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Are gas station diesel and marina diesel the same?


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I think the answer is "it depends". I purchased a boat this summer with a Diesel engine. I had the entire system cleaned out and new filters put in before we launched. I filled up using "bio diesel" from the local gas stations (I am in the midwest). Within a month the engine had trouble related to the filters being full of "snot" as my engine mechanic called it. Had to change the filters and bleed some air out of the system (which may be due to a separate issue). 

This is is sample size of one, but from now I will... 

Not use Biodiesel 

Put in an additive like Star Tron

Keep some extra filters in my storage trailer 

 

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As stated above, yep. In Texas off road has a red dye and is not taxed for road use. In heavy equipment I have run many hundreds of gallons purchased at local stations when couldn't get off road delivered.  Marine diesel (like gas) is usually more expensive because of where you buy it and because you don't have to lug those cans down the dock. Big fines if caught running the red diesel in a vehicle.

edit: Have heard reports of issues with bio diesel, mainly from mixing with normal diesel.

 

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"Bio Diesel" can mean many things. Your source could be recycled french fry grease... 

Any fuel should be multiply filtered, have an inline water separator, and be treated with additives to reduce the growth of algae. 

Adding Cetane boosters, viscosity modifiers (winter use) and "injector cleaner/lube" may be occasionally of use. 

If the fuel sits for prolonged duration, try to keep the tank full and add fresh treatments. 

I've found that "polishing" the contents with a highspeed circulating filtration system is valuable about once a decade or so. 

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Yep. The issue is if you get caught with red diesel in your vehicle, since it's not taxed the same, but green diesel in your boat just usually means you spent too much for it ;)(which unfortunately has been my situation a few times on the Columbia)

As to biodiesel, at least as of around 5 years ago, Yanmar was recommending against it - the engines could take it, but the hoses and seals needed to be replaced with biodiesel-resistant materials.

Edit: just found the spec in the 1gm10 manual, which recommends B7 (93% Diesel, 7% Bio), but then lists a million things that could happen if you do use it. I'll stick with B0 for now.

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yes for diesel fuels, But don't ever use oil burner "diesel" in an engine , as it's has a coloring and a wax added to it, which will destroy a diesel engine,

I friend years ago tried it in his diesel engine and it seized the engine 

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Why the hellcyou bought biodiesel lol

On the other hand I knoe multiple Canadian fishermen who rin their Mitsubishis on used frnch fry oil with no problems. And i know of a diesel Daimler that runs on oil. Secret there is a separate tank and always start on 100% pure virgin petroleum diesel

 

 

 

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Should be just the colour and the tax.

Someone from the UK will post soon. Tax was a big issue for the RYA there a  few years back

In the meantime the diesels in the powerboat run on EN 590 or Jet A1.

 

 

 

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It's okay; I buy a little auto station diesel dispensed into one of those small 1 gallon gas cans as a good way to thoroughly mix the correct amount of atomizer & fungicide before I top off the tank. I can get all the measurements, have my calculator at the ready and use a turkey baster that way. What's the formula? Let's see, 16 oz per 240 gallons in a 3/4 full 10 liter tank ....carry the 7....

The hard part is that the nozzle may need some finagling (fin nay gull ling) in order to dispense into a small can like that. But worth the effort, IMHO

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Diesel tax is federal not State - on road highway diesel which is straw yellow and undyed attracts $0.243 per gallon in Federal highway tax.

Off road and marine diesel is dyed red to make it easy to identify if it is found in an on road application.

Marinas here in the NE sell dyed diesel but at a price where the 0.243 tax is included so they make that as margin.

As for bio in  diesel - the ASTM spec for #2 diesel allows 5% bio so it is most likely that you are getting bio regardless of whether you buy at a marina or a gas station.

Home heating oil - which is also dyed red for tax free purposes can have up to 20% bio so not to be recommended in a marine engine.

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Biodiesel is more hygroscopic than normal diesel (fatty acid methyl esters are more polar than alkanes) so that is one reason to avoid in a marine environment. If you see a product called renewable diesel that is fine to use too; it is not the same as biodiesel and chemically identical to petrodiesel. 

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2 hours ago, Parma said:

It's okay; I buy a little auto station diesel dispensed into one of those small 1 gallon gas cans as a good way to thoroughly mix the correct amount of atomizer & fungicide before I top off the tank. I can get all the measurements, have my calculator at the ready and use a turkey baster that way. What's the formula? Let's see, 16 oz per 240 gallons in a 3/4 full 10 liter tank ....carry the 7....

The hard part is that the nozzle may need some finagling (fin nay gull ling) in order to dispense into a small can like that. But worth the effort, IMHO

Are you saying that auto station diesel has additives that marina diesel doesn’t have?

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2 hours ago, adrianl said:

Diesel tax is federal not State - on road highway diesel which is straw yellow and undyed attracts $0.243 per gallon in Federal highway tax.

Off road and marine diesel is dyed red to make it easy to identify if it is found in an on road application.

Marinas here in the NE sell dyed diesel but at a price where the 0.243 tax is included so they make that as margin.

As for bio in  diesel - the ASTM spec for #2 diesel allows 5% bio so it is most likely that you are getting bio regardless of whether you buy at a marina or a gas station.

Home heating oil - which is also dyed red for tax free purposes can have up to 20% bio so not to be recommended in a marine engine.

There are both state and federal taxes on road diesel. Dyed diesel is exempt from the Federal taxes and typically either not taxed or taxed at a much lower rate at the state level.

If you ever have to deal with commercial highway vehicles you have to file IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) reports as those taxes are apportioned across the areas you run.

https://www.taxadmin.org/assets/docs/Research/Rates/mf.pdf

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Perusing diesel dealer sites: Taxed and untaxed (red) diesel are identical. Diesel is generally sold as heating oil but heating oil may not meet diesel specifications (rare). Bio-diesel is more hydroscopic which will be problematic for long storage in little-used boats. Shelf life is one year for all products (not the 20+ years sailors expect). Clear diesel is actually colored with a yellow-green dye. They say that clear diesel color will fade to straw as an indicator of age. The feds can detect dyed fuel that has had the dye filtered out, or diluted, using UV light. 

 

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6 hours ago, Quickstep192 said:

Are you saying that auto station diesel has additives that marina diesel doesn’t have?

No, just that there are additives specifically for low use diesel engines like ours: a biocide to prevent growth and an atomizer to prevent water buildup.

Because the ratios are sort of extreme it's easier to mix them at home in the garage and add them to the tank on the boat later prior to topping off.

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Diesel in sailing boats tends to sit around not being used for long periods in a humid atmosphere encouraging bug growth, road fuel is generally consumed much faster. That's why boat diesel needs a bug killer added to the fuel.

 

UK,  two things,

The red diesel is supposedly the same as white diesel but I've found it isn't, red diesel is a base level fuel, like 0 star petrol, white diesel definitely works better more like 4star petrol.

 

UK Tax, the EU was trying to force full taxes on red diesel used in boats, the UK by the time we had left had arranged a fudge. A nominal percentage could be claimed for heating, that's normally 60% tax as road fuel 40 % as heating.. for the moment this situation is continuing..

I suspect however boats will eventually be forced to pay full taxes as they will claim it's to encourage green alternatives, and more likely, since when didn't a government turn down the chance of more income.

of course if you can find a farm fuel supplier you can get the red fuel without tax, but that means carting it to the boat in fuel cans.

Problem,

For those sailing from the UK and going to the EU with red fuel in their tanks. Some countries have been making it very difficult if you do so. They are in effect ignoring the 1980 Istanbul treaty which allows people to do so. The advice is to retain all fuel receipts from the UK making sure they are marked tax paid by the retailer.

Oh I run my Landrover on 50% chip fat in the summer, no problem, but not in the winter as it gets to thick.. you can get heated fuel lines etc to cope with that. But it's not worth it for me.

 

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Go to WM or some other marine supplier and get a biocide and an atomizer.

Then stop by a store that is likely to sell a graduated syringe/baster and get one of those too; you'll need it.

Once you use the syringe/baster do not ever use it in your kitchen.

I made a chart based on 8ths of a full tank showing the correct number of ounces for each additive if I were to top off the tank, then keep the additives, chart & syringe in a coffee can in the dock box.

I gas up once every 2-3 years. Hey! It's a sailboat!

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21 hours ago, d'ranger said:

As stated above, yep. In Texas off road has a red dye and is not taxed for road use. In heavy equipment I have run many hundreds of gallons purchased at local stations when couldn't get off road delivered.  Marine diesel (like gas) is usually more expensive because of where you buy it and because you don't have to lug those cans down the dock. Big fines if caught running the red diesel in a vehicle.

edit: Have heard reports of issues with bio diesel, mainly from mixing with normal diesel.

 

In France, if you are caught with off road diesel in your vehicle (red diesel), the "gendarmerie" will read how much mileage you have on your odometer and assume you used non-road taxed diesel in your vehicle since day one to calculate the fine.... It's a "saving" that can be very expensive if you are caught.

 

Fun fact:

In France, off-road diesel, used for instance for heating is called "mazout", which is a Russian word. Highway diesel that you put in your vehicle is called "gazole" (pronounced "gaz-all") which is the francization of "gas-oil", an American word...

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17 minutes ago, Parma said:

Go to WM or some other marine supplier and get a biocide and an atomizer.

Then stop by a store that is likely to sell a graduated syringe/baster and get one of those too; you'll need it.

Once you use the syringe/baster do not ever use it in your kitchen.

I made a chart based on 8ths of a full tank showing the correct number of ounces for each additive if I were to top off the tank, then keep the additives, chart & syringe in a coffee can in the dock box.

I gas up once every 2-3 years. Hey! It's a sailboat!

I just buy the Biobor stuff in the self-dispensing bottle:

49YL83_AS01?$zmmain$

If I remember right, it's 1 oz per 40 gal of diesel but there's no real harm in overdosing. The 8 oz bottle above has a measuring chamber calibrated in 1/4 oz increments and you can estimate to 1/8 oz, so you can dose in 5 gallon increments without much issue. If you get the 16 oz bottle, the measurer is calibrated in 1/2 oz increments and you can estimate with 1/4 oz precision, equivalent to a 10 gallon dose.

To use it, you just uncap the measuring chamber, squeeze the bottle until it fills to the desired level, and then pour it into the tank. Easy as pie and super clean.

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I really like Parma's approach of buying a gallon from the gas station and putting in all the additives to that gallon...I'll have to remember that as an easy/clean way to do that.

On the other hand, if you're off on a week long cruise, where you don't have a car, then you want diesel available at marinas.  So the way to make sure Marina's continue to provide fuel at fuel docks is to buy it from them.  I realize that we sailboaters don't make up the majority of their sales, but still...

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

I just buy the Biobor stuff in the self-dispensing bottle:

49YL83_AS01?$zmmain$

If I remember right, it's 1 oz per 40 gal of diesel but there's no real harm in overdosing. The 8 oz bottle above has a measuring chamber calibrated in 1/4 oz increments and you can estimate to 1/8 oz, so you can dose in 5 gallon increments without much issue. If you get the 16 oz bottle, the measurer is calibrated in 1/2 oz increments and you can estimate with 1/4 oz precision, equivalent to a 10 gallon dose.

To use it, you just uncap the measuring chamber, squeeze the bottle until it fills to the desired level, and then pour it into the tank. Easy as pie and super clean.

You're quite right

IIRC the atomizer was 1 oz per 256 gallons, so when I have a 20 liter tank that is 1/3 full how many oz of each should I use? Answer = calculator + syringe / turkey baster.

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18 hours ago, The Q said:

Diesel in sailing boats tends to sit around not being used for long periods in a humid atmosphere encouraging bug growth, road fuel is generally consumed much faster. That's why boat diesel needs a bug killer added to the fuel.

 

UK,  two things,

The red diesel is supposedly the same as white diesel but I've found it isn't, red diesel is a base level fuel, like 0 star petrol, white diesel definitely works better more like 4star petrol.

 

UK Tax, the EU was trying to force full taxes on red diesel used in boats, the UK by the time we had left had arranged a fudge. A nominal percentage could be claimed for heating, that's normally 60% tax as road fuel 40 % as heating.. for the moment this situation is continuing..

I suspect however boats will eventually be forced to pay full taxes as they will claim it's to encourage green alternatives, and more likely, since when didn't a government turn down the chance of more income.

of course if you can find a farm fuel supplier you can get the red fuel without tax, but that means carting it to the boat in fuel cans.

Problem,

For those sailing from the UK and going to the EU with red fuel in their tanks. Some countries have been making it very difficult if you do so. They are in effect ignoring the 1980 Istanbul treaty which allows people to do so. The advice is to retain all fuel receipts from the UK making sure they are marked tax paid by the retailer.

Oh I run my Landrover on 50% chip fat in the summer, no problem, but not in the winter as it gets to thick.. you can get heated fuel lines etc to cope with that. But it's not worth it for me.

 

 

9 hours ago, Laurent said:

In France, if you are caught with off road diesel in your vehicle (red diesel), the "gendarmerie" will read how much mileage you have on your odometer and assume you used non-road taxed diesel in your vehicle since day one to calculate the fine.... It's a "saving" that can be very expensive if you are caught.

 

Fun fact:

In France, off-road diesel, used for instance for heating is called "mazout", which is a Russian word. Highway diesel that you put in your vehicle is called "gazole" (pronounced "gaz-all") which is the francization of "gas-oil", an American word...

Ugh.

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I don’t like waiting to go to the fuel dock so I almost always just top off with 5 gal of diesel from a station on the way to the marina where all the tractor trailers fill up. I figure they go through so much diesel there it doesn’t sit for long. 

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On 8/28/2021 at 4:23 AM, markwbird said:

Yes.  They are the same

All come off the same ship , different brands use different additives .

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On 8/27/2021 at 2:35 PM, ryley said:

Yep. The issue is if you get caught with red diesel in your vehicle, since it's not taxed the same, but green diesel in your boat just usually means you spent too much for it ;)(which unfortunately has been my situation a few times on the Columbia)

As to biodiesel, at least as of around 5 years ago, Yanmar was recommending against it - the engines could take it, but the hoses and seals needed to be replaced with biodiesel-resistant materials.

Edit: just found the spec in the 1gm10 manual, which recommends B7 (93% Diesel, 7% Bio), but then lists a million things that could happen if you do use it. I'll stick with B0 for now.

Speaking of which, how is your diesel engine doing on the Columbia?  Got it all sorted?  All rebuilt?

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thanks for asking Maui, it *should* be done by Friday. and if not, then definitely the week after, but I'm pretending it will be Friday.

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On 8/27/2021 at 1:05 PM, IMR said:

In California it’s all about tax 

Where I buy fuel in California, the marine diesel is dyed red and supposedly comes dosed with algae inhibitors. I hope that’s the case as I usually only buy fuel in summer when cruising and my filters stay clean all year. The diesel I buy for my car isn’t red and I don’t think there is much market for algae inhibitor given the higher turnover. I wouldn’t use it. 

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Like others have stated.  At least in the US, road and marine diesels are the same.  When I bought my boat the tank had become overcome with algae, snot, "bug" from sitting for 2+ years with a bad o-ring on the cap. Unfortunately the tank was boxed in by the engine so there was no way to remove it to clean or replace.  Instead I drained the tank as best as i could and filled with my new special mix after reading about how to solve this.

I buy from the road stations and like others have stated treat it myself with my own additives.  I use Rislone 4740 as a treatment and Biobor JF for the biocide.  The Rislone contains a cetane booster, a moisture emulsifier, and some other goodies to make my engine happy.  The Biobor keeps the algae away.  At one point I cut my fuel line coming from my tank and installed one of the cheapy inline clear filters so I can inspect what's coming from the tank periodically and this has turned out to be a flawless combination as I generally have perfectly clear fuel at all times.

To be clear, I don't have a Yanmar in my boat.  My engine is this silly one lung BMW D7 that nobody has ever heard of and the parts are scarce.  YMMV with this advice.

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On 8/27/2021 at 1:05 PM, IMR said:

In California it’s all about tax 

I used to love buying diesel for my Durmax. It was almost $1 less than Gas. Then Kali bumped up the Diesel tax so the cost matched .
When I visited my son recently I found Diesel for $2.99/gal where in Kali it is $3.19 or thereabouts.

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5 hours ago, Looper said:

Like others have stated.  At least in the US, road and marine diesels are the same.  When I bought my boat the tank had become overcome with algae, snot, "bug" from sitting for 2+ years with a bad o-ring on the cap. Unfortunately the tank was boxed in by the engine so there was no way to remove it to clean or replace.  Instead I drained the tank as best as i could and filled with my new special mix after reading about how to solve this.

I buy from the road stations and like others have stated treat it myself with my own additives.  I use Rislone 4740 as a treatment and Biobor JF for the biocide.  The Rislone contains a cetane booster, a moisture emulsifier, and some other goodies to make my engine happy.  The Biobor keeps the algae away.  At one point I cut my fuel line coming from my tank and installed one of the cheapy inline clear filters so I can inspect what's coming from the tank periodically and this has turned out to be a flawless combination as I generally have perfectly clear fuel at all times.

To be clear, I don't have a Yanmar in my boat.  My engine is this silly one lung BMW D7 that nobody has ever heard of and the parts are scarce.  YMMV with this advice.

The D7 was used in a number of S2 7.9s and the Pearson Flyer.  It began life as an air cooled Hatz diesel. Had one in my Flyer. Unreliable as could be. After 3 years I replaced it with a used 2 cyl Yanmar.

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On 8/27/2021 at 11:01 AM, Tarnish said:

I think the answer is "it depends". I purchased a boat this summer with a Diesel engine. I had the entire system cleaned out and new filters put in before we launched. I filled up using "bio diesel" from the local gas stations (I am in the midwest). Within a month the engine had trouble related to the filters being full of "snot" as my engine mechanic called it. Had to change the filters and bleed some air out of the system (which may be due to a separate issue). 

This is is sample size of one, but from now I will... 

Not use Biodiesel 

Put in an additive like Star Tron

Keep some extra filters in my storage trailer 

 

You should never start with biodiesel by filling the tank with it. It is very much more detergent than diesel. Even if you think you have cleaned the system, the biodiesel will find gunk to clean from somewhere and cause problems. Start with 10/90% or 80/20  mix of bio and regular diesel.  Slowly up the ratio of bio. Even school bus fleets do it like this so the school kids aren't stranded on the side of the road. 

I know, and have raced on, a couple of boats running biodeshl. No problems when done like I said here. It is kind of weird to smell french fries heading out to the course. 

And on the tax/dye subject, the only ppl ever inspected for dye in their tanks are commercial drivers. It's a common check at the weigh station and also when the state patrol pulls them over for safety checks. I am not aware of anyone ever having a personal vehicle checked for the dye. Just saying. 

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