Short status to our „water in the tank adventure”.
After draining and draining no more water came out even after a 7 hours testrun, so we decided to sail from Costa Rica to Mexico, we thought the problem has been solved. Difficult sailing with two full days of gale force Papagayos in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, later with less wind but confusing rough seas, sailing and motoring like in a cocktail shaker. When the amount of fuel left in the tank went down to 100 liters and the tank has been shaked well again we had the water problem. So every 2 hours dewatering the filters. As soon as we refuelled from our Jerry Cans (12 gallons, of course we had to do that in the night) the fuel stayed clean again, but we still checked all filters every two hours and drain them a little bit.
Some experiences to share:
- Sometimes the prefilter (water separator) had no water in, but the Second Filter (Racor) had water, sometimes the prefilter caught all the water, sometimes both had water in.
- No water seemed to pass the Racor filter (Only first time when the racor got full), but plenty of water passed by the water separator
- When the water separator triggered an alarm the Racor was already more than full with water. It is not enough to wait for the alarm, so many water passes the primary filter that – wehen the alarm is triggered, a lot of water might be already in the injectors… I will clean the separator carefully and check if it will work more reliable then…
- I will upgrade my “single racor” to a “double racor” where I can switch from one filter to the other and reuse the old one for the genset
Next steps, here in Marina Chiapas, before we continue heading north:
- We have to solve that here, sailing north the next 1000 miles with the same setup is not possible
- We have to remove all the old fuel from the tank and clean it. There seems to be no “sludge”, only dirty fuel (not clear) and water
- First we try to pump the fuel out, with local help, will see how that works. Maybe it can be done without an “inspection opening”, not sure if that could be installed professional here. I would prefer to do that by myself during summer storage using the nice “seabuilt” solution that Craig recommended and just remove all fuel and water now. Maybe it can be done with a small flexible hose like I use for changing oil?.
- Has anyone a drawing of the tank construction? How is it made inside? Is it possible to put a hose from the tank filling to the lowest point below the outlet to the filter or will it be blocked by any separations?
- Joel advised to make two inspection hatches, are there two chambers, how are they separated?
Thanks for all your comments, pictures and recommendations!!!
herbert, SN120, KALI MERA, Marina Chiapas, Mexico
P.S.: Are there any recommendations for safe yards (hardstanding) during the hurricane season in Mexico??