Refit, maintenance, conservation, preparation… those words give the best explanation of what is going on in Mediterranean marinas at the moment. Although the weather is still unusually warm, the winter is incontinently coming and it is about time for charter and private boats to be prepared for winter rest. Different charter base managers and owners have different strategies on how to maintain their yachts but at the end of the day everybody agrees that the yacht has to be ready for a new season by Easter at the latest.
Between all tasks that have to be done either before or after winter there is one task that seems to be a little out of sight. It is the state of the fuel tank. It is not immune to the problems caused by sedimentation of dirt, algae, water or other impurities from the fuel itself. When such sediment gets shaken by the the sea, seemingly romantic vacations turn into horror. The engine starts to howl, choke and finally dies.
You would say that prevention is the only solution to avoid such situation and I agree with you but we witness so often how owners or base managers say “filters are OK, they will do one more season”. The other attitude is best described as the refrain “don’t touch as long as it functions”.
When the engine dies it is usually too late to blame the one(s) who did not change filters regularly so sooner or later the fuel tank would have to be cleaned. That project always causes headaches to the owners, base managers as well as to those guys who actually have to do the ‘dirty work’.
Fuel tanks are usually placed on inaccessible places and they are extremely difficult to dismantle. Moreover, many of them are not equipped with the so called inspection or cleaning nozzles making cleaning process even more difficult. The solution of contaminated tank lies in the circular cleaning systems along with some chemistry. External cleaning device has to be attached to the fuel input and output of the tank while strong pump produces circular flow of fluids.
Croatian firm Datacol have presented their Datacol Tank Cleaning System on the recently held international boat show in Biograd, Croatia. Their solution for the contaminated tanks consists of a machine sized as big as any other industrial vacuum cleaner; which is equipped with a strong pump, a set of hoses and very simple control panel. The circular flow produced by the machine along with special chemical dissolves and ejects all impurities from the fuel and the tank walls.
The result of treatment with Datacol Tank Cleaning System is optimal situation in the tank, which should be maintained by use of additives, such as Datacol Fueldat, on a regular basis. For those who keep their floating homes in Croatian Adriatic, the good news is that Datacol company offers their services starting January 2015 while treatment of 100 l tank will cost approximately € 100,00.
It does not seem too much if we calculate the price of headache-killer pills you should prepare in case your fuel tank was not maintained as it should have been.
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!