Last summer, there were rumbles of trouble about using ethanol blends (specifically E10) in marine motors. This year, the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) is trying to get ahead of the trouble curve and has released its "Guidelines for effective performance with a cleaner, greener fuel." EPIC says that all major marine motor makers certify use of E10 and that there are now far fewer issues with the use of E10 on the water.

Bob Adriance, Technical Advisor with BoatU.S., said in a statement that, "We found that once the transition to E10 is complete and the first few tanks of ethanol-enriched fuel are run through the system, the issues with E10 are manageable. We've also seen that owners who use their boats frequently and cycle through fuel have less problems than those whose boats are only occasionally used."

But, if you've got an old boat with a fiberglass fuel tank, don't be in a hurry to use E10 (this might prove difficult because not all E10 fuel is labeled as such). BoatU.S. says that's only one percent of registered boats in Ameirca, but one percent of 13 million is a lot of boats, (130,000, to be exact) so expect to hear those rumbles again this summer.

You can read EPIC's Guidelines after the break.

Related:
[Source: Ethanol Promotion and Information Council]
Navigating the Transition to E10 With Your Boat

Guidelines for effective performance with a cleaner, greener fuel

OMAHA, Neb., May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- As summer quickly approaches, many in the boating community are in the process of transitioning their fuel use to an ethanol-enriched blend. Through the introduction of an informational campaign, boaters can learn how to best optimize performance of their watercraft with E10, a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline.

Manufacturers of all major brands of marine motors approve the use of up to a 10 percent ethanol blend in their equipment without voiding the warranty. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) no longer requires a sticker warning about alcohol fuels to be placed on new boats as there are now far fewer issues with the use of E10. "We found that once the transition to E10 is complete and the first few tanks of ethanol-enriched fuel are run through the system, the issues with E10 are manageable," said Bob Adriance, Technical Advisor with BoatU.S. "We've also seen that owners who use their boats frequently and cycle through fuel have less problems than those whose boats are only occasionally used." Many marine engine experts believe that there are far fewer issues with E10 than in previous years because marinas and boaters have followed specific recommendations regarding the operation and winter storage of their watercraft:

-- Inspect your fuel filter frequently: Since ethanol acts as a solvent, it will loosen particles that commonly settle in fuel tanks over time. Stock your boat with extra filters and place the old filter in a metal container to prevent any spillage on the deck. Know how to replace the filter in case it clogs while you are on the water. Replace the fuel filter regularly when burning the first several tanks of E10.
-- Top off your tank for winter storage: Top off a boat's fuel tank to 95 percent full to leave room for expansion. As with any fuel that sits for a long period of time, it is critical to add a fuel stabilizer. In fact, a stabilizer should be used any time the fuel will sit for over a month.
-- Fiberglass fuel tanks: Owners of older boats with fiberglass fuel tanks can experience significant difficulties with E10. The solvent characteristics of ethanol can remove resins, causing severe engine complications. According to BoatU.S., this represents less than one percent of the 13 million registered boat owners in this country. Newer boats with fiberglass tanks are less likely to have problems, but please consult with your manufacturer prior to using E10 ethanol.

"As consumer demand and availability of ethanol increases, it is important for people to understand that ethanol-enriched fuel can be used in all of today's vehicles, and also with the majority of today's watercraft," says Robert White, director of operations for the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC). "We are helping to educate those in the boating community on the best techniques for a smooth transition to E10."

Ethanol is a renewable fuel, distilled from high-starch crops, primarily corn in the United States. It adds oxygen to gasoline, helping it burn cleaner, thus reducing harmful emissions.

To learn more about your boat and ethanol, please consult your owner's manual. For more information visit http://www.drivingethanol.org/ethanol_in_vehicles/boating.aspx

About EPIC: The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council is a nonprofit organization of ethanol producers and industry leaders who have come together to spread the word about the benefits of ethanol through information and promotional programs. To learn more about the ethanol, visit http://www.drivingethanol.org/

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