BoatUS Offers Refueling Tips


Refueling a boat requires special care and attention. BoatUS cautions that sterndrive- and inboard-powered boats have closed engine compartments, where volatile gasoline vapors don’t easily dissipate; and older gasoline-powered boats with brittle fuel hoses can crack, leaving gas in the bilge after a fill-up.

BoatUS offers the following tips to ensure a safe refueling experience:

Tip #1: As soon as you’re safely tied up to the fuel dock, everyone on board should hop off the boat. Turn everything off, including engines and batteries. Don’t forget to button up all compartments, including cabin doors and windows, and make sure all cigarettes are extinguished.

Tip #2: Stay with your boat while refueling and make sure that portable tanks are removed and placed on the fuel dock. Don’t overfill your fuel tank — an overfilled tank can lead to fuel expanding.

Tip #3: Once you are done fueling, clean the tank cap, all hatches and doors, and wipe any fuel spills. Turn on the blower for at least 4 minutes after refueling and use the “sniff test” to make sure the bilge is free of smell before starting the engine. Most importantly, if you have problems starting your engine after refueling, simply turn the engine off and investigate — cranking the engine has the potential to lead to a boat fire or explosion.

For more information or additional refueling tips, visit

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