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Diesel Bug and Marine 16 treatment - is it working?


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Picking up from a previous thread

I bought a Fisher 25 with pretty bad diesel bug - it had not really been used for 7 years

Stainless steel 40 gallon tank -  the owner said that the tank had been treated and kept full - but I doubt that he had used more than  half a tank in the past seven years.

While I was there the yard JCB stopped running because of diesel bug.

I put a whole 100ml  of marine 16 in

https://www.marine16.co.uk/fuel-treatments/dbt

 

I replaced the filter before starting to bring her home - there were some black crystals across the top of the filter - it looked like rust flakes - but it is a stainless tank with copper pipes. 

No worries, I had put an outboard bracket on the boat and slapped the tohatsu long shaft 6hp on the back - that will shove a centaur along at 4.5 knots so I would expect it to get me 4Knots on the fisher,

I headed south through a choppy north sea - the volvo engine went very well for four days

day four  - overnight the engine stopped half way across the wash  - after I would  guess 40 hours during the sea trials and first bit of the journey

 

no worries I had the Tohatsu on the back

I brought the boat back to the mooring under sail and outboard and changed the filter

There was some gelatinous black stuff the consistency of toothpaste on the filter top - ideal for blocking pipes

The engine ran well on the flat water estuary here for another 30 hours and then stopped - mid estuary

 

no worries.... I had the Tohatsu on the back

I changed filter and saw some generalised greyish stuff across the filter

20201113-180452.jpg

 

 

The engine then ran fine for another 20 hours

I was planning a short winter juant out into the north sea so I replaced the filter just to find out what it looked like

this is what it looked like on Friday - this one was running  well

S5860002.jpg

 

S5860001.jpg

 

On monday I headed out past the deben bar - I had intended to go north to the Ore which is marvelous for birdwatching..... but there was more power and more easterly in the wind than predicted

 

the Ore bar is bad in any easterly and the shingle is always moving - the bouys are only a guide -  so I headed south to the walton backwaters

into the teeth of a south easterly gusting 25. No sails to add stability

 

the north sea was really choppy and confused and the Fisher is tubby, draws 1m, has a lot of weight up high and is only 25 feet long. She was rolling like a goodun. The tank was being given a top notch shaking in every dimension  as the boat was powering through the messy water at 5 knots

After an hour of this the revs started to drop away, then come back,  then drop away. I started the outboard but left the main engine on low revs.   It would not run at high revs for more than one minute.  Once afely  across the Felixtowe ship channel I could ease up and the water flattened out. The erratic revs continued for half an hour, but the tank was still getting a bit of a shake.

 

I got into walton channel, picked up a mooring  mainly under outboard and  left the engine on tickover - primarily  to charge the batteries. . It was running fine, so I experimented, I  slowly increaed the revs at five minute intervals. Occasionally the revs would  drop right back down, so I came back to the revs it was happy at again. After half an hour of this the engine would run at any revs I chose. It seems that the blockage had cleared. 

 

This morning the engine started no probs -  I brought the boat back home - maybe two hours of choppy water motor- sailing  five knots through disturbed water - less rolling than the day before.The engine did not miss a beat.

Incidentally, the taylor heater has its own header tank (fed from the main tank)  and water/gunge trap.  The first time I ran the heater the gunge trap was half full of black crud, I removed that and now there is a tiny layer in the bottom, it seems quite fine and fluffy and seems to be dissolving as fuel passes through to the taylor heater.

I think that the Marine 16 is reducing the gelatinous  diesel bug crud initially to a free flowing black flakey material and then dissolving that down to a general discolouration in the fuel which they claim is burnt in the engine - you can see that some it has clung to the first filer but there is much less of it on the second.

I am lucky in that my boat is short enough to have an outboard on the back and sails  so the main engine stopping is not mission critical.  I also have a north sea for some extreme and randomised tank shaking procedures.  If by the spring this problem has not resolved istelf then I will have to  bite the bullet and either cut a hatch to access the tank or remove both the engine and the tank to clean the lot out.

So far, I am optimistric and if Marine 16 can not only control but destroy the crud then that is a wonderful thing - worth the price if it works.

 Dylan

 

 

 

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Dylan, I am not a mechanic, and I am averse to more than minor tinkering.

But I would be worried by your approach, because it seems to me that you will never actually know what the state of your tank really is.  It may be that the crud in your tank is like a bar of soap nailed just above the waterline of the bath, where the degree dissolved soap is a roughly linear function of the amount that it gets splashed.  Or it may be that the crud consists of a number of well-adhered lumps which are inert until dislodged, but dislodged by extreme action.

If the latter case applies, then a crud-free period may mean that the crud has all gone ... or alternatively it may mean that only the low-hanging fruit has been dislodged so far, and that much more crud remains to be dislodged after further wave action.

Your current use case makes the outboard a viable backup, but if you resume your exploration of Scotland, then there will be many cases where the outboard is an inadequate backup, making a main engine backup dangerous.  I'd have thought that creating an access hatch would be a better solution, a non-huge job which would allow you forever more to get a  definitive answer about the state of the tank.

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Can you access the tank to get a siphon hose into it?  Short of draining the tank, that's what I would do to inspect the fuel. I wouldn't feel confident till I got a look at a decent sample of fuel in a clean container.  Start by siphoning around a couple of points on the tank bottom, raise up a bit and repeat...

(Edit: I guess you don't have a removable tank intake like the one on my SS tank?  If not, cut a hatch.)

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2 minutes ago, Israel Hands said:

Can you access the tank to get a siphon hose into it?  Short of draining the tank, that's what I would do to inspect the fuel. I wouldn't feel confident till I got a look at a decent sample of fuel in a clean container.  Start by siphoning around a couple of points on the tank bottom, raise up a bit and repeat...

Actually, he could do that via the supply line to the engine.

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Just now, Raz'r said:

Actually, he could do that via the supply line to the engine.

Yes, it would just siphon right at the bottom of the tank where the supply line starts, but that's better than nothing.  My supply line is bolted into a cutout on the top of the tank. That's where I've removed and test-siphoned when necessary.

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Growth will typically stick to the walls and bottom of the tank, unless horrible then can be all over.  The additives will kill it but you usually have to mechanically remove, IE hose and flush or go bobbing around with a slack tank...  Even if you have swapped or turned over the fuel you can still get periods like above after getting rolled around a bit till it's all worked out.

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If a diesel will ring up full (or near full) power, then revs drop, then a few minutes later, will ring up power again, it's more likely to be an air leak in the fuel line that crud in the filter IMHO.

Having those filter canisters you have to cut open to see what's in it is also hurting the ability to diagnose. What I'm seeing in the recent pic is not the kind of power-robbing filter clog that I'm familiar with. Generally filters that are blocking flow will have something like coffee grounds, or chocolate pudding, gumming it up.

But I agree that an outboard is a poor back up. In high wind or chop it will simply not get the boat where you need to go. Fuel is also a PITA.

FB- Doug

 

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Dylan, I went to the Marine 16 website and see no claim that their bug treatment gets rid of the dead bugs, only that it kills them. I don't doubt your observation that things are getting better but I do question your implicit assumption that the tank is actually getting clean. 

I strongly second the motion that you, at the very least, get a camera into the tank but I will continue to suggest that you install an access port in the cockpit sole above the inspection port for the tank. It only hurts once. After you do it and deal with whatever may or may not be mucking up your tank, you'll put to rest all the lingering doubts you'll ever have about the condition of your fuel tank and, by extension, the reliability of your motor.

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I had similar symptoms to Dylan,s for a few years. They were intermittent until the grunge clogged the pick up tube screen in the tank. I siphoned the tank dry and was amazed at the amount of crud suspended in the fuel.  Thankfully the walls of the tank were clean.  I worked through the fuel sender opening.  There was plenty of room for the siphon hose and a cheap proctologist's camera.  The camera was no worse for wear and the engine runs like a too since.  We were hauled out when I emptied the tank and got pretty good suction from the syphon

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6 hours ago, longy said:

Almost certainly there is a fuel tank level sender, those have about a 2" hole. Enuff to get a camera (lots of them that attach to phones) into the tank, and easy to re-secure  sensor.

no hole for a fuel sender, it does not have any guage.  At some stagbe a non standard stainless steel tank was fitted

it is a big one and there is a 3 inch gap between it and the cockpit floor.

There is always the hatch option, but I will see if Marine 16 does as it says on the tin. I have time and the north sea.

 

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6 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

If a diesel will ring up full (or near full) power, then revs drop, then a few minutes later, will ring up power again, it's more likely to be an air leak in the fuel line that crud in the filter IMHO.

Having those filter canisters you have to cut open to see what's in it is also hurting the ability to diagnose. What I'm seeing in the recent pic is not the kind of power-robbing filter clog that I'm familiar with. Generally filters that are blocking flow will have something like coffee grounds, or chocolate pudding, gumming it up.

But I agree that an outboard is a poor back up. In high wind or chop it will simply not get the boat where you need to go. Fuel is also a PITA.

FB- Doug

 

it spent the past two hgours running smoothly - I am not sure how that would square with  an air leak. Iassume they do not tend to come and go.   I expect to be clocking up bout ten or 12 hours motoring each week through the winter....... if by March I am not free of it then I will have to bring the boatb ashore.  I did siphon the tank out when I bought the boat, the fuel looked clear - all 30 gallons of it, but I did not know how much of the tank I accessed - the fuel looked clear .... but the boat had not been used at sea for 7 years.

 

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6 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

If a diesel will ring up full (or near full) power, then revs drop, then a few minutes later, will ring up power again, it's more likely to be an air leak in the fuel line that crud in the filter IMHO.

Having those filter canisters you have to cut open to see what's in it is also hurting the ability to diagnose. What I'm seeing in the recent pic is not the kind of power-robbing filter clog that I'm familiar with. Generally filters that are blocking flow will have something like coffee grounds, or chocolate pudding, gumming it up.

But I agree that an outboard is a poor back up. In high wind or chop it will simply not get the boat where you need to go. Fuel is also a PITA.

FB- Doug

 

the last one did not stop the flow - I removed that one before leaving the estuary when the engine was still running after several hours of lat water sailing and motoring inside the bar.

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6 hours ago, IStream said:

Dylan, I went to the Marine 16 website and see no claim that their bug treatment gets rid of the dead bugs, only that it kills them. I don't doubt your observation that things are getting better but I do question your implicit assumption that the tank is actually getting clean. 

I strongly second the motion that you, at the very least, get a camera into the tank but I will continue to suggest that you install an access port in the cockpit sole above the inspection port for the tank. It only hurts once. After you do it and deal with whatever may or may not be mucking up your tank, you'll put to rest all the lingering doubts you'll ever have about the condition of your fuel tank and, by extension, the reliability of your motor.

you make a good point

now I can not see the reference to it clearing up rather than just  preventing  problem

perhaps my strategy has a fatal flaw

I will keep this thread posted as new information emerges

 

 

D

 

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this is a review from PBO in the UK

https://www.pbo.co.uk/gear/12-diesel-bug-treatments-tested-43353

it suggests that the biocides break the cells down enough to alloow them to pass through a ten micron filter - and then presumably be burned in the engine

To see how easily the fuel would pass through the filter we agitated the sample and filtered it twice at 10 microns. The first pass removed inorganic and particulate matter, leaving the treated fuel. We timed the second pass through a clean filter to show how easily the treated fuel will pass through it. This gives an insight into the type of contamination left in the fuel – if it is the colonies, emulsions and thready compounds typically found in cases of diesel bug they will quickly accumulate, blocking the filter and slowing the passage of fuel, while other less tenacious contamination will pass through. Hence samples which passed slowly through the second filter would be likely to block the filter entirely over time.

 

the taylor heater has a separate header tank fed from the filter. When I got the boat the previous owner said that he had never used the Taylor heater

initially the fuel in the taylor heater water trap site glass looked like this

1_cmyk-630x420.jpg

I removed the crud and the the Taylor did gunge up and stop twice.  Initally gelatinous stuff in the burner inlet, then the second time flakey light stuff merely slwoing the flow

 

after two tanks of fuel pumped into the header tank and run through the heater it looked more like this

6_cmyk-630x420.jpg

 

I emptied that out and there is no more crud accumulating - now on my fourth header tank of fuel - only 1 gallon or so.

I am hoping that the same is happening in the main tank.  I have a glass water trap under the filter - that is clear

Dylan

 

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3 hours ago, dylan winter said:

this is a review from PBO in the UK

https://www.pbo.co.uk/gear/12-diesel-bug-treatments-tested-43353

it suggests that the biocides break the cells down enough to alloow them to pass through a ten micron filter - and then presumably be burned in the engine

To see how easily the fuel would pass through the filter we agitated the sample and filtered it twice at 10 microns. The first pass removed inorganic and particulate matter, leaving the treated fuel. We timed the second pass through a clean filter to show how easily the treated fuel will pass through it. This gives an insight into the type of contamination left in the fuel – if it is the colonies, emulsions and thready compounds typically found in cases of diesel bug they will quickly accumulate, blocking the filter and slowing the passage of fuel, while other less tenacious contamination will pass through. Hence samples which passed slowly through the second filter would be likely to block the filter entirely over time.

 

the taylor heater has a separate header tank fed from the filter. When I got the boat the previous owner said that he had never used the Taylor heater

initially the fuel in the taylor heater water trap site glass looked like this

1_cmyk-630x420.jpg

I removed the crud and the the Taylor did gunge up and stop twice.  Initally gelatinous stuff in the burner inlet, then the second time flakey light stuff merely slwoing the flow

 

after two tanks of fuel pumped into the header tank and run through the heater it looked more like this

6_cmyk-630x420.jpg

 

I emptied that out and there is no more crud accumulating - now on my fourth header tank of fuel - only 1 gallon or so.

I am hoping that the same is happening in the main tank.  I have a glass water trap under the filter - that is clear

Dylan

 

Owww

You definitely have lots of crud.

How much fuel is your tank? Is it possible to drain the tank, into another container(s), flush the tank out at least a little, then put the fuel back in from the top and avoid the crud settling in the bottom? This won't eliminate all of it, but should get the worst. Start with a fresh filter and see what comes thru.

Air leaks, yes they come & go. Air will suck thru a leak that diesel fuel will not drip thru. If you have old copper fuel lines, they have probably become brittle with age (like my knees) and good to replace. You can find industrial fuel hose cheaper than marine, made to the same specs (in the same factory), you already know about going to farm stores instead of yachting stores! But if this is part of your problem, it would probably recur more often.  That you've made a power run recently with no problem is a good sign.

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

With no local or remote fuel gauge or sight glass, how do you determine your fuel level? Do you use a dip stick?

At the moment not even that

I know how much is in there only when it is brim full

An untenable situation but one that has been tolerated by the three previous owners who have had it since the stainless steel 40 gallon tank was installed

This is a problem yet to be solved.

I can put a plastic site tube in the fuel line close to the tap     that would help me guess but would be in breach of safety regulations

 

The electrics continue to provide many hours of exploration, contemplation, entertainment and puzzlement. The approaches to problem solving and electrical trial and error of five men are revealed in the torturous labyrinths of wires, chokkie connectors and gaffer tape that lurk beneath the console and under the ceiling liner

 

D

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26 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Owww

You definitely have lots of crud.

How much fuel is your tank? Is it possible to drain the tank, into another container(s), flush the tank out at least a little, then put the fuel back in from the top and avoid the crud settling in the bottom? This won't eliminate all of it, but should get the worst. Start with a fresh filter and see what comes thru.

Air leaks, yes they come & go. Air will suck thru a leak that diesel fuel will not drip thru. If you have old copper fuel lines, they have probably become brittle with age (like my knees) and good to replace. You can find industrial fuel hose cheaper than marine, made to the same specs (in the same factory), you already know about going to farm stores instead of yachting stores! But if this is part of your problem, it would probably recur more often.  That you've made a power run recently with no problem is a good sign.

FB- Doug

I did siphon out the fuel and have a look and then put it back while I was in the yard where I bought the boat that looked OK ish

I think that the initial header tank crud is a different colony of diesel buggery.... possibly more severe than the main tank... the marine 16, three tanks of fresh fuel and a good north sea shaking mean that the fuel in the trap now looks clean.

My optimism about a positive outcome remains undimmed

 

D

 

 

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Around here there’s a fellow who had a mobile fuel polishing rig.  It’s a real nice semi-retirement gig for him, as he can set up the system and then just sit and read for an hour or two (actually, come to think of it, he may have sold out and retired entirely now).  Anyway, the way the system works as he described it to me was that he had a pump that recirculated fuel through a series of filters.  The hoses were let loose to bang around inside the tank and knock the crud off.  If I had a similar situation where a tank was left untended for many years, I think I’d have him have a go.  As I understand the conventional wisdom, tank crud, once established, is pretty much impossible to remove other than physically.  A fuel polisher would be easier than cutting enough of a hole to get a scraper in.  My $0.02, for whatever it may be worth

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5 minutes ago, NaClH20 said:

Around here there’s a fellow who had a mobile fuel polishing rig.  It’s a real nice semi-retirement gig for him, as he can set up the system and then just sit and read for an hour or two (actually, come to think of it, he may have sold out and retired entirely now).  Anyway, the way the system works as he described it to me was that he had a pump that recirculated fuel through a series of filters.  The hoses were let loose to bang around inside the tank and knock the crud off.  If I had a similar situation where a tank was left untended for many years, I think I’d have him have a go.  As I understand the conventional wisdom, tank crud, once established, is pretty much impossible to remove other than physically.  A fuel polisher would be easier than cutting enough of a hole to get a scraper in.  My $0.02, for whatever it may be worth

That is plan b

Making a rig should be fairly cheap

 

Then plan c

Fit an inspection hatch in the cockpit floor

Then plan d

remove engine and then the tank

 

D

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After my boat got diesel bug, I built my own fuel polisher from an electric diesel lift pump, a glass demijohn and a couple of filters some copper pipe and some rubber hoses...

The first few filters came out a lot worse than the ones above...very black..

It took a couple of gallons of water out as well as black sludge.. Every time I go down to work on the boat rather than use it, the polisher gets connected up and left on. The diesel does get treated now as well. not much water comes out now, I guess the previous owner didn't keep the tank full..

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3 hours ago, dylan winter said:

At the moment not even that

I know how much is in there only when it is brim full

An untenable situation but one that has been tolerated by the three previous owners who have had it since the stainless steel 40 gallon tank was installed

This is a problem yet to be solved.

I can put a plastic site tube in the fuel line close to the tap     that would help me guess but would be in breach of safety regulations

Before I fixed my fuel gauge, Isimply kept a log to determine consumption per hour.  I.e fill the tank.  Keep track of the hours run and RPM.    Refill and do the math.  After a while you will get a very good feel of what your consumption is at different RPM settings.

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28 minutes ago, py26129 said:

Before I fixed my fuel gauge, Isimply kept a log to determine consumption per hour.  I.e fill the tank.  Keep track of the hours run and RPM.    Refill and do the math.  After a while you will get a very good feel of what your consumption is at different RPM settings.

At the moment I have no rpm being recorded on the tachometer

One more job on the list

Not sure where the signal is being lost between the engine and the dial

 

The boat has a lot of wiring done with house wire ....

D

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20 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

At the moment I have no rpm being recorded on the tachometer

One more job on the list

Not sure where the signal is being lost between the engine and the dial

 

The boat has a lot of wiring done with house wire ....

D

I know you're probably dreading all this fettling.  If it helps at all, I think your new boat is pretty neat and it deserves a little care over the winter to take you on your planned journey.  Think of it as an investment in future peace of mind.

You don't really think I enjoyed replacing my transmission and heat exchanger this month, do you?  I did it and I was damn quick about it because my boat is a family member and I don't let family sit around injured, but I didn't really enjoy the work. I enjoyed putting the new transmission in gear and I enjoyed how much smoother and quieter the boat was.

You can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat.

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9 minutes ago, IStream said:

I've always loved that saying. As a non-Brit, now married to an Argentine, I can only imagine what you'd have to do to meat to make eating it a penance. 

One of my mother's classic Geordie roasts would answer that question. Not ready for dining until every last drop of moisture was burned out of it.

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3 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

One of my mother's classic Geordie roasts would answer that question. Not ready for dining until every last drop of moisture was burned out of it.

can damn near smell the boiled cabbage dude

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46 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

At the moment I have no rpm being recorded on the tachometer

One more job on the list

Not sure where the signal is being lost between the engine and the dial

 

The boat has a lot of wiring done with house wire ....

D

What Ajax said.  In the meantime you can keep track "by ear".  It will still give you a pretty good idea and some peace of mind re. your fuel consumption.

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8 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

One of my mother's classic Geordie roasts would answer that question. Not ready for dining until every last drop of moisture was burned out of it.

I don't know what a Geordie roast is and even Google seems reluctant to tell me so I'm just going to leave it at that.

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Some general notes on this issue:

Without a fuel pressure gauge and filter vacuum gauge, you are guessing what your problems are.

Biocide keeps algae from growing. It can also kill what is already there. The latter function can create a big mess if a bunch of dead algae starts getting loose from the tank walls.

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34 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Some general notes on this issue:

Without a fuel pressure gauge and filter vacuum gauge, you are guessing what your problems are.

Biocide keeps algae from growing. It can also kill what is already there. The latter function can create a big mess if a bunch of dead algae starts getting loose from the tank walls.

I have never owned a boat with either of those

I doubt fitting either would be time well spent.

I agree about the unknown amount of debris yet to fall off the walls of the tank and come rushing down the pipe at the poor unsuspecting filter

 

However the biocide is supposed to break down the cell walls of the possible 1400 different bacteria and fungi that can comprise the gunk. Something to do with lipids

That is then supposed to pass through the filter

 

In the meantime...while this experiment is under way....the ever reliable 6 hp long shaft tohatsu sits on the stern biding its time

I will keep you posted

D

 

 

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29 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

I have never owned a boat with either of those

I doubt fitting either would be time well spent.

I agree about the unknown amount of debris yet to fall off the walls of the tank and come rushing down the pipe at the poor unsuspecting filter

 

However the biocide is supposed to break down the cell walls of the possible 1400 different bacteria and fungi that can comprise the gunk. Something to do with lipids

That is then supposed to pass through the filter

 

In the meantime...while this experiment is under way....the ever reliable 6 hp long shaft tohatsu sits on the stern biding its time

I will keep you posted

D

 

 

I have both and would not be without them. When I am headed into the Narrows with 2-3 knots current, a drawbridge, traffic, and no room to sail or anchor I don't want a dead engine to be a surprise.

The vacuum gauge gives me plenty of warning the fuel filter is loading up. The fuel pressure gauge has a red warning light that will come on when the fuel pressure drops below 1 PSI. YMMV, some people don't mind their engine just randomly stopping.

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55 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I have both and would not be without them. When I am headed into the Narrows with 2-3 knots current, a drawbridge, traffic, and no room to sail or anchor I don't want a dead engine to be a surprise.

The vacuum gauge gives me plenty of warning the fuel filter is loading up. The fuel pressure gauge has a red warning light that will come on when the fuel pressure drops below 1 PSI. YMMV, some people don't mind their engine just randomly stopping.

At the moment I can live with the main engine randomly stopping

I am an East coaster, the tidethrough the bar at Felixstowe ferry is an easy 3 knots

The tohatsu is just one tug away from giving me 4 knots through the water. I am always ready to turn around.

The tohatsu reduces the risks from engine failure....as long as the tohatsu starts of course

D

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36 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

 No holes

I have lived with floor hatches

Spawn of the devil

I suspect this is matter of quality.  The Amels all have floor hatches as the only access to the engine room, and there doesn't seem to be a problem.

I'm sure it wouldn't be very hard to create a robust hatch for the Fisher

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10 minutes ago, IStream said:

Are they spawned that way or fettled into it?

4 out of the last five boats have been 40 plus years old. Average ownership duration of say 5 years. That means that i have lived with the wiring, plumbing and blundering mechanicing of around 30 amateur boat fettlers

Retro fit hatches in cockpit floors are tough to keep in good nick. People keep on jumping on them

It is plan C though....see above

d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, dylan winter said:

At the moment I have no rpm being recorded on the tachometer

One more job on the list

Not sure where the signal is being lost between the engine and the dial

 

The boat has a lot of wiring done with house wire ....

D

The house wiring is bad news but replaceable over time. You'll have to whether you want to or not.

WRT the tachometer I fitted one to my boat - it reads way low so I disconnected it. I just use a non-contact laser tachometer instead, bit of reflective tape on the flywheel and done. You get a pretty quick feel for throttle setting and rpm once you can spot-check with the tacho gun. I may never bother trying to sort out the other tacho. Seems to be a right PITA to sort - setting the dip switches gets it to read high or low but never what the laser indicates. I'd have to tweak the alternator pulley ratios to get it correct and frankly, my dear, I don't give that much of a damn....

I also have no fuel gauges though my day tank does have a sight gauge. When it gets to half full I pump it back up which is approx 20 litres and make a log entry to that effect. Ditto with transferring fuel into the keel tanks - it's done via 10 litre containers so easy to keep track.

So far I haven't run out of fuel anyway.

FKT

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34 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

At the moment I can live with the main engine randomly stopping

I am an East coaster, the tidethrough the bar at Felixstowe ferry is an easy 3 knots

The tohatsu is just one tug away from giving me 4 knots through the water. I am always ready to turn around.

The tohatsu reduces the risks from engine failure....as long as the tohatsu starts of course

D

Outboards are not an option for my boat and the gauges were cheap ;)

* also note turning around is not an option with current and wind behind you and a closed bridge ahead of you

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Love the way you are setting up an ongoing narrative for your next video series Dylan, will the old sailor succeed despite chronic diesel infection...

Perhaps you could handicap yourself with an old CQR as well, just to keep up the tension.

 And there are always the flare ups as you light the stove, who needs T&A when disaster is always looming?

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8 minutes ago, olaf hart said:

Love the way you are setting up an ongoing narrative for your next video series Dylan, will the old sailor succeed despite chronic diesel infection...

Perhaps you could handicap yourself with an old CQR as well, just to keep up the tension.

 And there are always the flare ups as you light the stove, who needs T&A when disaster is always looming?

Dan forth

The shittest anchors ever made

D

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23 minutes ago, olaf hart said:

Love the way you are setting up an ongoing narrative for your next video series Dylan, will the old sailor succeed despite chronic diesel infection...

Perhaps you could handicap yourself with an old CQR as well, just to keep up the tension.

 And there are always the flare ups as you light the stove, who needs T&A when disaster is always looming?

Look how far he went with a bog brush and a flower pot! 

Dylan's the master of cheap props + questionable judgement = kindly interest.

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4 minutes ago, IStream said:

Look how far he went with a bog brush and a flower pot! 

Dylan's the master of cheap props + questionable judgement = kindly interest.

More like the master of making a distaste for basic and simple maintenance into an art form... while making more work for himself over the long term than the investment in doing the job correctly the first time.

FKT

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14 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

More like the master of making a distaste for basic and simple maintenance into an art form... while making more work for himself over the long term than the investment in doing the job correctly the first time.

FKT

I think that is a bit sharp

I sail more than most people I know and I live in a sailing village

Monday and Tuesday I did a December overnight on the Walton backwaters even with 14,000 different microbial species slopping around my tank

It was a marvelous evening and morning sail, birds, tides, seals, sunshine and creeks.

I sailed out of the East coasts second toughest bar, across the shipping lanes of Felixstowe, in to the backwaters, back up the coast through the bar and a lovely three sail reach up the deben

Better for the soul than head down in a diesel engine well for two days while clad in boiler suit and rubber gloves

So far the suggestions include cutting holes in the boat, removing tank and engine, fitting pressure gauge, employing a professional scrubber

 

I will keep you posted as to how the gunge buster does

Once I have beaten the bug I will post a snap on the transom sans tohatsu

  ... although the tohatsu will be slumbering in the quarter berth out of site and out of mind

 

 

d

 

 

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1 hour ago, olaf hart said:

Love the way you are setting up an ongoing narrative for your next video series Dylan, will the old sailor succeed despite chronic diesel infection...

Perhaps you could handicap yourself with an old CQR as well, just to keep up the tension.

 And there are always the flare ups as you light the stove, who needs T&A when disaster is always looming?

I was thinking along these lines but you worded it very kindly

BTW you do NOT want gunk going -thru- the filter into your injector pump and injectors. They are very fussy, VERY expensive, and amazingly robust until suddenly they are not. The whole point of a filter is to protect your engine and keep it's sensitive parts from getting corroded, abraded, or otherwise fucked up

- DSK

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17 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I was thinking along these lines but you worded it very kindly

BTW you do NOT want gunk going -thru- the filter into your injector pump and injectors. They are very fussy, VERY expensive, and amazingly robust until suddenly they are not. The whole point of a filter is to protect your engine and keep it's sensitive parts from getting corroded, abraded, or otherwise fucked up

- DSK

Yeah - there is point where being too cheap to go buy a $10 gauge off Ebay and then acting surprised when the engine stops is silly and poor seamanship. And you REALLY REALLY don't want dissolved goo of any kind in your high pressure big $$$ pump. The fuel cleaner trucks that come around and clean your tank exist for a reason ;)

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1 minute ago, kent_island_sailor said:
15 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I was thinking along these lines but you worded it very kindly

BTW you do NOT want gunk going -thru- the filter into your injector pump and injectors. They are very fussy, VERY expensive, and amazingly robust until suddenly they are not. The whole point of a filter is to protect your engine and keep it's sensitive parts from getting corroded, abraded, or otherwise fucked up

 

Yeah - there is point where being too cheap or too silly to go buy a $10 gauge of Ebay and then acting surprised when the engine stops is silly and poor seamanship. And you REALLY REALLY don't want dissolved goo of any kind in your high pressure big $$$ pump. The fuel cleaner trucks that come around and clean your tank exist for a reason 

Well, one way around the problem is to get up some generous folk to Amazon Dylan a new Racor with gages, ~60ish ft (just a rough guess) of fuel hose, and a dozen or so 2m filter elements.

I've never had anybody give me an answer as to why they are worried that their fuel might become TOO clean.

- DSK

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1 hour ago, dylan winter said:

I think that is a bit sharp

I sail more than most people I know and I live in a sailing village

And that has precisely nothing at all to do with proper maintenance and your oft demonstrated distaste for doing same.

No doubt if the injector pump packs it in, or the injector nozzles get badly eroded due to the gunk quite unnecessarily being forced through them, it'll all be the fault of the engine manufacturer and nothing to to with the owner(s).

At least half a dozen qualified people have informed you of the proper and reliable way of fixing this issue and you've ignored all of them to pursue some magic fix involving no effort.

I live over the hill from the biggest marina and hard-stand in southern Tasmania, surrounded by people who sail a lot, as do I. I was having a chat with one who's sailed most of the way around Australia in a 30' boat with an old diesel engine. His attitude to maintenance and how he has his fuel set up is almost identical to mine.

Find one person on this site who agrees with the way you're approaching this. I doubt you can.

But carry on - it's your boat.

FKT

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4 hours ago, dylan winter said:

4 out of the last five boats have been 40 plus years old. Average ownership duration of say 5 years. That means that i have lived with the wiring, plumbing and blundering mechanicing of around 30 amateur boat fettlers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those are called SPOTs around here. "Stupid "P"revious "O"wner "T"ricks

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4 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

'Spawn of the devil', like sleeping dogs they lie on the cockpit sole, just waiting to bite.  :)  I call mine a 'manhole', which come to think of it, is equally disturbing. 

 

377496874_Cockpitmanholeaccess._.thumb.jpg.70d7ff19d5839dabd611324e844ef891.jpg

Oh,  you have TWO little dogs.  That poodley thing must be your wife's dog.  Your dog is much more "The craftsman's loyal companion. " :)

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‘I was thinking of kind of getting around to fixing my engine but it’s not really mission critical because I’ve rigged up an outboard to pick up the slack in the meantime so I’m gonna limp along and go with the least thorough easiest band aid measure available to me and put off the inevitable for the foreseeable future and not  let it get in the way of essential bird watching.’

I had a buddy like this in high school. He almost took pride in the fact that he could accidentally somehow get his car to hold together with bubble gum and duct tape. It was some kind of reverse badge of honour...as long as it didn’t get in the way of bird watching, he was good to go.

 

 

 

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I bought one of those Flook things at a boat jumble.  Complete waste of money, difficulty was getting the rode to pay out fast enough and it would never open and set, just skim along the bottom.

On the fuel saga, a check of all the pipework between the tank and the primary filter is worthwhile.  Twice on boats and once with a car I've found problems on elbows and other fittings.

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I would try to use up the fuel in your stove and get out the hole saw.  I helped a friend a couple years ago with a similar issue on his J boat.  Same scenario of intermittent issues.  The growth was barely visable, a fine black slime, but after pulling the feed pipe with tank empty and mopping out it all went away.  Off the shelf SS inspection ports are not that expensive and the whole job requires basic tools just alot of time it sounds like if you have to go thru the cockpit sole.  

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21 minutes ago, SASSAFRASS said:

I would try to use up the fuel in your stove and get out the hole saw.  I helped a friend a couple years ago with a similar issue on his J boat.  Same scenario of intermittent issues.  The growth was barely visable, a fine black slime, but after pulling the feed pipe with tank empty and mopping out it all went away.  Off the shelf SS inspection ports are not that expensive and the whole job requires basic tools just alot of time it sounds like if you have to go thru the cockpit sole.  

I am so happy my fuel tank can be removed in about 15 minutes. I took it home to clean it.

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Dylan is a fairly typical gentleman from the East Coast. My late father would have made him look like a man who fritters money on gadgets, upgrades, and loves to fettle.

Having learnt yacht sailing with my father and dinghy racing with my uncle I must have been 15 before I realised that on some boats stuff worked.

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18 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

I was having a chat with one who's sailed most of the way around Australia in a 30' boat with an old diesel engine. His attitude to maintenance and how he has his fuel set up is almost identical to mine.

That might be Troy of Free Range Sailing? He's pretty impressive.

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Guys, don't scare Dylan away here. I want to hear how his experiment works out. He knows full well what you all think now. Because of Covid my boat has been sitting alone for a year now in Panama, engine run for 30 minutes once a month by a friend there. Left it with tank full after a week cruising in the San Blas, including mostly motoring for a day there and back with no issues, but also no rough weather. No bug busters or other additives. No guages of any kind or any access to the tank. When I finally get back to it in April it will be almost 18 months.

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5 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I am so happy my fuel tank can be removed in about 15 minutes. I took it home to clean it.

Other way around for me, I could move a bunk & table & dresser into my fuel tank and live in it.

Fortunately Mrs Steam is a big fan (for now) so I won't have to

FB- Doug

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20 hours ago, dylan winter said:
20 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

More like the master of making a distaste for basic and simple maintenance into an art form... while making more work for himself over the long term than the investment in doing the job correctly the first time.

I think that is a bit sharp

That was mild by FKT's standards.  If you mention the possibility of entering Australia without at least one certificate of sainthood, the FKT response will make this look like a hug. :D 

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16 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

Guys, don't scare Dylan away here. I want to hear how his experiment works out

And so it came to be that the expression "canary in the coalmine" was replaced by "Winter in the Fisher", which in centuries to come caused great bewilderment to students of the evolution of language.

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19 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Find one person on this site who agrees with the way you're approaching this. I doubt you can.

I used to farm.  Friend and I had all kinds of diesel equipment, tractors, combines, skid loaders.  We ran them hard in all kinds of weather in dirty, dusty environments.  The combines sat for 10 months a year.  In a couple of cases, for various reasons, we ended up performing CPR on a machine that had been sitting for years.  Now I take care of a little 50hp tractor and 30hp lawn mower that have 4 and 3 cylinder Yanmars in them.

Except for the last two these were older machines with thousands of hours on the clock.

None of this equipment had a fuel pressure gauge or a fuel filter vacuum gauge built into it.  Some of it had air cleaner vacuum sensors and some of it had hydraulic filter bypass sensors, that would trigger an indicator light when the filters were shot.  But not the fuel system.  If we really wanted to confirm that the filter wasn't clogged we could open a bleed screw and observe that there was sufficient flow.

Over 10 years of doing this I never physically cleaned a tank.  The only time I had to take one apart was a plastic tank that had its outlet clogged with plastic shavings that had been there since it was manufactured.  This is the only episode where we had an engine fail due to fuel contamination.

We replaced the fuel filters often, usually at oil change intervals, and where possible got glass ones so we could see if there was any crap accumulating.

Concern about contamination, old fuel, and microorganisms was ever present but we never actually had a problem with it.

A vacuum gauge is prudent sure but they are not always easy to install.  There isn't always a port in the right place and in some installations there's hard line between the filter and the lift pump that cannot be easily tapped into.

I am not sure Dylan is being foolish but then I hope he has a box of extra filters aboard.

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31 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

I used to farm.  Friend and I had all kinds of diesel equipment, tractors, combines, skid loaders.  We ran them hard in all kinds of weather in dirty, dusty environments.  The combines sat for 10 months a year.  In a couple of cases, for various reasons, we ended up performing CPR on a machine that had been sitting for years.  Now I take care of a little 50hp tractor and 30hp lawn mower that have 4 and 3 cylinder Yanmars in them.

Except for the last two these were older machines with thousands of hours on the clock.

None of this equipment had a fuel pressure gauge or a fuel filter vacuum gauge built into it.  Some of it had air cleaner vacuum sensors and some of it had hydraulic filter bypass sensors, that would trigger an indicator light when the filters were shot.  But not the fuel system.  If we really wanted to confirm that the filter wasn't clogged we could open a bleed screw and observe that there was sufficient flow.

Over 10 years of doing this I never physically cleaned a tank.  The only time I had to take one apart was a plastic tank that had its outlet clogged with plastic shavings that had been there since it was manufactured.  This is the only episode where we had an engine fail due to fuel contamination.

We replaced the fuel filters often, usually at oil change intervals, and where possible got glass ones so we could see if there was any crap accumulating.

Concern about contamination, old fuel, and microorganisms was ever present but we never actually had a problem with it.

A vacuum gauge is prudent sure but they are not always easy to install.  There isn't always a port in the right place and in some installations there's hard line between the filter and the lift pump that cannot be easily tapped into.

I am not sure Dylan is being foolish but then I hope he has a box of extra filters aboard.

Two on board

And 5 gallons of petrol for the ever ready tohatsu

3 months to run this experiment before enacting plan b then c, then d

d

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16 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

I read above that Dylan's fuel goop was broken down into less than 10 micron size lumps. What happens when they hit the secondary (on-engine) 2 micron filter?

Or doesn't that Vulva have a secondary?

Secondary vulva? Tell me more...

 

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2 hours ago, TheDragon said:

That might be Troy of Free Range Sailing? He's pretty impressive.

Yeah. He knows his stuff. His setup is close to mine given the difference in boat sizes & layouts. Bunkers (keel tanks), filter between that & day tank, filter between day tank and engine.

WRT agricultural machinery, my observation is that it's not surrounded by salt water. My M-F tractor doesn't get much TLC and I've never had a fuel problem either.

But that's not the point - Dylan HAS a fuel contamination problem. No farmer would miss a harvest weather window acting as he is, and 'm related to a bunch of them with equipment that makes the cost of a boat look like pocket change.

It's kind of entertaining watch someone assiduously avoid doing what is obvious needs to be done, in the hope that the problem can be solved with some form of chemical. It might even work, who knows.

FKT

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35 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

I read above that Dylan's fuel goop was broken down into less than 10 micron size lumps. What happens when they hit the secondary (on-engine) 2 micron filter?

Or doesn't that Vulva have a secondary?

Hence my earlier comments WRT wear on injector pump and injectors. Even if the particles can go through a 2 micron filter, knowingly putting them through precision machinery when there's an alternative is not something I'd be happy doing.

If that engine develops pump & injector problems no doubt it'll be because the manufacturer did a shit job.

FKT

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11 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

If that engine develops pump & injector problems no doubt it'll be because the manufacturer did a shit job.

Ah, go easy, FKYT.  From what I have seen of Dylan, I think he will own that one if it happens.  He's definitely not a whiner.

And if it comes to replacing the fuel system, I am sure he will do some great videos of the work. 

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11 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Yeah. He knows his stuff. His setup is close to mine given the difference in boat sizes & layouts. Bunkers (keel tanks), filter between that & day tank, filter between day tank and engine.

WRT agricultural machinery, my observation is that it's not surrounded by salt water. My M-F tractor doesn't get much TLC and I've never had a fuel problem either.

But that's not the point - Dylan HAS a fuel contamination problem. 

No he doesn't. He has had fuel contamination and may still have it but it isn't a problem. 

 If it were k.i.s, it would be a problem because he needs his engine to work to get out of his difficult dock

 If it were you, fkt, it would be a problem because you wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing it was there. 

11 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

It's kind of entertaining watch someone assiduously avoid doing what is obvious needs to be done, in the hope that the problem can be solved with some form of chemical. It might even work, who knows.

Well, Dylan will in a few months time,  and he'll share it with us. It won't convince you that it was the right thing to do but it'll be a useful bit of real world experience for some, and for that we should be grateful. 

Cheers, 

               W.

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1 minute ago, TwoLegged said:

Ah, go easy, FKYT.  From what I have seen of Dylan, I think he will own that one if it happens.  He's definitely not a whiner.

And if it comes to replacing the fuel system, I am sure he will do some great videos of the work. 

Some of this is entertainment, true.

Advice on the internet is worth what you've paid for it, after all. And some activities are quite valuable if only as an example of what not to do.

So it's all good.

It actually sounds like a fairly easy job, if there's a 75mm air gap between cabin sole and tank top. I'd make as big an access hatch in the sole as possible because if you have to do it, not much more work to go big. Then cut a smaller hole but still big enough for good access in the tank, and do it. Yes, PITA, but once and done, easy access forever more.

I very cleverly made access hatches for all of my tanks (except the day tank which is easy to remove) then parked an engine over the top of 2 of those hatches, making it impossible to get them off. So don't think I'm claiming any exemption from fuck-ups here.

FKT

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Like it not like the advise from FKT is spot on.  When you are a marine engineer in the middle of nowhere with no backups you develop a harder edge when it comes to short cuts and their eventual results.  Things are pretty black and white.  Dylan seems to sort things out just fine sure he will get there eventually.  

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25 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Some of this is entertainment, true.

Advice on the internet is worth what you've paid for it, after all. And some activities are quite valuable if only as an example of what not to do.

So it's all good.

It actually sounds like a fairly easy job, if there's a 75mm air gap between cabin sole and tank top. I'd make as big an access hatch in the sole as possible because if you have to do it, not much more work to go big. Then cut a smaller hole but still big enough for good access in the tank, and do it. Yes, PITA, but once and done, easy access forever more.

I very cleverly made access hatches for all of my tanks (except the day tank which is easy to remove) then parked an engine over the top of 2 of those hatches, making it impossible to get them off. So don't think I'm claiming any exemption from fuck-ups here.

FKT

I believe Dylan said earlier that there already is an access hole in the tank, making this all the more frustrating. If true, all he needs to do is a not-shitty install of a not-shitty waterproof deck plate just above it. A saw, a drill, some goop, and Bob's your uncle.

EDIT: I went back and looked and it appears Dylan never mentioned an access port. Apologies are in order and I've dialed back my frustration to just the regular amount, not the head-slapping variety.

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10 minutes ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Dylan seems to sort things out just fine sure he will get there eventually

^^^this.

Dylan has a long track record of successfully applying his good-enough approach to maintenance of old boats.  I agree that in this case he should do the fix ... but I am also pretty sure that he will handle any remaining problems.  His sailing style is quite conservative, since his style of video relies on a stable platform, so he is well-placed to juggle engine flakiness against his sailing style.  I'd just refer to see him not hobbled to by an unreliable engine.

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2 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:
20 minutes ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Dylan seems to sort things out just fine sure he will get there eventually

^^^this.

Dylan has a long track record of successfully applying his good-enough approach to maintenance of old boats.  I agree that in this case he should do the fix ... but I am also pretty sure that he will handle any remaining problems.  His sailing style is quite conservative, since his style of video relies on a stable platform, so he is well-placed to juggle engine flakiness against his sailing style.  I'd just refer to see him not hobbled to by an unreliable engine.

Look, if the compulsive fettlers in this group can't give Dylan a hard time about not wanting to fettle while we frustratingly can't fettle because it's not fettling weather, then what's the point of this whole exercise?

I think it's time for our antipodean colleagues to step up with some warm-weather fettling pictures. Unless they're out sailing and can't be bothered.

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3 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

I used to farm.  Friend and I had all kinds of diesel equipment, tractors, combines, skid loaders.  We ran them hard in all kinds of weather in dirty, dusty environments.  The combines sat for 10 months a year.  In a couple of cases, for various reasons, we ended up performing CPR on a machine that had been sitting for years.  Now I take care of a little 50hp tractor and 30hp lawn mower that have 4 and 3 cylinder Yanmars in them.

Except for the last two these were older machines with thousands of hours on the clock.

None of this equipment had a fuel pressure gauge or a fuel filter vacuum gauge built into it.  Some of it had air cleaner vacuum sensors and some of it had hydraulic filter bypass sensors, that would trigger an indicator light when the filters were shot.  But not the fuel system.  If we really wanted to confirm that the filter wasn't clogged we could open a bleed screw and observe that there was sufficient flow.

Over 10 years of doing this I never physically cleaned a tank.  The only time I had to take one apart was a plastic tank that had its outlet clogged with plastic shavings that had been there since it was manufactured.  This is the only episode where we had an engine fail due to fuel contamination.

We replaced the fuel filters often, usually at oil change intervals, and where possible got glass ones so we could see if there was any crap accumulating.

Concern about contamination, old fuel, and microorganisms was ever present but we never actually had a problem with it.

A vacuum gauge is prudent sure but they are not always easy to install.  There isn't always a port in the right place and in some installations there's hard line between the filter and the lift pump that cannot be easily tapped into.

I am not sure Dylan is being foolish but then I hope he has a box of extra filters aboard.

Last time a farm tractor quit I got off it and walked home ;) Boats and airplanes, not so much.

 

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