Boat Gas and Boat Diesel Fueling Practices

At, we are committed to helping promote green boating practices.  One place that boaters and marina owners can make a positive change is in boat gas and boat diesel fueling practices.

Whether it’s due to a faulty fuel gauge, pumping practices, or fuel nozzle issues, frequently when boaters fill up their boat gas or boat diesel fuel tanks, there are a few drips and drops that occur at the end of pumping.  Even worse, sometimes there are major overflows, too.

It’s important to stop and consider what happens to those minor (and major) spills.  Whether directly or through run-off, that extra boat gas and boat diesel ends up in our waterways – the same waterways where we love to boat, swim and fish.  With proper fueling techniques, however, we can each do our part to eliminate this type of water pollution.

Tips for Safe and Clean Fueling at the Fuel Dock

  • You should know before you start fueling how much boat gas or boat diesel your boat holds as well as how much you need.
  • Turn off your engine and all electronics. NEVER smoke while fueling.
  • If filling portable tanks, place them on the dock before fueling.
  • Place a fuel bib, fuel collar, or absorbent pad around the appropriate fuel entry on your boat.
  • Always hold the nozzle – never use a hands free clip while pumping.
  • Don’t rely on the auto shut-off on the fuel nozzle.  Use your ears to hear if you’re approaching a full tank.
  • Don’t fill to the very top of your fuel tank.  Fuel expands as temperatures rise, plus you’ll limit the chance of overflow.
  • When finished fueling, wipe up any spills or drips with an oil absorbent cloth or pad.
  • Do not hose or wash off spills; do not use detergents that wash into the water and cause a sheen (which is illegal).
  • Remember to run your blower for several minutes prior to starting your engine.

It’s advisable for marinas to have emergency spill kits on site, but major spills should be reported to the US Coast Guard National Response Center.  If a boater is out on the water and somehow spills fuel overboard, it’s important to alert the appropriate authorities so that the right steps can be taken to clean-up the boat gas or boat diesel correctly.

By taking precautions while fueling, you can do a lot to help keep our waterways clean. is dedicated to providing information and education on green boating.

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