Originally Posted by Stu Jackson
Jon, given the inaccuracy of fuel gauges, it would behoove each skipper
1. Be much more careful fueling than most I've seen. It ain't a car! Don't click it on and walk away!
2. Be much more aware than most seem to be about actual fuel consumption
, so that one knows BEFOREHAND pretty much how much fuel is required BEFORE starting the fueling. No whistles required.
Sure, that works... For people who never run boats other than their own, that is... :-)
I'm always taking off on boats I've fueled before, or have little idea how much fuel is aboard... Last delivery
I did, the boat had been sitting in brokerage for a year or so, the seller could only offer a guestimate as to the current
status of the tank, with the fuel gauge being 'unreliable'... ;-)
Furthermore, this boat turned out to be a real PITA to fuel, even when I had a decent idea of how much I'd be taking on... The fill was on the deck, but the vent was near the top of the coaming, nicely situated right over the teak
step, above the teak deck
. By the time I would be able to detect the sound of the fuel starting to back up the fill hose, it was already too late, and the vent would usually spit a goodly amount all over that nice teak
... A fuel whistle could have been a big help on that boat. Needless to say, one would quickly learn to heavily wet down that teak in advance... :-)
Still, it's not always to easy to monitor
what your consumption will be. The boat above was running the Erie Canal
, for instance, where a few hours each day might be spent running at idle while locking thru, waiting for locks and bridges, etc... Likewise, for cruisers who might be running engines over time for battery charging
, or motorsailing at lower RPMs, it may not always be so simple to calculate with precision what they've consumed... How about charter
boats being fueled by the charter
party upon return to the charter base? Would you expect those people to have an accurate idea of how much they'll be taking on? Seems to me a case where a fuel whistle could be invaluable...
Not too long ago, I picked up a boat that had been sitting in Lauderdale for a few years, to bring back north... Again, no one had a clue how much fuel was aboard, or whether the gauge was accurate... I started fueling, and after about 45 seconds there was a massive blowback of fuel out of the deck fill...
Turned out, as best I could determine, the vent had been plugged by the nest of a mud dauber, a fairly common occurrence down there... If the boat had been fitted with a vent whistle, I would have been alerted to a blockage in the vent immediately...
Such a simple solution, I think they're pretty nice to have, and I sure wish the boats I'm running were fitted with them...
When taking on fuel on a small boat
in a place like Makkovik, for example, a fuel whistle can take much of the potential 'drama' out of the exercise, I can assure you...