Dan Felzer of San Diego, CA asks:
I have heard about baja fuel filters. What exactly is a baja fuel filter?
Dan Streech responds:
A "Baja" filter is a device which filters the fuel as you are filling the tank.
I first heard the expression about 30 years ago from the "old timers" who were cruising Mexican waters and thus the name. In those more primitive days, it was typical that fuel would be supplied from barrels and might contain rust, dirt, debris and water. Several times during my cruise aboard MALABAR VII in 1970, we bought fuel that was delivered by donkey-drawn cart and then siphoned into the boat. Pushing the siphon hose into the bottom corner of the tilted barrel would pull out some very nasty stuff.
The Baja filter that we used was a box with a series of baffles. Each baffle had an ever finer screen which was fitted about 1" above the bottom of the box. The fuel was poured into one end of the box and as it passed over the baffles and thru the screens, the water was settled out and the debris was caught.
The beauty of the Baja filter is that you can see the fuel (and water if it is there) and assess what is going on as you are fueling the boat.
In these modern times, we don't see a Baja filter used as much. Most fueling in Mexico is from clean Pemex fuel docks and most third world situations also seem to have clean fuel. We have a Baja filter aboard the ATW boat, but to my knowledge it has not yet been used.
Page #309 of the Port Supply (West Marine) catalog shows the Baja filter that we have aboard the ATW boat although it is of a different design than I used 30 years ago.
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