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Thread: Gasoline - How long can you keep it in the boat?

  1. #1
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    Gasoline - How long can you keep it in the boat?

    I purchased my 1994 Donzi Classic 22 in October of 2010. It has a 454 magnum 365 horsepower (carb) engine. For a few reasons I was not able to get the boat in the water this year. When I bought the boat we took it for a run and with the boat still running we put Storage Seal through the system (ran 20 minutes or so on the return trip to the dock). We filled the tank afterwards with Shell 94, it took about 30 gallons to fill the tank so there was some gas in it already.

    My question is can I keep the tank full and expect the boat to run in the spring of 2012? I am not sure how I would empty the tank or into what but I am looking for suggestions/advice on what to do with it.

    As always any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    The boat should run, but it won't run too well. The longer gasoline sits, the lower the octane rating gets since that stuff just dissolves over time. You could get the gas out by using a siphon and epmtying it out into a little gas tank. (I do that for cars, so I'm not sure if there's a difference on a boat)
    Donzi 22' Classic

  3. #3
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    It's better to add the additives then the gas then run the boat to make sure the they get through the entire system.. add a fuel stabilizer like stabil (red stuff) or the like and also add an ethanol treatment( or just use stabil blue stuff) to make sure the ethanol doesn't phase seperate. The discussion on fuel winterization has two basic schools of thought one fill and top off with treatments or run the system high and dry.

    with a NON ethanol fuel i would agree top off and treat. with an ethanol fuel I would run high and dry. Phase seperation is far worse than the miniscule amount of water that might accumulate due to condesation.

    I would just add some more fuel treatment to the 34 added gallons and run the boat. If it is laid up already I would take it for a spin on the trailer to atleast mix up the gas and treatments. syphoning can be a bit tricky with screens and anti syphon valves.put on new filters and seperator and you should be ok in the spring.

    Think it was mrfix who has his electric fuel pump rigged to empty his tank. BE CAREFUL if you use any type of pump to try and pump it out the pump must be rated for flamable liquids.


    hope that helps
    When the sky is grey,look out to sea.
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  4. #4
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    Matty makes good sense.
    Chachy recently told me some 110 Octane racing fuel has some stabilizers in it that normal gasoline doesn't have. That would make sense if the fuel is stored in drums for longer periods of time.
    Actually, he said adding some to the 2 stroke gas he has for his gardening tools will keep it from turning into gel. Maybe it would work for your boat.
    George Carter
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  5. #5
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    Phase separation. Man I hate when that happens. I've seen plenty of motors brought down by that, including my own Carver last year when I didn't put sta-bil in the fuel. My own mistake.

    Volvo actually issued a statement a couple years ago saying they would quit paying warranty on fuel pumps killed by bad ethanol gas. The high pressure pumps on the injected motors were dying left, right, and center when laid up for the winter without stabilizer in the fuel.

    I agree though, I think you'll be OK if you treat the fuel. It won't run the best on that old gas, but it should be OK. Wost case, you might evaporate the fuel out of the carb and have to break it down for cleaning next year, but I say the odds are better than even you'll be fine.

    I do tend to agree that pumping the fuel out is the best option, but it's a PITA. I've done with a cheap parts store 12v 'ticker' pump and some hose. Pop off the inspection plate in the floor, hook up to the pick-up with a short piece of hose, then run a longer piece over the side to a jerry can. If the fuel is already old/suspect, I usually try to distribute/dilute it among all my cars/trucks/mower/log spliter/etc...anything that has at least a half tank of good gas and will get used semi-regularly.
    Don
    '01 22 Classic, 502/B1
    And a bunch of other stuff

    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough" - Mario Andretti

  6. #6
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    This seems like a good place/time to ask a few related questions. I have a big tank of gas available, 2 years old, with ethanol. It got plenty of both Startron (the blue stuff) and Sta-bil. Maybe 1.5 times the recipe per gallon, and was well mixed. I am pondering whether it would be possible to siphon(or pump) it out and use it.

    If I did, I could run it through the remote Raycor fuel filter as I pumped it out. And I could ensure that filter had the ultra-fine, 2-micron cartridge when I did.

    Once out, I'd be running the gas in a boat with old, carbureted motors.

    Questions as follows:
    1. Is it just a bad idea altogether? (Skip 2 and 4)
    2. If not, should I be blending it with new gas rather than burning it straight up?
    3. If blending it is the right answer, any notion of what ratio might make the most sense?
    4. If I do it and if it harms something, is it basically limited to fuel pumps and carbs, or is there anything else to worry about?
    5. Would a 10 micron filter be any worse for this experiment than a 2 micron filter, when I pump it out?
    6. Any other thoughts or advice?
    Thanks,

    Mike
    "I don't have time to get into it, but he went through a lot." -Pulp Fiction

  7. #7
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    Ghost,
    what does available mean? someone giving it to you? or is it a tank you have to deal with?
    if it is free I would pass on it. If it is something you have to deal with or empty I would pump out small amounts and visually inspect it. you're looking for orange juice,water, and junk. use an inline filter on the pump or syphon hose and also double or triple up the screens in the portable gas can you dump the gas into . If it looks ok I would mix/blend at a 1 to 4 ratio . if I was filling up the car 25 gallons I would dump 5 old to 20 gallons new . As Zel said I would also mix it in with stuff like lawn mowers and leaf blowers as long as it will go in the tank and be burnt at once not lay around. I would not put old gas in a boat tank. the ethanol also breaks up junk in the tank and it loves old rubber.So I would make sure the fuel system is up to date especially the lines ,seals and hoses.
    When the sky is grey,look out to sea.
    When the waves are high and the light is dying,
    well raise a glass and think of me...
    When I'm home again,
    boys, I'll be buying!

    My Ride

    Come Join Us on The Queen Of American Lakes



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  8. #8
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    Thanks Matty, that's VERY helpful. It's something I have to deal with--my Nova Marine that needs me to drop another smallblock in one side. I have 85 gallons of pure joy to take care of. Figure there ought to be some way to make good use of it.

    The Cig is getting ethanol gas now (no choice in MD) so I figured I'd replace the fuel lines at least.

    Mike
    "I don't have time to get into it, but he went through a lot." -Pulp Fiction

  9. #9
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    It will be fine, you will never know.
    Cheers,
    Pismo
    1996 22 Classic
    Red with Stainless Windshield
    Stock Gen VI 502 Magnum MPI-415hp
    Stock Bravo I
    25" Mirage Plus
    74.5mph best @ 5050rpm GPS (Speedo said 80)
    27" Labbed Mirage Plus
    75.5mph best @ 4800rpm GPS (Speedo said 82)

  10. #10
    GBond Guest
    I wouldn't worry about it. At least you put additive in the fuel. I had the same motor and filled it to the gills

    when winterizing to keep the tank from sweating. That 454 Mag is very forgiving. Run it in the spring to half

    or less and top it off with fresh.

  11. #11
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    The Cig has a pair of inline 6 292s. I'm hoping they as forgiving as the 454Mag that Offset has. -Mike
    "I don't have time to get into it, but he went through a lot." -Pulp Fiction

  12. #12
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    If I understand correctly this boat has already been in storage for a year with the gas in it. Your question is will that fuel that sat for a year be OK. Geographical area plays a big part.In places like Florida that have high humidity ethanol fuel has 2/3 less shelf life than say in the northern states. The typical shelf life of ethanol fuel with out treatment is 90 days with light to moderate humidity.Places in the dessert like Arizona fuel may last longer, as the air is virtually dry. The fuel becomes saturated with water.This fuel will still work if a anti Phase separation additive was used. As much fuel as possible should be removed if you didn't use a phase separation stabilizer. If you fill 5 gallon cans, You can use it confidently , if you live in a freezing climate and you let the water freeze and drain of the good gasoline. "Yes this does work" but use it in simple engines.

    So here is the shock factor it only takes 0.5% water 3.8 teaspoons per gallon for phase separation to occur in unconditioned fuel.


    When phase separation occurs it forms three layers.
    The clean fuel is on top, the clear water is in the middle, and the corrosive brown layer is at the bottom.


    Obviously you know the hazards of any flammable liquid.


    So ask your self. How can I tell if this has happened?
    You need to take a sample of the fuel from the very bottom of the tank. One way this can be done by disconnecting the fuel line from the water separator, have an assistant turn the key on , the electric fuel pump should turn on and you can fill a mason jar with a sample.


    One Thing to consider if you have to evacuate the gas tank. It is feasible to only have to drain off the lower part of the tank to get clean fuel. Most people just take it all out.

    But it is theoretically possible to just remove the contaminated lower layers. Although, there is, the potential for residual contamination to remain . The best way to do this is to use the the tanks gas line and not a siphon hose through the top. In theory the good gas will force the contamination out . You want to bleed it clean. Just make sure you don't agitate the fuel.
    machinist ,bore it deeper,ream it bigger, and lap it to a fine finish



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  13. #13
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    I am running last Octobers stabilized fuel due to a very wet summer, boat is running fine but I did pickup some water. It was the first year I did not tightly tape my vent, I think taping the vent helps to control moisture getting into the tank during storage.
    No matter what your beliefs are "GOD BLESS AMERICA"

    Semi retired marine tech over 50 years in the biz.

  14. #14
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    Thanks. This info helps a lot. Bad news is I didn't tape the vent and the boat will get a bit of sloshing with the forklift. But I can let it sit a couple of days before I move any fuel out. Good news is it had lots of stabilizer and ethanol treatment, and it was SUPER full. Meaning, the exposure to air/humidity should be the cross-sectional area of the fill line (a few square inches), not the full area of the top of the tank (maybe 8 square feet).
    "I don't have time to get into it, but he went through a lot." -Pulp Fiction

  15. #15
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    joe,

    i am a little lost with the water seperator comment, does a merc have two pumps?isn't the filter seperator in front of the pumps? stopping junk from getting into the pump.wouldn't you want to take off the hose from the carb or FI after the pump? my setup goes tank, filter, seperator, pump, carb is the merc different?
    When the sky is grey,look out to sea.
    When the waves are high and the light is dying,
    well raise a glass and think of me...
    When I'm home again,
    boys, I'll be buying!

    My Ride

    Come Join Us on The Queen Of American Lakes



    Contact Us

    www.lgdonziclassic.com

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