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When do you fill up your boat?

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Seen a lot of discussion regarding other topics where people mention they barely had any fuel in their boat and made me wonder when most people are filling their skiffs?

I have a history in older vehicle restoration and if we run an original tank we tend to try our best to keep the tanks full so as to not allow condensation to build in the tank. I continue this practice with any vehicle I have that has a metal tank and am wondering if its really necessary.

For example....I fill my boat up at the end of the day on the water as opposed to what seems to be the norm of either filling up on the way to the launch, or filling up when your almost empty.

Anyways, was just curious.

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This all depends on how often you use your skiff and what kind of fuel you put in it.

If you use your skiff regularly it is irrelevant but if you have long lay ups it is important to leave the tank full. Non ethanol fuel also has its benefits and is less costly due to a "microskiff" having fuel consumption often at 8-10mpg. With that being said I run ethanol fuel in my other boat and haven't had any issues 600+ hours. (don't go from non ethanol to ethanol as it will "clean" your fuel system and clog your filters/carbs etc).

Get in the routine of starting the boat once a week on hose, turn left right, outboard up down. Prevents a lot of issues as well.
 

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My father was an Air Force pilot and flew bombers in WW2 and Korea. I flew with him in private aircraft when I was a kid. He was terrified of water in the gas and always topped off the tanks in the plane (and the boat) when he came in. I also flew with several other WW2 pilots. Same thing. There’s probably a lesson here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I run non ethanol fuel for sure. I have had to blow apart carbs on almost every small engine device I have because of ethanol in fuels. Non ethanol fuel was pretty hard to find where I was living in NC.

I put on average a couple hours a week on the boat. If I dont get on the water once a week I start twitching and become angry, at which point my wife kicks me out of the house until I fish. o_O
 

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Always, repeat always... top off your fuel tank at the end of a day on the water - before the boat goes in the barn.... I run nothing but ethanol laced fuel and have for years and years (E-Tecs aren't fuel sensitive at all - as long as you keep water out of your tank....) and haven't had the slightest problem with my fuel as a result.
 

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Use is definitely a big portion of this. If you are using the boat at least a few hours every week, it's less of an issue. If you intentions are to use it every week, but it doesn't always happen, fill it up.
If you’re in a humid place and a cold front comes through and the temperature drops 30 degrees you’ll have condensation in the empty part of the tank . That heavier water collects at the bottom of the tank where it accumulates. Even if you go out a few days later.
 

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I keep my boat in the garage and have a 38 gallon tank, so it is rarely full. I use ethanol free gas, and use the boat once a week. Don't have issues with fuel, or should I say water in the fuel.
 

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I run corn gas mostly unless I plan to store it long periods of time, and I really don't care whether I leave the tank 3/4 empty of slap full. Your tank won't fill with water if you go fishing every weekend. I find a ton of fuel related problems are as much to do with lack of use as they are to do with deposits from ethanol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I run corn gas mostly unless I plan to store it long periods of time, and I really don't care whether I leave the tank 3/4 empty of slap full. Your tank won't fill with water if you go fishing every weekend. I find a ton of fuel related problems are as much to do with lack of use as they are to do with deposits from ethanol.
This is what I have found as well. Mostly it gets crystallized around the pickup in the carb bowls. Not sure how it would affect injectors on an injected motor though...I would have to imagine it would be the same with any small orifice.
 

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If you’re in a humid place and a cold front comes through and the temperature drops 30 degrees you’ll have condensation in the empty part of the tank . That heavier water collects at the bottom of the tank where it accumulates. Even if you go out a few days later.
I'm not going to disagree with that one bit. It's still a matter of the amount of condensation. I have yet to see a boat come through the shop with water in the tank fuel issues that was caused by condensation. The ones I see are either: a) sending unit or pickup seal failure and hence saltwater or rinse water intrustion; b) fuel vent went under a few times too many and there is now saltwater in the tank (or lake water); c) the boat sits, the fuel goes stale and separates, varnish forms, they pay me money.
 

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Interesting... so the overwhelming opinion is to top off the tank if you don't plan to use the boat for a week+? Does this opinion change between ethanol and non-ethanol fuel?

I was always with the understanding that using ethanol fuel was not a problem only if the boat was used regularly and the fuel was being burnt, ultimately trying to store the boat empty.
 

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I'm not going to disagree with that one bit. It's still a matter of the amount of condensation. I have yet to see a boat come through the shop with water in the tank fuel issues that was caused by condensation. The ones I see are either: a) sending unit or pickup seal failure and hence saltwater or rinse water intrustion; b) fuel vent went under a few times too many and there is now saltwater in the tank (or lake water); c) the boat sits, the fuel goes stale and separates, varnish forms, they pay me money.
That’s reassuring. I guess I shouldn’t worry. Thanks
 

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Out of the several boats I've had over the years, I have always run ethanol fuel and never filled up at a particular time. I have never had a single fuel issue, I am assuming because I typically use the boat weekly and give it a through workout each time.

If it is going to sit I would fill the tank and use a stabilizer/conditioner.
 

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I live on the water and boat is in a lift behind my house. I have a fuel water separator with a clear sample bowl I can check easily and drain out if needed. So far, never had any issues. I always use fuel stabilizer in the recommended amount for the fuel I'm adding. I track my fuel burn and will fill up when I start getting low. Low is relative to the how far I'm going to fish on the next trip. I get 6-7mpg and if I'm just fishing in my back yard I'll add 5 gallons from a gas can. If I'm not going to use the boat for a week or so or I am low, I'll run the boat over to the fuel dock and fill up. It costs more but it is very convenient and is quality fuel with.
 

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2006 Etec. Garage kept. I do nothing special. Treat it like my car. Typically buy gas night before if it is needed. Otherwise I use what it has from last trip. If and only if it sits for a long time. I drain it and use it in my truck. No water separator and never use miracle addictives. And I finally finished a gallon of XD100. Don’t even remember how long ago I bought it. At least 2 years. Maybe more.
 
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