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Old 03-07-2009, 17:48   #1
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'Baja' Fuel Filter

I have in the past utilized a "filter/funnel" assembly commonly known (then) as a BAJA FLTER. It cosited of a funnel with a stack of ( I think) 4 or 5 different fine mesh filter screens that would remove almost all contaminents, including water, from fuel being pumped into the vessels fuel tank. I remember it being a slow process, being as that it was not being forced through the screens under pressure, but relied on gravity.
I would like to find one of these filters, or it's newer replacements in order to protect myself from contaminated, "third world' fuel supplies. If anyonne knows wher I may obtain one, I would be most appreciative.
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Old 03-07-2009, 18:12   #2
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They're still available, captain465. Do a Google search for Baja Fuel Filter. Many different vendors make some version of the always popular Baja fuel filter.

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Old 03-07-2009, 18:26   #3
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Practical Sailor Review

There is review in Practical Sailor that rated the West Marine equivalent better than a Baja:

Fuel Filters Review
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Old 03-07-2009, 19:33   #4
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They are at West Marine, and cheaper there, if I recall correctly. Well worth having, too! I also use mine when filling from gerry cans, even if the fuel came from a trustworthy source. After a month or 6 weeks sitting in the deck locker, I've seen crud starting to form in the gerry can fuel, so they are good for that, too.

I didn't find the West Marine filter to be all that slow. Went through just about as fast as I could pour it from a gerry can. Went reasonably fast from a pump, too. Now, if we could just somehow find a sensible design for gerry can fillers that wasn't the product of a bunch of safety engineers. I really hate the new designs. What was wrong with the old style?

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Old 03-07-2009, 20:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain465 View Post
a BAJA FLTER. I remember it being a slow process,
After filling up in every 2-bit port from Panama to Australia we have never had much crap in the fuel.

But refuling at sea we have had plenty of tricky experience.

We need to get the fuel in fast and when the fuel is clean anyway why allow the change of catching a dose of sea water over the deck and down the filling hole?

We do treat each gerry can when we fill it with a bio treatment.

So: Do you REALLY need the Baja filter? Food for thought.

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Old 03-07-2009, 20:24   #6
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Quote:
After filling up in every 2-bit port from Panama to Australia we have never had much crap in the fuel.
I have one. The original PO bought it and never used it after 40,000 miles. Bad fuel is more myth than legend. The world moved on with fuel a long long time ago. They want it, they like it, and it does not sit around going bad long enough to actually go bad. Mark has this one dead on. Maybe back 40 years ago.
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Old 03-07-2009, 20:49   #7
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I do not use the Baha filter. Everyone thinks I’m crazy.

For years I have bought fuel in jerry cans with water, sand, crude and all sorts of other questionable “stuff” in it. I use a siphon pump combination to draw off the clean supernatant diesel fuel. Why filter crude you can see lying at the bottom of the jug. Tipping the jug over for pouring just stirs that crude up. The little bit left in each jug, perhaps a pint or two, I dump into a 5 Gallon jug and let sit on deck for a few days. Then I draw the fuel off. The remains I use to start fires for burning trash onshore.

If the fuel is so thick you cannot see into it I have to question using it at all. Let it sit for a few hours. Should the vendor of that crap be inconvenienced by that so be it, it’s garbage and he is well aware of it.

I have known cruisers who buy fuel at half price from entrepreneurs in Colon Panama. It’s the bottoms or the”scrapings” from fuel barges that are periodically cleaned out. It is full of all kinds of crap. It’s waste. They filter it for hours in their Baha filters. Then they complain that their racor plugs up.

Any “crap” that I miss in the above process is picked up by two giant sized diesel fuel filters. Each one is about 10 times the size the engine requires, each insert is $15-$20, lasts years. The fuel then goes to the fine filter on the engine, no racor.

Just this past year to make more room I cut out one of my tanks. I did not find any “crap” in the 30 year old tank, just the usual black mould film on the interior surface.
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:55   #8
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Some earlier on-topic discussions:

Pre-Fuel Filling Filtration.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...oss-18875.html

Fuel Polishing / Cleaning
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:15   #9
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I am installing a small centrifuge and using a baja filter funnel for safe fuel on the boat. While paying 7 to 15 dollars per racor, it doesn't take long to pay for a centrifuge. I get a good discount for mine, and it still runs $120 per case. The last thing I want happening in a tight spot is having my engine dying because of choked fuel system. After reading the "Never trust an engine" thread it is enough to make a believer out of me.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:18   #10
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I bought one of the West Marine fuel filters when we headed off to the islands. Used it once, and decided it was too much trouble. Never had any problems with the fuel that we bought up and down the Lesser Antilles, including a entrepreneur with a 40 gallon drum and a hand pump that he pushed around in a wheelbarrow.

If you have a Racor filter, you'll be fine. Just keep an eye on what's in the bowl and change it out before it gets to cruddy.
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Old 04-07-2009, 17:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
I have one. The original PO bought it and never used it after 40,000 miles. Bad fuel is more myth than legend. The world moved on with fuel a long long time ago. They want it, they like it, and it does not sit around going bad long enough to actually go bad. Mark has this one dead on. Maybe back 40 years ago.
I'm afraid not mate .....

There are 100s of boats (launches and yachts) that have had to have their tanks cleaned-out recently in Auckland due to a contaminated delivery of diesel to the primary station in Westhaven Marina (largest one in the S. Hemisphere).

As per one of my core blue water cruising values: It's all about risk management"

Assume as per your statement above, act accordingly, and I guarantee Murphy will bite you in the rear-end when you least expect it ... and likely in a situation when you can least afford it!

Like a few minutes extra to fill your tanks is going to make you late for the office staff meeting ... yeah right!
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Old 04-07-2009, 18:25   #12
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Assume as per your statement above, act accordingly, and I guarantee Murphy will bite you in the rear-end when you least expect it ... and likely in a situation when you can least afford it!
You can require your tanks be cleaned for any number of reasons and most of them are not bad fuel. I have an aft tank that is trashed. It was done so because it sat for too long in Delaware before I bought the boat unused but with fuel in it. The forward take was just as bad but less worse off and easier to clean.

Cleaning a fuel tank will cost me about $350 US. Filling it is about $100.

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had to have their tanks cleaned-out recently in Auckland due to a contaminated delivery of diesel to the primary station in Westhaven Marina
We had a batch of cars that got the fuel systems destroyed because they got too much ethanol mixed in the gasoline here. It was a problem at the refinery. So what? I seriously doubt a Baha filter would save you from contaminated fuel delivered from the refinery. The Racor filtration system should save you from all but the worst events. It's a chance you take when you buy fuel from public docks where anyone can buy it.
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Old 04-07-2009, 20:02   #13
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I seriously doubt a Baha filter would save you from contaminated fuel delivered from the refinery. The Racor filtration system should save you from all but the worst events. It's a chance you take when you buy fuel from public docks where anyone can buy it.
A bit of "a stretch" in your assumption oriented statement wouldn't you say ... mate.

What is a known fact, not one of the 15 launches/yachts I know at Gate C used a Baja filter .... and all have Rancor filtration systems ....
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Old 04-07-2009, 21:35   #14
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I for one am going to make my fuel system as bullet proof as possible. Most diesel engines will run a very long time, if you keep clean fuel, clean air, and clean oil, in them. I have had times where I have gotten a slug of junk, in my tanks, whether it was deposited by a vendor or grew on its own in the tank is irrelevant to me. If you are in a position where you are relying on the engine for power, then I want things to work right. Usually it is rough weather and it is not a really good time to come up short on filters, because of the junk that got stirred up from the bottom of the tank while you are rolling around.
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Old 04-07-2009, 22:00   #15
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Exactly right. It cannot be stressed too much
Virtually all the boats that I have known that had fuel starvation problems occured during turbulent seas.
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