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Mar 27, 2017

Avoid Spills

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. 

— Published: BoatUS December 2016