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Old 22 October 2011, 05:02   #1
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Fuel over winter

This is new problem for me now I have a 90l built in stainless tank.
My boat will be laid up over the winter months - Nov-March.

What's the best thing to do with the fuel in the tank over winter? I've heard 3 different views:

1) drain (or pump existing fuel out) and leave tank empty (use old fuel in car)

2) Fill it up so there's little room for condensation to develop in the tank over winter, and add some stabiliser

3) fill 1/2-2/3 add stabiliser, then top up with new fuel in the spring to dilute any degraded spirit
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Old 22 October 2011, 07:05   #2
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As I understood it (1) is considered the best option if you know the boat will not be used all winter. But you need to drain and flush and re-drain before the start of season. If you might want to nip out for a quick spin on boxing day its just not practical.
(2) Is the most common option I've seen suggested, but if you don't use the boat at all (i.e. should have chosen option 1 but didn't) perhaps you'd be best to drain 1/3rd off and replace with fresh fuel. Either storing the "dirty" (in full tanks to avoid condensation) to add back in later in the season or using it in your car with some clean fuel...

(3) just sounds like asking for trouble.

C
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Old 22 October 2011, 07:22   #3
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I have done all of those things over the years. The only thing I would definitely not do again is add any sort of 'stabiliser'. (I'm assuming it's petrol). The one time I did that I had to syphon the tank empty and give it a full clean out with rags and paper towel, clean the pipes and replace all filters. After allowing the fuel to settle in the containers I syphoned the clean stuff out and used it in my car. I was left with litres of brown gunk that had to be disposed of.

Since then I leave the tank half full or more. At the start of the season I use a syphon that reaches right to the bottom of the tank to suck up the water that's accumulated in the tank (I use old fizzy water bottles to collect it in). Usually pump about three litres out, which separates to give no more than a cupful of water and no horrid brown goo. I put the petrol into my car.

I've had no trouble using the old fuel at the beginning of the season, though try to add some fresh to the tank if there's space - doesn't take long to make some if there isn't.
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Old 22 October 2011, 09:12   #4
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I have for years left fuel at various levels and fill up in spring with fresh.
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Old 22 October 2011, 11:12   #5
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[QUOTE=jambo;426615]I have for years left fuel at various levels and fill up in spring with fresh.
J

Likewise with no problems - assuming we are talking about petrol - diesel is different where you need to keep the tank full to prevent condensation which encourages nasty microbes to grow
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Old 22 October 2011, 17:11   #6
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Hi
Last couple of years have left tank around half full over winter and have never found water in the filters but do always add at least 40 litres fresh petrol on first use of the new season also run the engine on the hose pipe a couple of times during the winter
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Old 23 October 2011, 17:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMT View Post
Hi
Last couple of years have left tank around half full over winter and have never found water in the filters but do always add at least 40 litres fresh petrol on first use of the new season also run the engine on the hose pipe a couple of times during the winter
This worked for me too. Except it was 100L of fresh petrol
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Old 24 October 2011, 04:40   #8
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I'd go for Option 2.


The same principle as your lawnmower, left un-used over the winter.

Don't top the tank up though, you won't get any fresh fuel in come the new season. Go for 3/4 full.


As the fuel loses combustibility over the winter, just rejuvenate it with fresh fuel at the start of the season and keep an eye on your water filter.

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Old 24 October 2011, 06:21   #9
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IMHO it is all a slightly over exaggerated problem. Starting can be a bit trickier with stale fuel, or is it with extra oil fouling the plugs from winterising? I've seen horrible "glupe" in premixed 2-stroke tanks left for a while but never in neat petrol. Water in fuel is a problem/risk on any boat at any time and not just after storage. Water in diesel, due to diesel bug is more of a concern but the cold of winter will help stop microbial growth.

Good "fuel hygiene" all year round is probably more important than the winter storage protocol.
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Old 24 October 2011, 06:30   #10
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As Pol says, I've managed to get a '72 vintage johnson to start on premix fuel that in the aftermath we worked out had been lying for about 4 years.

The simple answer is wear a couple more jumpers and go out & enjoy the place to yourself!
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