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E-10 In Winter

By badriance - Published October 27, 2008 - Viewed 2242 times

E-10 In Winter: Recommendations on Storing Ethanol-Enhanced Gasoline
By, Seaworthy Editor, Bob Adriance

For better or for worse, a shotgun wedding has been taking place between boat owners and ethanol-enhanced gasoline. Everyone is wearing black. Now, many months into the honeymoon, it seems that at least some of the warnings of matrimonial acrimony may have been premature.

The key word is some. The fiasco with deteriorating fiberglass tanks (Seaworthy January and April 2006) has certainly been painful for owners of many Bertrams, Hatterases, and other, typically high-end, boats. Technical Services has documented over 70 reports of failures, including leaking tanks and wrecked engines, from both coasts and Hawaii. In all cases, tanks had to be replaced.

But what about the widespread reports of clogged filters that boat owners on Long Island Sound experienced when ethanol was introduced there two years ago? Why does there appear to have been fewer complaints of clogged filters when ethanol began arriving last spring at pumps throughout much of the rest of the country?

John McKnight at the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) speculates the answer has to do with preparation: Boat owners in 2006 were better prepared for the arrival of ethanol than boat owners on Long Island Sound were in the spring of 2004. That’s not to say that boat owners in other parts of the country haven’t had plenty of problems this year, but there is now a widespread consensus on how best to cope (see “Making the Transition to Ethanol”).

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