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Old 17-12-2008, 16:34   #1
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diesel fuel system requirements

Started wondering if my boat met requirements. Old boat, many owners, many changes. I have found CFR 183 which pertains to recreational/uninspected boats, but the sub part on fuel systems only covers gas systems if I read it correctly. So far the only other part I've found is in 46 which are requirements for boats for hire, which I'm not doing. I'm not interested in ABYC recommendations, unless they are referred to in the CFR as meeting legal requirements.

subpart J

http://frwebgate6.access.gpo.gov/cgi...ction=retrieve

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Old 17-12-2008, 16:43   #2
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ABYC standards are the industry standard. Written as a compilation of NEMA, NFPA, USCG and other documents so as to be specific to pleasure craft. Discounting their validity I believe to be a mistake.
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Old 17-12-2008, 16:56   #3
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What "requirements" are you trying to meet? As far as I know there are no installation regulations (in the USA) for diesel systems on recreational vessels. Certainly the ABYC is a compilation of "best practices" by the industry, but they carry no legal weight. Your insurance underwriter might have other ideas.

Yes, I know, there are lots of people who think the ABYC is is hardly "best prctices", and it sounds like John is amoung them. Let's just agree that their recommendations are "good" and if they are best or not we can leave to another thread...

Haveing just yesterday seen my FOURTH boat fire, I am not feeling very charitable to people who think they know what is "good enough".
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Old 17-12-2008, 18:33   #4
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No sort of standards are perfect. When I ran my boat as a passenger vessel I had to meet Subchapter-T standards. Some of those standards were ridiculous but the vast majority of them made perfect sense. I see the ABYC standards as the same. Overall they are pretty good for recreational vessels, therefore it really is a good idea to stick as closely to them as possible. No other standards in my opinion are more suited for recreational vessels.
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Old 17-12-2008, 18:33   #5
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Someone told me I must have an accessable fuel shutoff valve at the tank. My tank is in the keel, access to the tank is by removing the companionway stairs and unbolting the cabin sole, which probably doesn't meet the accessable part even if there were a shutoff valve there.

How many have a fuel shutoff valve on their fuel tank in the keel and is it accessable?

While I don't think ABYC is entirely bad, I believe we've gone way overboard in some areas.

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Old 17-12-2008, 18:44   #6
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While I don't think ABYC is entirely bad, I believe we've gone way overboard in some areas.
I have to agree.

to accomplish your goal. Get a ball valve, mount it at the tank. Then build a bracket to clamp a Morse cable to. Attach the cable to the handle of the valve and route the other end to a convenient place. All new Bene's are this way.
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Old 17-12-2008, 18:58   #7
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Someone told me I must have an accessable fuel shutoff valve at the tank.
Who told you you "must" have such a thing? There is no government mandate that you do as far as I know. If your insurance company told you, you only "MUST" if you buy insurance from them.

But, this hardly seems like a requirement that would be considered "overboard". After all if you had a leak in your fuel line between the tank and the engine how would you stop it? How about if you had an engine room fire and couldn't shut off the engine becasue the control circuit had fried? Wouldn't it be really nice if there was a valve outside the engine room?

Just because the designer of your boat didn't think to put in appropriate access to your fuel tank doesn't make it a bad idea!

Having said that... I think it should be your own personnel decision based on YOUR understanding of the risks and costs involved. After all, it's your life, your boat, and your money. If you are asking an insurance compnay to take on those risks, then it's their choice...
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Old 17-12-2008, 20:22   #8
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I have put a couple of remote shutoffs in for water and fuel one used a T-Handle by morse....the other was a piece of all thread with a morst swivel fitting on the handle.

These were for some older sailors who found it difficult to access the handles.

We will all get "that way" sooner or later.

The mental exercise in planning it is fun.
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Old 17-12-2008, 21:40   #9
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Originally Posted by GreatKetch View Post
Who told you you "must" have such a thing? There is no government mandate that you do as far as I know. If your insurance company told you, you only "MUST" if you buy insurance from them.

But, this hardly seems like a requirement that would be considered "overboard". After all if you had a leak in your fuel line between the tank and the engine how would you stop it? How about if you had an engine room fire and couldn't shut off the engine becasue the control circuit had fried? Wouldn't it be really nice if there was a valve outside the engine room?

Just because the designer of your boat didn't think to put in appropriate access to your fuel tank doesn't make it a bad idea!

Having said that... I think it should be your own personnel decision based on YOUR understanding of the risks and costs involved. After all, it's your life, your boat, and your money. If you are asking an insurance compnay to take on those risks, then it's their choice...
Having a valve outside the engine room is a good idea, but the supposed requirement I was looking for was one at the tank.

My tank is in the keel, my big problem is keeping fuel in the lines especially when the boat has sat for awhile. Any leak in the line will siphon the fuel back into the tank.

OK, I have come up with a scenario that could be dangerous. The fuel line completely shears off at the right length so that it can hang down in the keel below the level of the fuel in the tank. The end of the line has to fall below the level of the fuel in the tank before the fuel in the line siphons back into the tank, at which point some of the fuel in the tank can siphon into the keel. Or a good surge in the tank could start the siphon once the end of the line is in the bottom of the keel. Of course I have to figure out that was the problem before the tank had siphoned out for the shutoff valve on the tank to do any good.

The person giving advice wasn't anyone official. If I did everything someone said to me was a rule there wouldn't be any room in the boat for me. So I was trying to find out what actually was required. It's a 40 year old boat, bringing it up to every current recommendation would probably be nearly impossible.

Yes I am making decisions on risk. At one end, if there is a law that mandates something on the boat that isn't there then liability wise I'm screwed. At the other end, if there is a recommendation that I feel is to protect the lowest common denominator that can't even be bothered to RTFM then I'm less inclined comply.

And the boat didn't necessarily come with the minimum for safety, nor do I always go for the minimum. The boat came with an automatic Halon fire extinguisher for the engine room. I have more fire extinguishers than required. I have done things like fill the propane locker with water to find and plug any leaks. Even though the propane system passed the ABYC test for leaks, when I smelled a trace of propane in the locker I found and fixed the leak, are some examples.

In the end most all discussions lead to some good and more understanding, at minimum, the shutoff valve's handle in the system is going to move outside of the engine room.

John
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Old 18-12-2008, 04:20   #10
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ABYC Section H-33 “Diesel Fuel Systems” has similar provisions to these, excerpted from CFR* 46, Part 182:

(4) Shutoff valves, installed so as to close against the fuel flow, must be fitted in the fuel supply lines, one at the tank connection and one at the engine end of the fuel line to stop fuel flow when servicing accessories. The shutoff valve at the tank must be manually operable from outside the compartment in which the valve is located, preferably from an accessible position on the weather deck. If the handle to the shutoff valve at the tank is located inside the machinery space, it must be located so that the operator does not have to reach more than 300 millimeters (12 inches) into the machinery space and the valve handle must be shielded from flames by the same material the hull is constructed of, or some noncombustible material ...

Goto:
Section
edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2005/octqtr/46cfr182.455.htm

* CFR = Code of Federal Regulations
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Old 18-12-2008, 04:27   #11
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I think what GreatKetch meant was to have a way to operate the valve outside the engine room.
NeverMondays suggestion is excellent.
I agree/believe that having a way to shut off the supply is not only a good idea....but a must....my 2cents

I have zero faith in the manufacturers idea of what is good or safe when it comes to just about anything with a commercial consideration....which is just about everything.

In the end...I think you've answered your own question.
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Old 18-12-2008, 05:15   #12
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Is a fuel shut off out side the engine compartment standard on most yachts? Mine doesn't have one. Does yours?
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Old 18-12-2008, 05:42   #13
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Quote:
So I was trying to find out what actually was required. It's a 40 year old boat, bringing it up to every current recommendation would probably be nearly impossible
John,
This is the single most difficult task when refitting an older boat. What I've been told by ABYC; is to use the standards as a guide not concrete rule. This will give you the best practice adapted to your access and boat.
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Old 18-12-2008, 08:09   #14
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ABYC Section H-33 “Diesel Fuel Systems” has similar provisions to these, excerpted from CFR* 46, Part 182:

(4) Shutoff valves, installed so as to close against the fuel flow, must be fitted in the fuel supply lines, one at the tank connection and one at the engine end of the fuel line to stop fuel flow when servicing accessories. The shutoff valve at the tank must be manually operable from outside the compartment in which the valve is located, preferably from an accessible position on the weather deck. If the handle to the shutoff valve at the tank is located inside the machinery space, it must be located so that the operator does not have to reach more than 300 millimeters (12 inches) into the machinery space and the valve handle must be shielded from flames by the same material the hull is constructed of, or some noncombustible material ...

Goto: Section
edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2005/octqtr/46cfr182.455.htm

* CFR = Code of Federal Regulations

This section is concerned with vessels for hire, and it even references ABYC H-33 as an alternative for compliance for certain classes of vessels for hire.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_20...6cfr2.01-7.pdf


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Old 18-12-2008, 08:53   #15
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Is a fuel shut off out side the engine compartment standard on most yachts? Mine doesn't have one. Does yours?
Mine has a valve for the supply and return...they're in the engine compartment....but at the very top....a couple inches below the sole.
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