Boating Safety – Fueling

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,006
    Chris Edmonston with the BoatUS Foundation discusses safe boating including fueling.

    Chris Edmonston: Hi! I am Chris Edmonston with BoatUS Foundation talking to you today about boating safety. Right now let's take a few minutes and talk about filling your boat. Now you might have a lot of experience filling your car up with gas but filling your boat up with gas is a completely different experience and knowing what those differences are can make for a much safer and cleaner trip to the fuel dock. So let's go and take a look at what exactly you need to do when you're filling your boat up with fuel. First off, boats can have tanks that hold hundreds if not thousands of gallons. Boat fuel systems are also open systems, meaning that they breathe in air or exhaust air based on the outside temperature.

    Boats even have a fuel vent to let out fumes and excess fuel in case you overfill. It's also a good idea to manually check the different parts of the fuel system regularly for signs of wear-and-tear particularly in older boats that might not have fuel hoses that are resistant to ethanol which is found in almost all gasoline today. When you get to the gas dock or station make, sure the engine is off and all electrical devices are off also. Put all passengers out of the boat. Close up all doors and hatches if you have them so that fumes can't get into the boat and make sure you're using the correct fuel and putting it in the correct hole, try and figure out how much fuel you will need before you start pumping so that you don't overfill.

    Let's take a second and talk about clean fueling. You know nobody wants to go boating or swimming in water that's dirty. One of the most noticeable things about dirty water is that there happens to be a fuel smell or spill or sheen on the water. So how do you avoid that? Well there is several products that you can use while you're filling your boat up that will help minimize the chance of the spill.

    First off, we have what's called a no-spill device. This attaches to the side of your boat, over the fuel vent so that when you fill up, any spills that come out of the vent will go into this and you can simply just close it up and pour back in your gas tank when you're done. Another item is a little donut, you put this over the nozzle or the fuel fill and this helps prevent burps from back splashing out when you're done. So we spent the last few minutes talking about how to safely and cleanly fuel your boat. Let's go hit the water and talk about navigation aids.