Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hanging around

The red diesel fuel we are obliged to use in our boat tanks is usually ‘gas oil’ with a red dye so we can pay less duty than that for road use. New EU regulations will require a change to ‘road diesel’ with the red dye. Road diesel has less sulphur in it and it also has some ‘bio’ content. Many boaters are concerned about the effects on their engines. Ours is a Beta 38 and this is what Beta told me:-

As far as the engine is concerned, they have been developed for ultra low sulphur fuels, so that they comply with the stringent emission controls, both in Europe and America. The bio content has also been taken into account, as all the emission restrictions have been mapped out for the future in a timetable based on the fuel specification. So the engine is fully capable of running with this fuel.
The storage could be a problem as the bio content can lead to higher bacterial growth, and higher water absorption. I have been talking to a filter manufacturer who has developed a large capacity high water absorption filter system, and should have details shortly. I don't think that it is all doom and gloom, as the lower sulphur content reduces the need to use low quality non detergent oils we recommend now.
High quality oils that contain detergent tend to wash down the bores, thus picking up the fuel residue that builds up the sulphur content in the oil, this can produce a weak sulphuric acid that attacks the bearings.
Don't forget that the fuel change is being done to lower harmful emissions. Kindest Regards, John Lusty, After sales, Beta

So it would seem we should consider changing the type of lubricating oil we use in our engines.

We managed to back up to the water point the next day. Got more diesel and moved out to Tixel wide for a while. It is getting cooler now so we have the fire on longer. Our tank will soon need topping up every 2 weeks. One very windy night the fire went out and issued forth its smelly fumes. We woke up and turned off the supply. Several attempts to relight it next morning failed due to the windy conditions. Put the radiators on to get warm. Smoky oil is not at all pleasant and at least set off the smoke alarm. We wonder if oil fires are worth the hassle because they also produce a lot of flaky carbon deposits that need scraping out. If the truth were known a much taller chimney is required. But then we would not get under those bridges! We moved into Great Haywood after breakfast to get some shelter from the trees. The wind reduced a bit and we were able to light the fire again.
We have been on several bus trips into Stafford to do some ‘Christmas’ shopping. Street decorations are now appearing to brighten the place up. Our friends Geof and Mags offered to look after Molly while we were away.

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