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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Even pros run out of fuel
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Thread: Even pros run out of fuel Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-07-2007 09:25 AM
RickBowman
Gasoline Stowage

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightowle
OK, so maybe this is naive of me and just a dumb question, (but I am kind of a newbie)....for just day sailing what would be wrong about bringing a couple gallons of fuel in a 'gas can' stowed securely below or in a lazerette (as long as the temps weren't too high?

You should not stow or carry an explosive fuel below deck or in any confined storage area aboard a vessel that is not vented out and away. A gasoline leak, vapor or liquid, from that container will allow explosive gas to accumulate in the lowest part of the interior of the vessel, as gasoline vapor is heavier then air which could create an explosive condition with any ignition source, a 12 volt bilge pump switch is an excellent source for ignition, as it is about as low as one can get in the bilge. Traveling jerry cans latched on a sailboat deck are an eyesore and a danger as well; spillage and venting problems with the containers just to name a couple issues. I normally fit the small plastic gas tank to the bottom of the dink and tow it behind. If the dink must come aboard, the auxillary tank gets stowed and attached to the stern railing, but never, ever inside of a locker, or inside the vessel.
04-03-2007 11:46 AM
Valiente I used my dinghy's outboard on the boat once, when I had a cooling issue on the inboard engine. I lashed my Zodiac RIB with a 9.9 Honda on the starboard "hip" and was able to motor about seven NM into the harbour, although the tendency to curve to port (I had to offset the outboard tiller a touch) plus the extra beam made docking a little tricky.

The outboard was definitely overloaded by this, however, and got quite hot. I didn't actually sit in the outboard while it was doing "tug duty", but got my wife to steer while I sat on the rail, ready to kill the throttle or to vary the speed. It was dead calm at the time, which is why I didn't just sail in.

So while it wasn't a fuel problem per se, it showed me the utility of having enough outboard power to get the boat moving. We were able to make 4 knots under the RIB/outboard power, which was pretty decent, considering the boat itself is 10,000 lbs.
04-03-2007 11:18 AM
sailingdog TB-

I'll have to ask SeaTow and Tow BoatUS to keep an eye out for a stranded Nauticat 33... with a very embarrassed looking skipper...

Fortunately for me, dinghy fuel is boat fuel, and vice versa... And I could probably use my boat's outboard on a dinghy.. if the dink were big enough.
04-03-2007 09:13 AM
TrueBlue I can proudly say that during ownership of 5 boats within 26 years, never have I run out of fuel. That is, unless an outboard powered dinghy counts . . . which resulted in a LONG row back to the boat.

Now I've probably gone and cursed myself for this season.
04-03-2007 08:53 AM
sailingdog CaptainChetCo-

This was a professional delivery captain on a delivery of a boat... not exactly what I would consider a pleasure boater...
04-03-2007 03:24 AM
captainchetco Every honest pleasure boater I know has run out of fuel for one reason or another. I've done it twice, 19 years apart. second time was last October.
04-02-2007 10:17 PM
sailingdog Glad to help tom. What we did is we drilled a small hole in the each valve handle and then made a rod that was long enough to reach the distance with two holes in it. Put a screw into each hole and through the ones in the valve handles... and it was a very visible reminder to turn both... since you really couldn't complete the turn without turning both.
04-02-2007 09:48 PM
teshannon sailingdog,
I like that idea and will give it a try. Luckily for me the starboard tank had the capacity to handle it but it was very close.
Tom
04-02-2007 08:54 PM
sailingdog I've seen fuel systems with valves for the fuel and return lines... and the valves weren't keyed to each other, so you could have the fuel come out of the port side tank and return to the starboard tank. Always created a huge mess if the return tank was full... UGH..

Last system I helped install, we put in a bar that ties the two valve handles to each other... so you can't turn one without turning the other. It can be removed pretty easily so if you have an emergency, you can do it... but it will prevent it from happening on a casual basis.
04-02-2007 08:42 PM
teshannon I used to know what I was doing 25 years ago when I had my last boat but am closer to a novice now. That might explain why I ran out of fuel, sort of. Left Annapolis on Saturday heading 40 miles up the bay with my recently purchased Tayana 42. New filters, clean fuel, half a tank in each of the 2 tanks. Sailed a good bit but with the wind on the nose needed to do a good bit of motoring for time constraint reasons. Somewhere along the way the engine does a slow sputter and dies. Check the fuel tanks. Port side empty, starboard side full. What, it was only half full when I left! Light bulb goes off. For some reason the previous owner had the port side return valved to the starboard tank! Now why would he do that! What I did wrong: not check the valve alighnment. What I did right, not much. What the heck, we all had a good time anyway.
Tom Shannon
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