Emergency fuel supply - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-08-2010 Thread Starter
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Emergency fuel supply

This was described to me by a local lobster pot man here on the west coast of Scotland.They often work single handed and must rely totally on their engine.
This is as simple as feeding the spill back pipes off the top of the injectors to a reserve fuel tank mounted above the level of the injector pump-the spill back is continued from the top of the tank back to the main tank and a feed pipe runs from the bottom of the tank to the fuel supply beyond the filter controled by a two way valve. If the filter gets blocked;diesel bug gets into the system;the fuel lift pump fails then you have a totally clean emergency supply.
If you dont have the space for a fixed tank then all you do is carry a reserve supply in a locker that you can link in in the same way using outboard tank bayonet connectors or similar.Do make sure that its well treated with diesel bug killer and replaced regularly -I recently bred some diesel bug in a 5 gallon jerry can I had left in a locker for too long-when I did replace it I tipped it into a 1000litre storage tank at home which became full of diesl bug as did some 400 litres of fuel!!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-08-2010
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Good point on the jerry jugs. Whenever we fuel up the first thing into the tanks is the contents of the jerry jugs. That way we don't forget to keep fresh fuel in them.

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-08-2010
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A day tank or backup tank is always a good idea. I'd point out that you should generally use the rule of thirds when day sailing or taking shorter trips. 1/3 of the fuel to get there, 1/3 of the fuel to get back, 1/3 of the fuel as reserve for emergencies.


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post #4 of 7 Old 08-08-2010
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I have a similar setup in my my boat. I have a 10 gallon tank for my diesel heater that is filled by my engine overflow, if I should run my main tank dry I turn two valves, and have another 10 hours of fuel or so. Have not needed it yet but I do occasionaly run off the day tank to flush the lines. Mine does go through the filter again however, before reaching the engine. I can change that filter in about 90 seconds if I have to.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-12-2010
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Back Up Day Tank

Hey, interesting thread, I've tried to attach a pic. of my 6 Gal Emerg. Daytank,but no luck. But here is the description. It is so practical and portable,every dock mechanic should make one.
Take a 6 Gal outboard fuel can,thread a fitting in the top for a return hose,attach a couple feet of supply hose with a Priming Bulb. There you have it! If you want to be clever,hang a little Racor on it, It can be plumbed in along the Fuel system anywhere before the lift pump. Thanks! JD
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-12-2010
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It is worth having a trial run using the dinghy petrol tank as a diesel tank. Empty the petrol fill with diesel pump a bit back into the dinghy tank to clear the line of any residual fuel, you need to remove the bayonet connector at the end. and try gravity feeding the filter closest to the engine. I was able to trial this and return to normal with having to blled my old Perky.

I have an inline injector pump so not much lekage on the return line but if you have a CAV rotary then you wil need to stick that back into the dinghy tank somehow.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-12-2010
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The very BEST way to do all this is to apply an independent onboard recirc. polishing system at ~3-4 gallons per MINUTE @ 15µM (about 1.5µM 'resident' particle value in the tank in 'recirc' speak) to insure that all the 'seed' particles (spores, bacteria, agglomerating HC fragments, etc.) are constantly removed, then std Racor Primary/Secondary (that essentially NEVER gets challenged with particles due to the recirc. polishing system) but delivering into a small 2-3 gallon 'day tank' located DIRECTLY OVER the engine.

The day tank in 'normal' mode delivers to an internal 'weir' inside the day tank that keeps the day tank always ~full of 'constantly flowing particulate free oil'; but, when all hell breaks loose you can open an atmospheric vent on the top and a bottom cockvalve to 'gravity drain' directly to the injector pump. 3 gallons supply on most small sailboat diesels will give you ~4 hours to 'sort things out'. If you have an onboard polisher and an electric fuel pump at the TANK, most of the 'usual' problems are hardly ever encountered .... tank doesnt agglomerate larger and larger particles, fungus is removed constantly, you never build up the thick biomass on the tank walls to break loose and if you do 'break loose' the HIGH TURNOVER rate of the recirculation polisher will quickly bring the tank back down to acceptable (15µM) residual particle distribution level VERY quickly, ..... and you still dont 'challenge' the relatively low surface area racors in doing so.

DO NOT even think about putting a recirculation polisher on a return line .... the return flow is not the HIGH VOLUME ('tank turnover') you need to effectively operate a recirculation polisher.

I can explain more if you need. I can send a .pdf of what Im talking about - email me at RhmpL33ATattDOTnet
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