Fueling up at the dock is a fact of life for many boaters, but even for seasoned skippers, it’s easy to make mistakes and take things
for granted. Here are some tips for preventing four common, and often costly,
mishaps at the pump.
Do you need gas or diesel?
This is usually the first question you’re
asked at the dock, and there should
be an obvious answer. But a marina
manager in New Jersey told us that the
number of people who put the wrong
fuel into their boats would surprise
you. “You wouldn’t believe how many
people pull up to the dock and say
they need to ‘gas up’ when they need
diesel fuel, or say they need ‘fuel’ when
they mean ‘gasoline,’” the manager
says. Because of that, he instructs his
staff to use three syllables to confirm
the fuel of choice for each customer:
Do you need gas-o-line or die-sel fuel?
It may sound silly, but the next time
the dock attendant passes you the
nozzle, confirm which type of fuel you
How much do you need?
Knowing how much fuel you want
helps the marina staff know when to
be ready to assist. Boat fuel tanks are
often irregularly shaped, making fuel
gauges less accurate. When your fuel
gauge reads one-quarter, how many
gallons do you typically need? Spills can
SAFE, SMART, & CLEAN
BY SUSAN SHINGLEDECKER, FOR THE NONPROFIT BOATU.S. FOUNDATION
Fill ’er up!
This refresher explains how to avoid common mistakes during a routine process
By following a few
simple procedures, you
can make fueling up
safer for people and
for the environment.
The BoatU.S. Foundation is a 501(c)( 3) nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping
boating safe and clean, and is independently funded by donations from BoatU.S.
members and grants.