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Old 04-03-2016, 11:21 PM   #21
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I honestly really appreciate it. I will have many similar questions in the future and I know there isn't necessarily any "right" answer.

If the sale goes through, I think I will try and fill up the fuel when I see a good price. I will also use a fuel stabilizer/biocide as I have been used to. I am tempted to change all the fuel filters even though there is not current vacuum issues, but at least I will then know when and with what the filters were changed last.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:47 AM   #22
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Dave,

I am in the same situation as you. We have a Cat 36 that we keep full of fuel, easy to do. I always use an additive because I buy fuel in April and fill in October when we get back from our annual trip north.
Last year we bought a powerboat to supplement our travels. We are going through a lot of fuel, so I am not bothering with the additive. You are south of Seattle, I believe, so your best bet would seem to be Des Moines for fuel. Their prices are always lower than saltwater sites in Seattle. Don't overthink things, just enjoy the experience.
Good luck with your survey.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:56 AM   #23
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Thanks. I saw that Des Moines has pretty good prices and are pretty close to Gig Harbor. Survey was good, waiting on the oil analysis. If nothing horrible shows up, the deal should close in a week.

When that happens, maybe I can get the time to cruise into Hoods Canal, something I have never done in all my years of sailing around the Sound.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:07 AM   #24
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Actually today Oak Harbor is at $1.52, Brownsville at $1.75, Poulsbo at $1.75, Port Orchard at $1.75. Des Moines was at $1.84 on March 1. I don't know their current price. It's all a moving target so always best to check current prices.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:21 AM   #25
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Yup, definitely a moving target. Oak Harbor always seems to have very low fuel prices, but is in the wrong direction. Des Moines currently lists $1.57 on their website and is kind-of on the way. If I could figure out how to update the fuel price on Active Captain, I would. Of course, who knows what it will be like in another week.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:41 PM   #26
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Actually today Oak Harbor is at $1.52, Brownsville at $1.75, Poulsbo at $1.75, Port Orchard at $1.75. Des Moines was at $1.84 on March 1. I don't know their current price. It's all a moving target so always best to check current prices.

You must be lucky guys over there. Expect you are talking $ / gal?
I'm paying that as € / liter ...


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Old 04-04-2016, 01:42 PM   #27
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Yup, definitely a moving target. Oak Harbor always seems to have very low fuel prices, but is in the wrong direction. Des Moines currently lists $1.57 on their website and is kind-of on the way. If I could figure out how to update the fuel price on Active Captain, I would. Of course, who knows what it will be like in another week.
Well, I'd make sure their website is up to date. Don't know which is most current.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:50 PM   #28
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Some folks don't believe that condensation in a partially empty fuel tank is possible while others have seen the results of it. It probably has something to do with the part of the world you live in and keep your boat in. Air moves in and out of the tank as fuel expands and contracts with temperature change and if the air is humid, it can definitely condense on cold tank walls or fuel.


Many "experts" recommend keeping the fuel tank as full as possible to avoid this possibility. As I recall, this is recommended in my boat's owners manual.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:54 PM   #29
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Actually today Oak Harbor is at $1.52, Brownsville at $1.75, Poulsbo at $1.75, Port Orchard at $1.75. Des Moines was at $1.84 on March 1.
.I wish.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:01 PM   #30
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.I wish.
We paid $1.78 in Fort Lauderdale today. Actually $1.68 after volume discount.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:06 PM   #31
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We paid $1.78 in Fort Lauderdale today. Actually $1.68 after volume discount.
Sob. Please stop it.
Last marina price here: $1.20 a liter, land filling stations down to $1.08.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:19 PM   #32
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Does An Empty Tank Condensate? Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

Make up your own mind...but my experience with dozens of salvaged tanks lying around a yard and a shop for years never have enough condensate in them to spit at. My mostly empty tanks never have condensate in them. Boats from Florida, to Mobile, Al, to NJ. Not positive but maybe the most humid part of the US?


Most experts I know now admit the full tank legend mainly came from insurance companies insisting gas boats be topped off to prevent explosions...not worry about condensation.

Especially now with ethanol fuel...many old timers are saying store empty if you can, or full if you can...mostly about ethanol and moisture...not condensation. Diesel is "whatever"....


Can condensation be a problem? Maybe...never have seen definitive proof of it though.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:35 PM   #33
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Actually, I've never experienced or had knowledge of condensation in diesel tanks and I don't know if that's the fuel or the quality tanks typically on diesel boats. I do know in small gas boats on the lake it was a legitimate issue. I have known those with 25 and 30 gallon tanks to have water at the start of a season and I have seen it in smaller six gallon tanks myself. Again, I can't speak as to the why or wherefore and I have no experience seeing it on larger boats with diesel and bigger, perhaps better built, tanks.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:43 PM   #34
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Or water from other sources which is more often the cause.


Have had many a marina blame it on condensation only to have the boat towed in mid season from water getting in vents, necks, fillups, etc.


Not saying it can't happen...but is more rarely an issue than a common one.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:03 PM   #35
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Or water from other sources which is more often the cause.


Have had many a marina blame it on condensation only to have the boat towed in mid season from water getting in vents, necks, fillups, etc.


Not saying it can't happen...but is more rarely an issue than a common one.
That's why I made it clear I'm not certain as to the cause or circumstances. Just that's where I think the concern originated rather than the type boats we're dealing with. The majority of water I've seen on larger boats has either come from the fuel supplied or in more cases come in around the fill or vent.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:00 AM   #36
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My experience,
When I bought the boat it had not been used in some time. I thought I had a fuel biocide problem and used a tank cleaner and biocide preventive for 3 years. It turned out I had a vacuum problem. I stopped using the additives and haven't had a problem once I figured out the vacuum issue. I believe Tony Athens on boatdiesel does not recommend additives but you should check.

I try to keep my tanks full. One warning; if you store for the winter and have a plastic heat shrink cover, if the tanks are full heat can build up and vent fuel. Depending on where you store the boat that can be an expensive cleanup even if just a gallon or two vented.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:19 AM   #37
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You must be lucky guys over there. Expect you are talking $ / gal?
I'm paying that as € / liter ...


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Old 04-05-2016, 07:25 AM   #38
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"Most experts I know now admit the full tank legend mainly came from insurance companies insisting gas boats be topped off to prevent explosions...not worry about condensation."

Today most gasoline boats attempt to have all tanks empty , except the last tank , and will sit with that as empty as possible.

Before use the boat will be filled for the use and returns to the slip as empty as can be done.

This is because the mandated Ethanol in fuel gives gas a 30 day life at best.

The folks that have access to non poisoned fuel pay more at the pump , but have fewer fuel problems.

IF they succeed in raising the alcohol level in diesel to 15% , we all will be using a different fuel management system than today.

The old glass bowl and water sock will probably make a big comeback.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:26 AM   #39
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Actually, I've never experienced or had knowledge of condensation in diesel tanks and I don't know if that's the fuel or the quality tanks typically on diesel boats. I do know in small gas boats on the lake it was a legitimate issue. I have known those with 25 and 30 gallon tanks to have water at the start of a season and I have seen it in smaller six gallon tanks myself. Again, I can't speak as to the why or wherefore and I have no experience seeing it on larger boats with diesel and bigger, perhaps better built, tanks.
Those were specifically the type of boats I was towing with water in the fuel...NOT from condensation.

Condensation troubles is just not the urban legend people keep passing on.

Small tanks are even less likely, especially the ones crammed into smaller boats and wind up having less thermal swings to induce condensation.

I felt alone in this issue when everyone was blaming ethanol for engine problems...I did a lot of research and discussions with fuel distributer guys, marinas, boaters, etc.

Then Compass marine did the study and was the first "study" I had really ever seen geared towards boat tanks. That pretty much confirmed my research.

Even Pascoe who a lot of people disagree with on some things agrees on this...


The Myth of Condensation in Fuel Tanks by David Pascoe: Boat Maintenance, Repairs and Troubleshooting

Another source pointing out an empty 200 gallon tank holds less than an ounce of water...and doesn't explain that most will evaporate back as the day warms up unless you fill the tank right after the moisture condensates onto the tank....

Water Contamination in Fuel: Cause and Effect - American Filtration and Separations Society

I know condensation is scientifically possible in a tank...and some might form in some situations...but people like me have specifically looked for it for years and have never found it in amounts to even worry about or found any at all.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:16 AM   #40
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Having operated a boat yard for many years the condensation issue and tanks was one that was discussed on many occasions. Many boat owners wanted their tanks full for the winter to avoid this possibility.

Curiosity got the best of me one winter and I decided to conduct an experiment. I made it a point to stick my head inside a few tanks, using the inspection ports that left in place but not screwed down, over the course of the winter, every couple of weeks, one each steel, aluminum and FRP.

It's important to understand how condensation forms, in tanks or anywhere else. The best analogy is the cold beer bottle, on whose surface water, condensate, accumulates. It occurs because the bottle is cold and the water in their air, when it makes contact with the bottle, reaches its dew point. This scenario must exist for condensation to form, condensation does not form in humid weather unless the tank's inside surface is colder than the water laden air, cold enough again to reach its dew point. Furthermore, the moist air has to get inside the tank, through the vent. The tank can "pant" with temperature changes, however, it isn't exactly a wind tunnel of air movement.

Water can evaporate and condense on overhead surfaces, however, in fuel tank scenarios the water is trapped beneath he fuel, making this unlikely.,

Where I live, in Southern Virginia, it's a condensation-prone environment, weather patterns sweep through the area bringing extreme temperature and humidity changes for much of the winter and spring (just this past weekend it swung for 80F to 34F in one day). If the weather is cool, and a warm moist front moves through, condensation will form on many surfaces, including deck hardware, and engine blocks, objects that remain cold for some time, and even fiberglass itself. Conversely, cold air sweeping in over a previously warm surface has no such effect.

The results of the above-mentioned condensation test...on no occasion did I ever see a drop of condensation form. Now this is hardly scientific, but I do believe it puts things in perspective. When conducting vessel inspections I do often find condensation forming on the inside of fuel fill caps. These are on deck and subject to cooler temperatures at night, so it makes sense that condensation will form on them. That does represent water in the tank, which isn't good.
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