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Although you are unlikely to run entirely out of fuel on a typical cruise, do check the fuel gauge regularly, and fill up whenever you can after 20 hours of motor use or once the gauge falls below two thirds.  (See also fuel economy tips). In our experience, 2/3 indicates that approximately 100 litres have been used from the 210 litre tank.

Try to avoid falling below 1/2 tank on the gauge.  That provides a good reserve.  When using the bottom of the tank, sloshing due to rough seas and heeling angles when motor-sailing can result in excess air and sediment being drawn through the filter system, potentially resulting in problems.  Boats always run better with a full tank.

Keeping the tank full reduces the build-up of condensation in the tank.  Condensation ends up as water in the fuel system. Keeping a full tank also reduces sloshing and sediment pickup from the tank bottom and ensures the furnace will not run out of fuel.  By design, the furnace draws its fuel from an outlet higher up on the tank than the engine so that, when fuel is getting low, the engine has priority on any remaining fuel.

Also, by consulting www.AciveCaptain.com or other references, you can buy where most convenient and where prices are best.

We have found the prices for fuel at North Saanich Marina (1-250-656-5558) and Van Isle Marina (1-250-656-1138) near Sidney to be as low as anywhere nearby in Canada.  These locations are ideal for refuelling as you return to base. 

Be warned, though that the entry to North Saanich Marina is narrow and shallow, especially at low tide.  Cassiopeia draws nearly seven feet.  The Van Isle Marina fuel dock is easy to reach and can be approached on the convenient, but exposed outer side or from the more sheltered backside.  

Hours may vary.  Phone for hours if in doubt.

Remember to empty the waste tanks and refuel as you return to Sidney at the end of your charter.  We will do these tasks for you if you prefer, or if you run out of time returning, but in addition to the fuel cost, there will be hourly labour charges for both of these jobs.

How to Refuel

The fuel filler is a chrome screw cap at the very stern on the starboard side and can be comfortably reached from the dock, or, if tied up portside to the dock, from the swim platform. 

Make sure the pump says, "Diesel"

Cassiopeia's filler cap says, "Diesel" on it.  Never fill with gasoline -- under any circumstances.  Gasoline will not work, and will damage the engine immediately.

The diesel filler cap on Cassiopeia is located on the starboard stern, and a water filler is located on the portside stern,  Make sure you look carefully before filling either.

The key for unscrewing the cap is a small black plastic piece with two points and is kept in the nav station on a floating key ring.  All fuel docks also have a key handy.

  • Minimize the likelihood of being shaken by swells or wakes while fuelling by watching for traffic and choosing the least exposed position on the dock.

  • Place a fender or two further aft than usual to prevent chafing against the dock. 

  • Moor the boat securely, preferably with the starboard side to the dock.

  • Tie the stern closer to the dock than normal to minimize the gap and to reduce rocking.

  • Turn off the engine.

  • Close the hatches.

  • Get all crew ashore.

  • Donít smoke or use electrical switches.

  • Ground the nozzle against the filler pipe on the boat.

  • Always have a good sized absorbent rag in the hand not holding the nozzle, and near the filler to catch drips or foam.

  • Fill slowly and watch and listen for bubbles at the fuel tank vent.

  • Slow down the stream when the tank sounds as if it is getting full.

  • Donít top up the tank once it is full, or overfill.   Leave a little expansion room.

  • Often, once the the tank is full, and moments after filling stops, a little foam and fuel will spurt from the vent which is located just above the filler.  Be ready with the rag.

  • Wipe up any spillage.

  • Screw the cap on securely so that the rubber O-ring seals to keep the fuel in, and to keep water out.

Remember to fill the outboard tank if necessary

  • The outboard tank should be placed on the dock for filling. The dinghy outboard is a four-stroke engine. It uses ordinary marine gasoline.  Do not mix oil with the gasoline. 

  • Please use only marine gasoline sold at marinas.  Gasoline sold for cars contains ethanol which can absorb water and cause problems on boats.

More tips

If it is ever necessary to fill the diesel tank from a jerry can (portable fuel container) make sure the jerry can is clean inside before filling it.  If offered a jerry can that already contains fuel, make sure the fuel is fresh diesel fuel, not gasoline.  Proper diesel jerry cans are yellow, not red, but that does not mean they might not have something other than diesel in them.

  • Gasoline will not work in a diesel engine and may destroy it.  Avoid old or doubtful fuel as it can foul the filters.

  • Do not use biodiesel or any alternative fuel.  No matter what you may have heard, it is not suitable for boat engines where failure is not an option.

If in doubt, do not pour the last cup or so from a jerry can into the boat's tank, as that any dirt and water in the jerry can will be in that last little bit of fuel at the bottom.

Water or dirt in fuel can and will clog filters and stop the engine, potentially at the worse possible moment.  We maintain the fuel system scrupulously, so please do the same.

Diesel fuel will not work in the outboard.

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While the information provided here is believed to be correct at time of publication, errors are possible
and things may change, so readers should verify details before making important decisions.

- Home | Greeting | Features | Specs | Video | Marina | Cruising | Adventures -
- Forward Cabin | Saloon | Aft Cabins | Sails | Cockpit | Enclosure | On deck -
 - Plotter and Radar | Marine Head | Refue
lling | Seacocks| Engine | Batteries | Dinghy | Anchoring -
- Inventory | Manuals | US/Canada Border | Winter | Thoughts | Troubleshooting -