The most important thing about your boat fuel system is to make sure that the fuel isn’t contaminated. Bad fuel can be in the form of moisture or condensation or water that came through the vent that could get past the filter into the engine and cause problems. It could also take the form of bacteria, dirt or algae. The best way to do this is to make sure the tank wasn’t filled with contaminated fuel. If you think the fuel might be bad, you can put some in a clear glass container and wait a few minutes. If water or dirt separates from the fuel you should filter it before you put it in your tank; most of the time this is not a problem.
Once you have filled your tank, it is a good idea to treat the fuel with a biocide that isn’t alcohol based to keep from growing sticky little friends. You want to avoid alcohol based ones to keep from damaging the O-rings and rubber tubing. If you don’t use your boat, often it is also a good idea to use a fuel stabilizer.
At the beginning of boating season, before you start your engine, it is a good idea to check the fuel in the tank by draining off some of the bottoms to see if you need to clean the tank. It is also an excellent time to change the filters. The primary filter should remove the water and particles if the fuel is relatively clean.
If the fuel is bad, the tank may need to be drained, flushed and filled with fresh fuel before you start the engine. Also, the once you’ve changed the fuel filter, the fuel line should be checked for cracks and that it is firmly attached and has a good seal. This is very important to do because if you have a cracked fuel line or if it is not securely attached it would cause a hazardous situation. Not very fun 🙁 so it’s always good to double check.