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Old 18-04-2016, 15:15   #31
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

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Originally Posted by FlightPlan View Post
My vents are clear, but when the tanks get close to full, wakes and waves will roll the boat and then it's a mess
I stopped trying to fill up to the tippy top. It's not worth the spilling.
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Old 18-04-2016, 15:40   #32
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

First, unlike a car, I keep track of how much fuel I have, and hence how much fuel I need to fill up. So when I get to the fuel dock, I tell the guy roughly how much, and at what point to SLOW DOWN. They are always very good about going super slow for the last few litres...they don't want to spill either.

Also, since I don't use much fuel, I usually skip the fuel dock entirely...fuel costs much more at the dock than at a gas station. I fill a 20 litre container with diesel in town, then take it to the boat. I'll either carefully pour (with funnel) or siphon. This way I can "listen" to the tank...I can hear it filling and can hear when its close to full.

And finally, my previous boat had a plastic tank that was transluscent...I'd stick a flashlight on it as they filled, and watch the level go up, and stop before all the way full. That worked well.

Its important to fill the tank to the very top for the winter layup to avoid excess condensation in the tank.

What the OP described as "a fountain of fuel" is a rarity, and a problem with that particular boat which should be corrected. Most boats don't do that.
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Old 18-04-2016, 16:46   #33
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

I work at a marina and hand the nozzle to many a boater, different pumps have different GPMs (Gallons Per Minute). Ours is pretty high flow. How it goes in the boat? It depends on inlet pipe size, length and turns in pipe, vent, pump, filter, Fuel foams, a lot of variables. Just go slow, its a sailboat. Whats the hurry. Ours are 14GPM I believe. Thats a lot of fuel. Laws of physics, fluid entering a restriction increases in speed but flow is decreased behind the restriction. Just go slow.
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Old 18-04-2016, 16:52   #34
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

My last fuel-up (last weekend) was for 150 gallons (filling two of four tanks, each of about 79-gallon capacity) of diesel (took about 15 minutes). ... I always have an oil-absorbent towel adjacent to the fuel inlet, and always staying within quick reach of the nozel, not depending on the automotic shut off, but rather listening to the sound coming from the fuel inlet.
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Old 18-04-2016, 18:44   #35
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

The NRC post was obtained from a Sail Green article by Tyson Bottenus in the December 2015 issue of Cruising World. The article is titled "How we see the Sea".
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Old 18-04-2016, 20:12   #36
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

Vent(s) plugged or badly run. We usually fill from 6-gallon cans but at the fuel dock I remove the 1-inch inspection cap on the tank and measure first the gallons (dip stick) to be added. I check the stick constantly so we do not over-fill. The open port also insures venting. In the Great Lakes, the boat owner is on the hook if a drop gets in the lake - up to $5000.00
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Old 18-04-2016, 21:25   #37
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
First, unlike a car, I keep track of how much fuel I have, and hence how much fuel I need to fill up. So when I get to the fuel dock, I tell the guy roughly how much, and at what point to SLOW DOWN. They are always very good about going super slow for the last few litres...they don't want to spill either.

Also, since I don't use much fuel, I usually skip the fuel dock entirely...fuel costs much more at the dock than at a gas station. I fill a 20 litre container with diesel in town, then take it to the boat. I'll either carefully pour (with funnel) or siphon. This way I can "listen" to the tank...I can hear it filling and can hear when its close to full.

And finally, my previous boat had a plastic tank that was transluscent...I'd stick a flashlight on it as they filled, and watch the level go up, and stop before all the way full. That worked well.

Its important to fill the tank to the very top for the winter layup to avoid excess condensation in the tank.

What the OP described as "a fountain of fuel" is a rarity, and a problem with that particular boat which should be corrected. Most boats don't do that.
My vents are on the side of the boat whereas the fill points are on the deck. When I get blowback it comes out of the vents. I also keep track of my fuel useage. about 2.5l/engine hour so know how much approximately I will need to fill. Also I listen for the first sign of a gurgle to shut the handpiece off. This has been a good tecnique for me though I still hold a rag under the vent just in case. I fill diesel vehicles the same way as you cannot rely on the auto shutoff on the filler handle for diesel.
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Old 19-04-2016, 00:53   #38
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

I'm not sure of your set up, so I'll just relate how I do mine. In the commercial marine business, we do not load our tanks more than 80%, unless we are about to embark on an extended crossing then we bring it up to 90% of available capacity. That said on my vessel we have a sounding tube where we put a marked stick and it tells us when we are getting close. In preparation, I put down oil absorb pads in all my scuppers, around the fill inlet, and under where the vent line comes out on the side of the cabin. When filling, I keep one ear on the fill inlet which will tell me when things are starting to get full, the sound goes up in pitch as the tank fills. I never rely on the automatic shut off. We take on a bit of fuel at a time, last fill up was around 1000 gallons. I always ask the fuel dock guy to choke down their delivery valve towards the end of the fueling process so we don't get a burp. Your best tools are your attention, your ears, and nose, if you suddenly notice an increase in diesel odor, you are about to spill, shut it down. When taking on fuel, I always tell my crew, and engineer, "this is the only thing we are doing right now, everything else is on hold." Now that it is just me and my mate, it is still the same, he runs the nozzle and I run the soundings and I keep the fuel dock guy on standby as much as possible. Take your time, one step at a time, focus on what you are doing. That is the best advice I can give you.
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Old 19-04-2016, 03:50   #39
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

Knowing how many gallons you will be putting in is handy to stop spills also.From my log of engine hours I know how many gallons will be needed
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Old 19-04-2016, 04:33   #40
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

I have a "Tank Tender", I know exactly how many gallons of water or diesel I need. PITA the first fill, measured volume, depth, measured volume , depth. Then a spreadsheet chart and voila, Never to do again. Other than a sight glass which is not practical on a boat the most accurate gauging method out there. I used to do the dip sticks, but had to lift the floor boards to do it. (dip sticks are also very accurate but not as convenient to use.)

As already pointed out, it is very important to know how much you need. It is also important to know if mud daubers have clogged your vent!!
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Old 28-03-2017, 11:58   #41
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

It's a common issue with boats. Vents are very small, easily clogged, and exit directly overboard. Pressure builds quickly, and soon a geyser of diesel is everywhere. Plumbing a larger vent is an easy solution and putting the end in a container to catch the overflow is advisable. Personally, I make an air tight seal with the nozzle to the deck fitting to prevent the escape of pressure, and then you can hear the air rushing out the vent. when full don't remove the nozzle till venting has finished.
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Old 28-03-2017, 12:12   #42
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Re: How to fuel a sailboat?

unless you have a huge tank, I prefer to get my fuel from a gas station that has a good diesel customer base...why? The fuel is new, and isn't sitting for years in tanks that probably no longer pass inspection. It's also cheaper, even with the taxes since marinas tend to charge more anyway.


My tank is just 13 gallons, so it's 2 and 1 part jerry cans worth.


I then use an acrylic siphon hose to fill the tank from them. I can see the quality of the fuel, and I am not risking the vapor locked fuel eruption all over making my deck VERY dangerous. It takes longer, but I can do it on my own time, and I can walk away from the fuel being siphoned into my tank.
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