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Bake's Marine

Ethanol - Big Issues

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Bake's Marine

I thought I would share this with the crew. I went to a day long seminar yesterday and the topic of treating Ethanol in our fuel has become a major stress in the marine industry.

Treating your fuel with a ethanol fuel stabilizer and servicing your fuel filter (every year + every 100 hours) is important now but will be a priority when E15 is released (which i guess is all ready used in the mid-west)

Some facts about Ethanol

  • Ethanol Alcohol is a solvent, degreaser, cleanser, and antifreeze. Most importantly for the marine environment ethanol is “hygroscopic”; it attracts and absorbs water. Ethanol blended gasoline rapidly absorbs 50 times more water than non-alcohol gas.
  • Currently, the maximum allowable percentage of ethanol blended into regular gasoline is 10%. EPA is currently reviewing proposals to expand the limit to 15% during the middle of 2010 (And it is most likely going through)
  • Due to the properties of ethanol, proper filtration and fuel system maintenance is a priority in the marine environment.

I figured spreading awareness as much as possible will help avoid somebody's bad day on the water (and injury to their pocket book) so make sure to service your fuel filter this spring and keep your fuel treated if it is going to sit in your fuel tank for more than a few days.

Here's to a trouble free summer!

-Paul

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mcbean7

Paul,

Do you recommend using Stabil or is there anything better? If Stabil, regular or marine?

Thanks for the info and heads up.

Oops...didn't see the link in your post. Stabil marine it is. Thanks!

Edited by mcbean7

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Chia

do the service stations have to post on the pump whether their fuel contains ethanol?

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99response

Yes they do, at least over here anyway.

But I think alot of them say, fuel may contain up to 10% ethanol.

-Chris

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JeffS

Just an fyi on the E15 issue. If the EPA does issue the waiver, I am confident it will be a couple of years before it is in tanks at your local station. Currently, the approval on the table is exclusive to engines and emission controls built 2001 and later. So the fuel will likely not be approved for all engines. And the gas stations aren't going to race out and build new islands and bury new tanks...one set for 2001 and newer, one set for 2001 and older. So there are some built in delays that are very, very, very likely. Who knows for sure? Not me. Just thought I'd share this little tidbit.

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Lance B. Johnson

Does anyone else feel like we are getting robbed here? Like adding water to wine, More alcohol= less BTUs, worse fuel economy, less hp. Pure and simple dilution. This is just the effects in your car/tow vehicle. Your boat is all of the above AND then some.

I guess one could argue we are reducing our dependence on fossil fuels but in this case is it worth it?

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hattric73

Does anyone else feel like we are getting robbed here? Like adding water to wine, More alcohol= less BTUs, worse fuel economy, less hp. Pure and simple dilution. This is just the effects in your car/tow vehicle. Your boat is all of the above AND then some.

I guess one could argue we are reducing our dependence on fossil fuels but in this case is it worth it?

This is what we have been saying in the midwest for years...and no it doesn't reduce your dependence on fossil fuels (it takes oil/energy to grow, harvest and process the ethanol)

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WakingMeHappy

Had a topic here awhile back. Here's the link

Paul, do you have any details on how this will effect outboard motors? I have a 1988 Bass Tracker with a Merc 35hp. I have heard 15% will do extensive damage to these older engines.

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Bake's Marine

Paul,

Do you recommend using Stabil or is there anything better? If Stabil, regular or marine?

Thanks for the info and heads up.

Oops...didn't see the link in your post. Stabil marine it is. Thanks!

The blue Sta-bil is what Indmar and Malibu have tested and recommend. I'm sure there are other good brands out there but I'm planning on sticking with the familiar to keep myself out of trouble Innocent.gif

do the service stations have to post on the pump whether their fuel contains ethanol?

They do in Washington state, there is a sticker next to the octane rating.

Just an fyi on the E15 issue. If the EPA does issue the waiver, I am confident it will be a couple of years before it is in tanks at your local station. Currently, the approval on the table is exclusive to engines and emission controls built 2001 and later. So the fuel will likely not be approved for all engines. And the gas stations aren't going to race out and build new islands and bury new tanks...one set for 2001 and newer, one set for 2001 and older. So there are some built in delays that are very, very, very likely. Who knows for sure? Not me. Just thought I'd share this little tidbit.

From what I've learned E15 is all ready in the Midwest and other States because their regulations are not as tough. I agree three will be delays but even at 10% I think people need to change their practices. I keep getting the doom and gloom speech at every service training I've been to in the past year.

Does anyone else feel like we are getting robbed here? Like adding water to wine, More alcohol= less BTUs, worse fuel economy, less hp. Pure and simple dilution. This is just the effects in your car/tow vehicle. Your boat is all of the above AND then some. I guess one could argue we are reducing our dependence on fossil fuels but in this case is it worth it?

That's a interesting way to put it, i agree it feels like we are getting robbed!

Had a topic here awhile back. Here's the link

Paul, do you have any details on how this will effect outboard motors? I have a 1988 Bass Tracker with a Merc 35hp. I have heard 15% will do extensive damage to these older engines.

I have heard that too, fuel treatment and changing out fuel tank lines and fittings (plastic fittings to brass) on your portable tanks will help a lot. If it is a 2 stroke i would image that you might want to richen up your mix since ethanol acts like a degreaser it might affect getting proper lubrication.

-Paul

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Bobby Light

Ethanol another government science experiment gone bad. It's a situation that has more negatives than positives IMO.

Edited by 06vlx

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REW

Ethanol another government science experiment gone bad. It's a situation that has more negatives than positives IMO.

California regulators have stated that the production of ethanol causes more green house gasses than using pure gas alone. We are using more energy to produce the ethanol than we are getting out of it, this will increase our dependence on forign oil not reduce it. If we all switched to diesel we could reduce our consumption by 30% just through the increased BTU within the fuel.

As for boat problems with E10 I was having vapor lock issues last year, until I found a station that sold pure gas. problem went away on its own, go figure!

REW

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MalibuTime

Ethanol another government science experiment gone bad. It's a situation that has more negatives than positives IMO.

:plus1:

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Bake's Marine

Ethanol another government science experiment gone bad. It's a situation that has more negatives than positives IMO.

Well put from a guy that knows his petroleum!

Plus1.gif

Plus1.gif

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Ndawg12

California regulators have stated that the production of ethanol causes more green house gasses than using pure gas alone. We are using more energy to produce the ethanol than we are getting out of it, this will increase our dependence on forign oil not reduce it. If we all switched to diesel we could reduce our consumption by 30% just through the increased BTU within the fuel.

As for boat problems with E10 I was having vapor lock issues last year, until I found a station that sold pure gas. problem went away on its own, go figure!

REW

Sounds kind of like the same issue with hybrid cars and the resources required to build and dispose of the batteries. Just leave it all alone!!

Completely off topic, man, we sure have gotten a lot of snow here this winter :whistle:

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spencer

Thanks for the info Paul. Question for you... I ride behind an 05 VLX. I have found in the last two years that if I drop below a quarter of a tank the engine starts running terribly. Since ethanol is so awesome, do you think I have a layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank that is getting stirred up when I am low? The fuel filter has been changed twice since. Well maybe once, the first time was at Bridge City during a service so who knows.

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WakingMeHappy

Well put from a guy that knows his petroleum!

Are you saying he always has gas? :biggrin:

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dalt1

In my case. 10% ethanol = vapor lock in my 06 Monsoon. I have learned to deal with it but it still sucks. It has been confirmed for me by Indmar tech that 10% ethanol definitely can contribute to vapor lock.

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Bobby Light

Thanks for the info Paul. Question for you... I ride behind an 05 VLX. I have found in the last two years that if I drop below a quarter of a tank the engine starts running terribly. Since ethanol is so awesome, do you think I have a layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank that is getting stirred up when I am low? The fuel filter has been changed twice since. Well maybe once, the first time was at Bridge City during a service so who knows.

Sorry not trying to speak for Paul here but it wouldn't be sludge in respect to the Ethanol, it would most likely be water in your tank. Refined petroleum products float on top of water, so the water would be in the last 1/4 tank as you describe. Try dumping a bunch of HEAT or Stabil in there to remove the water.

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spencer

Sorry not trying to speak for Paul here but it wouldn't be sludge in respect to the Ethanol, it would most likely be water in your tank. Refined petroleum products float on top of water, so the water would be in the last 1/4 tank as you describe. Try dumping a bunch of HEAT or Stabil in there to remove the water.

No problem 06vlx. Yeah I figured there was a nice layer of water in there. I tried the stabil trick but it was still doing it. Not a big deal right, just got to keep that tank full.

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shawndoggy

Ethanol another government science experiment gone bad. It's a situation that has more negatives than positives IMO.

But a boon for the guys who grow corn. Don't think there aren't moneyed interests pushing this.

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Bill_AirJunky

But a boon for the guys who grow corn. Don't think there aren't moneyed interests pushing this.

No doubt about that. But considering that they could make the same fuel using crops like algae or hemp, in places that don't yield food crops, it's stupid. They can make money all the way around if they put their heads together. :crazy:

BTW, I had about 15 gallons of gas in my boat this winter. It sat for about 4 or 5 months, with Stabil in it, and the boat is running fine.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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WakingMeHappy

But a boon for the guys who grow corn. Don't think there aren't moneyed interests pushing this.

Yes, but it will never make sense to me as to why were not allowed to drill for oil but it is OK to burn our food.

:rant::badmood::Frustrated:

Edited by WakingMeHappy

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Bobby Light

Yes, but it will never make sense to me as to why were not allowed to drill for oil but it is OK to burn our food.

:rant::badmood::Frustrated:

Tell me about it, most of our government officials are idiots more concerened with special interests than actually doing what's right for our country.

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Bake's Marine

Thanks for the info Paul. Question for you... I ride behind an 05 VLX. I have found in the last two years that if I drop below a quarter of a tank the engine starts running terribly. Since ethanol is so awesome, do you think I have a layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank that is getting stirred up when I am low? The fuel filter has been changed twice since. Well maybe once, the first time was at Bridge City during a service so who knows.

Spencer,

I would start with changing your fuel filter and pouring it into a clear container to see what you have going on in your fuel tank. That will tell you a lot right there.

Since you have the resources at hand you should check and see what your fuel pressure is at key up, idle and under load 2,000 RPM and see what the variance is. Also i would see what fuel pressure is when you are experiencing the issue.

Ethanol and the moisture can also contribute to corrosion in your anti siphon valve at the fuel inlet and if the ball gets sticky it can create cavitation in your fuel building air in the system making it run like you describe.

Our fuel pumps are great pushers but the moment they need to pull hard they overheat and make the boat run bad.

Should be a easy thing to diagnose.

-Paul

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