easily occur when the tank is more full
than you thought and the nozzle doesn’t
stop in time.
What’s your deck fill?
When talking to marina managers, one
of the most common fueling mishaps is
putting the nozzle into the wrong deck
fill. Water tanks and rod holders are sur-
prisingly often mistaken for the fuel fill.
For a boater who is multitasking at the
fuel dock, dozens of gallons of fuel can
end up in the water or in the bilge in just
a matter of minutes, creating a dangerous
situation. One marina
manager calls this
“a $5,000 mistake.”
Not only does that
represent the cost of
the fuel you put in
the boat, and risk an
explosion; you also
have to pay for a spill
responder to place
foam in the bilge to
prevent an explosion,
move the boat away from the dock,
remove the fuel, then clean the boat. All
in all, that’s an expensive day, and it’s a
place you don’t want to put yourself.
So you have the right fuel, you know how
much you need, and you put the nozzle in
the correct deck fill. Now you can sit back
and relax, right? Not quite. Most gas docks
don’t have the convenient hands-free clip
on the nozzle allowing you to pump
mindlessly, and for good reason: They
often don’t click off in time. The venturi
mechanism in a roadside gas pump works
in closed fuel systems, as in a car. When
fuel enters the tank, air is forced out at its
opening as it’s displaced by the fuel.
In boats, you have a vented fuel system. The vent allows air to escape so
the automatic shutoff doesn’t work as
you’d expect. Take your time and pay
attention, and while you’re at it, keep a
fuel-absorbent absorbent cloth with you
to hold around the deck fill and vent in
case any fuel burps out. Ask for one if you
don’t have one.
Follow basic fueling safety practices
while fueling. Be sure all smoking materials are extinguished, and ask that all
passengers move onto the dock. This is a
good time to use the shoreside restrooms
one last time or pick up some more bait
from the marina store. With gasoline
engines, be sure to run the blower for five
minutes before starting the engine.
SAFE, SMART, & CLEAN
Read more on
how to prevent
Spills are serious business
Any spill that creates a sheen on the water must be reported to the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802. Failure to report a spill or to mask a spill with soaps or other products can result in even greater fines. Did you know
the BoatU.S. Foundation has a free online training course for marina staff to help
them learn how to prevent spills? This training is designed to help marinas overcome
the training challenges of high turnover and seasonal staff. Our hope is that better-trained marina staff will lead to a better experience for you as well as to cleaner
water. Visit BoatUS.org/Spill-Prevention to access the training.
- Get a no obligation evaluation
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IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE,
AND BENEFIT YOU.
By donating your gently-used boat in good condition you can
help support the BOATU.S. FOUNDATION’s mission to promote
safe, clean and responsible boating.
Call our partner at Certified Sales, Inc.
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