There’s still time this summer to break out your boat or even to talk your friend who owns a boat into taking you out for a ride. If you didn’t already know, boats are powered by fuel – not water. Fueling up a boat isn’t too much different from your car, but there are extra precautions to take. Here are 6 safety tips for properly fueling your boat.
Secure the Boat
The first step is to make sure that your boat is secure, either by hooking it up to a trailer hitch or tying it to a dock. The main idea here is to keep the boat level with the water or ground. Check out 5 Basic Boating Knots for Beginners in case you need the practice.
Move Everyone Ashore
Next, move everyone out of the vessel and step off after them. This is crucial for avoiding an emergency situation like an accidental fire. Double-check for any riders below deck as dangerous fumes, which weigh more than air, will travel throughout the boat during fueling.
Know What Fuel You Need
Depending on your boat’s engine, it’s going to either run on gasoline or diesel. Your owner’s manual will give you the best insight into which product to use. Typically, you will want to choose gasoline for smaller inboard engines or stern-drive powerboats. Larger and commercial boats (45+ feet) will almost always runs on diesel.
Reduce Static Buildup
Similarly to how you should ground yourself at the gas station before pumping, you should try your best to reduce static buildup before fueling. This is also true if you are using a portable fuel container. You can even touch the nozzle to the can for additional safety.
Pay Close Attention While Fueling
While most gas stations on land will have an automatic shutoff, it’s best to pay close attention and stop fueling at around 90% capacity. The last thing you want when you are out on the water is a spill. Fuel can expand when heated so don’t take the chance of hurting the environment.
Don’t Forget the Cap!
As soon as you have finished fueling your boat, screw the cap back on nice and tight. This will ensure that the fuel stays where it needs to be. Let everyone back on, untie yourself from the dock, and slowly head out until you’ve passed the “No Wake” signs.
It’s always important to be cautious around fuel, especially when your supply starts to get low. HSO proudly delivers fuel quickly and efficiently around Missouri. Call us today at 1-800-467-5044 to learn more!