Cleaning fuel tanks

Barbary Pirate

New member
8 Jun 2015
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I suspect I know the answer to this, but thought (as a yachtie) I would ask the motor boat boys. I think I have a lot of sludge in my tank from diesel bug. In heavy weather it can temporarily block the fuel filters and stop the engine as it get stirred up. What I want to know is, is there any magic ingredient that can dissolve this sludge or is the only way to actually physically remove it by hand? :confused:


Well-known member
11 Aug 2004
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Is there a nice big inspection hatch on the tank? if so, drain the fuel down with an electric fuel pump, open hatch and use 2" wall paper scraper to remove glup into a container. scrub with clean diesel and green pan cleaning sponge plus lots of paper tissues. Consider dinghy pump to blow trough fuel lines and replace filters. Fill tank and double dose of favourite bug killing chemicals, mine is Marine 16. Finally check / replace fuel filler cap and seal as they are a likely source of water in the tank. Half a days job with marigolds and paper towels etc.