When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How To Drain Gas From Boat Fuel Tank Safely

When it comes to the off-season, draining gas from the fuel tank of your boat is a good way to prevent any residue build up.

If you’re looking for a guide on how to drain gas from a boat fuel tank safely, then look no further.

How To Drain Gas From Boat Fuel Tank Safely

In this article, I will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to drain gas from a boat fuel tank safely, alongside the equipment you will need and the benefits of draining your gas tank yourself.

Keep reading to find out more.

Essential Equipment For Draining Gas From A Boat Fuel Tank

Face Mask

Gasoline is not only highly flammable, but it can also be dangerous to breathe in. Breathing in gasoline vapors, even in small amounts, can lead to a variety of adverse symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, nose and throat irritation, nausea, and vomiting.

Bearing this in mind, you should always make sure that you’re wearing a face mask when it comes to draining gas from a boat fuel tank.

This will ensure that you’re not breathing in the harmful fumes, and you can take your time to carry out this process without feeling the nasty symptoms.

Protective Eyewear

During this process, spilling gasoline is a possibility that you need to be wary of. As a result, you will also need to make sure that your eyes are protected at all times by wearing protective eyewear.

This means that if you spill any gasoline, you’re far less likely to transfer it from your hands to your eye provided that your eyewear stays on at all times.

You can get a variety of different protective eyewear, from goggles to glasses that are ideal for this job and will keep your eyes safe for the duration.

Protective Work Gloves

Draining gasoline from your fuel tank requires handling fuel with your hands. As a result, you will want to ensure that you’re wearing protective work gloves at all times for the duration of this process.

You will want to make sure that you buy gloves that are going to protect you, but will also provide you with maximum dexterity. This is crucial, as you will need to be able to make proper use of your hands and fingers during the draining process to avoid spillages.

A Fuel Hose

A fuel hose is how you’re going to drain the gas from your fuel tank, to a fuel receptacle of your choice.

Typically speaking, a ⅜-inch hose is the best. That being said, you can always buy a 6-foot long hose and cut it into two to allow for 3 feet on both sides for the drainage process.

You can either cut a fuel hose yourself, or some stores actually offer to cut it to size. You will need to bear in mind that the length of the fuel hose that you require will vary depending on the size of your fuel tank.

Fuel Transfer Pump

In order to drain the fuel from your boat’s fuel tank, you are going to need a fuel transfer pump.

This is a pump that you connect to a power source, and then it automatically drains the oil from your tank when set up correctly.

Fuel Receptacle

When you’re draining gas from your boat’s fuel tank, you obviously need somewhere to transfer the gas to.

This is where a fuel receptacle comes in. Whether you’re going to store your drained gas or are going to dispose of it, this is where all of the gas is going to be drained.

You will need to make sure that you choose the size of the fuel receptacle in conjunction with the amount of fuel in the tank.

Hose Clamps

The purpose of hose clamps is to prevent the hose from spilling out the contents of your boat’s fuel tank onto the fuel transfer pump.

However, you will need to double check whether there is a specific hose clamp that is required for the fuel transfer pump that you are using.


A screwdriver is likely a tool that you already have in your toolbox, and is required in order to make sure that the hose and clamp are tightened together.

A Guide On How To Drain Gas From A Boat Fuel Tank Safely

A Guide On How To Drain Gas From A Boat Fuel Tank Safely

Step One – Turn Your Boat On And Allow It To Run On The Water

To begin, you will first need to get rid of the majority of the fuel in your boat by turning on the engine and allowing it to run on the water.

However, you will need to stop when the fuel is at ⅛ of a tank, ensuring that you don’t entirely run out of fuel.

Step Two – Remove The Boat From The Water

Once your fuel tank reads at ⅛ of a tank, it’s time to remove the boat from the water.

Place your boat on your trailer, secure it in place, and drive it to where you would like to drain the fuel tank safely.

For this process to work, you will need to make sure that this location is level. Once you’ve found the appropriate spot, remove the boat from your trailer.

Step Three – Put On Your Protective Gear

Before you get started with the draining process, safety comes first! Put on your protective gear including your face mask, protective eyewear, and work gloves.

Step Four – Connect The Fuel Hose And The Fuel Transfer Pump

Following this, you will need to connect the fuel hose to the fuel transfer pump. This might require another connector, depending on the fuel transfer pump you have.

Connect the other hose to the other end of the fuel transfer pump.

You will need to make sure that you secure the hose with the hose clamp using a screwdriver.

Step Five – Connect The Hose To The Fuel Receptacle

Taking one end of the hose, connect it to the fuel receptacle. This is what you will be draining the gas from your fuel tank into.

Step Six – Connect The Hose To The Fuel Tank

Following this, you will need to remove the cover from the fuel tank.

Connect the other end of the hose and connect it directly to the fuel tank. You will need to ensure that the hose is able to reach all the way down to the bottom of the tank to drain all of the fuel.

Step Seven – Drain The Entire Fuel Tank

Next, you will need to plug your fuel transfer pump in and turn it on. Following this, it should drain your fuel tank on its own without any effort from you.

You will need to continue draining until all of the fuel has been drained and you can no longer see fuel moving through the hose. At this point, turn off the pump.

How long this process will take depends on how much fuel is left in the tank, but it shouldn’t be too long if you got the fuel tank down to ⅛ of a tank.

Step Eight – Close The Fuel Tank And Remove The Fuel Receptacle

Once you have drained all of the fuel out of your fuel tank, you can remove the hose and shut it close with its cap.

Discard or properly store the leftover fuel as necessary.

Once the fuel has been drained, you are now able to place your boat back on its trailer and it back to where you store it safely for the duration of off season until you’re ready to use it again.

Tips When Draining Gas From Boat Fuel Tank

Always Wear Protective Clothing

When it comes to doing a job like this yourself, your safety should always be your first priority.

Bearing this in mind, it’s essential that you always wear protective equipment when draining gas from your boat fuel tank.

Ensuring your eyes, face, and hands are protected will minimize your chances of injury.

Never Drain Your Fuel Tank Near Flammable Materials

Draining your fuel tank is already a fairly dangerous job. Bearing this in mind, you should never drain your fuel tank near flammable materials to help minimize any fire hazards.

Always Keep A Fire Extinguisher Nearby

You never know when you’re going to need a fire extinguisher, and keeping one nearby for a job like this is absolutely essential.

This will ensure that if there is a fire hazard, you are able to tend to it as quickly as possible to minimize further damage from occurring.

What Are The Benefits Of Draining Your Gas Tank Yourself?

There are a variety of benefits associated with draining your gas tank yourself.

Allows You To Save Money On Professional Fees

Namely, draining your gas tank yourself allows you to save money on professional fees.

Nothing in life is free, and you’ll be able to save a significant amount of money by draining your boat’s fuel tank yourself.

Allows You To Learn A New Skill

Draining your own fuel tank is a great way to learn a new skill.

Provided that you have the right equipment for the job, learning this skill could save you a lot of hassle down the road if you don’t have to worry about booking and paying someone else to come and do it for you every off season.

In Summary

Draining your fuel tank is simple once you have the right protective equipment and know how.

Always make sure that you take the necessary precautions when working with fuel, as it is highly flammable.

You will also need to properly dispose of or store any of the fuel that you drain.

Lucas Jones