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Maintaining your motor boat's fuel system

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A good day cruising on the water and back to the shore could be ruined by a poorly maintained fuel system. It can cut your pleasurable ride short and force you to tow your motor boat home.  However, there are few maintenance practices that can help you to keep the fuel system in good shape, assuring you of an efficient machine every time you take on the water. Here are a few things that you should know to help you maintain your boat's fuel system and mercruiser motor:

Caring for the fuel tank

Small particles of dirt accumulate at the bottom of the fuel tank after using the boat for a long time. Often, they originate from the use of unclean fuel. The solid debris seems harmless lying at the bottom of the tank until you ride in bumpy conditions. A good example is cruising in the sea when the tide is high. In such conditions, the solid particles mix with the fuel and find their way to the tank's fuel pick-up.

In the end, the debris clogs the filter and prevents fuel from reaching the engine. Moreover, the small particles can also pass through the filter and reach the injector pump, the device that pumps the fuel from the filter to the inside of the boat's engine. In both cases, you have to replace the filter or the injector pump, which is more expensive than the filter.

To avoid this, you should clean the tank periodically after several months of use. Draw all the fuel from the tank by getting a suction pipe to the tank's bottom. Some tanks have clean out ports, which makes cleaning easier for you. Fill the tank with a few litres of fuel and repeat the process until there is no more debris in the fuel when drawing it out.

Prevent water from entering the fuel tank

Water can seep through the fill cap into the fuel tank. Eventually, the circulation of fuel enables the water to find its way to the injector pump. The engine's heat causes the water to produce steam and blow off the top of the injector, bringing the engine to a halt and in need of repair. To avoid this, you should check the seal on the fill cap regularly, especially before going for a long cruise. Check for any tears on the seal that can let water through and have damaged seals replaced before you use the boat.

Prevent algae

Algae grows and thrives inside fuel tanks. Sometimes, it is difficult to keep out all the water from reaching the fuel tank. If you have a diesel engine, it should be treated with biocide to keep the tank dry and algae free.