What Safety Precautions To Take When Fueling Your Boat- Explained!

Imagine you are cruising with your boat in a magnificent marina and while fueling your boat, the gasoline combustion creates an explode!

Deadly isn’t it?

What if I tell you that it takes only 5 minutes to ruin your life, the boat, and obviously the water environment.

Now, if you are a believer of saving human’s life and water environment as well then you better have a glance over the safety precaution when fueling your boat.

Hence, I am going to share some crucial safety precautions which you must take whether you are fueling at the boat dock or a gas station.

Come along!

Don’t Wait Till The Fuel Finishes!

When you notice that your boat is about to run out of fuel, take your boat in the gas station or at the dock to fill the fuel tank.

Try to do it in the midway of running out of fuel.

Sometimes, you keep going till the fuel finishes; well, that’s a foolish practice.

Because, you aren’t supposed to know that you will find a gas station where the fuel empties, or the area you are heading to might not be suitable for fueling as well.

In those cases, you better keep ample idea about the place, track the timing, and speed of your boat for measuring how long you can keep going approximately.

Secondly, if you proceed to search for a suitable place while you still have half or less than half fuel remaining then you’ll surely find it before running out of fuel properly and won’t witness any mishaps.

10 Safety Tips You Must Know To Have a safe Float!

Last monsoon, when I went for a water cruise with my folks for the very first time, we experienced some troubles while fueling. Because we didn’t consider any safety precautions and kept the engine on when fueling our boat.

No wonder, it created a purple spark in the plug which could evoke combustion. But luckily, we stopped the engine immediately and got saved.

Hence, before anything else you need to check out what safety tips I’ve discovered for you to encounter this sort of calamities.

Let them stick into your head right now!

  1. Tie the boat in a secure place where no inflammatory compound exists.
  2. Make sure you provide your mates with some spare time to rest or wander outside the boat or at the dock while fueling. No matter where you prefer refueling, you need to get the boat emptied from people.
  3. Check the fuel tank, fuel connections are in stable condition or not.
  4. Avoid open flames like pilot lights, galley valves.
  5. Unless any emergency arrives, never opt for fueling in the dark or goofy places. For convenience, make sure having electric bulbs.
  6. Warn you smoker friends to avoid smoking or spark matches, lighters while fueling the boat. In fact, after refueling, you shouldn’t smoke because the fuel vapour can arouse inflammation.
  7. Turn off the engine and electronic devices.
  8. Before you start fueling the boat, shut off all the door, windows and other openings of your boat so that the fuel fumes can’t enter into the boat.
  9. Don’t fill the tank above 90% because temperature increase triggers fuel to expand.
  10.  Keep the fire extinguisher in your reach.

So, these are some before maths of fueling boat. Now, without any farther ado let’s crawl over the safety precautions when fueling.


For this, I am going to present a step by step instruction which is specified in,

  • While Fueling
  • After Fueling

Let’s start with the fueling precaution you should take while fueling.

While Fueling Your Boat, Follow These Safety Precautions!

This is the very time when you need to be careful verily. Choose someone with a firm hand to refuel the boat. Now, start fueling and follow these precautions;

  • To prevent static spark production, you need keeping the nozzle of the fuel-pump hose tight and in solid contact at the edge of the tank opening.
  • While filling the tank, don’t rush. Try to keep a firm hand to avoid spills into the boat’s bilge.
  • Keep a spill wiper or oil absorbent pad to wipe off the fuel drips.
  • Leave some space to expand the fuel while the temperature increases.

So, these are the precautions you must take while fueling your boat.

After Fueling Your Boat, Follow These Safety Precautions!

If you are thinking that you can start the engine just after fueling the boat then you are terribly wrong here.

You need to provide enough time after fueling to avoid any accident.

Have a look what you gotta do after fueling.

  • Just after you’re done fueling, make sure you close the tank lid tightly to prevent vapor from spreading.
  • Afterwards, check the floorboard of your boat if there’s any fuel spill remaining or not.
  • Now open all the doors, windows and other openings so that the fuel vapor can escape from the boat.
  • If your boat has any ventilation system then turn it on after fueling. It will help the vapor and fumes to get away adequately and shortly. 4 to 5 minutes will be sufficient to get your boat fuel vapor-free.
  • Second last thing is doing the sniff. Meaning you need to trust your nostrils to sense the fuel vapor. Because if you can sniff fuel vapor in the bilge or engine compartments then you aren’t still ready to reload the passengers and get the engine started. Even the slightest fuel vapor can create a fuss.
  • Lastly, when your boat bilge, engine compartments and other areas are free from fuel vapor, you can restart your journey and gear up your boat.

Alright! Seems like we are done here with the safety precautions. But I would like to be more specific about the places for instance, what if you are fueling at the gas station or fueling portable containers?

5 Additional Safety Tips for Fueling at the Gas Station

When you intend to refuel your boat at the gas station, you are prone to be more careful because the place is likely to create inflammation and other inconveniences.

Thus, here I got 5 safety tips summed up for you.

  1. Before refueling your boat at the gas station, make sure having the idea of the gasoline you are using. Because sometimes gasoline includes ethanol which is a complicated compound to mess with.
  2. If you don’t have any alternatives except ethanol brewed gasoline then you need to take special safety precautions. In that case, have a good talk with the sellers to understand the ethanol intensity and the consequences.
  3. Try to lower your trailer hitch to position the bunks and rollers at convenient places.
  4. Take your time to tie up your boat in a firm position. Meaning, level your boat so that the possibility of fuel spills minimizes. It can be tricky but you better do that for safety assurance.
  5. Don’t top off the tank ever.
  6. Leave the gas station to avoid storing fuel vapour.

Boating safety

Quick Glimpse on 5 Safety Tips for Fueling with Portable Containers

Most of the people prefer fueling their boat with portable containers. Though I have already mentioned the universal safety precautions which are mostly equivalent to the portable containers, still there are some additional tips you better keep in mind.

  1. To ensure a fuel drip or spill-free ground, make sure you refill the portable fuel containers outside the boat pavement.
  2. Keep a funnel while refueling. This will help to prevent spills if you have a shaky hand. Also, it helps to filter out the contaminants from reaching the fuel tank.
  3. Try to purchase portable and comfortable fuel containers. Because it takes a long time to refuel with these containers. So, choosing a comfortable and light weighed container will help you to prevent wrist ache and discomforts.
  4. After getting done with the fueling, make sure keeping the fuel container in a chilled and dry place. Also, keep it away from the direct solar light.
  5. Read the instruction manual of your portable fuel container properly.

Voila! I am pretty sure everything was specific and clear enough to cut the chase.

7 Things You Must Do for a Safe Quest Towards Thrills

I want to hold you for a little longer because being extensively careful has no downsides. Hence, I want to share some safety precautions with you if you are hoping for a long floating journey.

All the below mentioned tips should be noted down and handed over to any responsible guardian of yours.

  1. Make a quick list naming ‘float planning’. Mention the boat condition, describe the vessel, note down the registration number, engine condition, horsepower and everything that sums up your floating condition.
  2. Note down the passenger’s name, contact number, and address.
  3. Mention the state name you are willing to go, nearby routes in detail, stoppages, and parking areas.
  4. Keep the number of the state authority who can map your location in case of emergency.
  5. Make sure mentioning the license detail, the plate number and other description which can help to identify your boat.
  6. Let your parents, relatives or any responsible friend know your departure time and starting time. Try to inform them about your current location every hour.
  7. Consult with an experienced person who has recently visited the area you are expecting to cruise over. It will help you to mount proper knowledge about the place.


Honestly, there are certainly some other safety precautions which I might have missed out here. Because, there are no limits of places, requirements and knowledge regarding float through the boats.

Therefore, it would be great if you share anything in the comment section which I’ve missed out here.

However, I hope all the above-mentioned safety precautions will help you to craft a safe and happy journey.

Last Updated on March 9, 2021