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Generator Question

Discussion in 'Generators' started by Kafue, Nov 5, 2012.

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  1. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I don't know how long your fuel sat in your tanks but mine sat for about 2 yrs. before I bought the boat.

    I had a 2040 size racor installed for each engine.

    I used algea killer ( Bio-Diesel, I think ) in the fuel and 2 micron filters for about 3 yrs.

    At first I had to buy filters by the case. Every time we went anywhere and there was a chop on the bay, I could be sure I'd need to change my filters at the next destination.
    If it was really bad, I'd start to loose RPM's in one or the other engine as we went along.
    I have changed them in the middle of the bay when it was really bad but that was not often.

    This was a time before I had ever heard of fuel polishing and my destinations were rarely more that a couple to 4 hrs away, in the Chesapeake Bay which is prolly nothing like your situation.

    I now run 10 micron filters and only need to change them, maybe twice a season not including winterization.

    With the 2 microns I never had to change the secondaries. I never need to change the secondaries with the 10 microns now either. ( except winterization which is not a "need to" but a common sense thing )

    My point is that if you are running around locally you may be able to overcome the algea by changing filters alot and adding additive.
    Fortunately the Racors are pretty easy to change out.
    I became very proficient at it myself.

    I did find out the hard way that if I did not remember to shut the fuel valves when I changed the Racors, it was much more work to prime the fuel system.

    Also my Onan does draw through the Port Racor and the two onan block fuel filters never seemed to get clogged, the genny always ran well.

    Do you ever get water in your racors ? My understanding is that the algea lives on the edge of the water and the fuel. No water, no algea. Maybe there is an additive that will eliminate the water w/o using alcohol.
  2. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    HAHAHAHA!!!
    Merci for the laugh. I can say that I know how to swear in several languages and each has something special to offer; Cursing someone in French it's like getting a kiss on the cheek and a kick up the a$$ at the same time!
    Portuguese is like beating a kitten to death and some African swearing goes back to offending the guys great grandmothers!

    At least you got my day off to a good start.
    Spoke to the professional cleaner yesterday, he wants to charge me WAY TOO much. I think they hear 53 foot Hatteras and add a few thousand dollars.
    Also I have 5 tanks. Only want 3 cleaned as they are the big ones but getting INTO them is the big issue.
    Then I called these guys:

    Fuel Doctors Australia

    They also can physically clean out the tanks but believe I should try their product for the short term and see how it works. Of course this gives them best sale both ways, but if it means going through a few dozen filters over a year or so to get on top of this then it will be cheaper.
    I will keep you all updated.
  3. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    After getting the quote to clean the 3 main tanks yesterday, I am beginning to agree with you. See the above post and thanks Mate!
  4. Liberty

    Liberty Senior Member

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    Yes, please do. We use our boat frequently, virtually every weekend, so I haven't had diesel fuel problems yet. But be nice to hear what the solution is, if we do ...

    Guinea pig away!

    :D
  5. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    Welcome to the world of professional boat maintenance... whether you do it yourself or pay for it... the Frenchie term applies.

    Really... wait tell you see the bill for a metal hulled boat with double bottom built in hull tankage. You do not let that go!

    Seriously... you need a 2-5 micron filter before it gets to the injection pump.

    Stainless steel mesh or bronze mesh cleanable filter media are the way to go for 10-20 micron pre filter... as you can clean and there is no cost penalty really.

    I suppose idea of loading up with some cleaning chemical treatments and going out in a rough cop... will work... but you better be close to home... but you have to have a very robust filter system installed and clean day tank and fuel... then transfer the fuel around polishing it as you go.

    A recommendation if you do this slosh deal: years ago I was involved in research of fuel system survivability in military applications... it had been found with lots of research... if the tank is 90-92% full by volume that is the WORST CASE for SLOSH... so if you can shoot for that fill volume for maximum cleaning action. Boat motions will be similar but not quite as intense as on the slosh stand but that level of fill is still the worse case... as it was derived on the "slosh test stand" with lots of testing... no matter tank size or configuration. Worst case for roll is 30 degrees either side of centerline. I would have to look up the vibration worst case and the rate... but it seems to me worst cast rate was around 12-15 cycles per minute... and the vibration seems to me was 1.5 mm displacement by 3000 cycles per minute.

    You can get a little eccentric vibration shaker powered by DC or AC... and attach to the tanks on the outside rigidly... and it will put the shake on the thing... you would be surprised how effectively it will vibrate the thing... This will really clean things. But be careful you can shake things loose if things are not secure and well built. Install on one tank and move to the others as you get them clean.
  6. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    I have 30 micron Racors, then the DD filters, so I like to think I am getting all this bad gunge before it does damage.
    Just had another tank cleaner come to see the boat. He will give me a quote Tuesday.
    I have a lot to work out this weekend.
    Again, thanks for the time and advice.
  7. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    You can also buy these in a magnetic variety if your tanks are steel.

    A good rough 15Knot breeze out of the North usually did the same job for us.
    Bouncy bouncy ............
  8. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    You are Welcome,

    One final word... if you have enough flow capacity through your fuel system... in other words way more than you need in perfectly clean fuel situation... almost no matter how dirty the fuel is with a properly designed filter system you can handle it without engine starvation problems as you have designed based on worst case.

    To save money the boat builders do not do this and build for clean fuel conditions. That is why people have problems when they have dirty fuel loads etc. The system is designed for light contamination loads a the anticipated flow needed to run the engines and generators. In a transfer fuel system the design is based on time or rate of transfer between tanks... usually this is ballast criteria... but a transfer system will have higher margins as you don't want it to take all day to transfer fuel.

    Day or buffer tanks provide a margin for when temporary demand exceeds (like full power operation) the normal expected flow rates.

    Yes, the 30 micron Racor then the DD filters are good enough. Your only issue might be capacity of the Racors as you might have to change often during a cleaning deal. I don't know (as I don't do the work myself) particulars as to Racor or any other brand... but if you can go down a step to 15-20 micron on the Racor if possible.

    Remember the fuel system includes the pipes, fitting and pumps... it all must be properly designed. There are engineering design rules of thumb as to acceptable flow rates in pressure and suction piping. Meaning pressure pipes are alway smaller than suction pipes... yards, owner and maintenance people typically do not understand the engineering behind it. To change the system you had better look into that side.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The brand and type of additive I recommended, does not clog the fuel filters. It kills the algae and disintigrates it, and the filters do not get clogged. It works very well and is very popular with the commercial truckers. The company that makes it is "Power Service", they recommended using the "bio Kleen" and the "clear tank diesel" at the same time. The stuff you used just killed all of the algae, but didn't do anything to disintigrate it or disperse it.

    Transfer what fuel you can out of your smaller tanks to your large ones, if you can get them bone dry or close to it, that will kill whatever algae is on the walls of those tanks. Treat the other tanks with the Power Service stuff. I am telling you from many years of experience, polishing the fuel will only get the large stuff out, if you don't treat it with the proper additive, it will grow right back in a month or two.....and IMO polishing is a waste of money, unless you can't run the engines for 5 hours without clogging filters, then it's a necessity.

    Trust me when I tell you this, find the 2 Power Service products, and use the concentrated amount for cleaning on the bottle......import the stuff if you have to.
  10. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Hi Mate, I learnt the hard way about what you just said.
    As for the product you mention, it is not available in Aussie BUT Fuel Doctor is. Please do not confuse our Fuel Dr with the scam one in the US. I spoke with the owner and he basically has re-iterated what you have just posted. What I need is to disintegrate the algae. As you both said, killing it only blocks filters, I need it diluted and OUT.
    He is working on a quote for me to 1. Treat the tanks chemically and/or 2. Both manually clean them and then maintain them with the product. Check it out on the website I posted earlier.

    Today I found the access point to the AFT tank. What bloody joke! Followed the hoses from the back of the ER. Had to drill a few test holes in the storage locker under the entry step in the cockpit to the saloon. Just nicked 2 fuel hoses but not too bad, basically just cut into the rubber outer with a drill. The marine ply was over 2” thick. Then had to carefully cut out the timber floor to access the inlet to the tank. Why would the builder not have had an opening panel? Nuts! BTW, Didn't have time to sand the sides back so it's still a bit rough looking!:eek:
    Anyway, another day, another lesson.
    Cheers,
    George

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  11. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    THAT's why you bought a Hatt !! for that " Bullet Proof" feeling !! :D
  12. MaxHammer

    MaxHammer New Member

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    I would kill for flexible sander!!Argh...

    Hi,

    Im building 72 foot long yacht and I would love to know, if there is any flexible electric sander that can sand large curved area and can actually copy the surface. Are there any? Or do I live in land of dreams? :p

    Maybe it is just not possible to make.
  13. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Are you sanding or grinding? What material?

    There are many options you can use.
  14. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    I am assuming you are wanted to "fair" the surface. In other words either sand to prevent or make true the surface without hills and valleys to the intended or designed shape.

    There are auto body inline reciprocating sanders of about 12-14" long by about 2-2 1/2" wide (3-3.5 cm by .5 to .7 cm) but most of these are pneumatic.

    There are electric belt sanders of about 9" long by 1" wide for smaller areas.

    Both of these solutions are not big enough for boats ... and the power actuation limits control for "Blocking" meaning fairing the surface to an even curve or shape over large areas. The problem is large areas on a cars are small in comparison to a boat. In fact large cars often times are too big for the standard machines... and you can get wavy lines.

    Usually fairing is carried out by very long "blocking boards" which can be controlled or held in slight curvature or adjusted flat... operated by a team of MEN. Typically these vary from 2-3m long (approx 6' to 10') and relatively narrow.

    Sadly, electric or power operation of these is not possible and it's people driven. To fair a large sail boat costs the earth. Often power displacement boats made of metal are not faired or even any big effort to smooth the welds over. Fiberglass is usually faired... if molded the mold is faired.

    What happens with a block that is used to fair a hull when powered it is too easy to develop an uncontrolled situation particularly with several men having to hold on to it.... and it will do more harm than good. I have not seen a large electric or other mechanically driven system in my experience. And, if you add up the man hours in fairing a boat well... and you are writing the check... I assure you... if you could find a better way the yard would use... you would.
  15. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    Karo, Where have you been hiding? There is an electric conversion kit available for the old fashioned long boards, it isn't OSHA approved but VERY effective! :D;

    Actually there is one automated system I've seen advertised that is basically a 5-axis milling machine that has spray and sanding attachments in addition to cutting heads that reportedly will cut and fair a surface. Not justifiable for smaller operations though, we'll just have to keep doing it the hard way. At least we save on annual physical expenses, if you can work a long board, your heart is in fine shape!

    In all seriousness and if the OP's thread hijack is legit, there has yet to be an easier method for fairing large surfaces to my knowledge. 16-1/2" by 2-3/4" orbital air boards will help somewhat for smaller areas but there's no substitute yet on the market. Put your mind to it and come up with one and you'll certainly get our attention!

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  16. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    Bill106...
    Must be old fashioned...

    Anyway I have seen a robotic sander... But I don't think that was what you were thinking of... as it it not cheap. Nearly twenty years ago now I remember visiting a company developing a robotic production line for wooden guitars. Very interesting the rather large Fanuc robots sanding guitar bodies and polishing just like a human could do. Also, remember a big pile of "setup mistakes" in the corner.

    Being basically a sailboat guy... most are faired very finely compared to motor yachts and even in places you might expect some automated solution I still see hand work predominating.

    As to the perfect surface... try a 5th generation stealth aircraft on for size with about .o5mm shape accuracy over the entire aircraft! This means from front to back... actual localized shape accuracy over your 2 meter sanding block distance would be about .001mm on a panel. The gantry mills used are huge about 30m beds and end to end accuracy less than .005 mm. So all you have to do is take the your hull over to Northrop Grumman and stand in line for a break in F35 production... and they'll mill it to shape.

    Sort of like comparing your personal computer with a chip clock speed of 3 gigabytes to an obsolete the 8 terabyte clock speed of chips in satellite use.
  17. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    I'm curious. When you finally got to the space you couldn't get to... how is it that everything in that previously inaccessible space appears to be relatively new?...:)
  18. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Because stuff that lives in clean dry dark places generally holds up pretty well. That is nothing unusual.
  19. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    I have found that the fuel tanks have made good homes for these organisms over time. I only named them "Algae" for lack of any other description, although I did study micro biology a century ago or so...
    So far the Fuel Doctor is doing what it's meant to do, clean it out send it through the filters and as time goes by, seeing as I fill the tanks to FULL then the entire tank should be cleared for the short term. After that I intend to use the same additive each time I fill up.
    FWIW, I just had a week away on the boat and changed the filters a few times, especially the generator filter and it is cleaning the growth out. Will keep you updated.
  20. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Follow Up

    Follow Up:
    I have now used the entire mid tank from full (350 Gallons) and half Forward tank (225 Gallons).
    The Generator has only cut out at those times when the filters were so bad they needed replacing.
    The fuel additive I used, Fuel Doctors (the Australian company, not the US version), seems to have done the work it was supposed to. At last count I have gone through 9 Racor filters and most importantly, the additive is “carrying” the crap out the tanks rather killing it and leaving it on the bottom of the tank. I think we have knocked this problem on the head.
    Now it will be a maintenance issue: use the additive on every fuel fill.

    BTW: just returned from across Moreton Bay with 40 knot winds and some steep 3 metre waves with the occasional 2 metre swell. We JUST beat the bad weather that made mooring interesting!
    Let’s say it ended up requiring me to use the SCUBA gear and removing a random buoy and chain from between the rudder and prop.

    The Gold coast is getting 45 to 60 knot winds, the ocean is foaming on the beach a few roofs getting airborne, which is nothing in comparison to the poor guys up North and in Brisbane who are once again emptying homes ahead of floods. Wish you guys of Queensland GOOD LUCK!