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PS195
06-18-2012, 02:23 PM
So we picked up our boat friday from the marina where I've stored it for a few years, drove to our cottage and launched the boat, all good. I have always stored my boats with a full gas tank over the winter, and I filled it myself before dropping at the marina last fall. In the spring the folks at the marina charge the battery, start her up, etc, so the family piles in the boat and off we go for our first spin around the lake this season. My son is driving, my wife and I are enjoying a beer, its sunny about 80F, great day, right?
Half way down the lake the boat sputters a couple times, then stalls, my son turns the key, it starts again and we go about 100yds and my son says "Dad the gas guage is on "E".
Seems someone STOLE all the gas!!!
We know about the fuel pumps so we shut her down, jump overboard with a couple lines and start swimming for shore while my wife paddles.
Lucky we only had to go 200yds (progress is slow), however at this location shore is pure bush, its about a mile back to our cottage and my son heads off and says he'll bring gas to us with the canoe.
He takes off (no shoes/footwear) and I start walking along the shore pulling the boat, after a while one of my neighbours who saw us from his deck appears with a fishing boat and pulls us home.
We arrive same time as my son, who's legs from knees down are bleeding like crazy from the bushwaking. We had a full gas can at the cottage put it in the boat and she ran fine.
We get my son cleaned up a bit, grab all our gas cans and drive to the marina where we explain what just happened, the owner apologizes over and over and mentions it happened to one other customer so far this year. He stores the boats in a big barn that does not belong to him and someone has figured out a way to get free gas. The marina owner gives me $100 and apologizes a few more times. We fill our tanks and all is good, had a great skiing/barefooting weekend, water is 75F just like mid july.
So this brings me to my question: should boat be stored empty or full?
If full, it would look like I need a locking gas cap.
Pretty sure my son will check all guages before leaving dock from now on and I'll leave an old pair of sneakers in the boat.

Jerseydave
06-18-2012, 03:03 PM
In the old days of aluminum tanks, fill up before storage.

With plastic tanks, you're better off closer to empty. Plastic tanks don't sweat like aluminum ones, plus the fuel loses octane after a 6 month layup. Always use Sta-Bil for ethanol fuel.

Oh and I fill up with super for the first tank of the year!

JohnE
06-18-2012, 04:00 PM
I agree with Dave^^^

Granite_33
06-18-2012, 04:32 PM
So, historically the main reason for filling the tank up prior to storage has to do with condensation build up?
I have gone both ways, storing with full tank, and storing essentially empty. Have never had a problem either way.

76S&S
06-18-2012, 04:50 PM
I agree with Dave^^^

^^^^^^^^^x2

kgrove
06-18-2012, 05:17 PM
How long does a boat have to sit before you'd condsider adding fuel stabilizer? My boat is only dormant from about mid Nov to maybe March or at worst April, so maybe 4-5 months. So far I've stored every year without doing anything to the fuel and have had no problems, but I've wondered if I'm just getting lucky. Winter here is extremely mild, so no true winterizing needed but fuel degradation has occurred to me.

mzimme
06-18-2012, 05:22 PM
How long does a boat have to sit before you'd condsider adding fuel stabilizer? My boat is only dormant from about mid Nov to maybe March or at worst April, so maybe 4-5 months. So far I've stored every year without doing anything to the fuel and have had no problems, but I've wondered if I'm just getting lucky. Winter here is extremely mild, so no true winterizing needed but fuel degradation has occurred to me.

I'd just do it as cheap insurance. I'd rather add a bottle of fuel stabilizer than suck all the gas out of the tank, clear the fuel system, etc. Normally fuel won't go bad over a few months, but if you have a looonnngg winter, watch out. ;)

kgrove
06-18-2012, 09:28 PM
That would be smart. My difficulty is I never truly know when my last day on the water is until it's way behind me... It's loosely defined as the last day I can find anyone willing to brave 65F water. Since I keep holding out hope somebody will eventually say yes it take me forever to realize my season is over. Since I don't have a true need to winterize like many locations, I never get the energy to drive across town to give my boat a formal kiss goodbye.

BriEOD
06-19-2012, 01:17 AM
I always keep mine full and throw in some Sta-bil. As has been said, the last tank of the year and first of the new season are alway 93 octane. I've never had an issue.

Barefooter92
06-19-2012, 08:37 AM
I store empty and hope next year fuel will be cheeper!

mzimme
06-19-2012, 09:07 AM
I store empty and hope next year fuel will be cheeper!

How's that working out for you :uglyhamme

CCAnderson
06-28-2012, 11:11 AM
I am a fan of running ethanol for the first tank of the year. here come anti corn guys ready to burn down the my post. The reason I do it. Ethanol is a good solvent - eats fuel varnish that may have formed, ethanol absorbs water - takes any water out of the system that may have accumulated over winter.

But the single most important thing I do before the first time out is put it on the fake-a-lake and check gauges and hoses.

milkmania
06-30-2012, 03:47 PM
PS195,

digging up an old thread, but I wanted to say.... that Marina Operator is a stand-up guy:headbang:
it's so easy for them to say, "I don't know what happened" or similar.