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Fueling Procedures

Gasoline and gasoline vapors are extremely explosive. If spilled fuel or vapors catch on fire, not only could you lose your boat, you could also lose your life. Always follow safe fueling procedures to reduce the chances for a gasoline explosion.

  1. Tie the boat up to the dock.
  2. Turn off the engine(s) and all electrical equipment.
  3. Shut off all fuel valves.
  4. Put out any open flames, including cigarettes.
  5. Close all cabin doors and hatches.
  6. Unload all your passengers.
  7. If you are filling a portable tank, take it out of the boat and place it on the dock before filling.
  8. Hold the nozzle firmly against the fill pipe opening.
  9. Fill the tank all the way, but do not overfill or allow the fuel to spill into the water.9. Fill the tank all the way, but do not overfill in order to avoid spilling fuel into the bilge or into the water./li>
  10. Wipe up any spills.
  11. Open all cabin doors and hatches.
  12. If your boat has a power ventilation system, turn the blower on for at least four minutes. This is particularly important because gasoline vapors can settle into the bottom of the boat and can cause an explosion if enclosed areas, such as the bilge, are not properly ventilated.
  13. Sniff to be sure the fumes are gone.
  14. Start the engine.
  15. Invite your passengers back on board.
  16. Untie the boat and cast off from the dock.

Particular attention should be paid to both the type of fuel available and to the vessel fuel tank, component lines, and fittings. Modern trends involving addition of ethanol into fuels pose a special risk in and to the marine environment. Ethanol is an efficient solvent that can break down many types of materials and can also attract water.

Materials that it can break down may include those that make up your fuel tank or fuel system. Fuel leaks might occur, and that fuel could foul the marine environment. In addition, the unintended introduction of dissolved resins and/or water to your engine system might cause permanent and expensive damage.

Ethanol additives of 10% or less are generally considered acceptable for most boating needs. Ethanol additive over 10% may become hazardous, especially in older boats where systems were not designed for ethanol use.

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