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


Peter Forbes
 

Adding to that question - is it easy does anyone know to remove the access panel to the fuel tank in a 54 and see the bottom of the tank?

Peter

Peter Forbes
Carango Amel 54 #035
La Rochelle
07836 209730

On 2 Jul 2021, at 10:13, John Clanton <clanton@...> wrote:

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


Ulrich Michael Dangelmeyer
 

Hi John,

my little contribution from my own experience to your (first) question. after 5 years in the Med in Greece, we have had no problems with our fuel so far. Even if the boat sleeps in the marina up to 8 months a year like now.
But we strictly follow our following rules:
- We always fill up with quality fuel from a regular gas station or have a tanker come from there. Never cheap stuff. always fresh and clean.
- If you do have to make the miserable trip with jerry cans, then always fill through a (Mr. Funnel) filter. can take time, but is safe.
- We always fill up to the top (900 liters) at the end of the season.
- we add proper Grotamar 82, the very first time the shock treatment: 1 liter to 1000 liters of fuel. Grotamar you get as a private person not so easy, but in every chandlery are still the bottles around or you ask in the workshop. The professionals may continue to use the stuff. Grotamar is the best, mil spec and for professional use.
- Alternatively, there is a new Special Diesel protection additive from Liqui Moly. You have to take the stuff against bacteria and fungi. There is also a similar one but tuned to protect the injection system. That is not asked here!
-We regularly check and change our Racor filters so we don't find dirt and water in the glass. That's all.

Of course, we do not know what all has accumulated at the bottom of the tank, but so far no clues. fingers crossed.
Hope this helps you with the routine use.

Fair finds and stay safe. Enjoy the med.
Best
Ulrich
S/Y „Soleil Bleu“, A54#088
Leros GR.
<>

Am 02.07.2021 um 11:13 schrieb John Clanton <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


Billy Newport
 
Edited

I have my tank cleaned last year. Access is under the captain berth. There was a fair bit of black stuff and for 250 bucks, well worth doing. The gasket is a complete rubber circle, not a ring. So, I had fuel collecting in the center of the gasket but none leaked out on top of the tank. I would prefer a ring so it just drops back in the tank.

Amel 55#56


Joerg Esdorn
 

John, in my experience you will need to be flexible on what fuel additive to use.  The brands available in local shops vary wildly.  Having said that, I’ve seen the Starbrite additive in more places than other brands so I would get a good supply of that one.  


Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem
on the way to Gibraltar 


Geo Uhrich
 

Hello Amel Owners,

For my last two boats I have installed RCI Fuel Purification units in my boats. They are installed before the Racor filters and use centrifugal force to clean the fuel. Dirty fuel drops to the holding area in the bottom and is removed with a purging valve. I also use the optional alarm which alerts you that the holding area is full.

 In my current boat, I also added a bypass system with a pump so that I can purify my fuel on board.

I have never had a problem with dirty fuel and I highly recommend this system for trouble free motoring.

If anyone is interested in finding out more just email me back. I am not affiliated with this company in any way.  However, I will not own a boat without it.

Geo

On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 2:32 PM Joerg Esdorn via groups.io <jhe1313=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

John, in my experience you will need to be flexible on what fuel additive to use.  The brands available in local shops vary wildly.  Having said that, I’ve seen the Starbrite additive in more places than other brands so I would get a good supply of that one.  


Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem
on the way to Gibraltar 


 

I believe that the Racor filter should be changed at 400 total hours (Main + Onan) or 9 months, whichever comes first. I followed this rule for almost 11 years without an issue. 

To be safe, even though BeBe was 1.5 years old when we purchased her, I had the tank and fuel cleaned. I used Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment for diesel fuel each time we added fuel. 

I always used the busiest fuel docks and always Baja-filtered a jerry jug of fuel and inspected the filter before filling the tank.
image.png
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 6:48 AM Geo Uhrich <lingeouhr@...> wrote:
Hello Amel Owners,

For my last two boats I have installed RCI Fuel Purification units in my boats. They are installed before the Racor filters and use centrifugal force to clean the fuel. Dirty fuel drops to the holding area in the bottom and is removed with a purging valve. I also use the optional alarm which alerts you that the holding area is full.

 In my current boat, I also added a bypass system with a pump so that I can purify my fuel on board.

I have never had a problem with dirty fuel and I highly recommend this system for trouble free motoring.

If anyone is interested in finding out more just email me back. I am not affiliated with this company in any way.  However, I will not own a boat without it.

Geo

On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 2:32 PM Joerg Esdorn via groups.io <jhe1313=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

John, in my experience you will need to be flexible on what fuel additive to use.  The brands available in local shops vary wildly.  Having said that, I’ve seen the Starbrite additive in more places than other brands so I would get a good supply of that one.  


Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem
on the way to Gibraltar 


JB Duler
 

Geo,
That sounds great!
Please send me the details.
Best,
JB Duler

On Jul 2, 2021, at 13:47, Geo Uhrich <lingeouhr@...> wrote:

Hello Amel Owners,

For my last two boats I have installed RCI Fuel Purification units in my boats. They are installed before the Racor filters and use centrifugal force to clean the fuel. Dirty fuel drops to the holding area in the bottom and is removed with a purging valve. I also use the optional alarm which alerts you that the holding area is full.

 In my current boat, I also added a bypass system with a pump so that I can purify my fuel on board.

I have never had a problem with dirty fuel and I highly recommend this system for trouble free motoring.

If anyone is interested in finding out more just email me back. I am not affiliated with this company in any way.  However, I will not own a boat without it.

Geo

On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 2:32 PM Joerg Esdorn via groups.io <jhe1313=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

John, in my experience you will need to be flexible on what fuel additive to use.  The brands available in local shops vary wildly.  Having said that, I’ve seen the Starbrite additive in more places than other brands so I would get a good supply of that one.  


Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem
on the way to Gibraltar 





--
John Bernard "JB" Duler
San Francisco
Meltem # 19, Western Med


Geo Uhrich
 

I will

On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 7:58 PM JB Duler <jbduler@...> wrote:
Geo,
That sounds great!
Please send me the details.
Best,
JB Duler

On Jul 2, 2021, at 13:47, Geo Uhrich <lingeouhr@...> wrote:

Hello Amel Owners,

For my last two boats I have installed RCI Fuel Purification units in my boats. They are installed before the Racor filters and use centrifugal force to clean the fuel. Dirty fuel drops to the holding area in the bottom and is removed with a purging valve. I also use the optional alarm which alerts you that the holding area is full.

 In my current boat, I also added a bypass system with a pump so that I can purify my fuel on board.

I have never had a problem with dirty fuel and I highly recommend this system for trouble free motoring.

If anyone is interested in finding out more just email me back. I am not affiliated with this company in any way.  However, I will not own a boat without it.

Geo

On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 2:32 PM Joerg Esdorn via groups.io <jhe1313=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

John, in my experience you will need to be flexible on what fuel additive to use.  The brands available in local shops vary wildly.  Having said that, I’ve seen the Starbrite additive in more places than other brands so I would get a good supply of that one.  


Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem
on the way to Gibraltar 





--
John Bernard "JB" Duler
San Francisco
Meltem # 19, Western Med


John Clanton
 

Thanks all for responses! Here is my plan and a couple of take aways from the responses. I would appreciate any contrary opinions or additional suggestions.

A special thanks to Billy for providing photos and location of the inspection hatch for the 55 fuel tank, this takes half the worry out of it for me.

Tomorrow I plan to open the inspection hatch and see what I can see. I would be surprised if it is clean based on what I have seen in the Racors the last two years. So I am wagering that I will need a professional tank cleaner.

There is a local vendor who will suck out all the fuel, clean the tank completely, polish the fuel while out of the tank, then put it back in. So I will use him unless my inspection suggests it is not needed.

Once clean, I will change out the Racor so I have a baseline for subsequent filter changes. Then, plan to use the Grotomar additive religiously. It has several quality endorsements from sailors, and based on the fact it is very difficult to find, it must be good.

In my unofficial research, the StarBrite treatment received a good number of positive mentions, and importantly, I see it often in the Med chandleries.

Once all clean and full, I plan on a three year visual tank inspection interval.

I will provide an update when the work is done.

Again, thanks to the group for all responses and suggestions.


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


Disclaimer

The information contained in this communication from the sender is confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others authorized to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any review, retransmission, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information is strictly prohibited.


Scott SV Tengah
 

On the A54, inspecting the tank couldn't be easier. There are two circular ports on the top of the tank. Remove them and you can see right to the bottom. Mine was pristine, almost looked brand new.

After so many stories of failed D3-110 motors, many related to fuel, I religiously filter ALL of my fuel and add BioBor. I used to use the Baja filter but it's slow - we spent 2-3 hours filling up in Colombia.

Now I use a big Mr. Funnel and I believe Practical Sailor did a test and found that it works just as well, if not better.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Geo Uhrich
 

For those who are interested in learning about RCI Fuel systems, here is a link to a demonstration by Bob Fox, who is the person who set me up with my system.




On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 9:09 PM Geo Uhrich via groups.io <lingeouhr=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I will

On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 7:58 PM JB Duler <jbduler@...> wrote:
Geo,
That sounds great!
Please send me the details.
Best,
JB Duler

On Jul 2, 2021, at 13:47, Geo Uhrich <lingeouhr@...> wrote:

Hello Amel Owners,

For my last two boats I have installed RCI Fuel Purification units in my boats. They are installed before the Racor filters and use centrifugal force to clean the fuel. Dirty fuel drops to the holding area in the bottom and is removed with a purging valve. I also use the optional alarm which alerts you that the holding area is full.

 In my current boat, I also added a bypass system with a pump so that I can purify my fuel on board.

I have never had a problem with dirty fuel and I highly recommend this system for trouble free motoring.

If anyone is interested in finding out more just email me back. I am not affiliated with this company in any way.  However, I will not own a boat without it.

Geo

On Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 2:32 PM Joerg Esdorn via groups.io <jhe1313=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

John, in my experience you will need to be flexible on what fuel additive to use.  The brands available in local shops vary wildly.  Having said that, I’ve seen the Starbrite additive in more places than other brands so I would get a good supply of that one.  


Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem
on the way to Gibraltar 





--
John Bernard "JB" Duler
San Francisco
Meltem # 19, Western Med


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

I had my fuel polished by a dock side filter operator. He circulated all the fuel though his truck mounted filters. He used three grades of filter, course, moderate and fine progressively removing sludge. I could not believe how much filth was in the fuel. Buckets of it. Recommend the system.

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 04 July 2021 at 00:39 John Clanton <clanton@...> wrote:

Thanks all for responses! Here is my plan and a couple of take aways from the responses. I would appreciate any contrary opinions or additional suggestions.

A special thanks to Billy for providing photos and location of the inspection hatch for the 55 fuel tank, this takes half the worry out of it for me.

Tomorrow I plan to open the inspection hatch and see what I can see. I would be surprised if it is clean based on what I have seen in the Racors the last two years. So I am wagering that I will need a professional tank cleaner.

There is a local vendor who will suck out all the fuel, clean the tank completely, polish the fuel while out of the tank, then put it back in. So I will use him unless my inspection suggests it is not needed.

Once clean, I will change out the Racor so I have a baseline for subsequent filter changes. Then, plan to use the Grotomar additive religiously. It has several quality endorsements from sailors, and based on the fact it is very difficult to find, it must be good.

In my unofficial research, the StarBrite treatment received a good number of positive mentions, and importantly, I see it often in the Med chandleries.

Once all clean and full, I plan on a three year visual tank inspection interval.

I will provide an update when the work is done.

Again, thanks to the group for all responses and suggestions.


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


Disclaimer

The information contained in this communication from the sender is confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others authorized to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any review, retransmission, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information is strictly prohibited.