Practical Boat Owner

Upgrading your fuel system

We’ve become accustomed to marine diesel engines being generally reliable, but they’re still a long way from being infallible. With clogged fuel filters being a common source of engine failure, improving your boat’s fuel filtering is an easy step towards better reliability.

Motor yachts tend to have systems that enable their engines to be restarted within seconds. This is achieved with a backup filter fitted in parallel that can be switched into service when necessary, or by using filters that are very quick to change. By contrast, typical fuel systems for the diesel engines below 40-50hp used by sailing boats tend to be very basic, with two in-line filters, plus a water separator. These filters generally have a small capacity, which means if there’s an issue with

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