Considering a sailing adventure to Mexico? Just look at how engrossed that guy is in the book! Grab a copy of the Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico, and you too can find yourself sitting on a Mexican dock with an oversized (but very attractive) hat.

Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico

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Sunday
Sep122010

(final?) thoughts on cleaning out the diesel tank

Just to orient my reader a bit, here's the link to the first blog post concerning this, and here's the link to the forum post I made as well. Basically, here's what I've learned about this whole thing:

 

  • Keep it simple. I knew I needed to clean my tank, so I let it get low. It's a lot easier to deal with 15 gallons of fuel than 115. 
  • Fuel polishing alone will never be able to get close to what a physical cleaning can do. Don't be lazy.
  • I emptied my tank with a sports bottle and my oil pump system. All manual. It got the job done quickly, safely, and cheaply.
  • Wear an organic respirator the whole time, as well as nitrile gloves. Glasses when pouring.
  • You don't need to eat out of it. Remember the goal is simply to make it so that you can have a steady flow of clean fuel. If you missed a 3"x3" section of goo, you're fine. There are still filters in line. Don't make "perfect" be the enemy of "done". You'll have to clean it again no matter how good of a job you did.
  • For Yanmars, there's only one approved fuel additive. It's water (not diesel) soluble, so your fuel filters won't let it (and the garbage it kills) into your engine.

On a philosophical note, this is another one of those jobs that I thought was going to be a lot harder than it was. I messed a few things up, and I'm sure I'll see some weeping where my RTV gaskets get shotty. But hey, the first time you do anything more complicated than a ham sandwich you're probably going to make some mistakes. 

Total money spent was about $7 for the RTV gasket material, and I suppose $1 or so in paper towels. Maybe another couple bucks in nitrile gloves and a buck of use of my vapor cartridges. So what, $10 or so? 

I learned what's inside my tank, I know how it works, and there's one less mysterious, spooky, and unknown aspect of our floating world.

 

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