Fuel clogging can be a problem. It always seems to happen at the worst time. You are in rough water and the motion stirs up the sediment in the tank and the filter gets clogged. You need to shut down the engine but you are in a nasty channel and need the engine.
Filling with the wrong Fuel. Gasoline in a Diesel Fuel system is disastrous and could involve the risk of explosion, so make sure the fillers say Diesel only.
Filter fuel as it comes aboard
Keep Water OUT
Stabilize Fuel that's stored or sits idle
Biocides kill bugs
Dispersants separate water from Fuel
Filter fuel before it gets to engine
My major hiccup with diesel was shortly after purchasing my boat and whilst fitting her out for cruising. I had not taken her to sea at that time and was still familiarising myself with her.
Most of the next day was taken up by pumping out with a hand pump the total contents of that tank into 25ltr jugs - fortunately it was only around half full - but imagine the horror if I had left the water running and it had overflowed onto the deck and worse, into the marina? Doesn't bear thinking about!
As I was fitting out the boat over a period of months I wasn't in any hurry, so once the tank was drained and left to dry for a few weeks it was safe to refill with diesel fuel. I did however, have the local diesel mechanic inspect it before refilling.
This is the kind of mistake you DO NOT wish to commit when you are in foreign parts/ports.
I wanted something extra, over and above good filtration to keep the fuel in the tanks bug free. I came across the De-Bug product (Miami Boat Show) and whilst it seemed a little out from left field, it also appeared logical so I thought I would give it a try. For around $200 for the 48 horses of the Perkins 4108 the L140 seemed good value so long as it worked.
I fitted it into the fuel lines along with an additional Racor filter and replaced the floorboards. We sailed ten thousand nautical miles after that and never had any problems. The engine was only ever used to get into and out of port or in emergencies or to motor for a few hours in a calm, so there was plenty of time for bug type growths to occur if they were going to.
The peace of mind brought about from clean fuel and knowing your engine is always going to start when passagemaking in far seas, is priceless.
The following is the technical data from the De-Bug company website
It takes more than a magnet to make a De-Bug. Only genuine De-Bug units have the exclusive TRI-MAG™ and MULTI-MAG™ Bug Killer Packs.
Technology using magnetic flux fields to combat microorganisms and their associated problems in aqueous fluids has been developed in New Zealand. The theory that magnetic flux fields inhibit microorganism growth and survival has long been noticed and has now been proven.
Over the years, many have tried to develop a device that was effective on all flow rates with limited success. Lindsay Forrest is hailed as being the inventor of DE-BUG Clean Fuel Units. While designing the DE-BUG™ unit Lindsay became aware that a single magnet device could not produce the desired efficiency, and that an oscillating field was the most effective because microorganism cells could not react quickly enough to a rapidly changing magnetic field.
An oscillating magnetic flux field effect could be simulated by carefully directing contaminated fuel flow through a stack of multiple permanent magnets. By directing microorganisms into and out of the flux field at a predetermined flow, a simulated oscillating field was achieved. Shortly after, the De-Bug™ Model L-1000 Fuel Decontamination Unit was launched which fully incorporated this concept. The success of this unit is based on a specific flow rate through a stack of three ferrite-metal ceramic-coated permanent magnets known as the “TRI-MAG Bug Killer Pak™”, which achieves a microorganism kill rate efficiency of nearly 100% (97.6%) in one pass. These permanent magnets have a service life of 20-50+ years.
Housed within the De-Bug Fuel Decontamination Unit, the “TRI-MAG™ Pack consists of three flat donut shaped permanent magnets, manufactured from ferrite-metal and ceramic-coated, stacked each above the other. The spacing between the magnets is scientifically determined in order to produce the optimum flux field density. The magnets are arranged and held in place with special spacers in such a way that a north pole always faces a south pole. These spacers are manufactured from Acetyl M90 plastic. As with all other special engineering materials used in the De-Bug, this material is used for its resistance to diesel fuel and similar hydrocarbon based products. In addition, Acetyl M90 plastic is used for its adaptability to cope with various applications such as the harsh marine environment, the mining industry, and agricultural equipment. Acetyl M90 Plastic is also particularly resistant to environmental stress cracking and numerous chemicals usually associated with diesel fuels. Further, it is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures.
Within the De-Bug unit, the spacers perform two functions. First, to create and maintain proper distance between the magnets. Second, to direct fuel flow through the magnetic flux field. As the fuel passes through the De-Bug, any microorganisms are subject to a rapid magnetic field change four separate times or four oscillations. This unique patented design (US patents 5,248,437 and 5,055,188, New Zealand patent 231876), exclusive to De-Bug products, is what enables De-Bug Products to achieve their unparalleled effectiveness and success. De-Bug holds exclusively, the patent for all multiple magnet device designs, which are incorporated in every De-Bug Product. If it does not have a TRI-MAG™ or MULTI-MAG™ Pack, then it is not a DE-BUG™.
Maximising Magnetic Flux Density to Effectively Kill Cells
Magnets are polarized charged particles that radiate magnetic flux. Flux lines always start at the North Pole and seek a South Pole that is normally at the other end of the magnet. The flux lines radiate out in an elliptical manner.
|De-Bug Magnet Structure|
The magnets are stacked to ensure that the North Pole of one magnet always faces the South Pole of the adjacent magnet. This results in the magnets attracting at all times and therefore maximises the flux density, and the resulting destructive effect on microbial cells, in the spaces through which the fuel and microbes flow.
When the fuel and microbes flow between the magnets and through the centre of the middle magnet in the Tri-Mag™ pack, the flow path causes the microbial cells to experience the maximum levels of magnetic flux density from several different angles, and 24 changes in polarity of the magnetic field.