Marine Fuel Systems Regs

George Van Parys

Mar 1, 2000
RO Number
Application: Both pleasure craft and non pleasure craft

Definitions ^

1. Accessible: Capable of being reached for inspection, or maintenance without removal of permanent craft structure.

2. Permanently installed: Securely fastened so that tools need to be used for removal.

3. Static floating position: Attitude in which craft floats in calm water, with each fuel tank filled to its rated capacity, but with no person or item of portable equipment on board, with other tanks such as water and holding tanks empty and permanently installed equipment supplied by the boat builder in its proper place.

Application: ^

4. This Section applies equally to all gasoline (petroleum) or diesel fuel systems except as indicated.

General ^

5. A permanently installed fuel system shall provide maximum protection from leakage caused by corrosion, shock or fire.

6. All components of a fuel system, including tank penetrations and fittings, shall be accessible for inspection.

7. After installation, the fuel system which includes fill pipes, tanks, vent pipes, delivery pipes and return pipes, shall be hydrostatically pressure tested to a minimum of 21 kPa (3 lb/in2).

8. The fuel system shall be designed and installed to contain at least 5% fuel expansion in order to minimize the risk of a fuel spill either into the boat or the environment when:

(a) the fuel tank is filled to its rated capacity; and

(b) the boat is in the static floating position.

9. Fuel systems shall be liquid and vapour tight to the hull interior.

Exceptions: ^

(a) Permeation of hoses within the limits of SAE J1527; and

(b) Permeation of fuel tanks within the limits of United States Government CFR 33, Subpart K, 183.620 (a)(5)(i), and of ABYC H-2, Ventilation of Boats Using GASOLINE.

10. Fuel systems shall be capable of storage without operation at an ambient temperature range from -40В° C to 80В° C without failure or leakage, and operation at an ambient temperature range from -30В° C to 80В° C.

11. All electrically operated components installed in GASOLINE fuel systems shall be ignition-protected.

12. Drain plugs or valves on the filter(s) and tank(s) of DIESEL systems shall be of the type which cannot be opened inadvertently, or shall be installed in a manner to guard against inadvertent opening. Metal bowls are to be used for inboard gasoline engines and plastic bowls are to be used for outboard engines.

Fuel Tanks ^

13. Every fuel tank shall be constructed to meet the minimum test requirements for mechanical strength and fire resistance, as detailed in ABYC H-24 GASOLINE FUEL SYSTEMS, or ABYC H-33 DIESEL FUEL SYSTEMS, as applicable.

14. A metallic fuel tank shall be constructed of materials in accordance with Table 7-1. Non-metallic materials are considered acceptable for corrosion resistance; however, all other requirements of this standard must be met.

15. A fuel tank shall be constructed so that no external surface of the tank can retain moisture or spilled fuel.

16. A GASOLINE fuel tank shall have no openings in the bottom, sides or ends.

17. Clean-out plates shall not be installed in GASOLINE fuel tanks. Clean-out plates may be installed in the top or sides of DIESEL fuel tanks.

18. If baffles are provided, baffle openings shall be designed so that they do not prevent the fuel flow across the bottom or trap vapour across the top of the tank.

19. Threaded connections into fuel tanks shall be in accordance with American Standard Taper Pipe Thread (NPT).

20. Cellular plastic used to encase metallic fuel tanks shall not change volume by more than 5% or dissolve after being immersed for 24 hours at 29В° C in each of the following liquids:

(a) reference fuel B, in accordance with ASTM D-471

(b) #2 reference oil, in accordance with ASTM D-471

(c) a 5% solution of trisodium phosphate in water

Notes ^

(1) Tank seams produced by the welding processes listed shall be ductile and non-porous.

(2) Copper tanks shall be internally tin coated.

(3) Steel sheet tanks, when constructed for gasoline, shall be galvanized inside and outside by the hot dip process.

(4) Aluminum tank fitting plates shall be made of 5052, 5083, 5086, 6061 or 6063 aluminum or 300 series stainless steel.

(5) Aluminized steel tanks shall have a corrosion inhibiting baked paint or equivalent coating not less than 0.0381 mm thickness applied to the total tank exterior.

21. Cellular plastic used to encase metallic fuel tanks shall not absorb more than 0.58 kg (0.1 lb) of water per m2 (ft2) of cut surface.

22. Where plastic is bonded to a metallic tank, the adhesive strength of the bond shall exceed the cohesive strength of the plastic.

23. Non-polyurethane cellular plastic used to encase metallic fuel tanks shall have a minimum compressive strength of 410 kPa (60 lb/in2) at a 10% deflection, measured in accordance with ASTM D-1622, Apparent Density of Rigid Cellular Plastics.

24. Polyurethane cellular plastic which is used to encase metallic fuel tanks shall have a minimum density of 50 kg/m3 (3 lb/ft3) measured in accordance with ASTM D-1622.

25. Rigid tubes and fill pipes which extend near the bottom of the tank shall have clearance to prevent contact with the bottom due to flexing of the tank.

26. Every fuel tank shall have permanently affixed to it a label showing as a minimum:

(a) type of fuel(s) for which the tank is suitable;
(b) the manufacturer's name, or logo, and address;

(c) the month and the year of manufacture or the lot number and year of manufacture;

(d) its capacity in litres (and optionally in gallons); and

(e) the statement, "This tank meets the requirements of the Canadian Construction Standards for Small Vessels".

Note: In lieu of the Standards quoted at (e) alternative equivalent standards will be accepted e.g. United States Government; CFR 33 183.510(a).

27. Every letter and numeral on the fuel tank(s) shall be:

(a) at least 1.5 mm (1/16 in) in height and width; and

(b) of a contrasting colour to the basic colour of the label.

28. Tank labels shall be readily visible and legible on the tank(s) as installed.

Fuel Tank Installation ^

29. Every fuel tank, including those encased in cellular plastic foam or fibre reinforced plastic, shall be so installed that all connections, accessories and labels are accessible for inspection and maintenance.

30. A GASOLINE fuel tank shall not be made integral with the hull. Further, no fuel tank shall support any deck, bulkhead or structural component or bear any extraneous load unless it is designed and built to do so.

31. Adequate supports shall be fitted as necessary to ensure structural integrity of tank(s).

32. A fuel tank shall be installed and restrained to provide as close to no movement as possible.

33. Metallic fuel tank supports and hold-downs shall be isolated from the tank surface by non-abrasive, non-absorbent, non-conductive materials.

34. Cellular plastic shall not be used as the sole support for a metal fuel tank.

35. Cellular plastic used as the sole support for a non-metallic fuel tank shall meet the requirements of ASTM D-1621 or ASTM D-1622

36. No cellular or fibre reinforced plastic fuel tank encasement shall permit water to:

(a) collect between the plastic and the tank; or

(b) be held against the tank by capillary action.

37. Metallic fuel tanks installed above a flat surface shall be separated from the surfaces by at least a 6 mm (1/4 in) air space when filled with fuel.

Gauges ^

38. Every fuel tank shall be installed with mechanical or remote reading fuel gauges, unless the tank installation permits sounding.

Fuel Tank Fill System ^

39. Fuel fill lines shall be hose or metal pipe.

40. Each fuel tank shall have an individual fill line.

41. Deck fill plates shall:

(a) be located at least 380 mm (15 in) from any fresh air intake for gasoline systems;

(b) not permit a fuel overflow to enter the boat;

(c) shall be permanently marked GASOLINE, GAS, or the ISO symbol for gasoline in GASOLINE systems; and

(d) shall be permanently marked DIESEL, or the ISO symbol for diesel in DIESEL systems.

42. Fuel shall not blow back through the fuel fitting when the tank is being refueled at a rate of 23 l per minute (6 U.S. gallons/min).

43. The fill pipe installation shall be self-draining, and lead directly from the deck fill to the tank in such a way as to prevent vapour locks.

44. The minimum inside diameter of the fill system shall be 32 mm (11/4 in).

Note: To maintain the minimum diameter, using standard fittings, the minimum hose ID will be 38 mm (1 1/2 in).

45. The hose in a fuel tank fill system shall be secured to the deck fill and the tank with corrosion resistant and galvanically compatible fittings consisting of:

(a) a swaged sleeve;
(b) a sleeve and threaded insert; or

(c) two metallic hose clamps of a type which is not dependent upon spring tension for compressive force.

46. Every hose clamp used in a tank fill system shall:

(a) be used with a hose which is designed for clamps;

(b) have a minimum nominal band width of 12 mm (1/2 in);

(c) fasten over the hose and the spud, pipe or hose fitting; and

(d) not be less than 12 mm (1/2 in) from the end of the hose.

47. Flexible fill piping shall be of neoprene fabric or wire reinforced neoprene material that:

(a) meets the requirements of SAE J1527 Jan 93 or UL 1114 April 87 type hose; and

(b) the fire resistance tests requirements of ABYC H-24 for GASOLINE fuel systems or the fire resistance tests requirements of ABYC H-33 for DIESEL fuel systems, as applicable.

48. Flexible fuel fill hose installed in engine compartments shall be USCG Type A1 or A2.

49. Hose shall not be installed on helical threading or knurling that provides a path for fuel leakage.

Fuel Tank Venting Systems ^

50. Every fuel tank shall have a venting system that:

(a) discharges fuel vapours overboard;

(b) does not allow a fuel overflow to enter the boat;

(c) minimizes the accidental entry of water; and

(d) prevents pressure in the tank from exceeding 80% of the rated pressure of the tank.

51. A flexible vent pipe shall be:

(a) a minimum of 15 mm (5/8 in) I.D. and constructed of material(s) which conform to the performance requirements of ABYC H-24 and the fire resistance tests requirements of ABYC H-24 for GASOLINE fuel systems or the fire resistance tests requirements of ABYC H-33 for DIESEL fuel systems, as applicable;
(b) installed so that it does not kink or sag; and

(c) secured with corrosion resistant clamps of a type which is not dependent upon spring tension.

52. The vent shall be fitted with a flame arrestor which:

(a) has an effective area not less than the minimum required for the vent line; and

(b) can be cleaned, unless the vent itself is a flame arrestor.

53. Tank vent systems shall be self-draining and connect to the highest point of the fuel tank as installed in the boat under conditions of normal operation and normal trim.

Fuel Lines ^

54. All fuel lines, including fill, vent, delivery and return, shall be adequately protected from damage.

55. Every metallic fuel line connecting the fuel tank with the fuel inlet connection on the engine:

(a) shall be made of seamless annealed copper, nickel-copper, or copper-nickel;

(b) shall have a minimum wall thickness of 0.75 mm (1/32 in); and

(c) and shall be galvanically protected from the structure in aluminum hulls.

56. A metallic fuel line shall be attached to the boat structure within 100 mm (4 in) of the connection of a flexible fuel line.

57. A section of flexible line with sufficient slack to absorb vibration shall be installed where a rigid fuel line terminates at:

(a) an engine or fuel filter connection; and

(b) a fuel tank that may vibrate.

58. Every hose in a fuel system shall meet or exceed:

(a) the performance requirements of SAE J1527 or UL 1114; and

(b) the fire resistance tests requirements of ABYC H-24 for GASOLINE fuel systems or the fire resistance tests requirements of ABYC H-33 for DIESEL fuel systems, as applicable.

59. Every hose shall be permanently marked, in capital letters and numerals at least 3 mm (0.12 in) in height and width and at intervals not greater than 300 mm (12 in), with the:

(a) type of hose;
(b) manufacturer's name or registered trademark; and

(c) year of manufacture

Hoses less than 300 mm (12 in) in length may be tagged with the required marking.

60. The inside diameter of a hose shall not exceed the minor outside diameter of the connecting spud, pipe, or fitting by more than the Anti-siphon protection ^

61. All fuel distribution systems shall be provided with anti-siphon protection by at least one of the following:

(a) ensuring that no part of the line can, if separated at any point, fall below the level of the tank top;
(b) keeping all parts of fuel distribution and return lines above the level of the tank top from the tank to the carburetor inlet or its equivalent, e.g. throttle body, port fuel injection, or a location where fuel leakage cannot enter the boat when the boat is in its static floating position;

(c) fitting an anti-siphon demand valve at the tank top which can be opened only by the fuel pump suction to withdraw fuel from the tank and which will remain closed when the fuel pump is not operating, thereby preventing siphon action created by a break or leakage at any point in the fuel distribution system.

(d) installing an electrically operated valve at the tank withdrawal fitting, or along the line. When an electrically operated fuel stop valve is used it shall:

i) open only when the ignition switch is on;
ii) be capable of being operated manually; and

iii) meet the fire resistance tests requirements of ABYC H-24 for GASOLINE fuel systems or the fire resistance tests requirements of ABYC H-33 for DIESEL fuel systems, as applicable.

(e) installing a manual shut-off valve directly at the fuel tank connection, arranged to be readily accessible for operation from outside the compartment if the fuel tank top is located below the level of the carburetor inlet and the fuel line is rigid metal or USCG Type A1 hose.

Note: Readily accessible from outside, the compartment includes a shut-off valve installed at the tank close to, and directly below, an access port in the deck through which the valve can be operated.

62. If the length of fuel line from the tank outlet to the engine inlet is greater than 3600 mm (12 ft), a second manual shut-off valve shall be installed at the fuel inlet connection to the engine.

63. Fuel systems shall be equipped with an independently supported fuel strainer/filter complying with paragraphs 66-73 if a strainer/filter is not incorporated in the pick-up tube.

64. On vessels with multiple fuel tanks and a fuel system, such as fuel injection, that returns fuel to the tank, the system shall return unused fuel to the same tank from which it was drawn.

65. Information about the design, operation, and maintenance of this system shall be provided in the vessel owner's manual, and this information shall include a warning about the consequences of modifying this system that may result in a fuel overflow. See ABYC T-24, Owner's Manuals.

Fittings for Fuel Systems ^

66. Every fuel system fitting, joint and connection shall be accessible for inspection, maintenance and removal, without the removal of permanent boat structure.

67. Fuel lines shall have the minimum number of connections practicable.

68. Hose used in the fuel tank fill system shall be secured to pipes (smooth pipes acceptable), spuds or other fittings at each connection, by at least two metallic clamps with nominal band widths of at least 12 mm (1/2 in).

69. Every hose used in the fuel tank vent system or the fuel distribution and return line system shall be secured to a mating spud, pipe, or fitting that is formed or machined to provide serrations (at least 0.38 mm (0.15 in.) depth) or a bead. At least one corrosion resistant metallic clamp shall be used with a minimum nominal band width.

70. Every clip, strap and hose clamp, including fasteners:

(a) shall be made from a corrosion resistant material;

(b) shall not cut or abrade a fuel line; and

(c) shall not be separated by a tensile force of 5 N when tested under the fire resistance requirements for fuel systems as set forth in ABYC H-24 or H-33, as applicable.

71. Every hose clamp:

(a) shall be used with a hose which is designed for clamps;

(b) shall be at least one clamp width from the hose end;

(c) shall be fitted beyond the head or flare, or over the serrations of the mating spud, pipe or hose fitting; and

(d) shall not depend on spring tension for compressive force.

72. The minimum nominal band width of a hose clamp shall be determined by the outside diameter of the hose, as shown in Table 7-3.

73. A fuel system shall not have a fitting for draining fuel other than a plug which is used to service the fuel filter or strainer. Such a plug:

(a) shall have a tapered pipe-thread; or

(b) shall be a screw type fitted with a locking device other than a split lock washer; or

(c) the plugs shall not create a galvanic cell with the housing that will accelerate corrosion.

Fuel Filters and Strainers ^

74. Every fuel filter or strainer shall meet the fire resistance requirements for fuel systems set forth in ABYC H-24.5.7, unless the filter or strainer is inside the fuel tank.

75. All fuel filters or strainers shall be supported on the engine or boat structure independent from the fuel line connections, unless the filter or strainer is inside the fuel tank.

76. Filters, separators and strainers shall meet the requirements of UL 1105, Marine Use Filters and Separators.

77. Fuel tank withdrawal pipes which are fitted with fuel filters:

(a) shall extend as close to the bottom of the tank as practical, to allow maximum drainage;

(b) shall permit water contamination to be withdrawn from the tank with the fuel; and

(c) shall be resistant to salt water, alcohol, and stale fuel.

Fuel Pumps ^

78. Every fuel pump shall be installed on the engine or within 300 mm (12 in) of the engine, with a maximum delivery hose length of 1220 mm (48 in) unless it is a fuel pump used to transfer fuel between tanks.

79. A diaphragm pump shall not leak fuel if the primary diaphragm fails.

80. Every electric fuel pump shall incorporate an automatic cut-off designed to eliminate fuel pressure at the outlet when the engine stops for any cause.

81. The outlet pressure of electrically operated fuel pumps shall be rated or controlled to the maximum carburetor fuel inlet pressure specified by the engine manufacturer.

Exception: Electric fuel pumps used to transfer fuel between tanks.
82. A momentary type switch may override the automatic cut-off for the purpose of priming or starting the engine.

Grounding ^

83. Each metal or metallic plated component of the fuel fill system and fuel tank that is in contact with the fuel must be grounded so that its resistance to the boat ground is less than 1 ohm.

84. Wire ends shall not be clamped between the fill pipe and hose.

85. Static conductive neoprene tubing or piping which is used in lieu of metallic conductors shall be:

(a) clearly marked as static conductive; and

(b) installed in direct contact with non-painted attachment surfaces.

Carburetors (Gasoline) ^

86. Every carburetor, when tested to the requirements of the fire resistance test set forth in ABYC H-24, Appendix A, shall not leak more than 5 ml of fuel in 30 seconds when:

(a) the float valve is open;

(b) the carburetor is at half throttle; and

(c) the engine is cranked without starting, or the fuel pump is delivering the maximum pressure specified by the manufacturer.

87. Every updraught and horizontal draught carburetor shall have a device which:

(a) collects and holds fuel which flows out of the carburetor venturi section toward the air intake;
(b) prevents collected fuel from being carried out of the carburetor assembly by the shock wave of a backfire or reverse air flow; and

(c) returns the collected fuel to the engine induction system after the engine starts.

88. Every engine shall be equipped with an effective means of backfire flame control by the use of an effective flame arrestor.

89. Every inboard engine that uses a carburetor shall be so designed and fitted as to prevent gasoline from leaking into the bilges.

Valves ^

90. Valves shall pass the 2.5 minute fire test as specified in United States Government CFR 33, Section 183.590 and 24.5.7.

91. Electrically operated valves shall meet the requirements of UL429, Electrically Operated valves.

92. The unit shall incorporate means for independent mounting designed to relieve strain from connected fuel lines.

93. Manually operated valves shall be designed with positive stops in the open and closed positions, or shall indicate their opened and closed positions.

94. Electrically operated shut-off valves shall be connected to be energized to open when the engine ignition switch is on. A provision for manual operation shall be incorporated in the design.

95. Tapered plug valves with an external spring shall not be used.

Fuel System Labelling ^

96. A warning label shall be placed in a readily visible location on the boat, or at a point of frequent servicing of the boat. Labeling should not weaken the tank.

97. The label shall comply with ABYC T-5, Safety, Signs and Labels, and shall contain at least the following informational elements:

(a) the hazard intensity signal word;
(b) nature of the hazard;

(c) consequences that can result if the instructions to avoid the hazard are not followed; and

(d) instructions on how to avoid the hazard.

Note: An example of such a label follows:



98. Each valve in the fuel system shall be clearly marked with its function and what each position means.

Outboard Motor Installations ^

99. The following additional requirements apply to all outboard installations.

100. All fuel lines in outboard motor boats shall terminate adjacent to the transom motor cut-out so that: any leakage will not enter the boat.

101. Quick disconnect fittings used between fuel distribution lines and outboard motors shall automatically shut off fuel flow when disconnected.

102. No pressurized tanks shall be built into or permanently attached to hulls.