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fuel filter

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John Cederstrom
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fuel filter

Post by John Cederstrom » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:58 pm

I'm having trouble finding a convenient spot for a fuel filter on the Garwood Ensign I'm restoring. It's a 16' utility. What are the thoughts of leaving a filter out? I will be installing a new aluminum gas tank so I shouldn't see contaminates from the tank. The engine is a Chrysler M27 Crown. For the same reason I do not intend to install a blower.


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island time
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Re: fuel filter

Post by island time » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:20 pm

Hi John,
It's totally your call on anything you install on your boat, having said that I need to stress the advantages of having some safety items on board.
There may be arguments here from others but I personally would not leave the dock without a fuel filter. I personally experienced getting a load of water from a fuel stop on the Rideau one time. If I had not had spare filters on board I would have been stranded 10 miles out on the big lake in 6-8 footers. Since then I keep several spares on board at all times. I'm having a hard time trying to visualize no place for one, there must be some spare space somewhere, it doesn't have to be right next to the tank or the engine just somewhere in the fuel line, even if you extend the fuel line to a more convenient place for a filter. If you decide to install one insist on a water separator/fuel filter that filters down to at least 10 microns for carburetors or 5 microns for fuel injection.
Now on the subject of a bilge blower, if you are religious about opening all hatches and "sniffing" for fuel vapors and visually checking for fuel spills or leaks before you start the engine EVERY TIME, it will limit the possibility of a fire or explosion but there is no guarantee so again, I would always have one. I was taught to also use the blower when traveling at idle speeds for extended periods of time because when traveling slow there is not enough air flow through the bilge to dissipate gas fumes which will always lay in the lowest part of the bilge.
We want you to be around to enjoy your boat, don't take chances!

Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson
Churchville, NY
Alexandria Bay, NY

1968 23' Chris Craft lancer
1971 31' Revelcraft
1988 25' Fourwinns
1972 19' Chris Craft Lancer
1957 18' Chris Craft Sea Skiff
1958 18' Chris Craft Sea Skiff
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Re: fuel filter

Post by jfrprops » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:31 pm

IMHO you need both of those...the fuel filter and the might find a smaller filter would work as well as a the big Racor types and be easier to locate out of the way somewhere. If you have solid floors in a runabout I think a blower is very important safety equipment...lattice floors and vented engine box might make that less important....I have slatted lattice type flooring in my Argentine runabout and still installed and run a blower.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: fuel filter

Post by msindel » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:19 am

The tank in my Ensign project doesn't take up the width of the hull.
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Re: fuel filter

Post by joanroy » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:44 pm

Agree! Fuel Filter, Yes, Blower, Yes. I also have an alarmed fume sensor. Gasoline scares me. Happy and Safe Boating!

Oh, and don't forget the fire extinguisher.

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Re: fuel filter

Post by robertpaul » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:10 pm

I will chime in with two somewhat related issues about gasoline, propane fumes and proper venting. In my youth I worked for Gulf Canada. I was taught about the dangers of static electricity and petroleum products. The mere flow of gasoline creates static, which means you have to have things grounded, as in keeping the pump nozzle in contact with the tank filler tube. Other sources of static can ignite fumes, so venting is not optional. About propane. It sinks. So if you have a propane bbq or other appliance that is leaking, the propane will find its way to your bilge. It will blow you to smithereens. I installed a massive filter system on Elude in 1990 and never had a problem with contaminated fuel.
1937 35' Double Stateroom Enclosed Cruiser

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Re: fuel filter

Post by homeiste » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:43 am

I'm all for blowers, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment. Just dont' let them give you a false sense of security! They have failure rates.
1960 18' Continental
1970 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ Bearcat 55 outboard

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Re: fuel filter

Post by mfine » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:18 am

Fuel today isn't what it once was. You really want to find room for a filter/water separator, especially if you may end up with ethanol in the tank. Also just because your tank is now and clean doesn't mean the tank you are pumping fuel out of is clean.

Even non-ethanol fuels today evaporate faster than in the past. That makes the blower more important IMHO. Legally you have a choice, but for what they cost it seems a pretty easy decision to me.

John Cederstrom
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Re: fuel filter

Post by John Cederstrom » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:13 am

Thanks for all the helpful posts. I will heed the advice of 100% of the respondents and find a spot for both.


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