The United States Power Squadrons® is dedicated to Safe Boating and Water
Safety as well as Boating Education. This page will help you in your pursuit of boating
enjoyment and related water activities by providing safety tips and handy reminders of
safe boating procedures or practices.
AWARD-WINNING SAFETY TIP
"Spare Gas Siphon System" by P/D/C
Julian Rolandelli, AP, Rogers, Arkansas
Knowledgeable boaters are aware that they should plan to carry a
1/3 supply of reserve gasoline on every boat trip. That's fine, but small boats have a
limited fuel capacity and all too often refueling facilities are unavailable. Only seven
marinas service Beaver Lakers' four hundred miles of shoreline, and they all close at dusk
or in the early evening. To compound the problem, lake obstacles are uncharted so pulling
into an unknown shore at night to refuel might be dangerous.
We found a method to safely refuel without beaching your boat. It
works even for built-in tanks designed to be refueled from outside the boat. The key is a
low cost siphon pump marketed as a tool for refueling camp lanterns. Since gasoline fumes
are heavier than air and explosive, select an area on your boat that is well ventilated to
store the spare gas. Follow the standard safety procedures during refueling and use your
blower if your boat has one.
The materials needed can be purchased locally. You will need:
6 gallon safety approved gasoline can
Manual polyethylene siphon pump with safety locking can adapter
Clear ¾" vinyl tubing to reach from your can to your tank
Short piece of vinyl tubing to extend the length of the pumps intake tube
Assemble the unit by attaching one piece of the vinyl tubing to the
pumps exit tube. Cut another piece of vinyl tubing to extend the intake tube of the pump
to the bottom of the gas can. Cut the end of this tubing at a 45 degree angle so that the
end will not be sucked to the bottom of the can by the suction of the siphon.
Use the system by placing the gas can higher than the boats tank.
Place intake tube into the gas can. Open vent on the gas can so that the gasoline will
flow freely. Squeeze the pump bulb to start the siphon. Monitor the gas flow while the
siphon is running. The siphon can be broken at any time by opening the vent on the pump.
Before removing the assembly from your tank, break the siphon to drain the gas; shake the
filler tube to drain any gas that might remain in the tube; allow any gas to drain off the
intake tube before removing it from the gas can.
The spare gas and a safe system of refueling can increase your
peace of mind.
Boat going up in flames at Grand Lake, OK
Sail tow for power boat in trouble
FLOAT PLANS MAKE GOOD SENSE AND MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE
Planning a short boating cruise? Let someone know
where you plan to go and when you expect to return. In case of mishap, someone will know
you are missing and notify the proper agency. The easy and most convenient way for you to
handle this matter is to file a Float Plan with your marina, yacht club, family or friend.
For directions on how to make a customized float plan to fit your needs, see "Create a Float Plan"
on the Table of Contents under "Things To Do" section on the USPS Homepage
or simply click on the handy link above. USPS Trademarks