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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Problems Boaters Are Having With Ethanol Fuels

Boaters now need to be wary of the fuel they purchase and put into their boats. A lot of fuel now contains a certain percentage of ethanol, which can cause boaters a variety of issues. New Hope Marine of Charlotte NC shares some of the problems boaters are having with ethanol fuels and why they have become such an issue.


There are a number of reasons why ethanol is bad for boaters, the first of which is due to the fact that ethanol absorbs moisture. The result of that is an increased amount of water which steadily accumulates inside a fuel tank. This is a major problem, considering that any sign of water in a gas-powered engine is an issue.


One way to circumvent this problem is to add a fuel separator to your gas line. This will act as a filter which keeps water from making its way into your engine. However, a fuel separator would not be necessary if gas did not contain any traces of ethanol. A lot of gasoline now contains as much as 10% and even 15% ethanol.


When an outboard motor starts to accumulate ethanol, it can lead to a host of different problems. Those problems could lead to expensive repairs and here are some examples of what could go wrong:

  • Clogged fuel filters
  • Broken fuel line
  • Fuel leaks
  • Failed carburetor
  • Broken valves

Part of the reason ethanol does such damage is because it can actually destroy the resin in fiberglass gas tanks. This issue not only calls for a tank replacement, but it can also destroy other components, such as the injectors and carburetors.


Other issues with ethanol fuel is that it will not perform as well out on the open water. Performance problems in outboard and inboard motors could show up in numerous ways, including rough operating and stalling when trying to plane. It could also present difficulties starting and restarting.


Gas stations on the side of the road sell fuel that has some percentage of ethanol, so a good tip for boaters is to fill up at a pump they know is ethanol free. It may cost a little more, but will save on what could be costly repairs in the long run.


When any kind of problem affects your inboard or outboard motor, contact New Hope Marine. Our team of technicians specializes in boat repair and maintenance while also offering new and used boats for sale at affordable prices.