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Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:27pm

Post Subject: Deisel bug

We recently had to have our tank drained, and cleaned after finding we had this problem. The tank had 6ins of sludge in it. We have had repeated problems with the heater and have been informed these boilers are made to run on white deisel. So we are now using white deisel. More expensive but perhaps the saving will be on the reduction of engine and heater problems. What is your opinion on this issue? We always used additives in our deisel, and tried to keep the tank full.


Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:30am

Post Subject: Deisel bug

Fist the heaters. I must assume you are talking about one of the three common forced draught heaters that are commonly used on trucks and such like. I would make four points. First of all, in the 1970s, we had no choice but to use them on the hire-fleet. We ALWAYS fitted the boats with a separate heater tanks and ran them on kerosene/paraffin. Secondly it would appear from user reports that they tend to be more reliable if only used on full power. You might also find it instructive if you look through Judges verdicts delivered over the past couple of years or so and lastly the batteries' state of charge and the professionalism of the installation on long distance trucks is typically far better than most boats. By the way, when I redid my boat's heating system I went for a gas boiler and solid fuel stove. I have also compared the specifications for DERV (white diesel) and gas oil (red diesel) from a reputable company and can find nothing significant in the differences to support what you have been told. There is a difference in the calorific value the amount of sulphur (not always and in any case no different from DERV before the low sulphur version was made mandatory)and the cetane rating. Its the latter one that is often used to justify the advice but its related to the ease of ignition in mili or microseconds in an engine rather than over the several seconds required by such boilers. It is virtually impossible to prevent water build up in a diesel tank but, over time a reputable water removing additive should have removed it. However I would need to look at the sludge to see what it consisted off. I notice you do not say how old the boat is. It could be many years build up of dirt supplied along with the fuel and rust etc. It could be bug as your question implies and then the additive you are using becomes very important. Many claim to kill bug but have no biocide ingredients. Thy work by the fact that bug requires the presence of water to breed so by removing the water it is hoped the bugs die, however then there is the problem of the dead bodies and some additives are better at dealing with that issue than others. At the first signs of bug and once you have had a bug problem it is vital to use an biocidal additive rather than a water removing one. One of the sea boating magazines did comparative laboratory tests on a range of fuel additives and they named two additives as most effective against bug. The one you can probably most easily get is Marine 16. This is supplied in concentrated biocide form for initial treatment and then formulated as a maintenance product for prolonged use. I would strongly advise you to use the latter if you are not already. Tony Brooks

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