Testing Boat Fuel Stability in Diesel and Gasoline

We followed standard test methods for storage stability. Diesel was tested using ASTM method D 4625, Standard Test Method for Middle Distillate Fuel Storage Stability at 43C. Samples were exposed to air for up to two years at 113 degrees (45 degrees Celsius); each day simulated about four days of real-world storage, according to industry experience. We settled on 8 months of exposure, the equivalent of about three years. At the end of each period, samples were filtered, and the insoluble solids weighed.

Oil and Fuel Filters

One Practical Sailor contributor, the manager of a custom boatbuilding and repair/refit yard, had this reply: "Not all filters are created equally: There are differences from filter to filter. We see no problem using after-market filters whose reputations are proven: brand names such as Fram (makes filters for Honda, Chrysler, and others), NAPA, Wix (Wix actually manufactures NAPAs Silver and Gold series filters), Fleetguard (owned by Cummins Filtration), and Baldwin to name a few.

Step-by-step Winterizing Tips

Winterizing agents should never be used in freshwater tanks or hot-water tanks. Doing so will greatly increase the chances of biological growth, which can result in foul-smelling, bad-tasting water. If your boats water system does not have bypass fittings that allow you to add glycol to waterlines, install them. The addition of a few simple fittings can reduce the annual process from hours to minutes for the cost of a few jugs of glycol.

Mailport: 12/06

MARINE INSURANCE REDUXI have been reading with much interest your articles about marine insurance this year (April and May 2006).

EPA Mandate Sparks Fuel-vent Filter Test

Every day, as the temperature rises and falls, gases inside your fuel tank expand and contract. The emissions released during this diurnal breathing have raised concerns at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and in July 2011, the agency mandated passive carbon canister filters on all installed gasoline-tank vent lines to collect fuel evaporation emissions. While older boats are not required to retrofit, we wondered how such a filter would affect fuel quality and engine performance-and whether carbon is the most effective filter media-so we launched tests using E10, gasoline, and diesel to find out.

Rhumb Lines — Getting a Fix on Reality

It was mid-July 1990 on the Caicos Banks, a stretch of shallow, gin-clear water extending for about 70 miles east to west in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Along with a dozen other cruisers whod chosen to thumb our noses at hurricane season (ah, those were simpler times), we were pausing in Providenciales before heading south. …

Upgrading the C&C 33 Part I

In July 1990 we bought a 1975 C & C 33 to function as a test platform for Practical Sailor. We chose it above others for several reasons: The design seemed typical of many modern sailboats, with a fin keel and spade rudder and moderate displacement; C & C had a good reputation; and the price was right.

Deck-Fill Fuel Filters

The expensive Baja filter, oft-mentioned in these pages, did very well in these tests—but West Marine's new Teflon-based filter did better for less, by means of a simple water-separating scheme.

Can Diesel Damage Fuel Lines?

Given the tiny amount of fuel it takes to clear the jetty and hoist sail, our 50-gallon fuel supply can last, quite literally, for years. It certainly lasts through the winter, and all the while, we worry that sludge is growing.

PS Advisor 01/15/98

From Freshwater to SaltI plan to move from the Chicago area to North Carolina. My Catalina 30 has spent its entire life on Lake...

In Search of the Perfect Portable Boarding Ladder

Last year, we ran a review of a Union 36, and the opening photo of the boat featured a unique folding ladder that I hadnt seen before. The ladder, instead of hanging vertically, folded out at a comfortable angle in a way that seemed-at least in the photo-pretty practical for routine boarding. One problem: the maker-the American Ladder Corp., based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., appears to be out of business.