Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-07-2017, 09:11 AM   #1
Member
 
City: Hampton
Country: United States
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 16
Fuel tank empty or full?

Greetings

I have a Mainship 390 with 2 diesel tanks. Each tank is 150 gallons. As winter is approaching, should I fill my fuel tanks or leave them at 1/4.

I've been told that condensation could be an issue if the tanks are not filled.

Algae issues?

I'm located in Mystic CT.

What say you? Recommendations?

Thank you for your time.


Ron
__________________
Advertisement

0025 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 09:19 AM   #2
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 3,194
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0025 View Post
Greetings

I have a Mainship 390 with 2 diesel tanks. Each tank is 150 gallons. As winter is approaching, should I fill my fuel tanks or leave them at 1/4.
I've been told that condensation could be an issue if the tanks are not filled.
Algae issues?
I'm located in Mystic CT.
What say you? Recommendations?
Thank you for your time.

Ron
Condensation is nasty stuff in metal fuel tanks.

IMO and only MO, fill the tanks add a chemical (many brands on the market) that will "preserve" the fuel and rest easy. Every time I fuel, I add the chemical, in the proper amount, to the tanks prior to fueling.
I doubt if the price of fuel will decrease so you will be a jump ahead for the next season too.
__________________

__________________
If you must love me, don't love me for my beauty. Love me because I know how to cook.
The burial for my intuitive gene was last month.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 09:27 AM   #3
Guru
 
Lou_tribal's Avatar
 
City: Quebec
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Bleuvet
Vessel Model: Custom Built
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,307
Cannot speak for other but last winter I kept my tank a bit lower than half full and I had no issue when back in the water. My tanks are FB not metal and winter is pretty dry up here (too cold to be wet lol)

L
Lou_tribal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 11:23 AM   #4
Guru
 
alormaria's Avatar
 
City: Trenton
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,097
Does Julia Roberts really work in the pizza shop?
__________________
Al Johnson
34' Marine Trader
"Angelina"
alormaria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 11:36 AM   #5
Guru
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 800
I always used to fill up before winter and add stabilizer. The when we were getting ready to sell the boat I decided against adding another $2K of diesel (900 gal/2 tanks), so tanks remained 1/2 full for one winter. I did add stabilizer. No obvious effect on fuel quality. No water detected in Racors. Nevertheless, I still think best approach is to top off.
Chrisjs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 11:37 AM   #6
Guru
 
foggysail's Avatar
 
City: Ashland, MA
Country: United States
Vessel Model: 1990 Silverton 40 aftcabin
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 1,023
I owned a 30' Hunter sailboat for 25 years, diesel. Never once concerned myself with how much fuel was in the tank at storage time. Never had any problems. My Silverton with storage for 300 gallons gets put to bed with whatever is in the tanks. Twelve seasons so far... no problems. Both the Hunter and the Silverton used aluminum for tank material. OH--- no additives either.
foggysail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 01:33 PM   #7
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5,079
I routinely keep my tanks at a low level. Never had any water issues. I don't fill for the sake of filling.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 02:27 PM   #8
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,284
For 25 + years in the Ct area I have always had between 5/8 and 7/8 for winter and no additive.
__________________
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
jleonard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 03:14 PM   #9
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6,965
My charter boat sits on the hard 6 months a year in Maryland. Usually has less than a quarter tank with no additives. Hasn't been a problem in the last 18 winters. Personally, I'd rather have mostly fresh fuel in the spring as opposed to old with additives.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 04:18 PM   #10
Guru
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,288
Don't worry about the water but you might want to fill your tanks. A boat can be an independent source of domicile in a emergency where your house or electric and water supply are gone. I look upon my boat as a possible emergency shelter.
eyschulman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 06:02 PM   #11
Guru
 
AusCan's Avatar
 
City: Adelaide
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Kokanee
Vessel Model: Cuddles 30 Pilot House Motor Sailer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,761
The fuel level is up to you.

Algicide is a good idea if their is any trace of water in your tanks. Water may come from a bad supplier, or from leaky o-rings in your filler fittings. Condensation does not add any measurable amount of moisture to diesel tanks. That is an old wive's tale.
AusCan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 06:05 PM   #12
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,571
I donít worry about condensation. There have been lots of heated debates on the issue but Iíve never been convinced it really is a ďthingĒ on boats like ours.

On my sailboat I would fill up with fuel in July, and then never fill again until the next July. Only a 50 gallon tank but never had any water in the fuel. Because I kept my fuel so long I did use a fuel stabilizer but with the fuel I would buy I donít think it was necessary.

Now on my North Pacific, I donít worry about it. I have been filling the tanks full when I fuel up but that is primarily because I donít have fuel in my home port so it saves trips.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 06:11 PM   #13
Guru
 
Fletcher500's Avatar
 
City: So-Cal
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Helmsman 43 PH
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,047
I am moving from 200 gals. of fuel to 500 gals with the new boat we are getting, and the idea of carrying around 3,500 lbs. of weight, if not needed, is not something I want to do.


I always tried to keep my tanks full in between use due to the condensation issue. On another website I frequented, the verdict was it can happen. The majority on here; its not an issue. I will go with this forum's input. But if I get water in my tanks, I am going to complain.


Eye, I second your comment regarding the boat being a good place to keep food, water, and fuel in the event of an emergency. They make a great hot spot for us west coasters if/when the big one hits.
Fletcher500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 08:10 PM   #14
Art
Guru
 
Art's Avatar
 
City: SF Bay Area
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 34' Tri Cabin
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher500 View Post
I am moving from 200 gals. of fuel to 500 gals with the new boat we are getting, and the idea of carrying around 3,500 lbs. of weight, if not needed, is not something I want to do.


I always tried to keep my tanks full in between use due to the condensation issue. On another website I frequented, the verdict was it can happen. The majority on here; its not an issue. I will go with this forum's input. But if I get water in my tanks, I am going to complain.


Eye, I second your comment regarding the boat being a good place to keep food, water, and fuel in the event of an emergency. They make a great hot spot for us west coasters if/when the big one hits.
Boats easily take earth quakes in stride. However... they do hate tsunamis!
Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 06:33 AM   #15
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 19,008
Why add weight to a boat that will be sitting on the hard?

Your filters will take out any water and a biocide will kill any bugs.

Gasoline boats should have as empty as possible tanks , so the spring fuel fill will mix the old ethanol/water logged enough so it will burn.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 07:29 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
mike66's Avatar
 
City: Warwick, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Susan Helena
Vessel Model: Albin40
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 234
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
My charter boat sits on the hard 6 months a year in Maryland. Usually has less than a quarter tank with no additives. Hasn't been a problem in the last 18 winters. Personally, I'd rather have mostly fresh fuel in the spring as opposed to old with additives.

Ted
Me too.
mike66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 07:42 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Roger Long's Avatar
 
City: Albany, NY
Country: Albany
Vessel Name: Gypsy Star
Vessel Model: Gulf Star 43
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 284
If condensation was going to be a problem, it would occur in aircraft where the tanks (wings) are out in the air exposed to rapid temperature changes as the sun goes up and down. I had this fight endlessly when I managed aircraft as believers in the condensation bogyman wanted the tanks kept filled. That left pilots who wanted the exchange fuel weight for passengers or cargo on shorter trips stranded.

I prevailed. Aircraft tanks are checked for water by draining from the bottom before every flight. Our aircraft had carefully maintained and tight fuel caps. In all my flying years, I never saw a drop of water.

A professional filtration specialist also pointed out to me that diesel fuel does absorb water which does the injectors no favors. The less fuel in the tanks over the winter, the less water will be absorbed and the more it will be diluted with the spring fill up in the unlikely event that any does get in.

If you find a puddle of water in the bottom of your tank or filter bowl, it almost certainly came with the fuel (very common) or from a bad seal in the deck fill. It didn't come from condensation.
__________________
Roger and Patsy
"Gypsy Star" Where are we?
https://share.findmespot.com/shared/...BunICxVztYVRlg
Roger Long is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 08:11 AM   #18
Art
Guru
 
Art's Avatar
 
City: SF Bay Area
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 34' Tri Cabin
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Why add weight to a boat that will be sitting on the hard?

Your filters will take out any water and a biocide will kill any bugs.

Gasoline boats should have as empty as possible tanks , so the spring fuel fill will mix the old ethanol/water logged enough so it will burn.
I agree with you in general terms. In that, new gasoline from good/clean source for boating season start can't help but to be better that old fuel from a year ago.

However... here're some "gasoline" items I've experienced:

1. Gasoline powered 350 cid Chevy engine ski boat I purchased several years ago from my son. It had not been used for six [6] years; maybe a bit longer [I know, he lives two doors down]. I had to take out its encased, half full, plastic gas tank to do repairs on transom. Amazed me to see and smell that the gasoline seemed fine. So... I figured let's do a test. I poured that gas into 5 gallon plastic portable gas cans... as I recall it filled two and partial in a third. Then - I used that six year old gas in my weed eater, and I used it in my 20 hp. commercial concrete mixer, and I used it in my 200 lb ground compactor, and I let one truck [high performance 350 cid Chevy engine] go near empty on one of its tanks and poured 5 gallons of the 6 yr. old gas into it. Result[s]... I had no problem with any gas engine using gasoline that had set for six [6] years. And, the interior of the gas tank out of the boat was darn clean inside.

2. We pulled out a commercial mortar/plaster mixer a few weeks ago that had been sitting for nearly two [2] years. It's 12 hp. gas engine's tank was 1/2 full. I sprayed a shot of starter fluid in its carb and it started on first pull. I let it set running in place for about 30 minutes to make sure all was well before towing it to a project... it never missed a beat!

Additionally: I've found over "decades" of experience that it is best to NOT run gasoline engines dry and to NOT turn off the fuel line. My problems with lacquered-up carburetor interiors and fuel lines each occurred when there was no fuel left in the line. That said, while still leaving gas in the lines... I do recommend unhooking the fuel line where it clips onto any outboard motor. Reason: Heat expansion in gas tank will push enough pressure onto the fuel line that goes to the outboard so that at the hook up on motor location it will seep onto the motor's exterior parts; leaving an oily ugly mess if left attached during too long a time in summer heat.

So... In closing: I'm not clear about all the hub-bub regarding fuel separation in gasoline. Although I've other stories to tell about utilizing old gasoline with no problem... I feel these two stories suffice to get my experiences/point across.

Happy Boating Daze! - Art
Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 08:18 AM   #19
Guru
 
Tom.B's Avatar
 
City: Cary, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Skinny Dippin'
Vessel Model: Navigator 4200 Classic
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,642
I have never seen any proof that full tanks or empty tanks matter either way. People on all sorts of opinions based on other peopleís opinions, but only MaineSail has even done what I see as a ďtestĒ on the matter. He discovered that there is no significant water build-up in an empty tank. Not scientific by any means. It really only says that... it doesnít matter either way. Tanks full or tanks empty adds no more water to the fuel that would, in any way, degrade the operation of motors our size.
__________________
2000 Navigator 4200 Classic
(NOT a trawler)
Tom.B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2017, 08:38 AM   #20
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: ACIW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 18,912
My experience....no harm in running 4 cycle gas engines dry.

My experience....leaving gas in a carburetor leads to carburetor cleaning at a professional level.

I have towed MANY boats where phase separation in ethanol fuel has occurred.
__________________

psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012