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How to stop overfilling your tank

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What is the issue?
We want to get the most out of our tanks but it is very easy to overfill them. Once this happens the result is diesel splash-back and a mess that is virtually impossible to clear up.

Why address this?
In our case the filler cap was in the cockpit sole and the smallest drop of diesel just dug in to the teak grating. Nothing we tried could completely shift it. Worse it causes a diesel odour for months on end and we all know how that effects people who are not well established on their sea-legs.

How to address this?
If you are servicing the main fuel tank install a tank whistle to monitor subsequent fillings.

I noticed this on an American boat and it was explained to me as follows. A low pressure whistle is connected to the fuel vent just inside the tank. When a filling operation is in progress it pushes the displaced air out through the tanks fuel vent sounding the whistle. This can be heard by the pump man via the breather pipe. As the tank fills the camber of the tune increases until the fuel reaches the vent tube whistle and it stops. Then you stop pumping as the tank is full.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, with thanks to Yacht Vanessa.

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