When refueling, you can avoid many costly and dangerous mistakes by following a few simple rules.
Always refuel in daylight. Extinguish all flames, and don’t smoke during the refueling process.
With outboard engines, remove tanks from the boat and refuel them on the dock whenever possible. With inboard engines, close all hatches and ports before refueling to prevent heavier-than-air gasoline vapors from accumulating in the bilge.
When filling your tanks, leave plenty of room for the fuel to expand as the day heats up. To do this, listen carefully during fueling, as the sound changes as the fuel level gets closer to the filler pipe. Avoid unnecessary chatter during the process.
When refueling is complete, open hatches, use your nose to check for leaks or gasoline vapors, and turn on your bilge blower for five minutes before starting the engine.
Wipe up any spillage and dispose of oily rags or towels properly. Oily rags can start fires, so dispose of them in suitable on-shore receptacles. –Burrage Warner
To learn more, take the Fuel and Boating seminar at a squadron near you.