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Thread: Best Quality Gasoline

  1. #1

    Default Best Quality Gasoline

    Which vendor in southcentral Alaska sells the best quality gasoline? What makes it the best? Who sells the worst quality gasoline? Why is it not as good as the best?

    I believe that it's all made from either northslope or Cook Inlet crude from either the North Pole or Nikiski refineries and they add the different company additives, so I think it all comes down to additives.

    Personally, I've had good luck with Shell. I've had bad luck with Tesoro.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    good question
    it seems like Shoreside Petroleum pretty much has a monopoly the southcentral fuel docks w/ the exception of Valdez. They took over in Cordova about a year ago. Cordova had chevron gas now I think its Tesoro just like Seward, and Whittier. I envy the Valdez fleet they get fresh Chevron gas that doesn't sit in old tanks. Its considerably cheaper too.
    Shoreside is taking us to the cleaners

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    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Sounds good to me...

    Knowing I get Chevron in Valdez sounds good to me, but there are no Chevron stations in Valdez, just 3 Tesoro, are you sure about that

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    Knowing I get Chevron in Valdez sounds good to me, but there are no Chevron stations in Valdez, just 3 Tesoro, are you sure about that
    actually Ron I'm not sure what kind of gas it is .
    What I do know is the tenders that come from VileDisease have cheaper fuel and it doesn't immediately turn your filters brown like Cordova and Whittier gas does....Might be their storage tanks though

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    Quote Originally Posted by MischiefManaged View Post
    I believe that it's all made from either northslope or Cook Inlet crude from either the North Pole or Nikiski refineries and they add the different company additives, so I think it all comes down to additives.

    Yes this is true. Refineries will buy oil from a variety of oil companies and in return sell to a variety of downstream gas stations. So gasoline when leaving the refinery is all the same until it reaches a central processing/distribution center. At that point shell or chevron will add their additives.

    Chevron (Texaco, CalTex) adds techron which is a nitrogen-based additive that keeps your fuel system running cleaner; thus no build-ups on the valves, etc. So if you buy chevron gasoline there is no need to add the aftermarket chemical additives that keep your fuel system clean; because it is already in there. Shell's recently released nitrogen based additive is a near clone to techron.

    I think chevron gasoline is best. Luckily we do not have ethanol blends up here. Even tho ethonal belnds are cheaper; they can make your engine run hotter and could have ill-effects on your motors. But, that is debatable.

    Some gas companies do not add additives thus may a little cheaper. Or your "mom and pop" gas stations will buy from a various suppliers. So one week you may have chevron and the next week you will have shell. But generally if it says Tesoro, it will be Tesoro or chevron then chevron. And commonly the oil company does not own the gas station; just supplies the gas.

  6. #6

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    great post thanks to share it

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    Quote Originally Posted by MischiefManaged View Post
    Which vendor in southcentral Alaska sells the best quality gasoline? What makes it the best? Who sells the worst quality gasoline? Why is it not as good as the best?

    I believe that it's all made from either northslope or Cook Inlet crude from either the North Pole or Nikiski refineries and they add the different company additives, so I think it all comes down to additives.

    Personally, I've had good luck with Shell. I've had bad luck with Tesoro.

    If looking at road fuel look at your high volume stations, like Freddies. I know the one in ER has trucks dropping fuel 2 or 3 times a week.

    I picked up 30 gallons in a hurry a couple of days ago from a local Chugiak station and found water later in my clear plastic 30 gallon container, not much but water none the less. This is one of my main transfer tanks for my sleds and the water was not there before filling it.

    I thought Crowley was the deal in Valdez, Seward and such???

    The bad thing is Shoreside changes prices daily based on a call to Seattle. So if you do not have an account with them you are at their mercy and getting an account is near impossible but I guess a 1000 gallons a month is not a real big user.

    If fuel filters are turning browish it's a possible corrision issue in the tanks watch for sediment in the filters. Black coloration is bacteria(diesel) or possibly a water issue.

    Just remember adding HEET to your tanks you could be attracting more moisture thru your tanks vents. If adding the HEET run the fuel thru as soon as possible do not store for a period of time. If finding water in your filters on a regular basis check your vent lines to ensure that they are not ingesting water directly to your tank. They should have a large loop in the hose that is higher then the vent to prevent water from entering your tank. Look at your vent and ensure it is not picking up water when under way.

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    One good thing to do to get your boat ready for the season is purge your tanks.
    I have a sump in my tank so I can recover any moisture. If you don't have a sump, park your trailer so that your boat leans to the side where your fuel fill is. If you have water from condensation in your tank it will run to the low end. There is a paste you can put on a dipstick that tells you if you have water in your fuel. If you do stick a hose down your fill tube and pump it till your pumping clean fuel. Everybody has water in there fuel whether you think so or not. The fuel pickup tube is generally clipped in a 45 degree angle so you won't pickup directly of the bottom of your tank, Thusly you accumulate moisture.
    Also on another note-- its important to know where your pickup tube is located on your fuel tank. The reason is because when you're low on fuel and trying to make it to town, you can get that extra distance by making your boat list to the side your pickup is located. I know this food for thought is repetitive but could make a difference in a happy weekend or possible incident

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    Thumbs up

    I've been told that Chevron is best and Tesoro second best. I've also been told to stay away from Holiday. The previous two sentences are purely heresay (no real data to back them up). I figure buying gas from at least two sources before a trip will keep me safe. I'll try to stick with the 1/3 rule: 1/3 out, 1/3 back and 1/3 in reserve. The 1/3 reserve fuel would ideally be bought from a different source and kept seperate from the other 2/3. If there is a fuel problem just switch to the reserve and get back. Haven't been able to put this philosophy to the test yet but it's how I'll be running.

    Just noticed a little irony; there is a Holiday add directly below my post (at this time) .

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyobohunter View Post
    I've been told that Chevron is best and Tesoro second best. I've also been told to stay away from Holiday. The previous two sentences are purely heresay (no real data to back them up). I figure buying gas from at least two sources before a trip will keep me safe. I'll try to stick with the 1/3 rule: 1/3 out, 1/3 back and 1/3 in reserve. The 1/3 reserve fuel would ideally be bought from a different source and kept seperate from the other 2/3. If there is a fuel problem just switch to the reserve and get back. Haven't been able to put this philosophy to the test yet but it's how I'll be running.

    Just noticed a little irony; there is a Holiday add directly below my post (at this time) .
    Being prepared is key whenever you head out on the ocean w/ a boat, however being that paranoid? I think I'd find a different hobby. I'm sorry but thats the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard lol. I've broke down in the ocean many times. I've had boats explode out from under me and burn to the water line. Once I threw a blade on my impeller and it wedged in the jet housing and ceased the engine, I floated around the sound for 2 days till some purse seiner threw me a line. My point is, you have a radio and flares, make sure you have a good tow line and I promise we'll get ya back to town if you get some bad fuel

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    Default Your Example ?

    This last, may not be the example you want to follow, seriously FB to "laugh out loud" at someone who is trying to be wise about fuel sounds more like ridiculous to me. And your example of multiple catastrophic breakdowns at sea may not be something anyone wants to emulate.

    I was at sea Full Time for nearly twenty five years and NEVER had an engine breakdown at sea, the only time I did catastrophe was when I was trying to run light on fuel in fifty knot winds, my own inattention to detail caused a low stability situation and was blown down by a Williwaw coming off the peninsula.
    And I MUST say Preparation is why I lived through that,
    Attention to Fuel is one of The First Steps to Wise Boating Preparation,

    also to suggest that you just blast on out there, drift around for days if you breakdown and "We'll get you home" is completely uncool to all the rest of us who have business to do other than towing you home.

    Getting Bad fuel is easily remedied at sea on board your own boat, if you are prepared. Looks like Wyobo is gettin' pretty tight on the subject which will probably work out well for him. I bet his towline doesn't get much use, Thanks for that.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Oh man don't get me wrong!
    I was just trying to say getting 3 different brands of gas for your 3 tanks is kind of over kill thats all. I didn't mean to ridicule the man and I apologize up and down! I need to quit running my keyboard like i do my boat....by the seat of my pants... again sorry and i'll keep my pie hole shut

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Oh man don't get me wrong!
    I was just trying to say getting 3 different brands of gas for your 3 tanks is kind of over kill thats all. I didn't mean to ridicule the man and I apologize up and down! I need to quit running my keyboard like i do my boat....by the seat of my pants... again sorry and i'll keep my pie hole shut
    I actually liked your posting and don't think you need to apologize at all. And in reality Kodiakrain and you are saying the same thing. Preparation is key and that was the first thing you said in your posting. It is also why you are still here to laugh about the catastropic events you had at sea. Let's face it, if you boat long enough, bad things are going to happend to all of us and being prepared as you wisely noted is paramount. Mechanical things wear out, sometimes we hit rocks, sometimes we run too low on fuel and blow over. Stuff happens. It is a part of boating and life itself. And I agree that getting gas a three different venders to prevent a possible problem is simply not practical even though Kodiakrain sees it otherwise. Most of us just get our fuel from one place that we have had good luck with. Or more often than not, we get our fuel the only place we can get it.....which is at the dock that sells it.

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    I've broke down in the ocean many times. I've had boats explode out from under me and burn to the water line. Once I threw a blade on my impeller and it wedged in the jet housing and ceased the engine, I floated around the sound for 2 days till some purse seiner threw me a line.
    Sounds like I'm not the one who should be looking for a new hobby

    First, to suggest that somebody being thoughtful/prepared is "paranoid" and that they should find another hobby is quite laughable considering your own experience.

    I'd be embarassed to admit it if I had so many "unfortunate events". Relying on others to keep me safe is not part of my plan. Yes, I have a tow rope and yes, I may need to use it someday but I'm planning to not need it. Most "events" are caused by human error, food for thought.

    I said it'd be ideal to get fuel from "at least two sources", I never said that this would always be practical or that I wouldn't go out if it wasn't possible. I'll probably get 2/3 from one source and the 1/3 reserve from another. Then I'll try to rotate my stock. I've got a small enough boat that it's easy to trailer in/out of gas stations and I use the little portable fuel tanks so... It's prolly much easier for me than for you guys with the big boats that live in slips.

    Maybe I should toss the fire extinguisher to avoid looking "paranoid"?

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyobohunter View Post
    Sounds like I'm not the one who should be looking for a new hobby

    First, to suggest that somebody being thoughtful/prepared is "paranoid" and that they should find another hobby is quite laughable considering your own experience.

    I'd be embarassed to admit it if I had so many "unfortunate events". Relying on others to keep me safe is not part of my plan. Yes, I have a tow rope and yes, I may need to use it someday but I'm planning to not need it. Most "events" are caused by human error, food for thought.

    I said it'd be ideal to get fuel from "at least two sources", I never said that this would always be practical or that I wouldn't go out if it wasn't possible. I'll probably get 2/3 from one source and the 1/3 reserve from another. Then I'll try to rotate my stock. I've got a small enough boat that it's easy to trailer in/out of gas stations and I use the little portable fuel tanks so... It's prolly much easier for me than for you guys with the big boats that live in slips.

    Maybe I should toss the fire extinguisher to avoid looking "paranoid"?
    Aw I feel awful about what I said sometimes my words come out wrong. It wasn't my intent to diss you. These forums might not be the avenue for me I walk away feeling like an idiot more times than not. I grew up on the gulf from just a young lad, if its stupid, then I've done it no doubt. The amazing thing is I'm 47 and still alive. I've got stories that tell the whole story how dumb I am, I guess I should be ashamed to admit them, but if somebody gets a chuckle thats cool, if somebody reads my stories and avoids making the same mistake, well to me thats priceless ( what I can't keep from doing is offending peeps so forgive me again)

    Thanx T.R. Bauer for what its worth I clicked the scales and gave you rep points for getting my back

  16. #16
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Try to find the middle

    Ok, I'll try to lighten up a little also, it is easy to go too far on the keyboard on my end as well,
    I notice Full bush does have some good advice in above posts, namely for Wyobohunter, He mentions that you will get water in fuel from any source at some point, there are a lot of factors in that and I don't think you should trust any fuel as being totally pure of water.

    Take care of it onboard with "knowing where your pickup tube is in your fuel tanks" ( is good advice from Fullbush). Water settles to the bottom of the fuel so ideally you have a way of draining the bottom inch or so of fuel from the tank now and then, to get the water out. Also, Make sure it is not pulling fuel off the bottom of the tank (your pickup tube) and have a Water Seperator Fuel Filter arrangement then keep an eye on that filter. Water will show up when you least expect it or are least ready to deal with it, As In Heavy Weather when the fuel gets stirred up. Your seperator will be able to handle some and you will not be shutdown by a few drops (which is usually all you will get from any source)
    I also agree with Fullbush, that it is a bit too much to worry about getting fuel from different sources, could be called paranoid but I would just say "overkill", but Wyobo's idea of having seperate tanks to draw from is a good idea and if you want to lean toward overkill, just return to one tank after running it through the engine and your water seperator filter then you will know it is pretty pure for your emergency tank. Some call this "Polishing fuel" and can be done idling at the dock (to fill that tank by the return line) I like your idea of 1/3 in reserve as opposed to leaning the boat to pull the last drops of fuel from the bottom of the tank returning home, Don't push it that far ever in my opinion.
    One more thing, is that a lot of time on the water will definitely translate into strange unexpected things, probably what he was referring to with his mishaps, that's just experience learned.
    The only reason I have not had engine breakdowns (have had plenty of other bad days) is probably super attention to the heart of the boat, the engine, and what it needs, Clean Fuel, Clean Cool Air, and Good Cooling.
    Fullbush you're cool, didn't mean to launch on ya just correcting the tow ya in idea for the new guy,
    Full bush is again right that, "When stuff goes wrong there is a whole network of guys out there to help you out" You want to be able to take care of it onboard yourself first tho for sure,
    Take Care, WyoBohunter interesting thread
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Default Extra engine

    My uncle who got me started on boating 30 years ago told me:
    "Never never ever ever never EVER go out on the ocean with only 1 motor, always have a kicker - with a separate gas tank big enough to get you somewhere.

    That advice has saved my butt twice - both times it was water in the gas that shut the outboard down, once was the gas stations fault, once was my own d@mn stupidity (it helps when you put the gas cap back on).

    It might make for a loooooong boring ride home, but at least you'll get there.

    Also, make sure it'll run every once in a while. Last year I towed a 28 foot Sea Sport back from Eshamy bay (with the 75HP Yam on a 17 footer - that was comical)
    He had a old two stroke kicker that he'd stowed, but it hadnt been started in several years and he couldnt get it to run, even if he had gotten it running all he had was a tiny gas tank that wouldnt have gotten him very far.
    That was a long day...
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

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    Quote Originally Posted by wyobohunter View Post
    I've been told that Chevron is best and Tesoro second best. I've also been told to stay away from Holiday. The previous two sentences are purely heresay (no real data to back them up). I figure buying gas from at least two sources before a trip will keep me safe. I'll try to stick with the 1/3 rule: 1/3 out, 1/3 back and 1/3 in reserve. The 1/3 reserve fuel would ideally be bought from a different source and kept seperate from the other 2/3. If there is a fuel problem just switch to the reserve and get back. Haven't been able to put this philosophy to the test yet but it's how I'll be running.

    Just noticed a little irony; there is a Holiday add directly below my post (at this time) .
    I've used gasoline from Fred Meyer for 10+ years w/o any fuel quality or contamination issues. My understanding from someone reportedly "in the know" told me that Alyeska Pipeline regularly tests fuel from all the local stations for quality/freshness/water/contaminants (not sure exactly how they measure this), and that FM is consistently the best; the testing is done so they can direct their fleet vehicles in the right direction as part of their initiative to keep maintenance costs down. I have no idea if it's bogus or not, it sounded pretty legit to me at the time. If you figure too that most FM's have been selling fuel for fewer years than you typical station, chances are the "younger" tanks and newer filter/pump systems may contribute to maintaining fuel quality - who knows.

    In addition, if you drink the "rewards program" Kool-Aid that FM has, it's the best price in town, every time, period. Better than Sam's Club, Safeway, etc - and certainly better pricing than Chevron.

    Speaking of Chevron, for years I've used this stuff branded by Yamaha as "Ring Free" to cut down on coking, build up, etc. Have spoken to several outboard mechanics from different shops over the years about this stuff and they all acknowledged that they'd done tear downs on motors that had been using it vs not; guess what - every one of them stated without question that the condition of the motor that used RF was much cleaner inside than those that hadn't been using RF. Only 1 of the 5 mechanics were Yamaha guys, too. I think that says something. Most of them mentioned too that "this stuff seems to perform the way Chevron always touted their Techron stuff would"...

    Here's the kicker: If you read the *very* fine print on the bottom of the label, it's made by Chevron for Yamaha.

    Gee I wonder...

    Whether you put some "secret sauce" in your fuel or not, my two "never deviate" rules are:

    1. If you see a fuel truck filling tanks at the station - move on or wait several hours for all the goodies to settle out before filling;

    2. Get a quality (Racor S3213 is typical for gasoline) inline filter with drain bowl and watch it like a hawk - always have a spare or two along for the ride, and keep a simple catch container (bottom 1/2 of a pop can works great) to read your "sample" if you suspect water.



    XL

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    Default ^^^

    Good info, thanks.

  20. #20

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    Ok fellows...this got a bit off topic.

    It looks as though the three majors get the vote along with Tesoro and Fred Myer. Does anyone know who FM buys thier fuel from? What about Tesoro - what additives do they use that makes thier fuel special?

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