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Old 07-07-2011, 18:20   #1
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E85 Fuel vs Other Fuel

I read recently that ethanol added fuels are bad for a boat. Is marina fuel different from that of the land gas stations. I have several old trucks and cars that seem to run fine on premium 92 octane or higher rated. My boat has pre-1980's chevrolet 350 engine. I just wonder what could be the potential harm in running the newer fuels. Has anyone else knowledge of this and where does one get non-ethanol rated fuel.
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Old 07-07-2011, 19:24   #2
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Re: E85 Fuel vs.

Marina fuel is the same stuff they sell at the corner gas station. The difference being the stuff in your cars and trucks isn't in the tank long enough to pick up too much water or break down over time. Premium fuel has no ethanol as far as I know but the price difference may make it prohibitively expensive in a boat your size unless you happen to be an Arab prince.
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Old 07-07-2011, 20:04   #3
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Re: E85 Fuel vs.

If by premium you mean higher octance like 92 or 93, then Premium in the US does have ethanol, only ethanol free fuels commonly found in marinas or certain gas stations do not have ethanol, though they cost as much as premium fuel does. E10 ehtanol is 10% ethanol, it is extremly harmful if your boat has a fiberglass fuel tank and will eat through it over time. If it is aluminum or stainless then no problem. The largest issue with ethanol isfuel is that over time it absorbs moisture much faster then non ethanol fuel, and after 60 to 90 days can seperate. The use of stabilizers does help somewhat. May also want to have newer fuel lines etc and a water seperator with a clear bowl and check it monthly. I have mixed and used both e10's and non ethanol for several years in my power boat and have never had an issue other then 12 year old fuel pumps went bad eventually
Yamaha says replace every 2 years so I cant blame fuel. One word of caution, if you use ethanol, use it, dont let it sit for more then 2-3 months.
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Old 07-07-2011, 21:42   #4
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Re: E85 Fuel vs.

We are currently having this discussion at the community marina that I help manage. Everyone is worried about it but no one has had a problem with it. Ethanol has been in all gas for about a year now ( a few small refiners still sell non-ethanol). Our island has lot's of old (60's, 70's, etc) cars and trucks and a bunch of older boats. No problems have been reported to us and most vehicles and boats sit unused from fall until summer.
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Old 07-07-2011, 22:09   #5
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Re: E85 Fuel vs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
If by premium you mean higher octance like 92 or 93, then Premium in the US does have ethanol, only ethanol free fuels commonly found in marinas or certain gas stations do not have ethanol, though they cost as much as premium fuel does. E10 ehtanol is 10% ethanol, it is extremly harmful if your boat has a fiberglass fuel tank and will eat through it over time. If it is aluminum or stainless then no problem. The largest issue with ethanol isfuel is that over time it absorbs moisture much faster then non ethanol fuel, and after 60 to 90 days can seperate. The use of stabilizers does help somewhat. May also want to have newer fuel lines etc and a water seperator with a clear bowl and check it monthly. I have mixed and used both e10's and non ethanol for several years in my power boat and have never had an issue other then 12 year old fuel pumps went bad eventually
Yamaha says replace every 2 years so I cant blame fuel. One word of caution, if you use ethanol, use it, dont let it sit for more then 2-3 months.
So sorry missed the giant E85 in the title, I was thinking of E10, E15. The E 85 fuels and non ethanol or even E10 fuels shouldnt be mixed in most flex fuel vehicles more then a 10 or 15 % dilution ratio. Also E85 increases the oil change interval due to increased acid build up in the motor oil. Other then that not sure what it would do to an outboard. sorry and ignore my other stuff
If a vehicle was not designed to run E85 it can cause serious problems with the fuel delivery. Not sure but I would be concerned and very hesitant to run this in marine application unless the manufactuerer ok'd it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 23:10   #6
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Re: E85 Fuel vs.

Also remember that ethanol contains about 3/5 the amount of energy as iso-octane. This is a serious reduction in fuel efficiency. Sooo if your marina is on a lake this probably isn't a big deal...but most cruisers would probably be quite unhappy with the considerable reduction to their boats range under power.

I would not store E85 during season changes. The real problem starts when your fuel gets mixed with liquid water so condensation could be ugly. A google search seems to suggest that E85 fuels are good in the tank for 60-90 days.
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Old 07-07-2011, 23:11   #7
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Re: E85 Fuel vs.

Here is the link to the article I was referring to. If it should not work the article I am reffering to was in the Northwest Yachting March 2011 issue entitled Northwest Yachting Report Fuel Docks.

http://nwyachting.com/pdf/mar11/article_4.pdf
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Old 07-07-2011, 23:21   #8
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Re: E85 Fuel vs.

Here's a little more interesting reading for ye

BoatUS Club House Messageboards: What you need to know about ethanol
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:27   #9
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Re: E85 Fuel vs.

Thankfully, up here in Canada we don't have to worry about E85. There's only one place in Canada where you can get it, and that's at a government fuel station in Ottawa that is used to fuel the alcohol fueled vehicles.

This is why I laugh like a lunatic every time I see those cars and trucks with the Flex fuel badges. Biggest Con job ever pulled in the name of pollution control. One of my supervisors at work bought a Ford HumungaTruck that was flex fuel. He called me to see if I knew where to get the fuel and after a lot of research I found only that one station in Ottawa. I've been ribbing him about it for a few years now. Buyer Beware.

Also, the oil change interval is decreased, not increased. The time interval or mileage interval is less with alcohol fuel. Not to mention it does damage to seals and hoses. The Brazilians found this out when they started using ethanol to fuel their cars, trucks n buses. Something to be ware of on older engines, I think the new ones take that into account.


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