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Old fuel problem updated. Still no Joy

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Capt Ralph, May 25, 2015.

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  1. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    That will depend how fast you are pumping it
  2. TeKeela

    TeKeela Member

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    I forgot where I was. I should have been more specific. Let's say a dialed down 80 gallons a minute. NOT a fuel rate of someone who "bunkers".
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    You will need a big machine to treat that volume of fuel properly.

    If you run a fuelling operation you would be better to re circulate the fuel through a separator whilst in storage than trying to spin out all the water and dirt on the fly.
  4. TeKeela

    TeKeela Member

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    While I assume most larger boats have a centrifuge before the day tank, why not spin it before it goes into the main tanks as well and reduce the risk of fouling them to the extent of rcrapps. But if a reasonably priced unit can't spin it fast enough to accommodate the fueling, even with the pump dialed back to a reasonable rate, then it's a moot point.
  5. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    On large vessels I am most familiar with the fuel is bunkered into the double bottom tanks, the day tanks are generally filled via the separator(s) which can also be configured to transfer the fuel between tanks. The day tanks can also be filled by the transfer pumps and the emergency pump fuel transfer pump.

    If possible and if the ship is arranged the right way I like to recirculate from one tank to the day tanks and have them overflow back to that same tank.

    I will top this tank up at midday every day and record the amount in my midday report
  6. dsharp

    dsharp Senior Member

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    We put boats in the lift for customers whenever needed. Just nose it in the slip and lift.
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    When I ran the traveler in my fathers yard, rule #1 was instilled me; When the slings started taking weight; NOBODY ON THE BOAT till it is blocked!!!
    Thru the years many yards have had the same standing rule.

    When I tapped on my yard with my idea, they went for it without any fuss (schedules pending). That did surprise me.
    So, slings for and aft, high bow, aft supported and not driven down into the water, they lifted me up a few feet (still in the well) and went to lunch.

    I assume it's not a deal with people on board if the hull is still in the well and not completely hanging. I would have said no if asked years ago. Maybe I was overly brainwashed.

    Off shore sux. We made St.Augustine (by ditch) this evening. Blowers on and I'll check the filters in the Morning. Both mains running from the aft tank and the flow meters were behaving normally.
    First sign of problems is when the flow meters display out of norm figures; usually the Racors are getting trashed by Something (lately water).
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  8. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Wednesday we got tangled up in a washing machine sea after a rain. 2 /3 from different directions. Sure enough, the fuel flow meters started acting up. Some more water and a lot of trash. Not too surprised.
    opened second Racors and continued thru the slop. The next morning at FtPirce marina, replaces some really trashed filters and rinsed the bowls out. Bunker and off again.
    Made Moor Haven Friday night. Racors look pretty good. Think the last of the water is gone and after the tossing.
    Tonight at Rose Marina at Marco island. Racors still look good.

    Tomorrow we take Fort Jefferson..
  9. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    From another thread, A friend reminded to report on what I found;

    The night mare came to a head when I knew the tank was bone dry from fuel and any water. Even put the boat in the slings, tilted the bow way, way up and polished all of the fuel, water and snot from the aft tank.

    Then, our vacation started the following week. Down the east coast, thru mid FL out to Ft Myers and Marco Island.

    Some more water captured in the Racors first days offshore heading to Ft Peirce. Figured trapped water, even Way Bow up did not help get out....,,, Trying to think positive..

    All good to Ft Myers.

    A low pressure started up off the Yucatan and the weather kept our ship in constant sea spray and rain around the Tortugas and back to Key West. By Marathon, there was big water in the Racors from the aft tank.

    A week later, all this time in offshore slop, we returned back to Jax, We could not draw any fuel from the aft tank, just water.

    Even though we rotated our engines to draw from either tank. Never a problem from the front tank, I still checked the fuel coolers again.

    Later, back home, on the dock, standing next to our Bert, frustrated, second (third) rum in hand, I just reached over and spun off the aft fuel cap to talk down to the fuel tank demons,,, and then,, I noticed something,, water condensation under the cap.
    @#$%^ me.

    That's when I started taking the boat apart and found;

    After 35 years, the sealant failed (was gone) between the on deck fuel fill neck. Water leaked past the neck to deck joint. The hose clamps directly below rusted out and failed. The wire in the fuel hose rusted and caused the hose to expand. I figure 5 years ago, the top of the deteriorating fuel hose started funneling out. This hose funnel captured any (all) water that leaked past the fuel deck fill & deck.
    This supplied my aft tank with constant water (rain & seas). Rain water (low salt, no chlorine, hot fuel) started a bio world that was knocking my sox off. Every rain storn, every wave, lots water from the deck leaked past the failed gasket, into a funnel, draining into my aft fuel tank, starting a world of unstoppable,,,, snot that would clog the Racor check ball (before the element).

    I have fixed the fill, replaced the hose. STB, E R air-box still in pieces. Purchased a 6" SeaBuilt Access plate but not installed yet for better forward tank end cleaning.
    Like the plumbers house, it's the last to get worked on by weeks end.

    Know what it is and where from now. It will be there when I get to it, Before our next vacation,,,, Exumas...
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I think with this fixed, if you can get the water out this time, your fuel problems should be fixed and you shouldn't have to install the inspection plate.
  11. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    The pains getting the water out before will have to be re-lived. If you remember, the bottom of the aft tank slopes down following the hull form as to goes forward. The fuel pickup for the engines are towards the aft end. There is no access to this forward end of the tank. Baffles restrict any pick-up wands going forward. I would have to run the boat raising the bow and capture water and probably more snot, in the Racors a lil at a time. Or go back in the slings again with a crazy bow up angle that may not get it all out.
    It's a 6 inch plate but a 4" hole. I have already the hole saw, plate kit and hole location planed out. Stand-alone fuel polishing rig in my shed.

    Just got to stage everything and knock it out.

    Like the plumbers house, it's the last to get worked on by weeks end, or the next week end, or maybe the next week end,,,,

    Alas, Were still mobile using the forward fuel tank.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  12. g collis

    g collis Member

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    Why not have a yards travelift pick up the bow a foot or so
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    See #17 above.
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    To all. I reread my thread tonight. I have to state where my fuel problems started at and not a fuel pump, I have just recently resolved it was not from that pump, it was an on board ship problem. Just the timing was perfect.
    I bring this up to explain;
    1) I was wrong where the water came from.
    2) I was to fast to blame something quickly.
    3) I failed to take everything into account where the water could be possibly be coming in from.
    4) Lucky that da kat kept pointing it out till I found it.
    Here, his paw is on it,, again.
    20150722_193633a.JPG
    Yep, that's our rum. Yep, that's the deck fill.

    5) On a boat, there are things that will drive us crazy.
    6) I thought wife 2 was nuts. I am correct here, but working on boats is nutty also.
  15. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Ah, the answer hiding in plain sight, again. Almost wants to make you put a nice little inspection plate there with the filler neck below deck....
  16. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Five years later I have to report my final discovery and fix was sound.
    Now to follow up on some fuel treatment threads that has come up in the last few months.
    Before 5 years ago I believed not to ad any snake oil in my fuel.
    In desperation, I did ad a recommended brand that helped the fuel absorb some water, turned the dyed fuel to tomato soup, then turned the remaining water into snot.
    Yes, I did find and resolve a fuel/water issue and happy since.

    I discovered today, a reminder not to ad snake oils to my fuel;
    Realizing a Racor check ball issue recently, I went to install the RK-11028B kit last night and finished tonight. In removing the filter bowls for the port engine that draws from the forward tank, all was great. Some sh*t but all cleaned up nicely and quickly put together and tested well.
    This evening I went for the stb engines Racors. These filters normally draw from the aft tank. The fuel tank that had all those snot problems and the only tank any treatment was added to. First, I discovered the check valve plastic washers were missing. After clearing the bowls of a matching blob of sh*t as the port filters (no snot), it appears a reaction to the plastic has happened where water would normally settle in the bowls bottom. All 4 bowls were new 5 years ago.

    I am convinced the fuel treatment dissolved the check ball washers and ate into the Racor plastic bowls.
    I shudder to think what else could of been damaged.

    Keep in mind, both Racors are usually open. They are at an angle and more at angle with bow up. The bowl with the red fuel dye melted into the plastic was the lower of the two bowls.

    Attached Files:

  17. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    You can see my sorry paint chipped deck thru the bowls well except where they were chemical burned by the fuel snake oil.

    Why I bring this up; A reinforcement of my comments on those other fuel additive threads, If it's not broke, don't ad any snake oils.

    Attached Files:

  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Snake oil is a wide ranging category. It seems that every year a bunch come on the market going all the way back to STP, dry gas and Marvel Mystery Oil . Mind if we ask what you used that caused this? I too don't believe in miracle fuel treatments, however I've used and recommended Bio-bor for decades and never saw anything like that from it. The only thing I know that to do is kill microbes. I've heard of Racors getting clogged by the dead remains, but I suspect in those cases the living/growing/multiplying organisms would have clogged them long before. Yes of course the best cure is to keep running fresh fuel through, but good luck finding people who put more than 100 hours a year on their boats.