We've run down to 1/4 tank in Jo Beth with no issues. Sucking air would seem to be a relatively unusual event, even in very severe conditions, given the shape of the tanks and pick-up tube positioning I've seen in most PSC's. A more likely problem would be the stirring up of the sludge and gunk that lay in the nether regions of every fuel tank and that mess getting drawn into the fuel system. Of course, when a tank draws really, really low, water ingestion can also become a potential issue.
Because we go through a tank of fuel so slowly aboard Jo Beth, I've made it a customary practice to have the tank opened, cleaned and the fuel inside polished every three or four years. I also service the fuel system twice per year. Minor overkill perhaps, but so far, so good; no sludge or water issues.
Bill & Lisa Ballard
S/V Jo Beth
1984 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34, Hull #16
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain