Ethanol mandates necessitate boater vigilance
Boaters should be mindful when selecting fuel for their boats, especially as the federal Renewable Fuel Standard could increase the risk of consumer misfueling. Even one mistake at the pump can be the source of expensive, warranty-voiding repairs and dangerous engine failure.
Boaters may face a harder time finding ethanol-free fuel this summer, and with E15 (gasoline with 15 percent ethanol) on the rise, the threat of accidental misfueling is growing.
Research shows the costly price of accidentally misfueling a boat with E15 can lead to
- fuel leaks
- damaged valves
- complete engine failure
Even though fuels with more than 10 percent ethanol are illegal to use in marine engines, motorcycles, outdoor power equipment, and cars model year 2000 and older, the federal mandates require increasing amounts of biofuels like corn ethanol be blended into the U.S. fuel supply every year.
An estimated 95 percent of boats are filled at retail gas stations, but a 2016 Harris Poll commissioned by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute found 60 percent of consumers believe any gas sold at retail stations is suitable for all engines and products. Only 36 percent know E15 is harmful to some engines.
For more information on proper marine fueling and fuel-related maintenance, go to boatus.com or nmma.org.