I have a 2.5hp portable Mercury outboard motor (link #1 and link #2). The gas tank is built into the top of the motor; there’s no external gas tank or line.

The tank is very small, so it needs to be filled up occasionally when out on the water. Using a small 5-litre jerry can and a large funnel (I've tried with and without the funnel), I’ve attempted to fill up the tank without spilling. But I still end up spilling a few drops of gas into the water, due to:

  1. Awkward positioning of the motor.
  2. Tippy boat: the boat is a narrow 12-ft aluminum boat and I’m big & tall. So it's awkward to balance when leaning over the back of the boat.
  3. It’s hard to tell when the tank is full due to the funnel and jerry can spout blocking my view.
  4. The jerry can’s spout makes pouring awkward due to the flexible spout and the high flow rate.

I think solving #4 would help with this issue.

Is there a type of jerry can that is designed more like a small watering can, with a rigid spout and lower flow rate, that would be less awkward for filling the gas tank? Or something else/better?

  • 1
    I'd try to fit in a tree-way valve, and add a fuel hose to the jerrycan. Perhaps add some self closing hose couplings.
    – Martin
    Commented Jul 8, 2023 at 20:50
  • 2
    Can you use a second fuel tank in the bottom of the boat, and a transfer pump to push fuel up to the engine's main tank? Also helps with the boat's trim because you can store your last-resort spare half-gallon further forward.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 8, 2023 at 21:51
  • 1
    @Criggie As the OP mentions, this is a very small outboard. These typically don't have the hose connections for an external tank. To attach one youself, you'd need to somehow fit a hose trough the gas tank cap.
    – PMF
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 11:37

3 Answers 3


I'm going to give these No-Spill gas cans a try:

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"Press the button to pour. Flow automatically stops when mower or generator tank is full."


Youtube: No Spill Gas Can - Taras Kul

  • 1
    +1 for No-Spill gas cans---I love them for my chainsaws/yard tools/small outboards. As mentioned in the youtube video, the automatic shutoff feature only engages when the green button is fully depressed. Try it out at home once or twice to get the hang of it. Alternatively, you can feather the button to very precisely control the flow. The only downside with them is that it can get quite fatiguing on the thumb if you have a lot of fuel to dispense, e.g., filling heavy machinery with multiple 5gal cans.
    – erfink
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 21:41
  • @erfink Yeah, the No-Spill cans worked out great.
    – User1974
    Commented Jul 16, 2023 at 22:21

You could try something like a small 'Fuel Transfer Pump' which should avoid the whole 'pouring' situation entirely. They sort of look (and operate) like bicycle tire pumps.

  • 1
    Yeah this is the go to solution when you have a drum of diesel on the beach for really huge boats offshore on an island
    – Mikesplace
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 20:55

Same problem. If you take off the cover, you can see the fuel level in the tank.

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