cleaned out the diesel tank today
Friday, September 10, 2010 at 20:15
Eric in diesel, maintenance

suited up to partyToday was a long time coming. Lurking in most boats are a few tanks, one of which is the ship's diesel. Diesel, unlike gasoline, is a great environment for bacteria and fungi. In fact, over 27 different strains of bacteria can comfortably live in your diesel tank. Rest assured, they are. Slowly but surely colonizing your tank, turning it into their own little private aquarium of sorts. All you're missing is some koi fish.

This is in addition to the little chunks of garbage that might fall in during fill ups.

And last but not least you have water in there. Remember that oil floats on water (for the most part), so that means the water will be down on the bottom of the tank, underneath your diesel. And all kinds of things can grow in an airless anaerobic state.

There's a thread about the whole thing over on thekeel for those interested mariners.

It's still opened up and looking gnarly, so tomorrow I need to reseat the inspection ports and put everything back to normal. Ever since I was a kid I found it a lot easier to take things apart then to put them back together again. 

And if you're asking why I decided to spend a day with my arm jammed in a fuel tank scooping out goo, we're shooting to head up into the Channel Islands in a month and need to get ship shape!


Article originally appeared on Rebel Heart (
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