Originally Posted by JeanneP
Yeah, I think we've all gotten distracted by the "Algae-X" - BP says bacteria and fungus are the problems, no mention of algae.
As far as shelf life, just because crude oil is millions of years old doesn't mean that the refined products from that will survive in its refined form for long periods of time. For that matter, all oil pulled from the ground is not equal. One doesn't wisely burn lubricating oil in place of diesel, for example.
Regardless, it's pretty clear that degradation of diesel is a significant problem considering the many systems on the market for filtering and cleaning the fuel. And in my experience, most sailboat owners report at least one instance of engines failing due to contaminated fuel. And I will bet that 90% of first-time owners of used boats find, within a year of buying the boat, that their engine fails from bad fuel. Because it had been sitting so long in the tank before the boat was bought, and the new owner wasn't aware of the potential problems.
Ironically, we've had several (at least 5) instances of engine problems due to foul diesel, yet I still forget to warn new owners of this very common problem. Why I seem to have this blind spot I can't explain, so I hope this serves as a reminder to me, and to all others who read this thread.
Hello fellow sailors
You are so right!
Within 1 year of my purchasing my Cal Cruising 46, I was enroute to the beautiful Catalina Island in Southern California when my engine suddenly died
After vessel assist towed me back to my home port in Marina del Rey
My tanks ( both tanks 180 gal each) needed to be cut open and scrubbed to remove the sludge grime and tarry build up at the bottom
That was 5 - 6 years ago
Now I just wonder when I should perform another major surgery to take an exploratory look at the tanks to make sure they are clean