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Old 01-21-2015, 09:01 AM   #41
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Richards fuel polishing cleaned the FUEL.

It did not clean the tank , do my guess is real ocean motion banged some of the sludge off the side walls and filled the filters.

The only way to clean the tank is physically , a service hole and a wooden scraper.

Best if tanks were made with sumps , but they would cost more , so are only fitted on custom boats.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:02 AM   #42
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Just have 1 Racor but of course there is a Yanmar engine mounted filter just before the pump, so I guess it is double filtration. The clog was at the tank so there could have been 10 filters and it wouldn't have mattered.

Planning to leave Kemah this fall to start the loop.

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Old 01-21-2015, 09:07 AM   #43
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I'd start by opening up the tanks, cleaning them and have the fuel polished professionally. All the filtration and multiple filters will help but if you have clean tanks and good fuel to start with, I wouldn't worry about adding more filters. The 2 you have should work fine.

Look at Dauntless's last two posts. The fuel polishing and duel Racors helped but he still had issues. If the fuel was good to start with and no water in the tanks, I bet he would not have had to change his filters. Plus are you going to cross the Atlantic?

Oh No. Not crossing the Atlantic. I haven't even left the ICW yet. 😳

We do have plans to go to Key West this June from the Fort Myers area so I assumed we could get into some rougher water, which could stir some gunk up.

So I can hire someone who comes to the dock and polishes the fuel? That's interesting. I do like the idea of starting with a baseline of a known clean fuel tank.

And again, the tank might be clean. I don't know. I need to see if I can open the top where the sight gauge is and check for gunk.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:12 AM   #44
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Cardude

It may be worthwhile to read the boadiesel site on fuel filtration. One thing you will find there is the recommended use of spin on filters vs Racors. Most if not all newer over the road vehicles, fuel farms, earth moving equipment, gensets etc use spin ons. Why new boats stick with see through Racors is a puzzle to me.

Dirty fuel tanks on boats stem from many reasons, most of which is due to age and little used sitting fuel. On your 7 year old vessel it would be surprising to find dirty tanks unless the PO filled up at "Joe's Water Farm."

Don't get scared by all you are reading here. The patient is likely fine. Not highligted yet on the thread (but oft mentioned by FF) is insure your fuel caps have good O rings. Dealing with water in the fuel is one thing, keeping it out is another.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:20 AM   #45
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...We do have plans to go to Key West this June from the Fort Myers area so I assumed we could get into some rougher water, which could stir some gunk up.

So I can hire someone who comes to the dock and polishes the fuel? That's interesting. I do like the idea of starting with a baseline of a known clean fuel tank.

And again, the tank might be clean. I don't know. I need to see if I can open the top where the sight gauge is and check for gunk.
Do both, clean the tanks and polish the fuel. In the big picture it's not a lot of money. You start with clean tanks/fuel and you'll sleep better at night.

Here's a link where Tom B had a professional clean his tanks.

Skinny Dippin's Tank Cleaning: A Trip Report
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:25 AM   #46
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Richards fuel polishing cleaned the FUEL.

It did not clean the tank , do my guess is real ocean motion banged some of the sludge off the side walls and filled the filters.

The only way to clean the tank is physically , a service hole and a wooden scraper.

Best if tanks were made with sumps , but they would cost more , so are only fitted on custom boats.
I'm not sure we are all on the same page and I also may have been unclear in what helped and didn't help.

First I was describing two different issues:

1. I liked the fuel Polisher because it got the crap and dead fuel out of the tanks, once I started coming north, just after purchasing the boat. We had some days of rough (3-5' waves Ha!) weather.

On getting to NY, I changed the filters, Fuel polisher (2x) and Racors, and took out about 1 gallon of black slurry, not that thick, (not I know to be dead bio stuff). But the black slurry worried me, , so I did open the inspection port on the starboard tank and all I had at the bottom of the tank was about 4" of good, clean fuel. So using FP during that 1,000 mile trip cleaned the tanks well. So I concluded the fuel polisher was effective in getting the tanks cleaned.

2. The Dual Racor setup. The only way to go, as it allowed me to keep changing filters when I did have issues. The tanks were clean when I left RI. I'm pretty sure now the lee side tank vent is the issue. That's where I think most of the water got in the tank. I also do not think the fuel from Horta was that clean.

But I really had no problems, until that last 24 hours when the sea was 120 to 100 off the bow. The lee side vent was underwater more than 30% of the time. By being able to switch the Racor lever and use the alternate filter was critical, as it also allowed me to change the bad filter, easily, while underway and had I had to do it even more, it would not have been a problem.

The idea was that I needed to keep the crap away from the engine mounted filters which were a PIA to change and impossible to do while underway.

Even in writing this I realized in the future under such conditions, I will transfer fuel to the windward tank while underway, and use that tank predominantly. That may also give me a slightly more stable configuration.

And I am planning on making a larger loop in both vent lines this spring.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:38 AM   #47
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Oh No. Not crossing the Atlantic. I haven't even left the ICW yet. 😳


And again, the tank might be clean. I don't know. I need to see if I can open the top where the sight gauge is and check for gunk.
Ultimately, that's what I ended up doing and it was pretty easy and cheap, free!

Also, I like the racors and not spin ons because like seeing them AND they are far cheaper. When I'm down in the engine room deciding to change a filter, I don't want to worry about going though a $100 worth of filters. But that's me.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:10 PM   #48
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Also, I like the racors and not spin ons because like seeing them AND they are far cheaper.
Ditto!
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:59 PM   #49
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It may be worthwhile to read the boadiesel site on fuel filtration. One thing you will find there is the recommended use of spin on filters vs Racors. Most if not all newer over the road vehicles, fuel farms, earth moving equipment, gensets etc use spin ons. Why new boats stick with see through Racors is a puzzle to me.
If I were to guess, I would say that most people would assume that a plastic bowl sperator was more fragile that a spin on. In on and off road applications objects are probably exponentially more likely to hit a frame mounted separator than in the engine room of a boat. Then there is cost. It's probably a safe assumption that the spin on filter assembly is far more inexpensive than a racor. Wouldn't be the first time a manufacturer took the less expensive choice. Finally, while it might be convenient, don't think you will see a dual system such as a racor on an on or off road vehicle. They are clearly not in the same peril that we might be in our boats if the engine quits.

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Old 01-21-2015, 11:12 PM   #50
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Racors as we know and love them take way to long to change out, thus their declining popularity. Especially for those who lose money when the rig is sitting.

With spin ons you can get redundancy via a dual setup. As to being able to "see" a Racor bowl, even Racor's sales BS claims that buying a vacuum gauge and water detector gives one an early warning before the bowl shows issues.

Last week I saw a great setup with bowl Racors and an Alfa Laval with capacity to treat about 200 GPH. The operators found that only at high flow rates could the Racors perform their centrifugal action magic with crud then showing up in the bowl. At about 4 Gph my Racor isn't close to the design ballpark PH intends, thus my Racor is nothing more than a cumbersome cartridge style fuel filter.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:33 PM   #51
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That's so, sunchaser? If so with my WOT at 4 gph, glad I don't have spinners.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:55 PM   #52
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Racors as we know and love them take way to long to change out, thus their declining popularity. Especially for those who lose money when the rig is sitting.

With spin ons you can get redundancy via a dual setup. As to being able to "see" a Racor bowl, even Racor's sales BS claims that buying a vacuum gauge and water detector gives one an early warning before the bowl shows issues.

Last week I saw a great setup with bowl Racors and an Alfa Laval with capacity to treat about 200 GPH. The operators found that only at high flow rates could the Racors perform their centrifugal action magic with crud then showing up in the bowl. At about 4 Gph my Racor isn't close to the design ballpark PH intends, thus my Racor is nothing more than a cumbersome cartridge style fuel filter.

While my practical diesel experience would fit in a thimble and my marine diesel experience is nill, that is almost word for word the same thing my CAT service mechanic told me during a visit. I brought up the possibility of upgrading to Racor filters on our stand by generators a year or so ago during his routine maintenance visit. We did not pursue it after that and have stayed with spin on filters for all of our equipment as per his advice.
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:36 AM   #53
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While my practical diesel experience would fit in a thimble and my marine diesel experience is nill, that is almost word for word the same thing my CAT service mechanic told me during a visit. I brought up the possibility of upgrading to Racor filters on our stand by generators a year or so ago during his routine maintenance visit. We did not pursue it after that and have stayed with spin on filters for all of our equipment as per his advice.
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Racors as we know and love them take way to long to change out, thus their declining popularity. Especially for those who lose money when the rig is sitting.

With spin ons you can get redundancy via a dual setup. As to being able to "see" a Racor bowl, even Racor's sales BS claims that buying a vacuum gauge and water detector gives one an early warning before the bowl shows issues.

Last week I saw a great setup with bowl Racors and an Alfa Laval with capacity to treat about 200 GPH. The operators found that only at high flow rates could the Racors perform their centrifugal action magic with crud then showing up in the bowl. At about 4 Gph my Racor isn't close to the design ballpark PH intends, thus my Racor is nothing more than a cumbersome cartridge style fuel filter.
I suprised at both of you, in jumping to conclusions.

1. Sunchaser, I'm sure your filters are seeing far more that 4 gph, in fact I would guess it's a multiple of that amount by a factor of 3 to 6. Which is one of the reasons the filters are so effective.

2. CP THe fact that everyone is using spin on filter applications in new vehicles, gens, etc, just means they are cheaper to build and install. No more, no less.

I also wonder about the efficiency of something that I can not tell what it's doing. That spin on filter that's made in China, who knows what's actually inside each one.

The pig in a poke is alive and well the 21 century.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:00 AM   #54
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Racors as we know and love them take way to long to change out, thus their declining popularity. Especially for those who lose money when the rig is sitting.

With spin ons you can get redundancy via a dual setup. As to being able to "see" a Racor bowl, even Racor's sales BS claims that buying a vacuum gauge and water detector gives one an early warning before the bowl shows issues.

Last week I saw a great setup with bowl Racors and an Alfa Laval with capacity to treat about 200 GPH. The operators found that only at high flow rates could the Racors perform their centrifugal action magic with crud then showing up in the bowl. At about 4 Gph my Racor isn't close to the design ballpark PH intends, thus my Racor is nothing more than a cumbersome cartridge style fuel filter.
I don't know how any one can think it takes a long time to change out a Racor element. A spin on you might be able to change in a minute or two if you don't fill it with fuel first. And a Racor takes, what, 3 minutes? Big deal.

And while you may not get much centrifugal action in some Racor installations, crud still will accumulate in the bowl.

While there is nothing wrong with spin ons, I don't see where they are inherently superior to Racors in any real significant way.

What ever filters you use, if you want a real centrifugal fuel cleaner, an Afla Laval or something like it is the way to go.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:20 AM   #55
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The fantasy of course (promoted by the industry) is that someone can wander down the dock and clean the fuel

AND THE TANK.

They can surely clean the fuel , and perhaps with a high enough return pressure clean some portion of the tank

.A proper fuel tank will have baffles to keep the sloshing pressures down on the tank ends ,nothing will be cleaned from the tank walls ,in the shadow of the baffles..

Mechanical cleaning , a port and a scraper , is all that works.

With a dozen a filters should a big chunk stop flow at the tank pickup, you are dead in the water.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:25 AM   #56
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Here's my take away. None of the Racor critics seem to be saying it doesn't produce quality filtered fuel as advertised. It may take a minute or 2 longer to change one but spending 2 or 3 times as much for a filter change isn't a problem. Apparently they think seeing stuff accumulating in the bowl before the filter shuts you down is a bad thing. It looks to me as if the proponents of the spin on filters want you to buy a product that you have to change more frequently as you can't see what's going on inside and oh by the way costs a lot more. This reminds me of the arguments about traditional gauges verses idiot lights.

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Old 01-22-2015, 08:41 AM   #57
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With a dozen a filters should a big chunk stop flow at the tank pickup, you are dead in the water.
And that did happen to me once in my ex boat due to a bad load of fuel. Luckily I was not in a perilous situation, and I was able to find the issue quickly and clear it out.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:44 AM   #58
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Here's my take away. None of the Racor critics seem to be saying it doesn't produce quality filtered fuel as advertised. It may take a minute or 2 longer to change one but spending 2 or 3 times as much for a filter change isn't a problem. Apparently they think seeing stuff accumulating in the bowl before the filter shuts you down is a bad thing. It looks to me as if the proponents of the spin on filters want you to buy a product that you have to change more frequently as you can't see what's going on inside and oh by the way costs a lot more. This reminds me of the arguments about traditional gauges verses idiot lights.

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Old 01-22-2015, 09:40 AM   #59
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Here's our set-up.
The first photo is the fuel distribution panel. In the foreground is the Supply & Return manifolds (Return above, Supply below). In the background in the corner, is the fuel Transfer manifold. We have 5 fuel tanks which hold a total of 2500 gals of diesel. One of the tanks is used as a dedicated Day Tank (this one is 300 gals). Any fuel that enters the Day Tank is first sent through a 2 micron fuel polishing Racor. (The tall one to the right in the second photo). All 4 engines and one diesel heater take polished fuel from the Day Tank only. The 2 Racors to the left are dedicated to the main engine, via a Dual-Racor arrangement. (notice the vaccuum gauge inbetween the racors). The third Racor in the picture filters fuel for the Gen-sets & wing engine. All Racors are 10 micron, apart from the 2 micron fuel polisher.

So, the fuel is polished and sent to the Day Tank. From the Day Tank, they pass through a 10 micron Racor, and then onto the On-engine filters. So far, this set-up has served us well.

Having a robust fuel filter / management system goes a long way to making my mid-transit head space right. While I do appreciate the simplicity of the spin-on's, I prefer the visual piece-of-mind of the clear bowl Racors more. I can lift out the racors and clearly see what crap has been caught, but with my spin-on (On-engine) filters, I try to look, but end up just tossing them summizing they've done their job and it's 'time' for the change.
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:31 AM   #60
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The fantasy of course (promoted by the industry) is that someone can wander down the dock and clean the fuel

AND THE TANK.

They can surely clean the fuel , and perhaps with a high enough return pressure clean some portion of the tank

.A proper fuel tank will have baffles to keep the sloshing pressures down on the tank ends ,nothing will be cleaned from the tank walls ,in the shadow of the baffles..

Mechanical cleaning , a port and a scraper , is all that works.

With a dozen a filters should a big chunk stop flow at the tank pickup, you are dead in the water.
Bingo! We have a winner!
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