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Old 09-19-2013, 11:37 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
hmason, ASD hired a professional to spend lots of time (and lots of ASD's money) to polish the fuel, scrub the tanks and make sure the fuel system was in tip-top shape.
That's a great thing to do, however, keep in mind that clean fuel and clean tanks are only as good as the quality of fuel in your last fill up. And, water in the fuel is also a trip stopper. An on board fuel polishing system is a good investment when the top priority items are all done and you have some $$ left over.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:20 AM   #22
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An on board fuel polishing system is a good investment when the top priority items are all done and you have some $$ left over.
That was my exact frame of mind when I had a FP system installed some years ago. It worked and continues to work fine but here's the rub. My engine (Cummins 330B) returns more fuel to the tank than it actually burns. It is being filtered twice before it enters the engine (primary & secondary filters) so it's pretty damn clean when it is returned to the tank. Since my boat only holds 200 gallons, It takes me about 9 months to go through it. (I don't cruise anywhere near as much as I use to.) If I had a boat that holds a thousand gallons or more and I was cruising long distances in open water, then I think a fuel polishing system is in order.

Below is a picture of my system. It's a Algae-X FPS 500. (Don't hang me with the "Algae-X theory as it was the pump (12V) and the filter set up that interested most.) It pumps (cleans) 123 gallons/hour so in less than two hours I can go through an entire 2 tanks. It also has a gauge & a timer that tells me how many gallons have been processed.

I think it looks great but given my above statement on "return fuel" I don't think it's really needed.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:52 AM   #23
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Reasonable men can disagree.

To counter your theory, when you fill your tanks, after a few hours, any contaminants such as water and sediment settle to the bottom of the tank. Your fuel pick up tube is raised a number of inches above the bottom of the tank for just this reason. So, no matter how much you "engine filter" your fuel, you are not picking up and filtering out the bottom of the tank where all the gunk resides.

Now a couple of things can happen as Mr. Murphy and his law enters the engine room. You get caught out in rough seas and all the gunk gets stirred up and is sucked into your filters and they clog stopping your engine at the worst possible time. Or, you fill your tanks, stirring up the gunk and motor off into the sunset with the same filter clogging results.

The beauty of a properly installed fuel polishing system is that it filters from the bottom of the tank. In fact, it is not necessary to polish all the fuel in the tank; as long as you are polishing the fuel at the bottom of the tank, the job is done. Usually a 4-hour run time is sufficient for each tank.

BTW, I also have the Algae-X system and to date have never had a clogged filter. (I think the magnets in the system are fantastic except I have no idea what they do if anything.) In total honesty, it did clog once, a day or two after I bought the boat and was bringing her home. Perhaps that was a tribute to the PO's maintenance routine, but never since then.

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Old 09-20-2013, 11:20 AM   #24
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Reasonable men can disagree. (I agree!)

So, no matter how much you "engine filter" your fuel, you are not picking up and filtering out the bottom of the tank where all the gunk resides. (Also agree...my pick up for the fuel polishing is at the bottom most corner of each tank (with ball valves) & when first installed I got quite a bit of gunk out of the tanks.

Now a couple of things can happen as Mr. Murphy and his law enters the engine room. You get caught out in rough seas and all the gunk gets stirred up and is sucked into your filters and they clog stopping your engine at the worst possible time. Or, you fill your tanks, stirring up the gunk and motor off into the sunset with the same filter clogging results. Your talking to a real "fair weather " sailor. It ain't going to happen here!

In fact, it is not necessary to polish all the fuel in the tank; as long as you are polishing the fuel at the bottom of the tank, the job is done. Again, I agree!

BTW, I also have the Algae-X system and to date have never had a clogged filter. (I think the magnets in the system are fantastic except I have no idea what they do if anything.) The claim has been that they alter the length of the molecules, resulting in a more even burn. Think wood that is equal in length & diameter burning in a fire place. (I can't really buy into that without considerably more data.) As I previously noted, the magnets were not even a consideration. It was the gallons/hr processed and the easy change filter that attracted me.
So, to conclude this conversation I can say we probably agree completely on this subject but because I now never leave the bay in questionable weather (like I did 25 years ago) the return fuel is clean enough for my boat's mission. (I admit to running the polisher once in awhile just to keep it operative.)
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:19 PM   #25
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Reasonable men can disagree. BTW, I also have the Algae-X system and to date have never had a clogged filter.
Howard
Count me as one of the thousands of boaters who does not have clogged filters too. Nor do I and these thousands have a separate fuel polishing system, Algae X, magnets, buy into fuel polishing is a necessity or rub worry beads. Keep the water out of the tanks, fill up with clean fuel and have a good onboard filter system and you can be just as happy as Mr. Mason.

As do Walt and tens of thousands of other diesel engine boaters, fuel cleaning constantly occurs as my engines re-circulate many gpm of diesel

PS - You may benefit (a lot) by checking your fuel fill O rings and plastic fill caps for holes.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:05 PM   #26
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Here Here!! I resemble that remark!

My starboard side with the broken fuel cap has enough water to support a small fish population. With it was debris (looked like dirt and sand) and crud. The port side upon examination by the pros was found to be in perfect condition. Aside from breaking my fuel cap, I must be doing something right.

I do not have an onboard polisher but use my boat regularly and typically refuel when I reach half tanks and always at reputable fuelers who move lots of fuel.

(sorry for the hijack, Tom...we should probably be discussing this on a separate thread.)
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:26 PM   #27
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Did that trip in July and think you made a great call waiting. It can get lumpy out there and SOG drops once your start pounding into it.

A few other thoughts. Had the tanks polished and still went through a dozen fuel filters once things got rough. I would take lots (and lots!) of spares. Worse thing that can happen is you have a few years worth of spare filters!

Re Crescent City. I have never had to dodge so many crab pots in my life! Happily we approached after dawn. We would have never made it into port without hitting a pot if we were doing it in the dark.

Good luck!
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:54 PM   #28
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Windy here in the Delta today. Headr 20 + outside the gate today. I think I made the right call.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:14 AM   #29
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Windy here in the Delta today. Headr 20 + outside the gate today. I think I made the right call.
Good call!

If you think about it, you've got the perfect world right here right now.

You're on your new boat, its 9:00 pm and all is good.

You probably had a great dinner, and watched the harbor shut down for the evening. What a great evening, dreaming all of the "on your new boat" dreams.

I am also sitting on my boat, experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of the harbor. Have a nice bowl of clam chowder cooking, some sourdough bread, and will rest and relax the rest of my evening.

Yes, you made a good decision. Cruising can wait another day.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:29 AM   #30
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It was windy mid-day in Carquinez Strait, but then calmed down in the early afternoon. Dark clouds appeared in the late afternoon. It was a good day out on the water today:



Wind was whistling through the shrouds in Vallejo marina in the late afternoon.
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