Filter bowls are either see-thru plastic or metal.
Metal bowls are required in certain certified applications like passenger carrying vessels.
Plastic bowls are used in almost all other cases, particularly recreational boats. The idea behind this being able to see the contents of the bottom of the filter is that you may be able to see if it collecting gunk. However, I have had filters that clogged up and stopped the engine without any sign of gunk in the bottom of the bowl.
Plastic bowls make it easy to see if water is collecting as there will be definite line between the fuel and the water.
Plastic bowls are vulnerable in a fire. Turbine filters like the
500/900/1000 can have a metal shield fastened to the bottom to divert the
flames, but there is nothing for the spin-on's. Your insurance company may
insist on the metal shield.
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