fuel additives & tank cleaning

John Clanton

I haven't seen much on this topic recently and wanted to see if anyone can provide experience, opinion, or speculation....

I have read too many articles that start with "The seas really picked up just as I was motoring into the harbor and all the sudden my engine stopped....."  These are always stories about fuel contamination in the tank that gets stirred up and clogs filters.  I work hard to never author an article like that.

I am selective about where I purchase fuel and have been adding ActiOil, which is distributed by Volvo.  I have dual Racors and inspect them frequently.  Whenever I leave the boat for the winter, I top it up before I leave.

When I returned to the boat a few weeks ago, I had the local Volvo dealer do the annual service, a requirement to keep the warranty valid, and he sent me photos of the Racor filter which showed a reasonable, but not egregious amount of junk.  This would have been junk accumulated in the summer of 2019 as the boat had not been run since then. I showed the photos to Amel Hyeres when I was there a week ago, and they said that is the filter doing its job.  Reasonable answer, but is it one that will keep me from writing one of those scary articles.

Three questions:

1. Can anyone provide a recommendation on a fuel additive for the water and bug problem.  I will be in the Med for the next few years as a reference on climate and market availability.

2. Has anyone ever had their tank opened up and cleaned?  I have heard of fuel polishers who come to the boat and circulate fuel through a big filter, but the local group wants to open up the tank, empty, clean, and inspect.  

3. Have any 55 owners opened up their fuel tank?  I am not sure if the 55 has an access port on the top of the tank or not, and if so, I am not sure how to get to it it.

Thanks to the group for its collective wisdom.

John W. Clanton
S/V Devereux, A55 No. 65
Antibes, France

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