Boaters and various groups speak up!

Last month the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) got quite an earful from many interest groups, including those representing boaters, about the nation’s ethanol mandate.

“We believe in a national renewable fuels policy, but one that is both safe for boaters and sound for the environment,” said Wood, “However, until the current ethanol mandate is removed, there is little room for investment in other renewable fuels that may not have the current negative impact of corn-based ethanol.”  Nicole Payla Wood, BoatUS Government Affairs Program Manager*

Ethanol Warning SignThis little label on a gas pump is the only thing standing between a boater and a dangerous misfueling of gas tanks.

The term “ethanol-blended fuel,” or E15, refers to fuel that contains 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline.

There is a critical safety issue related to the use of higher blends of ethanol in marine engines. Boat owners need to take precautions, check fuel-pump labels carefully to be sure the gas does not contain more than 10 percent ethanol.


Why some say ethanol is bad for boats?

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Boat fuel tanks vent into the atmosphere. The fuel expands and pushes air out during the day, then is sucked back in at night. Water is in the air, it bonds with the ethanol and collects at the bottom of the tank.

  • Gumming up of the fuel lines.
  • Valve and piston failure.
  • Performance issues.
  • Fuel tank corrosion.
  • Marine engine failure.


Ethanol does burn cleaner and the oxygen it contains promotes fuller combustion. But its water attracting qualities may require extra steps in the care and maintenance of marine engines and fuel systems.

Always take precautions and be safe when refueling your boat.

*Source: BoatUS Speaks Up for America’s Boat Owners at EPA Ethanol Hearings, for more information…BoatUS Press Release