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Serious accidents can occur when fueling a boat, so always take precautions.
Before you fuel, tie your boat securely to the fuel dock. Ask your passengers to leave the boat. Check that fuel lines, connections and fuel bands are in good condition. Then, turn off anything that might cause a spark such as the engines, fans, or electrical equipment.
If you have portable fuel tanks, remove them from the boat and fill them on the dock. Make sure your fire extinguisher is within reach. When you're pumping fuel, keep the fuel pump nozzle in solid contact with the fuel opening to prevent static sparks.
Fill the tank slowly to avoid spilling fuel into the boat's bilge or into the water. And don't top off the tank. Leave room for gas to expand. Use an oil absorbent pad to catch drips or spills.
After fueling, put the cap on tightly to keep vapors from escaping. Wipe up any spilled fuel. Dispose of the used paper towels or rags properly when you're back on shore.
If you have a power ventilation system, turn it on after your fuel. Leave it on for at least four minutes before you start your engine. This eliminates gas vapors in the bilge.
Before starting the engine, sniff the bilge and engine compartment for fuel vapors. If you smell gas, continue ventilating until the smell is gone. As an extra precaution install a gas vapor detection and alarm device.
When all is clear, start the engine. The same rules apply to fueling a personal watercraft in the water. But there's some additional considerations. First of all, try to re-fuel a personal watercraft on land whenever possible.
If you must refuel at the marina, don't feel any gas or oil. After you filled up, give the engine compartment a sniff to check for gas fumes. If you do smell gas fumes, find out where they're coming from and get it fixed immediately.