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Old 12-06-2021, 08:29 PM   #21
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The idea that a rolling and pitching seaway will stir up crud and particulates is generally but not always true. If you have a boat that feeds from the bottom of a tank rather than from dip tubes, any crap (or water) will be drawn through the primary filters every time an engine is run regardless of whether the engines return much fuel. My tanks are bottom feeders with a valve about one inch off the bottom. I also have a valve at the very bottom directly underneath the feeder valve. Every once in awhile I open the bottom valve for a look-see. In about 7,000 cruising miles of ownership I have seen just one small speck of crud and no water. Never got a bad load of fuel but I do understand that it can happen. Rather than polishing, I rely on the vacuum gauges on the primary filters to tell me if I have a problem. New fuel taken on? Watching the gauges closely the first day will tell a story. Carry filters. Change as necessary. I rather doubt that even with a bad load of fuel, a boat could not reach its next destination safely.
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:39 PM   #22
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you are wrong about that. A sufficiently dirty tank or bad load of fuel can clog a primary pretty quickly.
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Old 12-10-2021, 01:56 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by catalinajack View Post
+1. As Comodave says, good sequential filtration is all you need. That, and vacuum gauges. IMHO, fuel polishing and the use of day tanks are a waste of time and money. But, mine is just one opinion. I would be happy to acquire a boat that already has a system in place, at someone else's expense, then remove it and sell it all to to fund other needs.
I am refitting my GB36 and intend to install a polishing system on the 2 main tanks (165G each) and add a 100G day tank. I will be cruising in the Bahamas quite a bit and their reputation for fuel quality is shaky. Also I like the idea of knowing that the fuel in the day tank won't present problems (clogged filters/separators) while underway. It may be a waste of money for most, but I like the peace of mind.
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Old 12-10-2021, 02:19 PM   #24
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Polishing System

If you use 3/8 lines make sure your valves are full port. Any reduction in the diameter will restrict flow.
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Old 12-10-2021, 03:22 PM   #25
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I am refitting my GB36 and intend to install a polishing system on the 2 main tanks (165G each) and add a 100G day tank. I will be cruising in the Bahamas quite a bit and their reputation for fuel quality is shaky. Also I like the idea of knowing that the fuel in the day tank won't present problems (clogged filters/separators) while underway. It may be a waste of money for most, but I like the peace of mind.
Not a waste in my book. Ive had engines shut down twice due to bad fuel. The first from a batch I inherited when we bought the boat and one of the Lehmans quit during a rough passage on Pamlico Sound. The second was in benign conditions about a year after wed had the tanks professionally cleaned but had picked up some crappy fuel in upper NY. We have vacuum gauges on both Racors and I check them hourly while underway.

As Ive posted before, our boat came with a 250-gal aft tank that we use as a day tank. The twin saddle tanks are just for fuel storage. I plumbed in a system that draws from the very bottom of the saddle tanks, through a Fleetguard filter and into the day tank. Takes 20 or 30 minutes to fuel up for a days run plus reserve while Im having morning coffee. Before the boat gets put away for any length of time, the day tank gets pumped back into one of the saddle tanks.

Zero problems and zero worries about stirring up crud since. I think youll be happy with the approach youre taking.
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Old 12-10-2021, 05:12 PM   #26
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Obviously I'm a proponent of having a polishing system as I have one. It also serves to move fuel between my tanks. I have had 2 batches of bad fuel in 6 years. Neither was catastrophic, and both were removed by the polisher before they reached the main filters. Imo, if you cruise and buy fuel at different places, getting some bad fuel is a very real possibility. Having a clear bowl on the bottom of your polishing filter (such as a Racor) can alert you to a potential problem before it shuts you down. I run my polisher and transfer fuel about every 3rd cruising day before moving the boat while I do fluid level checks. The draws are at the lowest point of each tank. A minute of polishing tells me if there's anything in the very bottom of tank.

The other nice feature of a fuel polisher is the ability to deal with a large quantity of contamination. Visualize getting 5 gallons of bad fuel in a 300 gallon load. Much of the contamination would separate and collect in the transparent bowl of my Racor 1000 polishing filter. So I can watch the bowl fill with contaminants, shut the pump off, drain the bowl into another container, and repeat.

Some engines (such as a Lehman) return almost no fuel. So contamination can collect for years in the bottom of a fuel tank until the fateful day when you're out in heavy seas and all that stuff at the bottom gets stirring up and shuts down your engine. A friend of mine with a 42 Krogen with a Lehman now has a Racor 900 with a piston style 30 GPH electric fuel pump. He runs it while cruising to supplement the miniscule frow of the Lehman.

It's also important to understand that fuel contamination isn't only from buying bad fuel. Boats that sit (sometimes for years) precipitate asphaltene out of the fuel. A significant quantity of this collecting at the bottom of the fuel tank, can easily plug a primary filter when stirred up. Water can also enter the tank from a bad oring on a deck fill port.

Lots of good reasons to have a polishing system. A large Racor separator filter and a piston style electric fuel pump can be had for under $500.

Ted
Exactly. Well said in all aspects.

I agree.
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Old 12-10-2021, 08:30 PM   #27
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you are wrong about that. A sufficiently dirty tank or bad load of fuel can clog a primary pretty quickly.
Define quickly. One hour? Four hours? Eight hours? In eight hours, my Lehman 120s will pass no more than 16 gallons each. I hazard a guess that the primary filter will not plug up before I can reach my next stop.
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Old 12-10-2021, 08:34 PM   #28
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you are wrong about that. A sufficiently dirty tank or bad load of fuel can clog a primary pretty quickly.
Well, you guys spend money on installing a system. I'll just stock filters and monitor my vacuum gauges. Perhaps someday I will get a bad load but I won't be caught with a surprise shut-down if I do.
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