With federal rules allowing an increase in the amount of ethanol additives to gasoline, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Boat US issued a warning to summertime boaters.
The initial move to added ethanol to gasoline stocks was a mix allowing fuel to have 10 percent (E10) ethanol. Recent changes pushed that to a 15 percent (E15) mix in the federal Renewable Fuels Standard.
“Boaters can’t assume that every fuel sold at gas stations will work in marine engines,” BoatUS President Margaret Podlich said. “Boats can only run on 10 percent or less ethanol content (E10) fuel — and we know many boaters prefer to use ethanol-free (E0) when possible.
“Unfortunately, as a result of the federal ethanol fuel mandates, boaters may face a much harder time this summer finding the E0 fuel they want. And with more E15 forced into the fuel supply by the RFS, the threat of accidental misfueling — especially at gas stations with blender pumps — is growing,” she said.
NMMA President Thom Dammrich added, “Our priority is always to keep boaters safe. By increasing the share of fuels in the marketplace that are unsafe for marine engines, the federal government’s RFS is putting boaters at risk.
Research shows the costly price of accidentally misfueling a boat with E15 can include stalling, corrosion, fuel leaks, damaged valves and complete engine failure — each of which could put boaters and their safety in jeopardy. Now more than ever, with E15 on the rise, the threat of misfueling is real.”
BoatUS statistics show an estimated 95 percent of boats are filled at retail gas stations, but the warning also stated a 2016 Harris Poll commissioned by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, “found a startling 60 percent of consumers believe any gas sold at retail stations is suitable for all engines and products. Further, only 36 percent know E15 is harmful to some engines — with just five percent aware that its use in those engines is also illegal.
The NMMA release stated increasing biofuels, including corn ethanol, blended into the U.S. fuel supply every year, “forces higher quantities of fuels such as E15 into the marketplace, often at the expense of E0 ethanol-free fuel, even though fuels with more than 10 percent ethanol are illegal to use in marine engines, motorcycles, outdoor power equipment and cars model year 2000 and older.”
Red snapper season extended
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Wednesday the red snapper season for recreational anglers fishing from private sectors would be extended because of Tropical Storm Colin and the impacts it had on the coast.
The season was set to close at 12:01 a.m. Friday. There’s a two-day extension, and the season will now close at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.