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Friend has 20' Grady White with 200 hp Evinrude ob & 70 gallon fuel tank, which is down to 1/4. Should he run all fuel out running dockside & leave no fuel in tank till spring, or shlep 40+ gallons in 5 gallon cans to boat tied up at his pier or endure the 45 minute ride across James River to NN (closest place to fill up). He has FULL THROTTLE and other chemicals available. Tank would be down almost a quarter after return trip.
 

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I have always topped the tank before storing it for the winter. I also use a gas stabilizer in the tank also. I have been told that an empty tank with be subject to more moisture something you don't want in your tank...my advise take a trip across the James to get some fuel, and on the way do a little trolling ( you might get lucky) of course wait until this northwest wind settles..remember fishing BEATS Workn
 

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Recommend filling the tank up completely and adding store & start fuel conditioner and ethynol treatment. Should be just fine come Spring. Be sure to run the engine for a few minutes after adding the chemical treatments to insure that the treated fuel is in the lines and injectors as well as the tank.
 

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Good question OP

Can anyone confirm? I was told that gas breaks down after 30 days and not to run it in a 2 stroke. Last fall I bought a new mower and come spring time I had to take it in for repair. Was this the fuel going bad or ethanol that ate it up? I cant remember if I treated the fuel. This year I ran every drop of fuel out of it.
 

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Good post. I do what Getaway recommends. I have owned my OB engine for 8 years now and have not had an issue doing this. For the first few I used Stabil, but in the last 3 or 4 I switched to Startron. In the spring it takes a crank or two, but after she fires up I'm good to go.
 

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first, you'd do more harm than good idling out 17 gallons of gas. And what a waste.

second, he needs to reconsider his fuel source--using a quarter tank just to fill up is a waste. I have an 80 gallon tank and I keep it topped off, using 4 5 gallon jerry cans.

third, ethanol mixed gas does start breaking down but it's not gone bad after just 30 days. All of it needs to be treated unless, like the typical car, it turns over in a few weeks. It's especially hard on small motors so treat the lawn mower fuel and put that gas in the can that's in the garage in your car now, don't let it sit over winter.

fourth, once it's full, keep it full, and treated. The ethanol issue is just as bad in the summer due to heat and humidity. I use startron and ringfree all the time, and change my water seperator (I assume he has one?)

Finally, he should run the boat at least every other week during the winter. Better to take it out than run it at the dock in idle.

Ethanol pulls water out of the fuel and the air. There's more air in an almost empty tank. as temps change, the fuel expands and contracts, bringing more air into the tank--damp air.

Now if you could empty a tank bone dry, that would be best, but you can't, so what you leave behind will be really gunky come spring.
 

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I had the same concerns and researched this quite a bit. You do have 2 options. You can store the boat with the tank completely empty. Or you can store the boat with the tank full. Storing the tank partially filled causes problems. Most articles that I have read indicate the preferred method is to store with the tank full. Gas does break down somewhat over time but there is no harm with storage for several months during the winter. All information indicates a stabilizer should be added to the gas during storage. I'm lucky enough to use ethanol free gas available at my marina. I store my boat with a full tank and it seems to work out fine. But I know others who store boats with the tank completely drained and they are happy with the results.
 

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Bob, I think that if you checked with your marine mechanic he would tell you that the fuel pickup does not reach completely to the bottom of the fuel tank. To do so would cause it to pick up residue that settles to the bottom of the tank causing problems. If the tank is drained down to the lowest level, without removing it for draining, there is the distinct possibility of condensation buildup over the winter months. Over the last fifty years, I have followed the practice of topping off the tank and adding the necessary chemicals for keeping the fuel fresh. Thus far, there have been no problems with any of the boats that I have owned during that period.

Hope this helps, even though it is just my opinion.

Lee
 

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Just a couple of tooughts:
!. Ever try to drain a 250 gallon tank bone dry?
2. Top off 250 gallons, what about PHASE seperation?
3. Is condensation as much an issue in January as July?
4. Do Startron/Stabil/ect really prevent phase seperation?
5. Have you ever really used one of the new tests for ethnol,which is the real culprit that we are really concerned with in this discussion
 

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If you have somewhere to put the fuel, you certainly drain a tank bone dry, you just don't do it using the fuel pickup. You pull the fuel sender from the tank and siphon out all the gas using a siphon hose attached to a dowel so you can point it wherever you like. While siphoning it, it is a good idea to take a flashlight, look down in the tank and aim the hose around to suck out any **** in the tank. Using a clear plastic hose is also helpful, so you can see when you are sucking up debris.
It takes awhile (hours), depending on the size of the tank, but you can get it so dry you can see the shiny aluminum on the bottom of the tank. If you have significant fuel problems either from gas that has gone really bad from sitting, or from accumulated junk, water or whatever, in the tank, this is the best way to fix it. I've done it to 4 or 5 boats over the years. Fixed the fuel problems on every one.
 

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Turn fuel off, fog air intake with a brand name engine fogging spray, let motor shut off while fogging, add Sta-Bil to your fuel tank. It is a good idea to run your last tank with Sta-Bil in it so that it is in your fuel lines and injection or Carb when you shut your motor off for the season.
 

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I always make sure my fuel tank is full. I also run mid-grade fuel in my ZUKI. I do this because fuel will loose some of its octane rating sitting(moisture/phase seperation) and my engine requires 87 octane and no more that 10% ethanol. I use startron on a regular basis while the boat is being used. By storing the boat with the tank(s)full and treated with Stabil Ethanol formula you will have less 'room' for moisture. You should NEVER run an engine 'dry' of fuel. It can and probably will dry out the seals and lead to corrosion. Stabil will keep the seals 'conditioned'. Be sure to read the directions on the Stabil bottle. There are two ways to treat(maint and strorage). Here is what I do:
Fill tank(s) with mid grade
Treat with the proper amount of stabil(I usually over treat)
Launch the boat and go for a 10-15 min boat ride to 'mix' up everything so that the stabil gets into the ENTIRE fuel system
Fog the engine while in the water(be mindful of others)
Wash the boat at the house
Take engine cover of and spray the entire engine with BLASTER brand SILICONE spray(silicone is safe on all the engine components)
Lube trailer bearings and ALL zerks on drive/steering
Treat toilet

Thats what I do. Hope it helps. A lot of good info here!! Take care of it and it will take care of you.
 
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