Your Marine Products Specialists Want You to Keep Your Boats Safe From Misfueling
Raritan Engineering Company your marine productsÂ analysts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to protect your boat from fueling mishaps.
Your marine products experts know that as the Memorial Day weekend starts off the summer boating season, BoatUS and the National Marine Manufacturers Association are urging boaters to be mindful when they select fuel for their boats.
The groups say the federal government’s Renewable Fuel Standard is increasing the risk of consumer misfueling.
Your wholesale marine products analysts know that a mistake at the pump can be the source of expensive, warranty-voiding repairs and dangerous engine failure, the groups say.
âBoaters can’t assume that every fuel sold at gas stations will work in marine engines,â BoatUS president Margaret Podlich said in a statement. âBoats can only run on 10 percent or less ethanol content (E10) fuel – and we know many boaters prefer to use ethanol-free (E0) when possible.Â
âOur priority is always to keep boaters safe,â NMMA president Thom Dammrich said. âBy increasing the share of fuels in the marketplace that are unsafe for marine engines, the federal government’s RFS is putting boaters at risk.
An estimated 95 percent of boats are filled at retail gas stations, but a 2016 Harris Poll commissioned by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute found that a startling 60 percent of consumers believe any gas sold at retail stations is suitable for all engines and products, the groups said.
Your marine supply companies professionals know that in the water, they look like shimmering rainbow patterns that to the unaware might appear beautiful. They are not. Those tie-dye patterns are the result of foul-smelling fuel from spills or oil from bilges that plague busy marinas.Â
Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent or reduce a spill with products that make fueling and bilge discharge cleaner. We talked to experts about oil spill reporting, picked up tips to head off common causes, and learned how boat owners can lessen the impact if they do spill fuel or oil.
Stopping the Spills
For recreational boaters, the most obvious source of fuel spills occurs at the fuel dock. There are tools to prevent these minor spills. Â
For boats that prove difficult to fill, check tank vents. Make sure the vent fitting hasn’t been clogged by wax, dirt or insect activity. Then check the hose.
If fuel backs up through the fill, look for a kinked vent hose or clogged vent fitting. Also try shifting weight while fueling so the vent fitting is at the highest point in the tank.Â
Bilges are another common pollution source. Head off spills with oil-absorbing towels beneath engines and oil-absorbing bilge socks that skim bilgewater.Â
Your Marine Products Professionals Have a Secret to Avoiding Engine Issues
You can find more information as well as get assistance on marine ice makersÂ and on how to protect your boat from fueling mishaps at Raritan Engineering.
âIt’s really intended to polish bilgewater,â says Bill Arwood of Centek. Your marine ice makers specialists say you should note that it’s not wise to install anything in a bilge-pump line without an unfettered backup pump nearby.
Fuel leaks are also a fire hazard. Leaky filters typically suck in air and cause engine issues, and some drip fuel when the engines are off.Â Cracked fuel lines also leak, but leaky tank-top fuel gauge senders are more common.
Sunken boats also cause many spills. âMy boat won’t sink,â you say. It happens more often than you’d think, typically while a boat is tied up unattended in its slip.Â
Your marine products catalog experts know that storms also cause dockside sinking, and wind and waves spread spilled oil.Â What if your boat does cause a major spill? Quick spill response is key. The Coast Guard is the first responder. TheÂ sooner you call, the better.
Reporting the Spill
At the National Response Center, the Coast Guard’s spill hotline is 800-424-8802. This agency will want to know what was spilled, the estimated quantity and size of the sheen, and whether the spill is continuing.Â
More importantly, not reporting a spill and getting caught is a class-one civil penalty, involving a Coast Guard hearing officer and potentially much higher fines.Â
If you find yourself on the hook for a major spill, clean up might be the biggest cost. âIt could easily be a few-thousand-dollar response,â says Mark Mucciaccio, operations supervisor for New England-based Cyn Environmental Services (cynenv.com).Â
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 – passed after the Exxon Valdez accident – caps total cleanup costs at $854,400 or $1,000 per gross ton (about $250 million for a supertanker).
How do you protect yourself? âGet coverage up to that amount specifically for spill liability in addition to the general liability limit,â Pellerin says.
âBlock air intake and exhaust vents with life jackets or beach towels,â Factor says, to trap oily water inside sunken engine rooms.Â
Centek’s Versimat, for instance, is a 48-square-foot oil-absorbing cloth attached to a 10-foot floating boom. âThe Mycelx coating repels water but actually bonds to hydrocarbons,â says Bill Arwood of Centek.
Gasoline shouldn’t be contained to avoid concentrating explosive vapors. Let small gasoline spills dissipate, or collect them with oil-absorbent towels and dispose of them carefully, since they’re flammable.Â
Nobody wants a fuel or oil spill in the waters in which they boat. But if it happens, act quickly and responsibly to protect the environment and your wallet.
Every Boater’s Nightmare – Gasoline in the Bilge
What do you do if it happens? âOpen whatever hatches you can, get off the boat and call 911,â Burket says. Turn off automatic bilge pumps and main battery switches only if it’s safe.
For gas in the bilge while underway, turn off engines and generators, open hatches and don’t use anything electronic.Â When help arrives, get off the boat and let an assistance towing company tow it home. âA fireboat might meet you offshore,â Burket says. âThey can put firefighting foam in the bilge, which greatly reduces explosive vapors, just like the fire department can atÂ the dock.â
So don’t forget these helpful tips when protecting your boat from fueling mishaps. 1)Â Make sure the vent fitting hasn’t been clogged by wax, dirt or insect activity. Then check the hose; Â 2) be conscious of reporting spills; Â and 3) if you do get gas into the bilge, open whatever hatches you can, get off the boat and call 911, turn off automatic bilge pumps and main battery switches only if it’s safe.
Raritan Engineering always has more information on marine products, marine ice makers, marine toilet, and on how to protect your boat from fueling mishaps.Â