E15 gasoline is coming to a gas station near you and not only will it affect your wallet, it will have a huge impact on your fishing trips and summer boating recreation! Enter the good old government and the EPA who just when we think they can’t get any more intrusive into our lives they open the door for E15 gasoline. A government mandate has been increasing the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply, which damages boat engines and presents real safety concerns. Mandating the increasing use of the ethanol was legislation passed in 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which BoatUS, along with a coalition of groups, is now fighting to repeal according to a recent press release. That’s because the Standard no longer reflects America’s fuel usage, which has been on a decline and is opposite of the legislation’s assumptions made nearly a decade ago, the release states. Up until this past fall, gasoline containing ethanol was limited to 10 percent or E10 for national sale gasoline. Now, with the allowance of E15 the amount of ethanol allowed is 50 percent more than E10. Keep in mind that E10 has devastated the outboard marine industry since it hit the market. Now with the introduction of E15, it’s really going to have a bad impact. Let’s talk about ethanol and what it’s good for. According to outboard engine mechanics, ethanol is a solvent and is used to dissolve hoses, seals, and gaskets. It can even dissolve fiberglass boat fuel tanks. Now let’s talk about the bad. When ethanol is added to gasoline and then added to your boat engine, the ethanol pulls the gunk from off the fuel tank walls and clogs up your fuel lines, fuel injectors and carburetors. This, of course, causes poor engine performance, loss of power, stalling and yes – flashing dollar signs in the eyes of the repair shop you have to take it to. According to a marine retail bulletin, here are a few reasons why ethanol contributes to boat fuel system issues:

  • Ethanol fuel’s usable life span may be less than the normal length of off-season boat storage.
  • Ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it has a strong attraction to moisture.
  • Ethanol produces less energy (BTUs) than an equivalent unit of gasoline.
  • Ethanol increases the amount of water accumulating in fuel tanks.

As the press release states, “No matter what side of the coin you’re on, it’s clear the RFS isn’t working for recreational boat owners.” You can watch a short video from the American Petroleum Institute, one of BoatUS’ partners, that says it best: Let’s hear from you – what are your thoughts on E15? Follow Us: FacebookFoursquareTwitterYouTubeLinkedIn Contact Us