What is the issue?Changing the primary fuel filter and draining the bowl during the engine service runs a high risk of splashing diesel about the engine. Equally a badly sealed fuel filter can drip fuel. This fuel then sticks to the surface with the excess seeping down into the bilge. This causes the cabin to develop a diesel-mildew odour.
Why address this?Apart from being unpleasant, a diesel smell can precipitate seasickness and the contaminated bilge water is an illegal discharge.
How to address this?Mount a permanent drip basin beneath the primary fuel filter.
This can be accomplished by finding a plastic tray that can accommodate the fuel quantity within the primary filter and some more. Mount the tray as an inlay in a permanent wooden box on the bulkhead beneath the main filter. Be careful to allow enough space so that it does not become an obstacle to servicing or general engine work.
When the main filter is serviced the fuel can be drained directly into the tray making this task much easier. This can then be lifted out and the thimbleful of excess can be disposed of properly. I say thimbleful as after my parsimonious rescue of every drop of good fuel that I could salvage off the tops there was little left to dispose of.
Using an old towel when bleeding the air out of the system is a great way to catch every drop involved with the service plus wipe the engine down.
With thanks to:Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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