NMMA partners on ethanol education campaign

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association is partnering with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute on OPEI’s “Look Before You Pump” ethanol education campaign.

The NMMA is distributing campaign messaging and materials to members and other stakeholders.

Created by OPEI, an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, the campaign helps consumers protect their boat, other non-road vehicles and outdoor power and small engine equipment investments.

Known by its emblematic prominent red warning hand symbol indicating “OK” for 10 percent ethanol and “No” for mid-level ethanol blends (such as E15, E30 and E85), the campaign is spreading nationwide as blended fuels containing more than 10 percent ethanol are made available in the marketplace for flex-fuel automobiles, according to the NMMA newsletter.

Brunswick Boat Group and Mercury Marine are encouraging boaters and dealers to follow the lead of the OPEI and NMMA.

“Most boats are fueled up at gas stations, and many of those stations have not posted the required fuel-use warning labels,” Brunswick Corp. director of product integrity and government affairs Dave Marlow said in a statement.

“If E15 becomes the most common fuel at those pumps, we are concerned about how the consumer will make the right choice and not misfuel their vessel, thereby voiding their engine’s warranty and potentially causing engine failure.”

“Using gasoline with ethanol levels above 10 percent can harm your engine and fuel system components,” Mercury Marine vice president of global category management Marty Bass said. “We will continue to fight against E15 in marine engines and know the OPEI and NMMA will do the same. We need to get this message in the hands of every boater before they fill up because if they don’t know, they could damage their engine. Most of these failures don’t occur at the dock, but rather while you are on the water, which then becomes much more dangerous.”

New campaign materials just for boat owners, manufacturers, dealers and other industry representative have been developed and are available for download.


One comment on “NMMA partners on ethanol education campaign

  1. Gerald Pitts

    It seems that Brunswick Boat Group and Mercury Marine are preparing their letters of warranty denial because a boater chose a gas station that did not display the mandated ‘E’ rating of the fuel and used the ‘poisonous’ level that caused failure of Brunswick components. Let’s make things easy – ethanol is alcohol, which is hygroscopic; it draws water from the air. Boat fuel tanks are vented. Recreational or seasonally used small engine items as well as the larger, non trailered boats that use gasoline are affected; dependent on the owners awareness of the issue, of routine maintenance, fuel additives, fuel filters and in-line water separators. I hope everyone’s efforts are concentrated on finding a Legislator that will frame a Bill to exempt boats (and the league of seasonally used small engine equipment) from using fuel with ethanol. It’s that simple. Personally, I use 100LL found at airports for my small engine items such as lawn mower, snow blower, chain saw, etc. They run just fine. Our marina is conveniently located next to a small airport, so it’s a simple phone call have a fuel truck come over to fuel a vessel in the water with 100LL. Of course, fuel additives such as ‘dry gas’ are (sensibly) routinely used. Don’t try to change the world, just look to exempt those uses and users that are most vunerable to damage, such as boats. The NMMA press release contains comments by Mr. Marlow and Mr. Bass – I hope they are working on a water sep fuel system for their boats. The alcohol burns hotter yet develops less horsepower than gasoline. Make sure the knock sensors and throttle position sensors are working to accommodate the different burn rate and pattern, and lessen your efforts at form letter writing to deny any engine failures. You are Brunswick/Mercury – you’re supposed to be in the business of helping your boaters, not driving them from your products in droves. One properly written and supported Federal Bill will do the trick.

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