Cannister Dissection Yields Surprises but Few Defects


Different filter manufacturers can chose different rating systems that rely on different statistical values for filtration. The higher the percentage at a given rating, the more effective. Interestingly, the effective rating changes over time, as particles clog up the media, making the holes smaller.

1. Like a cereal box that is mostly air, this Quicksilver cannister has a relatively small filter element inside.

2. The Volvo Penta filter is glued to the can, with slots at the base so the filter can drain into the bowl.

3. This Fleetguard filter shows the standard cannister filter construction. It is like an oil filter, but without pressure relief valve and without any drain-back valve at the bottom.


4. Used for attaching fuel lines in tight spaces, banjo bolts are notorious for plugging. This banjo bolt has been over-tightened and has distorted.


5. This Parker Racor filter was clearly doing its job.



Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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