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Chris Knuth of Mequon, WI asks:

You commented earlier in the voyage, that the diesel fuel you had received was "clean and dark". When refueling in a foreign port, how do you check that the fuel is clean prior to taking on hundreds of gallons in your tanks?

Dan Streech responds:

As mentioned in other postings such as the January 24 answer to Dan Felzer’s question, dirty fuel is less of a problem today than in previous years. If one makes a practice of staying away from rusty 55 gallon barrels and gets fuel from a reputable fuel dock or delivery truck, the chances of receiving dirty fuel are acceptably low (as evidenced by our experiences to date).

To specifically answer your question however, one should pump some fuel into a bucket for examination before commencing to take fuel aboard the boat. Most of what is bad in dirty fuel (water, rusty particles, and sludge) will sink to the bottom of a tank. Fuel trucks draw or drain from the bottom and fuel docks draw from the bottom of their storage tanks, so trouble will normally be revealed in the beginning.

The classic way of getting dirty fuel is to receive it from a ratty 55 gallon drum in a 3rd world situation. The fuel is siphoned from the drum into the boat and when the barrel is nearly empty, the hapless siphoner will tip the barrel on a 45 degree angle and poke the siphon hose to the very bottom to extract every last drop. The last gallon might be a soup of unwanted nasty things.

 

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