Fuel Polishing - Revisited

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Tony B

Jul 18, 2011
Cruising/Live-Aboard USA
Vessel Name
Vessel Make
Mainship 36 Dual Cabin -1986
I did a search on fuel polishing on here and noticed several people use the Gulf Coast Fuel Filters with paper towels. How well are your systems holding up and do you still use the paper towels?

I am mechanically challenged so please bare with me.

From what I understand, all I need is a large and small fuel filter and a pump in order to make a portable unit. I was thinking of putting a vacuum cleaner attachment onto the end of the hose figuring that I can target certain areas and also suck water off the bottom. Would this work?

My next question would be that if I use a pump and disturb the sediment on the bottom would this cause a problem or do I just keep polishing until the filters come up clean?

Tony B
For less money and space, buy a Fleetgueard multi stage - call Tony Athen's shop for sizing, For your sail boat it will be a small tidy system. Your dirty fuel problems will be easily dealt with following this move.

-- Edited by sunchaser on Sunday 31st of July 2011 08:49:20 AM
I did exacty that, bought the double double system for the main engine and a single double system for the genset. Very easy to change filters, and the Fleetguard filters are available all over the world (maybe not Antarctic)...
I also use a multistage system I built using the Racor units I already had.

I also borrowed a portable rig and filtered all my fuel. I had half full tanks at the time and ran into one tank, then all back into the other. I was not impressed by how dirty the filters were after filtering. On other words I don't think it did much for me.

Here is the rig I used...I changed the plumbing from what this shows to first it suck thru the racor (10 micron) then push thru the Gulf Coast unit.

-- Edited by jleonard on Thursday 11th of August 2011 07:28:48 AM


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    fuel filter rig.jpg
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Mine's been installed since oh, 2004 or so. Still running strong with no problems. Yes, I still use paper towels for filter elements, but sometimes I have to wind a few more layers to make them fit properly.
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