During a recent engine room examination I noted the premature deterioration of a fairly new looking engine mount. On further examination of the engine space and fuel system the reason became apparent. See survey extract below.
“On examination of the fuel system, a section of armoured hose leading from the fuel return to the secondary filter was noted. While manipulating this hose to find a service date, the hose began to leak fuel close to its fitting onto the secondary filter. This significant leak began to drip fuel in the vicinity of the aft starboard engine mount, explaining this mount’s premature deterioration. I was able to locate a shut-off valve on the tank at the bottom of the cockpit locker and after closing this valve the leak soon stopped. The shut-off valve on the tank was left closed and the broker was notified of this issue”.
This hose could potentially have been a serious issue, being in the return line to the tank from the engine it would not have affected the fuel feed and the engine would have run normally, flooding the engine bay with warm diesel.
It’s upsetting to think of the work now required to replace the mounts, but every once in a while, when a defect such as the deteriorated fuel hose is found, we rest assured we have saved someone a really bad day at sea.
Although there are no mandatory regulations requiring fuel hose to meet the ISO 7840 standard on vessels NOT intended for commercial use or for use on inland waterways, it is advisable to check the condition of all of your engine hoses & fittings from time to time. If there is any sign of deterioration they should be replaced.