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  With E15, Boaters, Anglers Will Need Extra Vigilance When Filling up at the Gas Station

With the EPA’s recent decision to allow the use of gasoline with up to 15% ethanol (E15) in 2001 and newer model cars and trucks, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) says that trailerboaters will need to remain extra vigilant when filling up their truck and trailered boat at the local gas station. That’s because while E15 could be fine for the tow vehicle, it’s not good – nor authorized by the EPA – for use with boats.   A strong solvent, ethanol has been known to degrade marine fuel systems, damage engines, add safety concerns, and lead to expensive repair bills.

“When filling up at gas stations, boaters are used to pulling up to the pump and filling up the tow vehicle first, and then putting the same fuel nozzle into the boat,” said BoatUS Director of Damage Avoidance Bob Adriance. “If that happens with E15, it could be a big mistake.”

The EPA intends to put a warning on the pump – a small label with the exact wording yet to determined. “This is going to be a lot different from the choices offered to boaters today, where it’s nearly impossible to misfuel gas or diesel engines, or where there are few consequences when choosing 87 octane over a higher 93 octane gasoline, for example,” added Adriance.

All of this means that when E15 starts to appear in gasoline stations, boaters must heed the warning on the pump and shouldn’t even think about using it in a boat.

  • Your warrantee won’t help you: Marine engines are only warranted for use with up to 10% (E10) ethanol.

For more information on ethanol, go to BoatUS.com/seaworthy/ethanol.asp. Or, to ask a question or see a discussion on where to find ethanol-free gas at marinas, go the BoatUS ethanol message board at http://my.BoatUS.com/forum.

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