Evaporating gasoline creates vapors or fumes that are heavier than air. These fumes settle to the bottom of the boat where they could explode if enclosed areas, such as the bilge, are not ventilated properly to remove fumes.
- Put the fill cap on tightly to prevent vapors from escaping.
- Wipe up any spilled fuel and properly dispose of the used paper towels or rags on shore.
- Open all windows, ports, doors, and other openings.
- If your boat is equipped with a power ventilation system (exhaust blower), turn it on for at least four minutes before starting your engine. This will help eliminate fuel vapors in the bilge.
- Before starting the engine, sniff the bilge and engine compartment for fuel vapors. Continue ventilating until you cannot smell any fuel vapors. Consider installing a gas vapor detection and alarm device.
- Start the engine and then reload your passengers.