Are you one of those boaters who check their marine fuel system only when you smell gas? Did you know Federal Code regulations (33 CFT) require a boat’s fuel system to undergo a complete inspection at least every year?
Fuel hose and belts need to be replaced on a regular basis. Because they’re exposed to sunlight and degrade over time they are prone to excessive wear or cracks.
Inspecting hose on your outboard engine is easy -- you can see it. With inboard engines, the rule of thumb “out of sight, out of mind” tends to be the way of many recreational boaters.
According to the EPA, your marine fuel system components should last 10 years. Requirements established in 2009 mean older boats won’t need to replace fuel lines until around 2019 because of the gradual phase-in. Inspecting your boat’s fuel system shouldn’t pose any financial hardship (at least not now).
Here’s a quick primer on gasoline fuel emissions for boats:
Fuel evaporates from fuel lines, fuel vents, plastic fuel tanks and outboard engine primer bulbs. These are known as evaporative emissions and occur over the course of a day when the temperature fluctuates (even when the engine is not running).
But, the EPA has held boats to a lower standard than cars with regard to emissions. This new rule changes all that.
How New Requirements Affect Gasoline Fuel Systems on Older Boats
On older boats, you will need to replace hose from the fuel tank to the engine to meet the new permeation rate (3.5 or 11 oz./11 sq. ft. vs. ½ oz./11 sq. ft. over a 24-hour period). That’s a big difference in how much potential exists for fuel to vent!
That’s just one example. You can read more here.
Be proactive. Replace all the fuel distribution lines that come under pressure before your older fuel system reaches its 10-year lifespan.
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