November 27 2012
Many people do not think clean fuel is important. This is absolutely wrong. Clean fuel is almost more important that clean or fresh oil. Your primary filters (RACOR’s) may look clean in the boat but the real problem lies within the tanks. After a few years of sitting around in the tanks a couple of things will happen.
If you are dealing with gasoline, your fuel will turn to varnish and hold moisture. This gasoline is useless and could cause damage to the entire fuel system if used. It could even do damage to the cylinder walls of your engine. To prevent this you should use the vessel regularly, use an additive, or remove the fuel if it is not going to be used within a reasonable time.
If you are dealing with diesel and you are not treating the fuel with an additive, the fuel will grow bacteria which will eventually clog not only the filters, primary and secondary, but even the fuel lines themselves. The bacteria will stick to the walls of the tanks and fall to the bottom of the tanks. If you are operating in heavy seas and a lot of the bacteria falls into the bottom of the tanks the bacteria will clog all of your fuel pickups. This could result in a complete shutdown of your motors and can do damage to your fuel system including the very expensive fuel injectors, along with many other expensive parts in your engine. At this point the fuel tanks will have to be emptied, walls scrubbed and the fuel discarded.
A broken motor because of lack of use and or lack of maintenance is very aggravating and could even create a dangerous situation while underway. It will definitely ruin a vacation or a fishing trip real fast. So if you think just because you only have 100 hours on a 10 year old boat is a good thing, wait until you find the other surprises that will sneak up on you from lack of use.
My advice is to use your vessel as much as possible. This will keep a healthier vessel running longer.