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Diesel This is a forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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Old 12-08-2013
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Fuel System and ABYC Standards

Hi there,

I just have a quick question regarding fuel systems and the standards put out by the ABYC. I'm going to be redoing a few sections of my fuel system, including a manifold for distribution to the main components (the engine, polishing system, heater, pump). Having experience with hydraulics, I feel compelled to use the JIC 37 flare for this piece of hardware. I realize this is overkill, but 1) I already have a bunch of the fittings and solid tubing available and 2) have the experience to make a reliable system 3) I enjoy the safety factor involved with overkill. Dont worry, I realize it is important to maintain flexible hose for the manifold to engine connection.

I have access to 316 stainless tube for the fuel. ABYC puts out a rule that states something along the lines of (this is the Transport Canada version, but you get the idea):

7.4.4 Every metallic fuel line:

1.shall be made of seamless annealed copper, nickel-copper, or copper-nickel;
2.shall have a minimum wall thickness of 0.75 mm (1/32 in); and
3.shall be galvanically protected from the structure in aluminum hulls.

I realize they dont make rules to cover every situation - but is there an actual reason why they dont specify stainless steel as OK, or am I just overthinking it?

Thanks for any input.

Cheers
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Old 12-08-2013
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Re: Fuel System and ABYC Standards

There are some justifications for the requirement, but for these purposes it doesn't really matter what they are. If you use tube and it doesn't comply with the regulations the vessel is also out of compliance with USCG safety and environmental requirements. See http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/...YC.1002.01.pdf pg 52.

Frankly the preference is to move towards hose instead of tubing because of concerns over vibration, and the difficulty in properly supporting tube.
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Re: Fuel System and ABYC Standards

OK - I get the standard. But can you please explain to me these supposed justifications. I'm not interested in the 'because' rule, but rather why?

The JIC standard is used on massive pieces of machinery around the world. It is in many ways similar to the AN standard, which is what is used in the very vibration prone world of aviation.

I'm not questioning the 'move to hose' either. For my specific purpose, tubing makes more sense right now. 'They' seem to have no problem with solid tubing either. Why no spec on stainless? I see some of the polishing systems (such as the FilterBoss) have stainless tubing. Does installing one of these bring ones boat out of compliance?

Last edited by nsweeting; 12-08-2013 at 09:24 PM.
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Re: Fuel System and ABYC Standards

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Originally Posted by nsweeting View Post
OK - I get the standard. But can you please explain to me these supposed justifications. I'm not interested in the 'because' rule, but rather why?

The JIC standard is used on massive pieces of machinery around the world. It is in many ways similar to the AN standard, which is what is used in the very vibration prone world of aviation.

I'm not questioning the 'move to hose' either. For my specific purpose, tubing makes more sense right now. 'They' seem to have no problem with solid tubing either. Why no spec on stainless? I see some of the polishing systems (such as the FilterBoss) have stainless tubing. Does installing one of these bring ones boat out of compliance?
My guess is that the prohibition has to to with the way stainless work hardens. I can't think of any other reason why it would be prohibited.

It may make more sense for you, but the instant it is installed the boat becomes illegal to operate in the US. Should you then have a fuel leak I would bet the insurance company would deny environmental coverage, and you could be help liable not only for the fuel leak, but also for operating a vessel out of spec.

I will look into it an see if I can come up with a better answer for you, since is don't like 'it's the rules' answers either.
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Re: Fuel System and ABYC Standards

IMHO it's the work hardening aspect of stainless steel lines that make it a no-go for fuel, or any other tubing on a boat.

Look around, even mega-yachts of the 'cost is no matter' type NEVER use stainless pipes.
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Re: Fuel System and ABYC Standards

So I'm curious, do systems like the FilterBoss (0 TO 180 GPH | Diesel Fuel Polishing Systems | Racor Dual Filter System | FilterBoss) which are spec'd with stainless tube bring a boat out of compliance? Seems strange that they would be selling such a product. Some builders are offering such systems included with various packages. Also seems strange that they would be sending out new boats out of compliance. Anyone aware of the reasons behind this?
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Re: Fuel System and ABYC Standards

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Originally Posted by nsweeting View Post
So I'm curious, do systems like the FilterBoss (0 TO 180 GPH | Diesel Fuel Polishing Systems | Racor Dual Filter System | FilterBoss) which are spec'd with stainless tube bring a boat out of compliance? Seems strange that they would be selling such a product. Some builders are offering such systems included with various packages. Also seems strange that they would be sending out new boats out of compliance. Anyone aware of the reasons behind this?
Stainless fittings aren't prohibited, just stainless tubing. Which is why I think it is a work hardening issue, not a corrosion or material compatability one.

Researching this I also looked at the Canadian rules which also prohibit stainless fuel lines, and LLoyds which do as well.

Unfortunately no one gives an explanation, just the rule.
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Re: Fuel System and ABYC Standards

The FilterBoss system includes stainless tube, not just fittings. Sorry for pestering, I'm just wondering why this can be sold. I believe Hunter and a few other offer these systems as options in new builds as well. Perhaps a question for the manufacturer...
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Re: Fuel System and ABYC Standards

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsweeting View Post
The FilterBoss system includes stainless tube, not just fittings. Sorry for pestering, I'm just wondering why this can be sold. I believe Hunter and a few other offer these systems as options in new builds as well. Perhaps a question for the manufacturer...
The rules only refer to installed fuel lines, not subsystem lines. I have asked around, and I can't really get a good answer other than
1) work hardening
2) the difficulty in adding connections
3) galvanic problems

1) could be a real issue depending on installation method
2) proper workmanship should solve this, but flaring stainless is difficult so they may be prohibiting it to prevent bad workmanship
3) is covered by other rules on dissimilar metals.

If anything turns up I will pass it on, but for now the best I can say is if they are installed properly there doesn't seem to be a technical reason why, but thems the rules, and being out of compliance is against the law...
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Re: Fuel System and ABYC Standards

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
My guess is that the prohibition has to to with the way stainless work hardens. I can't think of any other reason why it would be prohibited.

It may make more sense for you, but the instant it is installed the boat becomes illegal to operate in the US. Should you then have a fuel leak I would bet the insurance company would deny environmental coverage, and you could be help liable not only for the fuel leak, but also for operating a vessel out of spec.

I will look into it an see if I can come up with a better answer for you, since is don't like 'it's the rules' answers either.
I don't think it makes the boat illegal to operate as ABYC is not a legal requirement though your insurance company would likely be unhappily. Many insurance policies require meeting ABYC for modifications and might ask for some systems to be brought up to the standard though some may not.

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