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Old 08-12-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
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Red face diesel additive

having a great summer! However, we are not traveling as much as we thought. I filled my fuel tank before winter storage and have used only half of the tank so far. Should I add any additives to protect the fuel or am I ok for the rest of the season? I will use the rest of the tank this season.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:41 PM   #2
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Use it enough so that you need to add some more; that way you've got new fuel coming into the mix as you go along. I usually add some Startron on my fill ups; seems to work well for us. Lots of mixed opinions on additives, as well as some very interesting reports/articles out there.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:41 PM   #3
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I installed a fuel polishing system which has worked really well. I have dual racors on each engine and can see fuel in bowls - truly cleaner. Runs two hours per day and I switch tanks manually about once a week. Here is the one I have.

Reverso Fuel Polishing Systems, Diesel Filtration, Transfer Pumps ...
reversopumps.com/
Reverso is a leader in Fuel Polishing Systems, Diesel Filtration, Transfer Pumps, Oil Change Systems. Maintain and protect your engine and generators with ...

Haven't used an additive since. 325 gallons per tank, two tanks.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:46 PM   #4
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I've heard some logic in favor of keeping your tanks as full as possible, the theory being you thus reduce the size of the voids in your tanks, which in turn reduces condensation, water contamination, and microbial growth along the fuel-water interface near the bottom of the tank. Besides following this practice, I've also had success with Biobor JF additive, a fuel microbiocide. Good luck to you sir.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:49 PM   #5
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The most common issue with marine environments bacterial and fungal growth in Diesel fuel, which will clog your filters and damage the fuel. Biocides are available and would be the only additive I would consider for Diesel fuel in a marine environment.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:38 PM   #6
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On the advice of friends and acquaintences in the marine diesel manufacturing industry, we have always used two additives in our fuel. One is Biobor JF from Hammonds, which is a bug killer. THe other was a Hammonds lubricity additive which they have since replaced with a newer product called Lubribor, which is what we use today.

The subject of fuel additives is always a good way to start a hot debate, but we decided to follow the reccommendations from people in the diesel engine business and leave it at that.

We have no idea if the additives are actually doing anything. But after 16 years of running this boat the 41-year-old engines don't smoke any more at startup than they did when we bought the boat, they don't smoke at all after startup, and the fuel filters still look as clean when they come out as they did when they went in other than being dyed red from the fuel.

Our fuel system (installed by the previous owner to replace the original system) is gravity-operated: all tanks feed from their lowest points so nothing remains in a tank when it's empty. The only pumps in the system are the mechanical lift pumps on the engines.

I have never seen any water in the filter bowls even though our fuel management process has one or the other pairs of saddle tanks empty almost all the time unless we are going on a longer cruise. (We alternate the empty tanks because they're stainless, which is a whole other subject.)

I know condensation can happen because we always got water out of the tank drains before the first flight of the day in the airplanes I flew in Hawaii, even though the tanks had been drained of water the day before. But for whatever reason, condenation does not seem to be an issue here. No boaters we know have every mentioned encountering it, and none of these boaters keep their fuel tanks full, even when they are not going to be using their boats for awhile.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:42 PM   #7
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We use Diesel Guard which is the additive in Valvtech anytime we have a question or doubt as to the quality of fuel we might have received. We don't use it on fuels which already contain it or similar.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:09 PM   #8
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My tanks are over 37 year old steel. Use about half of the fuel load in an average boating season. I've never put anything in them other than #2 diesel. Pulled the tanks once about 15 years ago for cleaning and they had a small amount of sludge in the bottom, but nothing to worry about. If you live in a warm water climate, then you may want to use a Biocide.

Fuel polishing is a better option than pouring snake oil in your tanks. In cool water climates, keep the tanks full and don't add anything to the fuel. It's not necessary and a waste of your money.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:37 AM   #9
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Diesel Additives - Practical Sailor Article
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:46 AM   #10
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On the advice of friends and acquaintences in the marine diesel manufacturing industry, we have always used two additives in our fuel. ......... THe other was a Hammonds lubricity additive .........
A big X2 on the lubricity additive, especially if you are running a newer common rail engine with a high pressure fuel pump. The enviro-activists have forced oil companies to remove so much of the sulfur from US diesel that it barely has more lubricity now than gasoline. There is a growing trend of HPFP failures (mostly the Bosch CP4) on recent model diesel trucks/cars that have been shown to be related to the poor SCAR rating of present #2 diesel available in the US. When the HPFP grenades on a truck engine, its north of $10k to replace pump, flush lines, tanks, and rebuild/replace injectors, etc.

I've been adding Stanadyne in my truck/boat/equipment/generator fuel since I became aware of this issue. If memory serves, independent testing showed that Stanadyne improved the SCAR rating better than most additives other than running high levels of biodiesel.
FWIW....
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:51 AM   #11
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We use Diesel Guard which is the additive in Valvtech anytime we have a question or doubt as to the quality of fuel we might have received. We don't use it on fuels which already contain it or similar.
Take a look at this product. I used it with good results on a 140' I was engineering on.

GO2 |* GO2 Yacht Superyacht & Marine Fuel Additive |*GO2 Global Yachting | Diesel Fuel Additive
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:13 AM   #12
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WOW, that is some pricey stuff. The GO2
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:24 AM   #13
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Marin,
100% correct advice on fuel.
I also have stainless tanks and drain any water when doing the monthly engine room gearbox/battery/general check, thousands of sea miles, never changed a filter at sea or broke down.
Then again it could be down to the luck of the Irish !
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:26 AM   #14
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I used additives in my GMC diesel because the pump, made by Stanadyne, needs sulfur for lubrication. I tried everything, even bought Stanadynes brand by the case. All I can say about that product is it's a pretty good cetane boost and at that not the best but the IP's failed in less than 8,000 miles, sometimes 6,000. I think it sucks as a lubricant.

All the real unbiased testing I have found shows plant oils lubricate best especially castor bean oil. Here in the US finding that is almost impossible. All the additive makers insist on fossil oil refinements that I have seen. This means bio diesel added in is the best solution and even as low as 2% plant based diesel will lubricate.

Biobor is all I use. The new ULSD is fine. I'm going over six years with no additive in my GMC and the same IP. Save your money on the snake oil.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:31 AM   #15
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WOW, that is some pricey stuff. The GO2
15.5 cents per gallon of diesel. Now the manufacturer's standpoint would be that by reducing consumption by 10% it saves you effectively 40 cents per gallon for a net reduction of 25 cents per gallon even considering the product cost. I don't know if that works out in reality or not.

Bill, has it reduced consumption in your experience?

We recently have been following Dauntless and some were concerned about them having a single engine and no wing. However, even though we do have twins we still haven't ever seen that as the major concern. They are far more likely to have fuel problems than to have an engine fail. So, for those of us who do venture out a bit, anything that reduces our possibility of fuel problems is worth considering. We do have fuel polishers. Guess while some might obsess or have a little paranoia about collisions at sea and others about pirates, I would be more likely to be paranoid regarding fuel.

Part of mine comes from years on the lake and all the boats I saw get "bad" fuel. Typically it was the marina that did virtually no winter business where they filled up. There were just certain marinas on the lake not to be trusted during winter. I knew several people and obviously there were others I wasn't aware of to have problems at one marina. I basically told him either to shut down and fix the problem or I'd make sure the information was taken public. I even had him check his tank with me there. The water was three times as deep in the bottom as the maximum acceptable level so well above the pick up.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:36 AM   #16
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We have no idea if the additives are actually doing anything. But after 16 years of running this boat the 41-year-old engines don't smoke any more at startup than they did when we bought the boat, they don't smoke at all after startup, and the fuel filters still look as clean when they come out as they did when they went in other than being dyed red from the fuel.

Our fuel system (installed by the previous owner to replace the original system) is gravity-operated: all tanks feed from their lowest points so nothing remains in a tank when it's empty. The only pumps in the system are the mechanical lift pumps on the engines.

I have never seen any water in the filter bowls even though our fuel management process has one or the other pairs of saddle tanks empty almost all the time unless we are going on a longer cruise. (We alternate the empty tanks because they're stainless, which is a whole other subject.)
I tend to agree with your philosophy. Don't know for sure whether it has helped or not, but don't want to stop it and find out. I'm willing to spend a bit extra to avoid fuel problems. Do I use overkill to prevent them? Perhaps. But I don't have any problems. Fuel is the one thing that can potentially leave me stranded. Loss of engine doesn't. No other component on my boat does. But fuel problems would.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:05 PM   #17
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15.5 cents per gallon of diesel. Now the manufacturer's standpoint would be that by reducing consumption by 10% it saves you effectively 40 cents per gallon for a net reduction of 25 cents per gallon even considering the product cost. I don't know if that works out in reality or not.

Bill, has it reduced consumption in your experience?
It did reduce our sooting issues with the gensets noticeably. In our case the fuel data was still being gathered when I let the boat. But others have seen use reductions.

It is expensive, so it's not for boats that do not go through a lot of fuel in a year.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:16 PM   #18
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It did reduce our sooting issues with the gensets noticeably. In our case the fuel data was still being gathered when I let the boat. But others have seen use reductions.

It is expensive, so it's not for boats that do not go through a lot of fuel in a year.
9,000 gallons a month qualify? That was my usage in June and July.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:20 PM   #19
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having a great summer! However, we are not traveling as much as we thought. I filled my fuel tank before winter storage and have used only half of the tank so far. Should I add any additives to protect the fuel or am I ok for the rest of the season? I will use the rest of the tank this season.
Thanks,
Don:
If you're going to use additives in your fuel, you should add them when you add the fuel. You can't fix deteriorated fuel by adding something to it.

At this point I think you should add new fuel (and your choice of additive) to fill the tanks and dilute the old, untreated fuel.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:42 PM   #20
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Additives???? Last batch I bought for the old boat, 175 gal, the supplier said their diesel had biocide. Now I have another boat that needs 250-275 gallons. The boat is 1982. Since new she has had 1 gallon of Marvel Mystery oil added to every 100 gallons of diesel. When the injector pump was overhauled (2200 hrs) the tech said it was the cleanest he had ever seen. I do not know what the mystery is in Marvel but I am not gonna change, seems to work.
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