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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 03-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yotphix
I have to say, guesser, that it doesn't happen to everyone. I don't mean to sound arrogant but, I am a yacht engineer, and the vessel i work on will not ever run out of fuel while i am in charge of ensuring that. My gauges and their backups may fail, weather may surprise us, but running out of fuel is not an option. One simply needs to be very aware of their vessel and its function to avoid it.
It may be hubristic to say this, but I agree. I keep an hourly log and record fuel consumption (and I use a calibrated stick as I have yet to buy a Tank Tender set-up...) and at the end of each day I write a line with "est. remaining fuel/range" which assumes a cruise speed and a moderate sea and is about 1/3 overcompensated.

I could have a leak or a hose failure or bad diesel, but it would otherwise be pretty hard for me to "run out of fuel" because in the course of normal operations I had simply burned it off.

Besides, doesn't everyone carry a five-gallon jug in the shady spot on deck?
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2007
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Cool

Most boats and ships I have worked on did not have fuel gauges, though they could meter the amount of fuel that an engine or boiler consumes. We sounded the tanks with a sounding tape and measured the amount of fuel in the tank. On some vessels we can meter the amount of fuel we transfer to the day tanks. And on others we sound carefully as we transfer the fuel. But Never have we ever ran out of fuel. We do pay attention to the fuel consumpsion and use those figures in our voyage planning with a fuge factor of about 10 to 15%. Pending on our mission. There are times when we have to figure in fuel usage when operating on station. Either as a fishing boat, research vessel, Oil field work boat and many others in the wide varity of commerial usages of sea going vessels.
But a delivery Capt(?) should know how to work the math to figure out fuel usage and the amount of fuel needed to deliver a vessel. And more importantly know if his/her tanks can hold enough fuel or does he/she need to make refueling stops along the way and those stops should not be more then 3/4 of the max distance of your tankage. (Some people fail to figure in currents also.)
But that is why we put sails on boats right?? So we don't have to listen to those engines running 24/7. Now a Generator may be a different story.
Where are my ear plugs....

A hint, Sound your tanks weekly even if you do have fuel gauges for those tanks... Hey the gauges are man made and are not always fail safe. And keep the Tank tables on board so you know that when you 15" or 2'3" you know what the gallons/liters really are.
And if you don't have tank tables. Well? Use your math and make a set of tables for each tank.

Last edited by Boasun; 03-28-2007 at 10:56 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-01-2007
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I thought you would all get a kick out of that. Wow, I don't even want to think about running out of fuel in the Seattle locks, that must have been kind of stressy! I love the 7 P's, thanks for that one. We don't have a guage on the tanks, there is a sight guage and it is checked daily as well as the engine oil, coolant, belts, stuffing box, and bilge before getting underway. John
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2007
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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?
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Old 04-02-2007
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Nightowle-

Not much... Lots of boats do that... even ones making longer passages, and aren't sure of what the fuel situation will be during the passage. If this guy had done it...it would have been less embarrassing and less dangerous... but he didn't.

The one thing is that you should have those jerry cans very securely lashed down, and preferably covered to protect from direct sunlight, and UV damages the plastic used in the jerry cans. The other problem some people have with using them is that they appear ugly and add more weight to relatively high up in the boat, since they're usually stored on deck, as the larger ones you don't want below or in a lazarette in case of a leak.. Most peopel would rather have the fuel go overboard than into the bilge.
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Old 04-02-2007
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If lashed to the stanchions and covered sufficiently against the sun (I have even seen people use the bigger sort of cloth bags becoming common for shopping instead of the plastic bags), it's not an awful thing on passage. Just keep the vent open a touch to let heated air out.
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Old 04-02-2007
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OK. Thanks. I thought that might work, but talking about fuel seems to be a touchy if not opinionated subject considering I have an Atomic 4 and many don't approve of that engine bc it is gasoline. Anyway, I only have a 2 gallon plastic can that I would use for the dinghy engine, so at least there would be a gallon or two that would get me to the nearest fuel dock if I ran out. Speaking of the Atomic 4...wondering if you have an opinion on adding a fuel additive? I added Marvel Mystery Oil to a recent oil change, as I read that was recommended for the A4. The previous owner left a bottle of lead replacement on board and wondered if it was worth using?
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Old 04-02-2007
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If you're using a two-stroke dinghy motor and have to use it in your atomic 4 in an emergency, it is a lot like adding some of the Mystery Oil-type additives to the gasoline, since that's effectively all they are.

If your fuel is going to sit in a tank for any extended period of time, and it has ethanol in it, which most gasolines do nowadays, since they phased out MTBE, use a fuel stabilizer in the tank. It will help prevent phase separation of the ethanol and the gasoline. Without the ethanol, which is a n octane booster and gasoline oxygenator, the gas has an effective octane rating of about 82.. which is low enough to cause most engines to complain.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-02-2007
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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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Old 04-02-2007
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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.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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