It’s important to know the right steps to take when refueling your boat, as doing so can protect not only the environment, but yourself as well. While refueling is a common task, it’s also one that carries enough risks with it that it’s critical to understand the refueling process. Read on for some basic safety tips and procedural norms to keep in mind whenever you top up on fuel.
1. Stretch Your Legs
It’s incredibly unlikely that your boat will explode during refueling, but it’s a higher-than-normal risk period so you may as well head ashore during the process. You should also encourage everyone aboard to take the time to stretch their legs and enjoy the shore while they can.
2. Remember to Batten Down
Before you head ashore, close all hatches, doors, and ports. Remember that gas vapors are heavier than air. This can sometimes result in gas vapors seeping into your boat, sinking to the bottom, and sticking around—leaving your vessel at greater risk for some kind of accident. Again, it’s unlikely, but this could result in combustion if those vapors were to be sparked. There’s no reason not to be proactive and close everything up beforehand.
3. Be Familiar With Your Boat
Take a look at your fuel gauge, which can go a long way in informing you how much fuel you need, though you should also know your fuel tank’s capacity. Spilling fuel into the water can lead to big fines. Instead, choose to stop fueling at 95% or less capacity rather than risk spilling fuel into the water. If you can’t see the pump, ask a dock hand to stop the pump once it reaches a certain number of gallons, or just ask someone on your crew. Always avoid clicking on the ignition to check your fuel gauge while fueling.
4. Avoid Generating Static
Static electricity can actually cause sparks, which presents a serious danger while refueling. As a result, be sure to maintain metal-to-metal contact between the pump’s nozzle and your fuel deck pipe. Doing so keeps everything grounded and less likely to spark.
5. Take a Whiff
Using your senses to stay in tune with your boat is always an important part of boating, but especially so when it comes to fuel, where your nose can often be your best friend. Once done fueling, open your hatches and sniff for any lingering gas vapors. You may need to air things out before heading back out on the water. Remember to run your blower for 5 mins before starting the engine, which should be done before every trip, not just after fueling!
Reach Out to Tidewater Today!
If you’re in the greater Baltimore area and are in need of boat services, contact Tidewater Yacht Service at 410-625-4992 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our location is at 321 East Cromwell Street Baltimore, MD 21230. Get in touch with us today! Whether you need hauling, systems repaired, or storage, we have the experience and expertise to help. We’ve been providing our services to the Chesapeake Bay for over 30 years and know how to properly handle your vessel with care.