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Tip of the SeaHelp editors: Right refueling at the boat gas station.

What is true on the road is even more true on the water: Vehicles must be refueled regularly. There are a few things to keep in mind here. Tips from the SeaHelp editorial team for a successful trip.

On the safe side: observe due diligence when bunkering!

Who wants to refuel his boat, is on the safe side, if he follows, for example, the guidelines issued by the German Motor Yacht Association DMYV: According to these, when refueling, the duty of care for bunkering in accordance with the Binnen-Schifffahrtsstraßen-Ordnung must first be observed. It is important to note that gasoline and diesel are not only fuels, but also dangerous goods or hazardous substances.

For this reason, hazardous goods transport regulations or hazardous substances regulations must also be observed when transporting and handling the fuels. Other legally relevant regulations in private fuel transport are: Dangerous Goods Transport Act, Water Resources Act (WHG) and special state water laws. These may still be supplemented by local port regulations under certain circumstances.

Read: “Refueling” section of the Yacht Handbook

The DMYV recommends that you first familiarize yourself with the instructions for the boat to be refueled in the Refueling section of the yacht’s manual. In addition, it is recommended to wear sturdy footwear, secure the boat well to the mooring, turn off the engine and all electrical equipment, and extinguish open fires. Cell phones and radios should be turned off when refueling and transferring fuel. Smoking is prohibited!

Rule of thumb: only fill the tank to 90 percent

A fire extinguisher should also be kept on board, and a tank fleece (an oil-absorbing cloth) should be used on deck before refueling. It is important not to overfuel. A good rule of thumb is to fill the tank only 90 percent full. Reason: fuel can expand as temperatures rise.

General rule: it should always be refueled carefully. This includes always using both hands and avoiding any distraction. If, despite all caution, it does happen that some fuel leaks out, oil-binding fleece (oil-absorbing cloths) should be used immediately. And if that is not enough: inform the nearest police station. All internal parts as well as the bilge should be cleaned and ventilated immediately.

Secure the tap with a rag when handing over

This applies even more so when bunkering at the boat gas station: the tap should be secured at takeover by means of a rag, so that no residual fuel can escape. During the refueling process, care should be taken to avoid overflowing. And when returning the tap to shore, it should again be secured with a rag.

Tip: If the tanker is still at the boat filling station, you should wait some time before bunkering, because this allows any dirt and condensation in the fuel to settle – which can thus not get into your own tank.

On the Internet there is for free download a “Checklist boat refueling” of the DMYV.

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