BoatUS surveyed boaters about their use of ethanol-free and ethanol-blended fuels during the peak 2018 boating season. The results identify potential misfuelling issues and will help boaters’ voices be heard on the subject of the federal government’s Renewable Fuel Standard when it’s debated on Capitol Hill.
Only fuels containing up to 10 percent ethanol are permitted for use in boats. Many engine manufacturers will void warranties if fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol is used.
A summary of the survey results:
- Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents said they filled their boats with ethanol-free gasoline last summer. If they had a choice, 83 percent of respondents said they would use non-ethanol gas if it were available. Forty-one percent said the availability of non-ethanol gas has remained the same over the last three years, but most respondents said the fuel became more difficult to find during that time period.
- More than half (53 percent) of respondents said they refuel their boats at roadside gas stations.
- BoatUS said it is concerned with misfuelling because E15 labeling requirements are minimal, with a small orange sticker on pumps at roadside stations. About half (49 percent) of survey respondents said they were unaware that the use of E15 in marine engines is prohibited under federal law. They also didn’t know that using the fuel can void warranties. More than four in five survey respondents (84 percent) didn’t know the color of the E15 warning labels.
- About a third of the respondents (36 percent) said they had been told that repairs to their engines or fuel systems were the result of using ethanol fuel.