THERE are over 12 million recreational boats in the United States. If you are a boat owner, it can be smooth sailing if you take care of the motor and follow the proper guidance when it comes to fuel.
While many boaters have heard warnings that ethanol cannot be used in boat engines, nothing could be farther from the truth. A 10 percent ethanol mix (E10), which is used in almost all transportation fuel nationwide, can be safely used in marine engines today, including two-stroke engines, four-stroke engines, inboard motors and outboard motors. In fact, a 10 percent ethanol mix has been approved for years by marine engine manufacturers such as Honda, Kawasaki, Mercury Marine, OMC (Johnson/ Evinrude), Pleasurecraft, Tigershark (Artco), Tracker and Yamaha.
Boating experts agree
As Vernon Barfield, former Technical Chairman and Vice President of the National Boat Racing Association, explains, “There is a myth out there that 10 percent ethanol is not good for marine engines, but we have been operating for over 20 years and have not had any issues with it whatsoever…There are absolutely no problems running on 10 percent ethanol.”
What about E15?
Boaters should remember that although E10 is fine for marine engines, E15 is not approved for use in boats. E15 is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency only for use in flex-fuel vehicles and vehicles model year 2001 and newer. If you have any questions or concerns about what fuel to put in your boat, consult your owner’s manual or contact your engine manufacturer.
Boosts octane, enhances engine performance
Ethanol is a high-octane fuel additive that gives your engine a boost on the water and helps achieve optimal engine performance. It also helps reduce emissions and keeps lakes and rivers clean for future boating adventures.
Proper maintenance and care
In addition, there are other ways to keep your engine going strong. For example, you should always check the engine before going out on the water for any water contamination and ensure your engine has a tight-fitting cap. Engines respond poorly to water no matter what type of fuel goes into your tank. Also, keep up with routine maintenance and ensure that the boat is properly stored in winter.
Further facts can be found at www.EthanolRFA.org.
North American Precis Syndicate