The Government of South Australia’s Dept. of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure issued a warning recently that’s equally pertinent to Perth. Officials are concerned that leisure-boat owners more used to outboard motors – where fuel spills are highly visible – may become casual when using unfamiliar under-floor fuel tanks.
The Department’s Director Brian Hemming was certainly not mincing his words when he said that “it’s crucial to play it safe – and that includes ensuring your boat is safe too. I urge all boat owners to take extra care when maintaining and operating their boats, especially when refueling with petrol”.
This is particularly relevant for leisure boat enthusiasts more used to diesel motors. That’s because petrol has a lower flash-point and its vapors are far more flammable. Even the smallest spark or electric short can set it off. The South Australia regulator has issued the following advice for when refueling:
- Turn the engine off and remove the key
- Put out cigarettes, turn off pilot lights and disconnect the battery
- Have a non-metallic container handy to catch any spills
- If moored at a jetty ask all passengers to disembark
- Never overfill the tank and clear up spills immediately
- Run the motor for several minutes after all fuel smells have cleared
- Only allow passengers to return when you are completely confident
The only thing that we can add is always have a reliable fire extinguisher handy. This information is provided by Driveshafts Perth as a public service to the Perth leisure boat fraternity.