Gas is something all boats need. When you are topping off your boat, there is a slight risk of a gas explosion if you are not paying attention. There are other risks involved in the process, and we will also cover those in this article.
Now, the topic of the day is how to fuel your boat up properly. As funny as it might sound, there are some common mistakes people make that make their boat go kaboom. This is definitely something you don’t want to happen to you.
So, follow along as I show you how to properly duel your boat in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
Table Of Content
Common Sense & Common Mistakes
When you come down to the marina to get gas, obviously, one of your biggest rules is – no smoking. And believe it or not, you go to any marina on any given weekend, and there will be recreational boaters that are smoking and talking on their phone doing anything but paying attention.
Fueling your boat is one of the most important things that you need to be paying attention to. So, as you approach your boat for fueling, make sure the gas cap is open. Make sure the gas actually goes in your gas cap.
It sounds funny, but if you take a look at the rod holders, they look very similar to your gas intake. When you are talking on the phone, and your wife’s all crabby, and you got other stuff going on, there is a good chance that you will fill the rod holders with gas instead of the gas tank.
If this happens, you will end up putting thirty gallons of fuel in your bilge, which is a recipe for disaster.
Fueling Your Boat Properly
Now that we have got this out of the way, let’s have a look at some of the most important boat fueling tips to avoid an explosion.
1. Always Pay Attention
The first and foremost rule to follow when you fuel your boat is never to leave it unattended. No matter what happens, always pay attention to the task at hand. Start by putting a little bit of fuel in your boat when you are getting ready to go out for a boat trip. When you are manning the pump, always pay attention.
Never put the pliers in there to lock the pipe with something so that it can go by itself. You don’t want to have a big spill. So again, make sure you are always paying attention. Somebody has to be on the spot when you are fueling your boat.
I’ve seen a lot of times guys just walking about leaving the pump inside the boat. Later there be fuel just all over the boat. This is an extremely dangerous situation for your boat and also for the people around your boat.
At the same time, your motors should be turned off. Also, make sure most of the people are out of the boat. If you have kids, don’t let them near it. And when you are done fueling, make sure you get no spill and no drip. After that, secure the top and the pump.
When you open up the air cap for the first time, just let it air out for a second or two. Also, make sure to use boat fueling bibs. When you insert the pump, put a hole in the middle of the bib. This is done to protect the environment in the event of any splash out from fueling.
You should really do your best to avoid splashing fuels. This is because fuel on the fiberglass will eat away at it and will start to deteriorate your wax and all that stuff.
3. Before Taking Off
Once everything is under control, you should do one last check before you take off with your boat. Here are a couple of tips and tricks to make sure you are doing things right once you get in your boat.
Alright, so whenever you are done fueling up your boat, you should always pay second attention. You see, a lot of the newer boats have these special EPA tanks and all these fuel filters and ball pumping.
However, you should still stick your head in your very own bilge and just get a little whiff in there. Don’t be afraid to do so. It’s just to make sure you don’t smell any fumes. Take a peek and make sure that it just looks right and smells right. This is very common practice with the guys with the inboards.
Whether it is a gas or diesel, anytime you have an inboard boat, guys open their hatches and put-on exhaust fans, and do a smell check. This is to make sure that there are no fumes in there before they turn the key.
- Make sure the engines are off.
- Listen to the sound. You can actually hear as it is filling up. When fuel gets to the top, it is going to click off.
- At this point, you don’t want to fill anymore after it properly clicks off.
- If you continue on with the fueling, it will over pressurize the system and will eventually shoot back up at you.
- Again, this is a dangerous situation to be in.
- Whether you have got a gas fueling system or a diesel fueling system if you do happen to get just a little bit of fuel on the boat, make sure to rinse that down and wash that area after you have closed the cap.
- Do the above step as quickly as possible.
The modern-day venting system is basically a ventless system that doesn’t have an overflow anymore because that was extremely bad for the marinas as well as for the environment.
With that being safe, always be safe and pay attention. Every boat owner has to do it. Just make sure to follow these rules of thumb when fueling a boat so that you can protect both your boat and the environment. And that concludes our article on “what should you do before fueling your boat.”
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