Fuel for thought: Safe fueling tips

Unlike cars, fueling a boat safely requires more than just ‘filling it up.’ Here are some tips every boater should know.


  • Get all passengers off the boat.
  • Extinguish any flames (like in onboard grills).
  • Close hatches and ports.


  • Attach a “fuel catcher” to the fuel vent.
  • Use an absorbent pad, bib, or fuel collar at the fuel fitting.
  • Calculate the fuel you’ll need using the ‘rule of thirds’: 1/3 to reach your destination, 1/3 to get back, and 1/3 for reserve.
  • Operate the nozzle by hand, (not by ‘automatic shut off’)
  • Fuel to a maximum of 90% tank capacity (think ‘thermal expansion’).


  • If you have an inboard engine, open the hatch to your engine compartment.
  • Check for the smell of fuel.
  • Leave the hatch open, so that air can circulate and remove any fumes.
  • Turn on the boat blower for a few minutes.
  • Everyone back on board. It’s time to enjoy the pleasures of boating in beautiful Lake County.

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