What Every Boater Should Know About Ethanol

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 6,959
    Scott Croft with BoatUS explains what boaters should know about ethanol and what levels of ethanol are safe to use in boat engines.

    Scott Croft: Most boats use gasoline, and these days nearly all the gasoline sold in the US contains ethanol.

    Ethanol and boat engines havent always played well together.

    Hi! I am Scott Croft with Boat Owners Association of the United States, here to share some ethanol dos and donts to keep your boat motor running smoothly, saving you from costly repair bills.

    Now more than ever, boaters need to be aware of whats going into their tank. Well, most of todays recreational boat engines are designed to burn E10, some gas stations now sell E15, and a few even carry E85. Putting gasoline with more than 10% ethanol in your boats tank not only breaks the law but will likely damage your engine and void the warranty. For this reason, be cautious when putting gas in your trailerable boat at the gas station.

    Many boaters feel to toe vehicle first, then simply fill the boat with the same dispensing nozzle. Keep an eye out for this little orange sticker warning about using E15 and always double-check pump labels and fuel selection before filling the boat.

    Boaters also need to be careful when storing E10 in boats for long periods because it can phase-separate, most often condensation from humid air entering through the tanks vent combines with ethanol and creates a corrosive mixture at the bottom of the tank.

    No stabilizer can return phase-separated fuel to its pristine state. You have to drain the tank, a job best left to the pro. Keeping a built-in fuel tank nearly full over the winter decreases the amount of condensation and risk of phase-separation. And never plug-up a fuel system vent, doing so creates an explosion hazard.

    You can always know that fueling at the fuel dock is a safe way to ensure youre putting the right kind of gas in your boats engine, but for those who do so at gas stations, know that ethanol is here to stay, so be aware on how to use it.

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