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Old 09-02-2023, 11:24   #1
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Diesel filtering/polishing/transferring advice.

Hello fellow sailors. I am planning the many aspects of a 45' catamaran refit for an off grid long voyage. The advice I am seeking is about the fuel system. I am going to have 2 fuel tanks and I am thinking on installing Racor pre-filters. I am looking into Keenan filters. Andy, the owner, took the time to explain and sent some literature my way. His systems are impressive but EXPENSIVE! Now I don't want to speak without knowledge, maybe he is priced just right. His products look like top of the line in terms of materials and engineering.

My question is what other options are available in the market that can do the following:

* Provide pre - filtering, fuel/water separation.
* have a fuel transfer pump for lift pump back up and fuel transfer/polishing.
* warn operator if vacuum is out of whack.
* warn operator when water is present in fuel.

Keenan has 2 catamaran systems; the first is made of two (one for each motor) single racor filters housing and built in pump and manifold for various operation (drawing fuel from a single tank, fuel transferring/polishing, etc. etc.) and a remote with warning audio buzz / LED for water in fuel and bad fuel pressure. This system with mounting hardware is north of 4k.

The 2nd system is the same except each motor is getting a dual racor filter housing with the same options except the operator can switch from one filter to the next remotely in the event of fuel alarm. In the very unlikely bad luck event that the boat engine's die while trying to leave a tight place, potentially you can start it right back from the helm if this was due to bad fuel or filter. This system is just north of 7k.

Like I mentioned before, top of the line but a high tick price item. What is out there? What do most sailor are doing in this department. Any input is appreciated! Thanks
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Old 09-02-2023, 14:50   #2
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Re: Diesel filtering/polishing/transferring advice.

Heart of either system sounds to be Racor dual filters, presumably 500s. They are over $1k each and will get you 95% of what you're looking for. Another nice add-on would be a small Walbro pump to bleed your system if your engines require it (many newer common rail do not require bleeding). Adding a small LED light behind the racor bowls is helpful to highlight water or debris. If you add a polishing system, a decent manifold vs valve Farm simplifies life. Reverso sells a nice one but can be expensive. McMaster also has some aluminum billet blocks in smaller diameters.
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Old 11-02-2023, 08:30   #3
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Re: Diesel filtering/polishing/transferring advice.

Alternatively put a mirror behind your filters so you can spot water/debris easily, and set up a schedule of engine room visits, recorded in the log, that include looking at the filter bowls. A drain at the very lowest spot in the fuel system (or two such, given two tanks/engines) is healpful. Do you plan to cross link fuel and fuel return, so that you can run both engines off one tank?

Are you going places where the fuel is suspect? In that case, consider filling one tank only from a new source, running that engine on it aways, and then returning for more after you've demonstrated that you did not buy very expensive water.
Never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry.
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Advice, diesel, fuel polishing, racor

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