Good for Cars, Bad for Boats >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Published on April 12, 2022

In a Reuters report, US President Joe Biden will unveil plans to expand the availability of higher biofuels of gasoline in the summer to reduce polluted fuel costs and reduce confidence in foreign energy sources, senior administration officials said.

The measure will allow Americans to buy E15, a gasoline that uses a 15% ethanol mix, from June 1 to September. 15. While E15 is only 10 cents cheaper on average and is less “energy tight”, meaning drivers would have to buy more fuel, it should still help lower spending, officials told reporters on a call previewing the announcement.

What Reuters denies, however, is the danger of E15 on boat engines.

According to BoatU.S., E15 gasoline – fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol – is prohibited by federal law for use in boat engines and voids many engine warranties.

Ethanol in gasoline is a problem for boats due in part to phase separation. When moisture is introduced to a fuel tank on board due to variations in temperature, it binds with the ethanol and settles as sludge in the bottom of the tank. Ethanol is also known to be corrosive to metal fuel tanks and engine components.

Worse, the labeling of E15 at the pump has been confusing in the past, and just because it’s approved for sale does not mean it’s safe. Check your engine specifications before use.

Tags: E15, education

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