SAIL

Polishing Diesel

Source: The parts are mounted on a slab of plywood which is bolted to the inside of a locker

Portland, Oregon. Th e fuel nozzle at the dock had a recoil like a small caliber pistol. Th e fuel tank sits tightly immediately beneath the cockpit of my sailboat. Th e fill pipe, if you want to call it that is 3in long. I couldn’t just squeeze it off, the fuel hit the tank point blank, certain to disturb debris sitting on the bottom. Th e tank is the real McCoy, 40-years -old and galvanized.

Sure enough, with 40 gal onboard and who knows what bergie-bits swirling around, when I put the accelerator up a bit to get away from the dock, the RPM wavered ever so slightly. I’d heard that “wavering” before. I jerked the boat back against the dock. Th e engine shuddered horribly, painful to witness and died. Truth be known: I inherited a filthy tank. Not a good thing for a guy whose future plans include crossing the Columbia Bar.

I threw the selector handle over on the double Racors to draw from the other filter. Hit

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