fill it with epoxy, let it dry, then drill again.  This ensure a solid base and won't create any worries of the shock cord ripping the screws off the boat deck.


Note: We advise that after the inside holes are drilled, put the tank into place again, drill the starboard mounting block on a piece of wood, then put it where you plan to using them, then finally drill the holes for the eye straps.


Keeping the original quick connector is a great idea


Step 4 (Mounting hardware): Holes drilled and area cleaned, it's time to mount the hardware. For the eye straps, either squeeze some 5200 into the hole or cover the screw with the sealant before screwing them in for a watertight seal. You can use a power drill, but do not go all the way. Hand tighten using a screwdriver and don't over torque. After you're done, clean up the excess sealant with a rag.


For the fiberglass tank fittings, first apply some Teflon, or in our case and what we recommend, liquid Teflon, onto the thread of the Tempo Mercury connector and then screw it into the Tempo 90 degree elbow the way you want it to show once the entire setup has been combined.  With that done, next cover the elbow thread with the liquid Teflon and affix it to the Pate tank fitting using two wrenches.


Now that everything is mounted, tightened, and looking good, allow the sealant and liquid Teflon to dry completely before putting it to use.


Hardware mounted, sealants are dried, this is how the Pate Plastics fuel tank looks under the seat of the 170 Montauk

Step 5 (Final Installation): After all the sealants are dried, it's time to hook things up. If you left the Pate tank in place while putting on the fittings and the stern side eye straps, then all you need to do is attach the poly cords and then snap in the fuel line quick connect. You might have to loosen the hose clamp to turn the connector so it puts as little stress on the hose as possible. If the C24 isn't in place yet, carefully place it under the seat, position it where you want it to remain for the rest of the boat's life, and then hook up the cords and fuel line.


Step 6 (On Land Testing): Never ever take a boat onto the water after a newly fuel tank has been installed until you first test it on land. It would not be wise to test a new tank on the water because there could be failures, leaks, or other dangerous situations that could be life threatening. To test the new Pate tank, fittings, and fuel line, simply fill the fiberglass tank with approximately 5 gallons of gasoline that meet your outboard specifications. Next hook up your motor as if you're about to flush the cooling system after a day on the water. Squeeze the fuel line primer bulb until firm. Then after making sure everything is cleared and safe, turn on the water supply and start your engine, allowing it to run for 5 minutes. Turn off your motor and inspect the tank and it's surroundings, the Tempo fittings, and the fuel line for any possible leaks.


Complete Rig for Pate Fuel Tank Tests

Watercraft 2004 Boston Whaler 170 Montauk
Fuel Tank Pate Plastics C24
Outboard Mercury 90HP 4 stroke


Real World Tests: As a safety precaution, inspect the fuel tank and lines prior to a day on the water, making sure there aren't any leaks and damaged hoses. With that said, it's time to see how the Pate C24 glass tank does on our test boat.


On the water, the Pate C24 fiberglass fuel tank held up very well.  When the boat was running and pounding the waves, the gas tank stayed put with the installation that was performed on it; as explained above. While some people like to put securing blocks on the sides as well, we opted not to and our on-the-water tests show that it was not needed for the Boston Whaler's non-slip deck, and that meant 4 less holes on the boat.


Pate Plastics' C24 fiberglass fuel tank was filled to the brim prior to the tests. It carried enough capacity to drive around the San Francisco Bay and back with plenty more for our next trip out. The fuel tank has a strip on the front side that's see though and Pate places a visual meter there for you to actually see how much gas you have left.  Being able to physically see how much fuel you have remaining is more trustworthy than any gauge.


Our on the water test, see how nicely the Pate tank fits under the seat and it stayed put while we pounded choppy waters in the SF Bay


Durability: This is where Pate Plastics shines! These glass tanks are known to last longer than the life of some boats. Classic Montauks that were made 18+ years ago carried a red Pate fiberglass tank and people still report that these tanks are still in perfect working condition, but just a little dirty and a little cleaning often makes them look as good as new.  Today the bare tank is still reddish in color, but they are now coated with UV resistant paint that helps protects them from the sun's harmful rays and sea water. The painted tank also keeps the fuel from being exposed to sun and heat, thus prevent it from degrading as fast as other fuel tanks.


The C24 is built in different sections and is very durable. First the top is molded, then it's inland and bonded to the bottom using 1/4" double layer fiberglass to complete the container. The entire tank is thick, impact resistant, and will not corrode. The components used on the fuel extraction ports are quality brass and not a problem when saltwater comes in contact with it. The fuel cap, venting type, is metal and solid and a standard size cap which you can get at any auto parts store. The copper pick-up tube never gave us any problems after days pounding the water, and the screen at the end did a fine job preventing any particles from clogging our fuel system.


These tanks are extremely durable and will last a lifetime. The C24 has a good height and sticks out enough for you to easily take off the fuel cap and fill it with gasoline


Price: Boaters and Anglers view the price of the Pate tanks in many different ways. Some will be happy with buying a larger red Tempo tank for about $100 for the 27 gallon, but some people report that these tanks leak or do not last nearly as long. You're already spending a load of money on a nice boat, why not get something that you will rarely have to change out for the life of the boat. Pate fiberglass products are more expensive, but they are well constructed, as you can see from reading our durability section, have a nice matching color, and a good fit that makes it well worth spending the money for problem free performance.


Custom Fuel Tanks: Pate Plastics does not only make fiberglass tanks for the Boston Whaler 170 Montauk, but for many other Whalers and other brand of boats as well. They manufacture tanks of all different sizes ranging from 22" in length to as long as 65", and of course in different heights and widths. These fiberglass tanks also come in different shapes such as their space saver design, saddle tanks, and rectangular styles. For those who require something unique, Pate might have your answer to replacing your current gas container.

Pate Plastics C24 Fuel Tank Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Quality construction that uses 1/4" double layer fiberglass that gives the tank its longevity and quality components 9
Performance Fuel tank provided the long running capabilities and gave no trouble on land and on the water.  8.5
Price A price that many people seem to be willing to pay for something that will last a long time, but it could be higher for some folks 8
Features A pretty basic fuel tank that has a venting fuel cap, visual meter, carrying handles, and a copper pick-up tube with a screen welded at the end 8
Design (Ergonomics) Design was simple which made installation an easy job, and it fits under the seat of the Montauk very well 9
Application A great replacement for old tanks or smaller cans for both saltwater and freshwater boats.  Can also be used as a spare tank for those long range fishing trips out in the big ocean 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Durability L Price might make some people to consider an alternative brand
J Matching custom color L Needs more information about the fitting sizes
J Quality construction  
J Extremely easy to install  
J Lightweight  

Conclusion: Outboards today, even with 4 stroke engines, are still so inefficient that a fishing trip can be cut short by fuel capacity limitations. To counteract this we needed to increase our total capacity, and dramatically extend our operating range. Pate Plastics, a company that has been producing fuel tanks for a long time, provides a quality product for us to use as a replacement or even a spare. They make fiberglass containers of all different sizes, shapes, and can apply UV resistant custom color paints to match your rig. The walls of the Pate C24 tank are constructed using 1/4" double layer fiberglass that give it a lifelong durability while still remaining lightweight. The C24 fit our test boat very well, was very easy to install, and performed great on the water. The next time you're looking for an alternative, check with your local dealer and ask them about Pate Plastics fuel tanks or you can order them directly from Pate by phone at (305) 754-0896 or fax (305) 253-6611. This easy to install addition just made our offshore Salmon boat into a bluewater Tuna hauler.

Update (February 26, 2008): It appears that Pate Plastics is no longer in business. Their phone number has been disconnected and no one has their contact information.









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