Fuel Your Vessel—Safely

Fuel Your Vessel—Safely
Fuel Your Vessel—Safely
We would like to remind everyone of the importance of using safe fuel practices.
Serious accidents can occur when fueling. Never fuel at night unless it is an emergency. If you must
refuel after dark, use only electric lights. To protect the water environment, try to refuel away from
the water or on a commercial fueling ramp. Follow these procedures in order to fuel safely and
responsibly.
Before beginning to fuel:

Tie the boat securely to the fuel dock.

Ask all passengers to leave the boat and go onto the dock.

Do not allow anyone in your group or others at the fuel dock to smoke or strike a match.

Check to see that fuel lines, connections, and fuel vents are in good condition.

Turn off anything that might cause a spark—engines, fans, or electrical equipment.

Shut off all fuel valves and extinguish all open flames, such as galley stoves and pilot lights.

Close all windows, ports, doors, and other openings to prevent fumes from entering the boat.

Remove portable fuel tanks from the boat and fill them on the dock.

Make sure that your fire extinguisher is within reach.
Remember—Evaporating gasoline creates vapors or fumes that are heavier than air. These
fumes settle to the bottom of the vessel where they could explode if enclosed areas, such as the
bilge, are not ventilated properly to remove fumes.
While filling the fuel tank:

Keep the nozzle of the fuel-pump hose in solid contact with the tank opening to prevent
producing a static spark.

Use caution and fill the tank slowly to avoid spilling fuel into the boat's bilge or into the water.
Use an oil-absorbent pad to catch drips or spills.

Never fill a tank to the brim—leave room for fuel to expand.
After fueling:

Put the fill cap on tightly to prevent vapors from escaping.

Wipe up any spilled fuel and properly dispose of the used paper towels or rags on shore.

Open all windows, ports, doors, and other openings.

If your boat is equipped with a power ventilation system (exhaust blower), turn it on for at
least four minutes before starting your engine. This will help eliminate fuel vapors in the
bilge.

Before starting the engine, sniff the bilge and engine compartment for fuel vapors. Continue
ventilating until you cannot smell any fuel vapors. Consider installing a gas vapor detection
and alarm device.

Start the engine and then reload your passengers.
Make sure you have enough fuel before casting off. Operating at two-thirds throttle instead of full
throttle will conserve fuel. The following rule will help prevent running out of fuel:

One-third to get out

One-third to get back

One-third in reserve for emergencies
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