Owning a boat is a source of immense joy and adventure. However, as any seasoned boat owner knows, proper maintenance is key to ensuring your vessel stays in optimal condition. One common debate among boat owners is whether to store their boat with a full tank of gas or keep it empty during the off-season.
Each approach has its proponents, and understanding the advantages and disadvantages can help you make an informed decision. Let’s explore the pros and cons of storing your boat full of gas versus empty.
Advantages of Storing Your Boat With A Full Tank of Gas
Storing Your Boat With A Full Tank Prevents Condensation
One of the primary advantages of storing your boat with a full tank of gas is that it reduces the empty space in the tank, minimizing the opportunity for condensation to form. Water in your fuel can lead to engine corrosion and performance issues, making this a crucial consideration, especially in humid climates.
A Full Tank of Fuel Maintains Fuel Quality
Gasoline can deteriorate over time, forming varnish and gum that can clog fuel lines and carburetors. Storing your boat with a full tank of gas reduces the exposure of the fuel to air, preserving its quality and ensuring your engine runs smoothly when you take your boat out of storage.
When Your Boat is Stored With A Full Tank of Gas It Can Help Prevents Fuel System Damage
Keeping the fuel system pressurized can prevent seals and gaskets from drying out and cracking. This helps maintain the integrity of your boat’s fuel system components, saving you from potential repair costs.
Disadvantages of Storing Your Boat With A Full Tank of Gas
Storing Your Boat With A Full Tank of Gas Can Lead to Ethanol Concerns
Ethanol, commonly found in gasoline, can absorb water, leading to phase separation. If this occurs, the ethanol-water mixture sinks to the bottom of the tank, potentially causing engine damage when you start your boat. Regular fuel stabilizers can mitigate this risk to some extent.
The Cost of Fuel To Fill Up Your Tank
Storing your boat with a full tank of gas means you’ll need to invest in a significant amount of fuel. Depending on the size of your boat’s tank, this can be a costly affair, especially if fuel prices are high.
Advantages of Storing Your Boat With an Empty Tank
Storing Your Boat With an Empty Tank Avoids Ethanol-related Issues
By storing your boat in an empty tank, you eliminate the risk of ethanol absorbing water and causing phase separation. This can prevent potential engine damage and save you from expensive repairs.
Lower Costs Going Into Storage
Emptying your fuel tank before storage means you don’t have to invest in a large quantity of fuel, leading to significant cost savings, especially for boat owners with larger vessels.
Disadvantages Of Storing Your Boat With an Empty Tank of Gas
Storing Your Boat With an Empty Tank of Gas Can Cause Condensation Concerns
An empty fuel tank creates a larger space for condensation to form. This moisture can lead to rust and corrosion within the tank and the fuel system components, causing potential damage and performance issues.
Fuel Pump and Injector Damage Can Happen When Storing Your Boat With an Empty Fuel Tank
Modern boats often rely on fuel pumps and injectors that are lubricated by the fuel itself. Storing your boat with an empty tank can cause these components to dry out, potentially leading to damage and reduced lifespan.
In the great debate of storing your boat full of gas or empty, both approaches have their merits and drawbacks. The best choice depends on your specific circumstances, including the climate in which you live, the type of fuel available, and your budget.
If you opt to store your boat with a full tank of gas, be sure to use a high-quality fuel stabilizer to mitigate the risks associated with ethanol and regularly inspect your fuel system for any signs of wear or damage. On the other hand, if you choose to store your boat with an empty tank, take precautions to minimize condensation, such as using a fuel system cleaner before storage and keeping the tank tightly sealed.
If you need help deciding how best to store your boat, reach out to Hagadone Marine Groups’ team of boat experts at (208) 664.8274. We can help guide you so you make the best decisions for you and your boat.