One More Reason Having More Than One Boat Is A Good Thing!


Barn full of Liquid Gold. Texas Tea!

Well, litterelly 10 minutes ago we got internet. Still no power or cell service, so the generator is our life support system and now with Internet, we can keep the streak of not missing a day in 11 years going.
But there is of course a fun Woody Boater connection to it all. Ya see the entire Northern Neck has no power. Which means, no fuel to run the generator. I mean NUTH’n. We had to drive yesterday over an hr to fill up the truck and eat dinner. Which of course is nerve racking, since we were running out of fuel and like some sort of flight, at some point we would not be able to return home.

BTW, normally we are very prepared for Hurricanes. But as you all know this one came fast. And because we are in a remote ish area of Virginia, no one really counts on the get the power on schedule.

The set up

So. How did we keep the generators going? EXTRA BOATS! And a pump. At one point it dawned on me we had close to 60 gallons of fuel sitting and waiting to be used. Ethanol Free Gold. Now the only issue. Dead Drill batteries. Ugh, if it isnt one thing it’s another.

22 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I am rather fond of the “jerk off” siphon tubes. (no batteries needed)

    Wish I had them when I was a kid it sure would have saved me from having to spit out a lot of gas.

  2. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    Matt, how come you don’t have a whole house generator that runs off natural gas or propane? Wouldn’t have to worry about gasoline then.

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      Yea, that will solve ALL your problems. Let me explain. After 15 years of losing power because of the slightest thing, I invested $6000.00 in a big standby 12kv generator.
      Guess what? The generator has not had to kick on once since we bought it 3 years ago! (except each Monday morning for an automatic 10 minute test!)
      Even with several strong storms, seem the power station that feeds us was upgraded, just my luck!
      But I sleep better knowing just what if…

  3. John U
    John U says:

    Come-on Matt you remember how it was done in the “old” days…. suck on the end of the hose and put it in the can when the fuel flows! We all remember the taste of gas!!!

  4. Darthtrader
    Darthtrader says:

    In the old days, we quickly learned the true joy of mentoring.
    “Come on over here-Let me teach you a life skill called siphoning-Suck on this hose- While you are getting that done I will be over here taking care of ______ (fill in the blank) It’s easy -you can do it”

  5. Syd
    Syd says:

    I remember that taste, then I learned to plug the filler opening around the hose and the vent if has one. Then blow into the hose to pressurize the tank then quickly put your hose into the container that your going to fill and let the pressure gas some gas out to start the siphon going.
    The second method that I use is to fill the hose if I have some fuel to poor into it to fill the hose then hold your finger over the one end that will go into the receiving container and then quickly get the other end into the tank, then once that is in put the end with your finger over the opening that your putting the gas into and let it start flowing.
    The third way I have done it is if you can not fill the hose but your hose is long enough, put as much of your hose into the tank with the gas as you can then seal the one end with your finger, then quickly pull the hose out and stick hose into the receiving container taking your finger off just as your sticking it in. The trick is to not pull it out to far. This one sometimes works great and sometimes not so great but I have made it work most times that I have needed it.

  6. Rick
    Rick says:

    My siphon hose has a hand billows built in. All plastic, cheap, uses no electricity and as an added bonus no gasoline mouthwash. Surprised we all didn’t die of some horrible ailment mouth siphoning in our uneducated youth. Then again we survived no seatbelts, solid metal bumpers , no airbags etc..

  7. Matt
    Matt says:

    HA! Yes I know the old school way. Heck that trick was used back in the day to keep me going in highschool. But man oh man that taste is beyond horrible and this little drill set up works. Still no power though. They say now maybe at the begiing of the week. I imagine that most of the linesmen are in Florida, and North Carolina so this crew may be a bit light. Not sure. But I am okay with that since they need the help more than we do!

  8. Rivaguru
    Rivaguru says:

    After hurricane Wilma went across our house and neighborhood, and knocked out power in most of South Florida, I realized that I had several Client’s boats in the shop – each had substantial fresh gasoline onboard. Using our 12v USCG gasoline pump, I was able to assist a good number of neighbors with their gen-sets to keep refrigerators, cell chargers, and fans, etc going. To a person, when I informed my Clients what I had done, they all said that they were happy to pay for the refilling of their boats! Gotta love the Boating Community!

  9. Briant
    Briant says:

    Ha! Matt, I beat cha. You went for a long drive yesterday and didn’t run out of fuel. I went for a long, long boat ride and DID run out of fuel! The photo was taken as I drifted… (the ramp is about 200 ft from where I was, on the right in the photo.) There was no one one the river so stealing some petrol was out of the question. Next time I guess I’ll bring the fuel measuring stick. Positive note – didn’t need to go to the gym…..

  10. Ed S
    Ed S says:

    Matt, get a 12v-to-120v plug-in inverter. That will be enuf power to charge power tool batteries* or run laptops or up to 6 LED table lamps. I have used this setup to light the house during short power outages and to work online from my truck for several days during Hurricane Irene. Most auto cigar liter sockets have a 5 or 6 amp fuse so the plug-in variety’s max is 60-70 watts For more power get an inverter that clamps to the vehicle battery.
    *Siphoning gas with any non-explosion-proof electric motor is inviting disaster. Years ago an acquaintance was “borrowing” some gas with a setup like that and the resulting fire/explosion destroyed the boat and put him in the hospital.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Ed: I was thinking about that just this morning. I am glad someone else mentioned it, because I feel that I am picking on Matt too often for his tool choices. A spark from the brush of that drill at the top of the filler neck could really LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE.

  11. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Just got back from the Smith Mountain Lake Boat show….nice but windy day there…good friends too.
    But saw lots of downed trees on route to and from…plus closed roads and whole stretches with no power and none expected for a while….life in old boat like in the old days!
    John in Va

  12. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Years ago, after a big snowstorm knocked out power all over the region, I was sent on a mission by the wife to get gas for the generator with the instructions: “Don’t come home until you have it!” About three hours and no luck, close to running out of gas in the van, I realized “Tango” was in my garage/shop with 70 gallons in the tanks! Ran the generator for a week and my lawn mower for nearly two years…

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