Ask Sail: Do Fuel and H2OUT Mix?

I was interested in the article by Nigel Calder in the February 2012 edition on the H2OUT dehumidifier and think it is something that I might install.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Q:Philip, Dublin, Ireland

I was interested in the article by Nigel Calder in the February 2012 edition on the H2OUT dehumidifier and think it is something that I might install. I have been keeping my fuel tank topped up to minimize condensation. While there is a fuel gauge, it’s down below, so the only practical way to ensure a full tank is to pour fuel in until it comes up near the top of the fuel inlet. However, by then the fuel has risen up the air vent and eventually leaks out the side. What effect does diesel have on the blue beads in the H2OUT filter? Also, is there some change I should make to the air vent?
Nigel Calder Replies

Unfortunately, the diesel will coat the granules in the filter and render it more or less inoperable. It is possible to wash the crystals in detergent, dry them out, and then reuse them, but I don’t think you will want to do this every time you fill the tank! You could fit a diverter valve ahead of the filter with a line coming into a collection bottle and use this when taking on fuel to determine when the tank is full. Afterward you could switch back to the filter in the vent line. This would also help to ensure that you do not spill any diesel. Another approach would be to get fittings that shut off the air vent if the diesel rises to this level. Essentially, there is a ball in the fitting that floats up and blocks the outlet, at which point you will see the diesel rising up your fill fitting and can stop filling. However, using this approach it is also possible to trap air in the tank and then have this blow back through the fill fitting, spraying out diesel! It all depends on the internal layout of the tank and the position of the fill and vent fittings.

Do you have a question for our experts? Submit it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Related

01-LEAD-GMR_ISLA_0415-1

Electric Multihulls

Witnessing the proliferation of Tesla automobiles you would have no doubt that the revolution in electromobility is well underway. Turn your gaze to the cruising world, though, and you might well wonder what went wrong. Where are all the electric boats? And as for electric ...read more

Lee-Cloths-Lee-Boards-and-single-bunks-on-ISBJORN_by-Andy-Schell_Trans-Atlantic-2019

The Perfect Offshore Boat: Part 2

November, 2009: Mia and I were sailing our 1966 Allied Seabreeze yawl, Arcturus, on our first-ever offshore passage together, a short hop from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida. Our second night out, the brisk northwesterly wind shut down, but the sea state ...read more

210727_JR_SE_Tokyo20_186871368

Tune in for Olympic Sailing

Today marks the start of 470 and NARCA 17 racing on Enoshima Bay, and racing in the other seven fleets is already underway. A few of the American sailors are already off to an impressive start, with Maggie Shea and Stephanie Roble currently in second place in the 49er FX, Luke ...read more

Happy-Cat

Boat Review: Happy Cat Hurricane

I’m not sure what I expected from my daysail on the Happy Cat Hurricane. One thing I do know is that the day didn’t go as planned. The SAIL staff was invited by Alex Caslow from Redbeard Sailing to Gunpowder State Park on Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore. We were to test several ...read more

210722_PM_Tokyo20_4910_5979-2048x

Olympic Sailing Guide

The Opening Ceremony for the Tokyo Games is finally here. From July 24 to August 4, sailors from across the world will be gathering on six courses on Enoshima Bay to race for gold. Ten classes will take part in the event: RS:X (men), RS:X (women), Laser Full Rig, Laser Radial, ...read more

01-LEAD-TobagoCaysHorseshoeColors

Chartering: Voltage is King

For some time now, both in the pages of this magazine and with individual charterers, I’ve talked about how important it is to pay close attention during a charter checkout. The idea is to listen “between the lines,” as it were, to be sure you aren’t missing any hidden red flags ...read more

AC75-No.-1

ETNZ May Abandon New Zealand

Remember when the Kiwis were the young, underfunded upstarts of the America’s Cup world, with right on their side as they took on the Big Bad Americans? Remember the withering criticism leveled at Larry Ellison when, in the wake of “The Comeback” on San Francisco Bay, arguably ...read more

01-LEAD-EX26_1119_dehler_30od_race_2nd_077_web_4zu3_300dpi2048x

Boat Review: Dehler 30 One Design

I’ve long believed that while they may not be as much fun, the best sail trials are the ones that take place in drifters since it’s then that a boat’s performance—or lack thereof—really becomes evident. Pretty much any boat is fun to sail in 15 knots of wind. That said, there’s ...read more