2015 New York Safe Boating - 24
FUELING AND VENTILATION
* Wipe up any spilled fuel.
Fueling your boat can be dangerous-improper fueling
practices are the cause of most fires aboard boats. Gasoline
vapor is heaver than air, so it will always seek the lowest
location in the boat: the bilge. The bilge area usually runs
through the engine space, so this means that gasoline
vapor can gather around the engine. Fuel vapors quickly
reach explosive levels when trapped in a boat's engine
compartment, and any ignition, even the smallest spark, can
create an explosion.
* Check bilges for leakage.
* Run blower for four minutes
Keep the fuel nozzle in contact with the fill opening to keep
static electricity from building up and causing a spark.
Don't overfill your tank! The tank will overflow and the
spilled fuel will pose a fire hazard. Once you've filled the
tank, open up all hatches. On an inboard boat, run the
blower for at least 4 minutes to rid the boat of stray vapors.
Proper Fueling Practices
After fueling and running the blower, sniff the engine space
before you start the engine. If you can smell gasoline, wait a
few more minutes before you start the engine. And be sure
to always secure your portable fuel tanks before you leave
You can greatly reduce the risk of explosion by always
following proper fueling practices.
Take the following steps whenever you fuel your boat:
* Moor the boat securely to the dock.
NEVER STORE PORTABLE FUEL TANKS IN AN INTERIOR
* Remove all passengers.
* Extinguish all galley fires including pilot lights.
* Don't smoke.
NOTE: Some alcohol blended fuels may accelerate the
deterioration of fuel hoses. Some blends make hoses brittle,
which may cause cracking, while others can make hoses soft
and spongy, which allows vapors to permeate the hose. This
happens most often when boats sit for long periods of time.
Contact your dealer/manufacturer concerning possible problems
regarding alcohol blended gasoline. "An ounce of prevention is
worth a pound of cure" is especially true when it comes to your
fuel system. Some marinas may carry non-ethanol gasoline.
* Shut off engines and electrical equipment including
* Close all hatches and ports.
* Fill portable tanks on the dock, not in the boat.
* Keep fuel nozzle in contact with fill opening to
minimize the risk of a static spark.
* Replace fuel fill cap tightly.