Washington Boating Safety Course


FUELING PROCEDURES

GASOLINE AND ITS VAPORS ARE A MAJOR CAUSE OF MARINE FIRES. THEREFORE, BOATERS MUST TAKE CARE WHEN FUELING TO AVOID SPILLS AND THE SPREAD OF GASOLINE VAPORS. GASOLINE FUMES ARE MOST LIKELY TO ACCUMULATE IN THE BILGE.

  • Put the gas cap on tightly after fueling to avoid vapor escape. Immediately wipe away any spills or leakage with a rag.
  • Never fully fill a tank (not beyond 90 percent); always leave room for gas to expand and thus avoid overflow. Ensure air vents/valves to gas tank are open.
  • Place portable tanks filled with fuel in well-ventilated areas away from the engine and electrical equipment on board.
  • Before starting the engine again, you should sniff for fumes that may have escaped. Turn on the blower for FOUR minutes on inboard gasoline engines to remove any fumes before starting the engine again.
  • Hold the nozzle firmly against fill pipe opening; this will ground any static buildup.
  • Unload portable tanks and all passengers prior to fueling these portable tanks.
  • Secure the boat to the fueling dock and turn off the engine.
  • Close all doors, windows and hatches prior to fueling. However, open all doors, windows, and hatches immediately after fueling to allow air circulation.
  • No smoking or flames should be present.
Proper fueling procedure