Dealers say ethanol damage increases with droughtPosted on
Some boat dealers in states affected by drought and high temperatures say theyre seeing an increase in boats with ethanol damage.
Were seeing more boats affected by ethanol because the boats are sitting longer, Jeff Seims, at Blue Springs Marine near Kansas City, Mo., told Soundings Trade Only. They might use them once every month or two months, giving alcohol a chance to cause more damage to their boats.
Seims says he and the staff try to persuade customers to use ethanol treatments all summer long, rather than just during winterization, but theyre not always successful.
When the ethanol has done damage, the best case you can hope for is that you can clean out the carburetors and fuel pumps, but this year weve had complete fuel system failures, and you can go from a $400 bill to a couple thousand dollars or more, depending on how big the motor is, Seims said.
Its frustrating because we try to educate the customers, and every boat we sell they have to sign a waiver about alcohol damage, Seims said.
Despite their efforts, many customers arent aware that fuel that is 10 percent ethanol is mandatory in Missouri.
We even had one of our state representatives come in with problems of alcohol damage, and we were able to say, Heres what your laws are doing to customers, Seims said. Of course he said, I didnt vote for that!
Rod Malone, at Sail & Ski, with four locations in Texas, said last week that he took a boat back because of persistent issues because of ethanol.
The customers just dont understand, and pretty soon they just think its a lemon, Malone told Soundings Trade Only. They have no understanding or tolerance for issues theyre having with ethanol. Theyre not sympathetic because they dont have issues with their car. But they dont let their cars sit for three or six weeks.
If youre not using the boats you have a fuel deterioration problem, for sure, and the ethanols shelf life is less, so thats an issue, Malone said.
Read more about how the drought and record heat are affecting boat dealers in the September issue of Soundings Trade Only.