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.

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