Journey preparation and setting off

Many petrol incidents happen just before the boat sets off or shortly after it leaves the mooring.

These are our tips to take before the journey begins to help prevent fires and explosions.

  • Before the crew steps aboard and before starting out, use sight, touch and smell to check the fuel system, engine bay and cabin space for any evidence of petrol leaks or stray flammable vapours.
  • Crucially, do not switch on the electrical supply or turn the ignition key if there’s a strong smell of petrol. Ventilate the cabin and bilges and investigate the source.
  • If fitted, run the bilge blower system according to the owner’s manual
  • If your engine refuses to fire after several attempts, stop trying and investigate. Be very cautious especially if there is a strong smell of petrol in the engine space.
  • Even when underway, if the engine is misfiring or runs very poorly, stop and take stock, because a badly running engine may be a sign that your safety is compromised.

Next: Refuelling safety tips »