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Paying for Fuel - A question
Daves714
Posted: Saturday, November 13, 2010 3:25 AM
Joined: 22/10/2010
Posts: 12


On larger Yachts, the fuel bill can easily come to over $50K on a fillup. Is this simply paid for on a credit card? And is it always priced in US Dollars? How long does a refueling like that typically take (15K-20K gallons). What kind of premium does diesel sell for in these distant ports? Is there ever more than one filling station company and do they compete on price? Please explain to a soon to be 1st time owner. Thank you.
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2010 3:17 PM
Not a one line answer. Time to fuel depends on a lot of things. Every place is different, every price is different in each place. You have duty free in some places. Depends on your GPM acceptance or how fast the method of delivery is. If you are using trucks on the quay or direct line from a tank. How big is the hose, how strong is the pump. Do you have to pay in advance. Can you use credit card, will they accept wire transfer, do they need the wire in advance. Are you using a local agent, are you using foreign agent are you not using one at all. Is there room at the dock for you. These are all things your Captain will sort out for you. This is also one area where a dishonest Captain can steal significant amounts of funds from you. My last fill was in Canaries for 100 000 litres. Same fill up somewhere else could have cost almost double. You can price on line, don't know the website off by heart but a quick search will tell you current prices at different international locales. Not always priced in US dollars either.
junior
Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2010 3:52 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Plenty of Bunkering agents around http://www.yachtfuel.com/ordering.asp
Daves714
Posted: Monday, November 15, 2010 3:31 AM
Joined: 22/10/2010
Posts: 12


Thank you for that Gentlemen. And please tell a naive soul how a captain would embezzle funds if its not paid in cash? Would he over pay and get a kickback in cash? Please explain.
junior
Posted: Monday, November 15, 2010 8:33 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Ya...false invoice..a little for you and a little for me. Good suppliers wont play that game. Good managers keep track of machinery hours vs fuel burn and know all the little tricks like fill up in one country..invoice in another.
yachtone
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 5:56 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Please don't always expect your captain to be stealing from you but for best prices and peace of mind always use bunkering agents, Global , yfs etc. (look in classifieds Dockwalk, triton etc.) I have been persistently pursued by bunkering reps but none has ever offered a kickback, I may be naive but I think most of the rip-off stories belong in the past. Trust (both ways) between an owner & captain is essential for a positive yachting experience.

JD
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 6:22 PM
Joined: 14/05/2010
Posts: 6


What a shame you're going into owning a boat with the idea that the crew are out to rip you off. If you really feel this way and are thinking about it enough to post here you should think twice about buying one. If someone has told you this info that skippers steal it is true in some cases but to be honest those people don't last that long in the industry from what I have seen thru 14 years of watching the industry and being a captain in it. My advice; get a expense card for the captain and have an open dialog with him about costs and yearly budgets. Plan on 10% of the cost of your yacht in costs (including salaries) per year unless you base out of some 3rd world country or make the crew anchor off all the time in which case you deserve what you get. Cheap owners always get their dues Dave...you might think you're saving money but in the end no matter what you think you'll lose...hopefully you're not one of those owners/people. It only takes a handful of pennies in a steel hull or expoxy in the oil to ruin your whole day from a pissed off skipper. If you're not rushed ask for quotes from the captain and pay the costs yourself with your credit card but at that point why not go get a skippers ticket and run the boat/yacht yourself. It always amazes me that people will trust a skipper with driving a multi million dollar yacht but have no trust about the money behind it. Last note on this is that if you pay a shitty salary you'll get burned almost everytime in my humble opinion.
junior
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 6:42 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Gee JD...on one hand you say captains are honest nice guys, then on the other you remind this future yacht owner that if he doesn't treat his captain well, play by his captains rules, the captain will sabotage his yacht ? Oh well... So much for intergrity. Oh and to the original poster Daves. If you really do plan on taking a yacht with 30 people around that world, make sure you have a good shoreside, wiseguy, boat savy, management infrastructure and money handling team .
JD
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 6:52 PM
Joined: 14/05/2010
Posts: 6


Not really what I meant but yes it could be taken that way...it has nothing to do with a captains rules or the grease monkeys rules for fixing things for that matter as I've known corrupt engineers as well hence the remark about the pennies in the bilge...regardless of that and in any business you pay for what you get. That really is the bottom line and I think you know that as well as any of us. I'm not saying that it will happen but I do know of chains around props in liquordale and dish soap in the oil in Barca so it does happen for whatever reason... You can't honestly say that this guy isn't already barking up the wrong street even prior to boarding his new toy...sorry for calling it like "I" see it...next time I'll ring you for your opinion first.
Adrian
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 7:07 PM
Joined: 08/08/2009
Posts: 17


JD - I think you have a point regardless of how it sounds but as junior pointed out it does sound like he's in for a ride. I know of skippers that have made money off fuel and I know skippers that didn't but made 10-15% from stores or agents they bought from...hows the owner to know other than either check him out top to bottom with references or do everything himself...with that said though as a captain myself I'd leave the yacht as I would feel not trusted and who wants to work in that enviroment. Lastly and JD has a point with this is that you do pay for what you get...you pay someone low money you're beggin them to look to make money otherways I think...my view only but we're not in this industry for friends. Look up salary guides to see if what you plan or are paying meets with industry "guidelines", other than that I think it's hit and miss...you might have a great skipper who's nicking money only to hire a skipper that's a useless and hard to deal with...
yachtone
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 7:58 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Gentlemen, Dave didn't bring up dishonesty "Anonymous"did.  Dave, most Captains with a good record are honest and want to give you the best they can for the money you provide, just beware the superslick snakeoil salesman type & the old-guard from the Med. countries for whom 10%ing was expected to supplement a low wage. If your Captain pays his (your) bills with a credit card & works through reputable agents & suppliers  you are unlikely to be cheated, just be sure the funds are there when needed. And by the way.good yacht bunker agents pay for everything involved in re-fuelling, port agents, harbor dues etc. and send you an invoice with 30 days to pay, beware big-ship agents quoting slightly lower per gallon prices as they often don't include these costs in their quote.

yachtone
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 9:44 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


PS: DAVE your broker should be able to answer all these questions for you. If he can't ,lookout.

TC
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 10:48 PM
Joined: 16/11/2010
Posts: 1


Daves, My advice to you as a large yacht captain and one that has always acted in the best interests of financial transparency is to take two known agents offer them the opportunity to quote on your fueling based on a per liter or gallon rate. Keep your dockage and any other fees separate so that you can see exactly what is what. Berthing, fuel, and agency fees can vary dramatically from port to port so there is no hard and fixed rule for buying right. Get quotes and if your captain is working in your best interests he may just be able to squeeze a little more once the quotes are in.
heevahova
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:15 PM
Joined: 12/07/2010
Posts: 58


I use an agent 75% of the time, mostly when traveling. When we are in an area for a while or I have existing accounts I can save some purchasing direct. Most times a wire transfer is used to pay for the larger quantities while smaller top ups can be handled on account or credit card. 20,000 gallons is an all day affair, typical transfer rates are 60 gallon per minute, on a good day. Also time for changing truck etc. I've learned that expending too much effort shopping does not pay of in savings. Having your ducks in a row so you won't end up in a bad fuel position is most important. Planing is everything. Argh
yachtone
Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 4:09 AM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


TC, If you get 2 agents to quote you inclusive costs you can arrive at the appointed time & place, re-fuel sign a chit & be on your way with no surprise extras & with the bunkering agent being keen to quote competitively no room for the local agent or harbor admin. to pad the fees. I have had the situation, whilst relieving, of the engineer looking for brownie points and getting a quote several hundred dollars cheaper than the bunkering agent normally used and going direct to the owner for approval, afterwards the owner asked why I had payed $1000 for the ships-agent & harbor dues complaining that they hadn't paid it last time. Of course they had paid it last time but it was factored into the total cost.

junior
Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 7:01 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


And remember...all fuel is not equal. If you decide to bypass the trusted agent and shop around its a good idea to test sample the quality of the fuel before fueling. Cheap Test kits are available. Also the fuel metering on many trucks is prone to error and tampering...be aware. I once took on some fuel and the volume by meter exceeded my tank capacity
rodsteel
Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 3:22 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


junior wrote:
... I once took on some fuel and the volume by meter exceeded my tank capacity


 

I realize space may be limited, but would carrying one of those "certified" five-gallon (or litre equivalent) cans that gas/petrol station service companies use to calibrate meters, make sense?

 

Rod

 


junior
Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 5:01 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


I rely on presicly marked fuel tank dip sticks for my tanks . Remember Im a little boat..I generally take on fuel by the cubic meter from mini tankers . One cubic meter please and an order of fries on the side !! I prefer the cubic meter mini tankers. As you can see from the photo its easy to keep track of volume by simply measuring how many sq meters are in the tank and easy to judge general quality. Not many gas docks in the world, us little guys and virtually every fisherman gets fuel via mintanker. Big boats must have a volume verification method ? http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/8875/mold.jpg
rodsteel
Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 5:29 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


 

Junior,

 

22m is "little"?

 

I have not seen any mini-tankers like that over here - but a visual check and dip-stick makes sense in that situation (do they take credit cards? ).

 

Rod


Capt Kaj
Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2010 1:53 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83


Hi Daves714. Your fuel price can be purchased largely on whether you are Commercial or Private in your yachts registration and then where you are in the world accordingly. It will also depend on the amount of ltrs you bunker and through which company. These are the main variables but are others. The company I have used for quite some years are Yacht Fuel Services ( www.yachtfuel.com ) who at last count, can supply fuel in over 2500 locations world wide. You can set up an account with them and they very professionally organise the bunker and local agent. You might need to organise the port or it can also be done by YFS representatives in the particular area.

 Always ask for a specifications sheet and a fuel sample should be received before you bunker, if you have a qualified Engineer onboard or you know about fuel specs, then things like Sulphur content etc will be easily identifiable for quality. If you use an unknown company who refuse to send you a specs sheet or provide a sample in a fuel sample bottle which has a lead tag seal once filled, then beware of the quality and provider.

Many years ago I had fuel supplied where the supplier was dodgy, the truck was pumping air into the boats fuel line giving a false reading, hence I received alot less than the trucks gauge read at the end. I had an interesting time explaining that 15,000 ltrs just couldn´t fit into a 10,000 ltr tank!

Most trucks and bunkering stations will fill at a pretty fast rate, however BEWARE fastest is not always the best method especially with a new engineer onboard or yourself with a new boat! If you are a Private registered yacht, then you may not have a Spill Kit which Commercially registered yachts have, check out your new boats supplies and kit up accordingly. Better to be safe than sorry, other than the pollution factor, the hassle factor and monetary loss could be significant in an oil spill in port! Never fill to the brim (pressed tank). Check out your boats engines usage, average running RPM and speed so you never run the risk of running out of fuel and keep an eye on good records keeping practices onboard.

Happy boating Daves714.

Capt Kaj


Daves714
Posted: Friday, November 19, 2010 7:08 AM
Joined: 22/10/2010
Posts: 12


That's extremely helpful Gentlemen. Thank you. Seems like the agent is the best way to go. And., when I calculate fuel usage, just staying anchored will cost 3000-4000 gallons a month ! ( Each genset at 3 gal/hour) for a 41 meter yacht has me seriously looking into a motor sailer with extremely alternative energy possibilities. PS - JD - What did I ever say to deserve that diatribe? reread my original post please.
Henning
Posted: Saturday, November 20, 2010 11:27 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


It depends. Sometimes CC, sometimes cash, sometimes it goes through an agent who does a direct wire transfer from the office. Kick backs are probably the  most abused scam for captains and engineers but by no means is it the only. Thing is, if you have crew embezzling, you did a poor job of hiring crew. The relationship with your captain has to be one of complete trust or you have the wrong person.

 
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