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Old 29 June 2011, 06:20   #1
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Boat name: Thunder
Make: Halmatic Arctic 22
Length: 6m +
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How to make a twin set up pointless!

I have two tanks on the rib set up so you can draw from both, just one or one tank supplying each engine. I have been fairly complacent about seperating the fule between the engines and have been running wiht fuel coming from both tanks. In practice this means that fuel is pulled from the deck tank first before it starts to pull from the under deck tank.

Went out for a dive on Sun, I was aware that I should really use some of the fuel in the under deck tank so it didn't become stale so switched to that tank alone. Trundle through the marina, open up once outside to cruising speed, get about 300 yards before the 'water in fuel' alarm went off and both engines similtaneously stop. Bugger. We eventually got a tow back into the marina where I flushed fresh fuel through the engines to get rid of any water.

Went down to the boat on Monday, pumped a good ten litres of fuel from the bottom of each tank. The lower tank had about a thrid of a litre of water in it. Replaced the plugs on each engine and got them going again.

I think the water in the lower tank must just be a build up over a period, there was enough of it that the pick up in the tank has pulled pure water through, the engines didn't enjoy this!

I will in future have seperate tanks supplying each engine, its a bit pointless having twins when both end up stopped due to crappy fuel. I think I may for a while also pump a sample of fuel from the bottom of the tanks to check for water.

So if you have a twin set up, don't be a lazy sod like me, make sure you keep the fuel supply seperate for each engine.
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Old 29 June 2011, 07:26   #2
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: Vixen
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What did the in-line fuel water spearators look like, they'd be full too surely?
Some people carry spares, we dont, there is a whole debate around whether we should break into our fuel line to add an aux tank connection point but on a 160 litre main tank is this really required?
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Old 29 June 2011, 10:00   #3
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Make: Halmatic Arctic 22
Length: 6m +
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I have a water seperator at each tank as well as the ones on the engines themselves, they were full of water. I change them every few months to try to keep the fuel flow to the engine pretty clean, in this instance there was just a glut of water in the bottom of the tank.
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Old 13 July 2011, 04:48   #4
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Water was not a build up, spent yesterday removing the top tank, console and oil tanks, got the in hull tank out and several of the welds are very gently weeping. At least I now know where the problem lies.
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Old 13 July 2011, 05:07   #5
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Country: UK - Channel Islands
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Boat name: Martini II
Make: Arctic 28/FC470
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I would have thought that if the cracks are bad enough to let that much water in, they'd let fuel out at a much higher rate which you would notice? smell/consumption etc

Obviously the cracks will have to be repaired but I think you will still need to use both tanks to prevent water/condensation building up.

My 28 has 2 tanks under the deck, I always use one tank for each motor except rare occasions when I might use one to change the ballast to suit conditions.

Get water separators with a drain tap on them then it's easy to drain bits of water regularly before it can get up to the motors.

It's unfortunate that the tank has split, they are really well made in the Halmatics
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Old 13 July 2011, 05:29   #6
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Unfortunatley its wasn't an original Halmatic tank, I'm going to get a replacement tank fabricated to fit the channel in the deck. I intend to use both tanks supplying an engine each to prevent the need for a tow in the future. Good idea to change the seperators over to ones with a drain tap on them and a glass bowl, I'll maybe change them at the weekend.
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Old 13 July 2011, 05:37   #7
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Country: UK - Channel Islands
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I used these ones with built in primer but they are bloody expensive:
Racor Filters, Racor 400 Spin-On (Petrol)

Standard ones are much cheaper:
Racor Filters, Racor 100 Spin-On (Petrol)
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Old 13 July 2011, 06:35   #8
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Country: UK - England
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Yes, but the element is not that expensive at 16.47 so 32 per year, unless it's hideously corroded you will not need to replace the body or the clear bowl at the bottom.

Do you have any small inline filters inside the cowl of the engine? Some people swear by a last line of defence for their filtration. The worst instance I have experienced myself was from a dodgy fuel coupling inside a section of above deck trunking. It was allowing seawater in when under negative pressure (when engine was running) This filled the water separator up.
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Old 13 July 2011, 06:36   #9
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Thanks for that, they look like they'll do the job. Worth paying a bit more rather than ending up with knackered injectors from mucky fuel.
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Old 13 July 2011, 09:29   #10
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Just a thought - if you are planning in the fullness of time to buld / buy a new under deck tank, would it be worth making it a "twin tank" and totally separate port & starboard fuel systems?
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