Marinas and Fuel Docks

Boaters look to you and your staff as the experts on safe and clean fueling. We see you as essential partners in our efforts to educate boaters to fuel safely and responsibly. Preventing fuel spills and caring for our waterways isn’t just the right thing to do, it is good business! We want to work with you and to educate boaters and dock staff about the simple steps they can take to minimize the risk of a spill.

Twelve Simple Tips for Smart Fueling

Whether you fuel customer’s boats directly or instruct them to fuel the boats themselves, here are a dozen easy tips to make refueling safe and avoid a spill.

Post free educational signage available from the BoatU.S. Foundation at your fuel dock telling your customers the steps to fueling safely and responsibly.

1. Post free educational signage available from the BoatU.S. Foundation at your fuel dock telling your customers the steps to fueling safely and responsibly.

2. Hand each fuel customer an oil-only absorbent pad when you hand them the fuel nozzle. Ask them to place it around the deck fill to catch backsplash.

3. Keep a No Spill vent collection device on hand for each customer to catch dribbles from the vent. Be sure you get your No Spill back!

4. When you hand the nozzle to the customer, verify that they are receiving the type of fuel they requested.

5. Disable or remove fuel nozzle hands-free clips (and ensure that once removed, individuals do not improvise a hands-free method.) This requires the person fueling to remain with the nozzle and should help prevent overfilling.

6. When handling the nozzle always keep the tip up and hang it vertically when not in use to prevent fuel in the hose from draining out.

7. Keep nozzles and hoses in good working order. Report any problems or deterioration to your fuel supplier immediately.

8. Discourage customers from “topping off.” As the temperature rises or the water gets rough, fuel can expand or slosh out of the vent.

9. Post emergency spill response numbers and “Discharge of Oil prohibited” signage. This will remind your customers any sheen created by a fueling mishap is against the law.

10. Never use detergents to disperse a fuel spill sheen. This is illegal and can result in a hefty fine.

11. Have a spill response plan and conduct spill response drills with your staff.

12. Stock educational brochures in your store for customers looking to learn more about safe fueling or send them to slip-holders in your regular mailings.

Having a well educated staff may be your best defense in preventing an accidental fuel spill. Share these simple tips with your dock attendants. Download and print this list for use at for your next staff briefing, or post it in your dock office or break room.

Check out our FREE educational signage and brochure to help educate your customers and staff.

Check out these products that help make clean fueling simple.

Do you know the legal requirements associated with a fuel dock? Stay out of trouble by knowing the law.

Need more information? Here are other organizations working with us to help spread the word about clean fueling.

We would love to hear from you. Do you have a clean fueling tip, a product to recommend or feedback on our program? Contact us at

©2010-2011, BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water