Fuel Water Separator Filter Maintenance

Fuel Water Separator Filter Maintenance

Each year we look forward to and anticipate the number of boats getting ready for the June 1 opening of snapper season. Owners bring their boats in for annual services as well as other seasonal needs. The primary focus for this article is to elaborate on the difference between most center console bay boats and offshore boats with twin, triple or even quad outboard engines, and the location of the fuel water separator filters. 

Larger boats, 24 ft and up to 36 ft, that we see have the fuel water filters located in the bilge, usually mounted on a stringer or the inside wall of the transom. Some of these vessels have extremely large bilges and the fuel water separator cartridges are constantly exposed to a moist, salty environment.

The accompanying images are from a customer’s 2018 model boat with only 88 engine hours. Fuel water filters on bay boats should be changed once a year or 100 engine hours. Given the harsher bilge environment of larger boats the fuel water separator filters should be inspected every six months. Filters are cheap and changing them regularly is advisable. Carrying spares and a filter wrench could prove wise when fishing in the gulf.

Priming new filters with fresh fuel is a good idea before installation. Marking the cannister with date and engine hours is also helpful. Finally, spraying the filter housing and canister with Corrosion X Red helps prevent corrosion.

Have a great summer fishing season!

Chris Mapp
Coastal Bend Marine | Port O’Connor, TX | 361-983-4841 | coastalbendmarine.com
Flats Cat, Blue Wave, Mercury, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Honda