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Avoid Spills at the Fuel Dock



If you have never experienced a little spill at the fuel dock, give yourself a hand. Most of us can admit to having at least one overflow, or release through the vent, as we scramble to stop the pump–a cringe worthy act for sure! Here are some helpful procedures to reduce the chance of a spill at the fuel dock.


  • Marina gas pumps are often used to fill large boats that require a great deal of fuel. As a result, these pumps are commonly calibrated to pump faster than the roadside gas pumps you encounter filling up your vehicle. One way to address this issue is to gauge about how many gallons of gas you think you need, before you start to fill up. Then you can be prepared and slow down the flow of gas from the pump when you start to get close to the estimated number of gallons required.


  • Keep an absorbent pad close at hand and attach a catchment device by the release vent. The vent allows inside fuel vapors to escape, and outside air to enter the tank. Sometimes a small amount of fuel can escape from the vent but is easily captured with the proper device.     


  • Your boat is rarely level when at the fuel pump. One reason is because you’re on the fuel intake side of the boat, so it’s probably leaning in that direction. When you check your fuel gauge out on the water, the boat’s equilibrium is contingent on the distribution of passengers, as well as the waves that can also cause your boat to heel over in one direction or another. This will undoubtedly throw off the gauge. In addition to knowing the fuel capacity of your boat and judging the gallons you may need, it is also beneficial to get your boat level for a more accurate reading by redistributing people and/or gear.


  • The simplest way to tell if you are nearing capacity on the fuel tank is to listen to the sound of the fuel going into the tank. There will be a distinct change in sound that will alert you to the fact that it is almost full. It’s not a bad idea to leave a little room in the tank to allow for natural expansion as temperatures increase.


  • Most importantly, never count on the automatic shut off and do not take your hand off the pump while the gas is flowing into the fuel tank.


For fueling information on your specific Grady-White boat model, check your owner's manual.