Dear Boat Owner,
Over the last couple of seasons, we have seen an escalation in repairs caused by the use of ethanol fuels. Often these are dangerous and costly problems which have included pinholes in the fuel lines allowing fuel to spray over the engine. We have also seen hose interiors dissolve into a tar-like substance, seized fuel pumps, and greatly swollen o-rings and diaphragms. We have, on occasion, seen a caramel-like substance ¼” – ½” thick on the bottom of fuel tanks and carburetor bowls.
At this time the only solution to this problem is to use a RECREATIONAL FUEL, which has no ethanol in it. If you must use ethanol fuel, we can only suggest a water separating filter and the use of an ethanol fuel treatment in every tank to try to reduce these expensive fuel problems. The one fact that we do know is that the freshness of your gasoline is critical. Ethanol attracts water and the longer that you keep the fuel, the more time it has to “pull” water into your tank. This condition of excessive water, ethanol, and gasoline create a reaction called “phase separation”. This water, ethanol, and gas mixture forms a very aggressive substance that can pit aluminum.Unfortunately, most metal components of your engine are aluminum.
We, therefore, highly recommend that you use your fuel up within two weeks! It is in your best interest to store your boat with as little fuel as possible. Try to use up your boat’s fuel supply to bring it down to a minimum level before having it picked up this fall.
We are working aggressively with our engine suppliers on these issues and on revised winterization procedures to minimize the effects of ethanol on stored engines. For further information, we have several handouts on the ethanol problem at our front counter. You may also go to Google or Yahoo on your computer and search for “phase separation in marine engines” or “fuel quality problems in outboards”.
Dockside Marine Inc.