Had a really bad dose of the Manflu thats been doing the rounds, so much so it took me out of work for a week. Only just managed to get my head together today.
So after sitting in bed for days on end i thought i’d start to lay out the components of my new fuel management system (a little job that I’ve had sitting in the wings for a while, that i keep coming back to with new ideas).
The story goes; that when Churchill asked the little ships (Privately civilian Boats) to muster and go to Dunkirk to rescue the soldiers on the beaches, afterwards he set the taxes on fuel low as a reward for their efforts, so until recently UK boaters have always had the benefit of cheap diesel (red diesel) that was until the other europeans got involved so now we only get tax relief for using our diesel for winter heating on the boat, if you have a diesel heater that is. Anyway the short of it is in the UK we still have red diesel at most of our marinas, this is similar to the central heating diesel and not as refined as the white diesel used by the other european boats and the same as we use in our cars.
The result is a murky red diesel with quite a lot of water content and from time to time all matter of nasty bits and bobs floating around in it, depending on where or how you got hold of your diesel. In a few of places round the world sometimes its only just inflammable.
To add to this often sub-standard fuel, most of us who sail don’t always get through enough diesel to keep our tanks in good order, more often than not large amounts of diesel sit in our fuel tanks for months, sometimes years at a time, often causing a type of primeval sludge made up of water dirt, and sediment of sorts which gathers at the bottom, this quite happily sits there rocking back and forth until you hit rough seas, when its churned up turning your red diesel into a bitty, slimy congealed soup, which intern gets caught at the fuel filter and stops the engine, often just as you are trying to navigate a tricky entrance to a harbour.
So in an effort to prevent that from happening, i have designed a in-line fuel polishing system that allows me to clean the diesel from different sources while we travel around the world. There have been several different versions plagiarised from other fuel companies, boaters and cruisers. I now have a sort of hybrid of all of those and are now at the final stages of putting it all together. into this system I’ve also fitted inline flow sensors so i can calibrate the most efficient speed/fuel consumption ratios.