Boat US News - Ethanol Misfueling Danger Laid Bare: Gas Pump Photos

BoatUS has long had concerns over potential consumer misfueling with E15. Many recreational boaters refuel their vessels at roadside gas stations where pump-labeling requirements are minimal with just a small E15 orange warning label.

Read this press release online at:

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Love corn, but wish it would stay out of our gas!

I wish corn oil got the federal subsidies ethanol does.  It would be excellent diesel fuel :)

I have a scientist / engineer friend in the emissions control field. He says the ethanol idea is a waste of energy because it takes more to grow the corn and produce the ethanol than what it produces in output. Not to mention the horrible effects on boats, motorcycles with carburetors, and other small engines. I've had to spend hundreds of dollars fixing snowblower, weedwacker, chain saw, home generator, all because of ethanol. You can't buy non-ethanol gas around here except in very small, ridiculously expensive containers.

$20 a gallon for "canned" fuel at Home Depot. 2-cycle and 4-cycle. Worth every penny for the peace of mind of knowing that your equipment will start after sitting for it's off season. If it's something that runs regularly, like a snowblower or lawnmower. Regular gas is fine. but at the end of the season, I'll run it out of gas and then run a tank of this through the motor. I use Star-Tron stabilizer in all my small engines as well. I run all my 2-cycle engines exclusively on the canned fuel. I gave up on pump gas after three years of rebuilding small carburetors.

Hi maybe someone can make me understand the bad effect of ethanol in gas fuel? I have been using roadside gas fuel for 30 year with no problem & 20 year with the same carburetors? I don't have any ties in gas or ethanol companies just have not had any problems. I just want to understand the bad of it??

Roadside since 2006 and no stabilizer  ever used.  Tanks are original  as are the strainers.


The term to remember is "Phase Separation". When E-10, or now E-15 gas sits for 30 days, it separates into its base components. Think of oil and vinegar salad dressing. This is not a problem in our cars because we go through a tank of gas every couple of days. In our small, seasonal gas powered equipment, this fowls the carbs. In our old cars and boats, that sit idle for long periods of time, especially in the off-season, this becomes a problem. We can;t just pull the fuel tanks on our boats and drain the bad gas into a coffee can. Ethanol is a solvent, it damages small rubber and plastic parts in our carbs, not a problem with fuel injection. The Ethanol also has a tendency to dissolve rubber lines. Again, not a problem on our cars that have steel fuel lines and fill pipes. On our boats, we have rubber fill pipes and rubber lines make up part of the fuel delivery system. The Ethanol also ate the fiberglass fuel tanks in marine applications. This cost Bertram owners a small fortune to replace the tanks. The Ethanol "scrubbed" our steel tanks, so 30 or more years worth of residue on the walls of our fuel tanks was sucked through our carburetors. A lot of carbs were rebuilt after it was added to fuel. The Ethanol also attracts water, which is why I add Star-Tron every time I fill up my boat. 

If you can find Valve-Tect fuel, it has additives to mitigate the effects of the Ethanol.  

Nat thanks for the insight. The separation issue is interesting, I will have to look into that. As for damages on rubber & plastic parts I have not really had a problem with that, but gas lines on my "Just 4-2" are metal & carbs have not been replaced or rebuilt since 1999. My gas tanks are steel & check fuel filters when I can & found no bad buildup. About fiberglass I can not say I know the effects. I do use fuel stabilizer for winter storage.

Check the hose between the fuel tank and the deck fill pipe. I put my fingers through the starboard tank fill hose on my Luhrs when I went to remove the tanks. It looked fine from the outside. Checking these has been part of Spring commissioning ever since. If you scroll down to Matt Cowles "Fuel Valve" post, there is a picture of my fuel manifold. You can see the rubber lines that connect it to the steel. I check these as well. 

Good morning Nat, I will check between the fuel tank & the deck fill pipe in the spring. It's under wrap for winter. I did check your fuel manifold, but mine is metal to metal pipes & I do check them to make sure they are tight at joints. Not to change subject but I was made to understand that when using rubber hoses for gas lines it should be double clapped at fittings?


You are correct. Thank you for noticing this deficiency. I will add that to my spring commissioning list.

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