What Should You Do Before Fueling Your Boat?
Few things are more exciting than heading out on your boat for a day on the water. However, you’ll need to ensure your vessel has enough fuel for your entire trip. Refueling a boat is a relatively simple process – it’s similar to putting gas in your personal vehicle. However, there are several things all novice boaters should know to avoid accidents or injuries. Let’s take a closer look!
1. Locate the Nearest Fuel Dock
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of first-time boaters who take off to fuel up without first making sure they know where the fuel station is. It’s also a good idea to determine the hours of operation, so you don’t show up only to find that they’re closed. This situation can be especially inconvenient if you’re low on gas. Keep in mind that fuel docks can be few and far between depending on your location. Therefore, you must plan your trip accordingly.
2. Check Your Boat’s Current Fuel Level
Before you begin your trip to the fuel dock, it’s essential to check your boat’s current fuel level. In some cases, your fuel may be too low to make it to the nearest refueling station without running out of gas. If you suspect that you don’t have enough fuel, it’s best to purchase a five-gallon can that you can fill and bring directly to your dock. This should give you enough gas to get to the nearest fuel source.
After you check your boat’s gas level, take a few moments to ensure that your engine and fuel lines are working properly. Signs to look out for include rust, leaks, and anything else that appears unusual. Right before leaving for the fuel dock, you should also familiarize yourself with the process for your particular boat, as described in the owner’s manual. Be sure to keep this booklet nearby for quick reference if needed. The owner’s manual might also contain a “fueling your boat” checklist of its own.
3. Check the Weather
The last thing you should do before leaving for the fuel station is to check the weather to ensure that no sudden squalls are developing. Keep in mind that weather changes more rapidly on the water than it does on land, and that small storm cloud you see in the distance may be on top of you before you know it.
What to Do at the Fuel Dock
The first thing you should do after arriving at the fuel station is tie your vessel to the dock. You should also make sure that all windows are securely closed and ask passengers to depart from the boat and stand a safe distance away. Smoking, striking a match, and using a lighter all pose extreme safety hazards around fuel, so it’s important to remind your guests to refrain from these behaviors while on the dock.
Next, turn your engine and anything else that might start a spark (such as your galley stove’s pilot light) completely off. Make a mental note of where the fire extinguisher is and ensure that it’s within easy reach in case of a fire. If your boat is equipped with portable fuel tanks, remove them from their bearings so that they can be filled on the dock. Be sure to put the correct type of fuel in the tanks; just like cars and trucks, boats use either diesel fuel or regular gasoline. Most vessels under 35 feet run on gas, while larger boats typically take diesel. If you have any questions during your refueling process, you can always ask the attendant for assistance. This is much easier than trying to muddle through the guesswork on your own.
Being a first-time boat owner is undeniably exciting; however, handling and maintaining a vessel can be overwhelming when you’re just starting out. Luckily, GemLux makes it easy to upgrade the look of your boat. With our selection of high-quality marine products and responsive customer service, we have everything you need to maximize your vessel.
For more information about our products, contact us today!