Proper Fueling Procedures
Proper fueling procedures are very important in preventing onboard fires. Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and
can spread rapidly into enclosed spaces. You should check the bilges and all closed compartments for gasoline vapors. The sniff test is the most effective method for detecting fuel leaks.
The proper way to fuel your boat is as follows:
Proper fueling techniques also keep our water clean and safe, and help marine life thrive in a healthier environment. You are legally required to report fuel spills, and to take prompt action to clean up any spills that may occur.
- Secure boat to the dock
- Switch off engine(s)
- Extinguish all open flames
- Do not use electrical switches
- No smoking
- Ports, hatches, and doors closed
- Make certain all passengers are ashore
- Determine quantity of fuel required and make sure it is the proper type of fuel
- Hold hose nozzle firmly against fill pipe opening
- Do not overfill
- Wipe up all spillage
- Open ports, hatches, and doors to ventilate
- Turn blower on for four minutes minimum
- Do the sniff test
- Start engine(s)
- Re-board Passengers
- Untie from dock and cast off
Under federal law (the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Clean Water Act) it is illegal to discharge any petroleum
product into the water. By law, any oil or fuel spill that leaves a sheen on the water must be reported to the U.S.
Coast Guard at 1-800-424-8802.
You are responsible for any environmental damage caused by your fuel spill. So…preventing spills will be beneficial
for you and the boating environment!
It is also against the law to use detergent or other chemicals on a spill to disperse the oil or sheen. These products
can cause the petroleum to sink into the water, causing more harm to marine animals and bottom sediments.
If you have spilled a petroleum product, immediately stop the source of the leak, use oil absorbent pads or booms,
and notify your marina. Call the U.S. Coast Guard. Your marina may also know a state agency that needs to be contacted. If the spill is of any substantial size, we also recommend you call your insurance company.
For portable tanks do the following:
- Tanks six gallons and smaller should be removed from the boat.
- Add appropriate amount of oil for 2-cycle outboards to fuel tank.
- Make sure hose nozzle is in contact with rim of tank.
- After filling, secure tank to the boat so it will not slide around while underway.