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Old 17-11-2009, 15:04   #16
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The reason I posted this question is because we are headed to Central and South America where I have heard the fuel is not so reliable. My idea (being cheap and not having the time to install something elaborate) was to set something up that would enable me to fill the 10 jerry cans that I have on board and "polish" the fuel before putting it into the main tank.

I saw a simple setup on a fellow sailors boat, but can't remember what he had done. The nice thing about the setup was that he was able to polish his fuel from the main tank as well, which obviously comes in handy when you aren't using a lot of fuel.



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Old 17-11-2009, 16:06   #17
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I built one with two Racor 500s and a 110 volt water puppy type impeller pump.

I had the racors from a junked boat and "cobbled it together"

I use 30 micron filters.

Does a great job on water contamination

The whole "schmeer" fits into one of those large orange plastic "ammo" boxes

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Old 17-11-2009, 16:39   #18
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An interesting thing on the Racor site, to remove water from fuel, a slow flow works better.

Of course diesel does not age the same way as gasoline but it does age and does form varnish and clumps . All petroleum products (as well as plant based oils) begin to oxidize when mixed with air (oxygen). Hence the recomendation to keep tanks full. For 50 years I have watched this happen at work where we use many types of oil coolants (more stable than diesel, by the way). Left on its own oil will form a paint on all surfaces and coagulate gunk that settles to the bottom (called asphaltenes).

So you have at least two problems. One is water building up from air contact, the other is loss of solvency due to oxidation.

Regular circulation through a water separator and addition of a solvency improver will keep fuel fresh.

Running the engine at least every week will help the water issue and some PRI-D or other stuff will keep the gunk at bay.
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Old 17-11-2009, 17:14   #19
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Alot of people will read this thread. My thought is that there is no one right answer. I certainly am no expert and may be wrong about this, so I'll put this out there. The OP has concerns about fuel quality in other countries, and will rely on what is available there. It makes good sense to be able to deal with either low quality or contaminated fuel.

On the other hand, if someone like myself uses the boat say every other week on the average, does it make sense to put 30 gallons of diesel in my tank, when I may use 1 to 2 gallons of fuel each month? I have a Yanmar 3GMD, and I motor a total of 1 1/2 to 2 hours each month.

Just this past weekend, I had a guy come and remove my old fuel, install an access panel, clean the inside of my tank to bright shiny aluminum (27 year old tank), installed a new Racor 500 filter, along with a new secondary filter, and put new diesel in the tank. This guy has been doing this for years, and his question much fuel will you use in a month or two? We put 10 gallons in a 30 gallon tank. He recommended not putting more fuel in than could be used in a reasonable amount of time. I was paying him for the fuel, so he certainly could have advised that I fill the tank.

The Racor filter has a place to install a probe that will let you know when there is a problem with water. It should also be visible in the bowl, and easily drained.

I'm just pointing out that what is right for one, may not be right for another.
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Old 18-11-2009, 03:27   #20
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I have travelled most of the western Caribbean, Panama and columbia and didn't notice any big difference in fuel. 2 things I would watch for (although difficult) is to avoid getting fuel shortly after they have a new fuel delivery and when they are sucking the last out of the tanks. The dirtiest fuel I got is here in Cayman from a fuel delivery truck after Hur. Ivan. Use some sort of fuel/water seperator , westmarine has a cheap one, Bahha's are good but filling is slow. Point is, clean fuel in is a good start. I stopped using biocides,seems to make matters worst- just my opinion. While in cayman I just use the 10 gal day tank. It lasts months with using boat every weekend.
Happy sailing
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Old 18-11-2009, 06:27   #21
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On the issue of jerry cans. We use 6 when we are cruising. I fill them directly without filtering through the Baja filter when I am comfortable with the source. But, when I put that or ANY fuel into the tank, it always goes through the Baja filter.

When I say Baja filter, I am thinking more of the generic type of filter. I have one from West marine and one from ???? Both plastic, both relatively inexpensive for the job they do. One is rather small, the other is a larger filter. Get the larger filter, makes fueling somewhat faster. This does have the benefit of being inexpensive.

On the issue of Racor filters. The twin set-up I have is WAY over filtered (my fuel pump will only flow 5 gallons per hour max), but I like it. It consists of two 500 FGs, plumbed in series. The first filter has a 30 micron filter, the second a 2 micron filter. There are apparently two different types of Racor filter housings, One that is tan, and one that is white. The tan ones are for shore diesels and don't come with a shine heat shield at the bottom of the fuel bowl. The White ones are the marine versions that do have the heat shield at the bottom. The marine ones are something like 3 times more expensive. I am not advising using a NON-Marine filter on a boat. Heaven forbid! But the the $800 dollars I saved let me go over budget on some other items I wanted for the boat. After 5 year, the "non-marine" version have not caused my boat to blow up, my engine melt, or given me cancer.
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Old 26-12-2009, 21:24   #22
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i have a day tank on one of my boats. Its good for 6 hours at full throttle. I have another racor filter that is between it and the engine. Never had any fuel problems at all.
i also made up a homemade fuel polishing system out of a cheap fuel pump and a couple of racor 500s but you could use a smaller filter like the racor 100a=only $100 so you could have two of them a 30 and a 2 micron
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Old 26-12-2009, 23:06   #23
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Building a cheap fuel polisher

Go to The Coastal Passage Home Page and select "Technical" from the right hand menu. Then you will find an article: "How to clean your diesel fuel"
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Old 27-12-2009, 12:30   #24
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If you look at the CFR for heatshields on fuel filters they are referring to Gasoline Engines

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