3 Precautions to Take When Changing Your Fuel On Your Boat

Regardless if you’re a seasoned pro or a new sailor, there are always new safety tips to learn. Refueling a boat may seem as easy as pumping gas into a car, but in fact, it’s a much more serious process.

Knowing how to safely change fuel takes practice, understanding precautions, and a working knowledge of your boat’s mechanics. Not understanding these three things can cause serious harm to you, your passengers, and the boat itself.

To keep you and your loved ones safe this year, keep reading for a quick guide to boat fuel safety. In this article, we’ll cover three stages: what to do before refueling your boat, what to do during, and what to do after.

Step 1: What to Do Before Refueling

Before doing anything, make sure the boat is docked. Docking keeps the boat stable and decreases your chance of spillage. Also, all passengers should leave the boat before refueling. Fuel releases harmful fumes that people should not inhale. Fuel is also a fire hazard and keeping excess people away is a necessary preventative measure.

With the tank empty, this is the perfect time to check your tank for any inconsistencies. Examine the mechanics using these fuel water separator precautions before you you start fueling.

Step 2: What to Do During Refueling

Use an absorbent cloth around the tank’s opening and nozzle to decrease leakage or spillage.

If you plan on taking extra fuel, fill the portable tanks on the dock, not on the boat. Continue to use an absorbent pad to eliminate the risk of spilling, and never fill above 90%.

During this time no one should be smoking or lighting fires near the boat.

Step 3: What to Do After Refueling

The first thing is to twist the gas cap back on tightly and securely.

Only when the scent of gas is completely gone can you then turn on your engine. If you have an inboard gasoline engine, turn the blower for a few minutes before starting to help dissipate the fumes.

Now, you can take the portable tanks and store them carefully. Improper storage of full portable tanks can lead to:

  • environmental destruction
  • loss of back up fuel
  • being stranded
  • increased risk of fire

Remember, fueling during the day is much safer than fueling at night, as night time requires creating an additional light source. Also, be wary of overloading your boat as this can lead to capsizing and gasoline spills.

Ahoy! It’s Fuel Safety Time

Protecting yourself while changing fuel in a boat may seem like extra work, but it’s a worthy investment. Make a checklist with these steps and you’ll have fuel safety memorized.

Fuel safety isn’t only about protecting yourself though, it protects the boat and the environment around us. Boating accidents and environmental harm are preventable, but only if we put in the work.

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