To help Aussie boaters have a happy holiday season on the water, OEDA
is reminding everyone to avoid using ethanol in their engines.
“Simply put, we believe ethanol and marine engines just don’t go together,” said Lindsay Grenfell, Executive Officer of OEDA – the Outboard Engine Distributors Association.
“OEDA’s members include the world biggest marine engine manufacturers. There’s nothing these companies don’t know about marine engines, and they don’t like ethanol.”
With E10 fuel (10% ethanol) widely available more boaters are using it. The big problem is that ethanol readily absorbs water from the air. Eventually, this will see the ethanol and water permanently separate from the petrol.
“If that layer of concentrated ethanol and water is drawn into the engine’s fuel system, then you can get significant damage,” Lindsay said.
“So ethanol can end up costing you a lot of money, but it’s also a safety issue. You want to be confident your engine is going to get you back to the dock at the end of the day. Why risk it?”
Some boaters like E10 because it is slightly cheaper, some two or three cents a litre, compared to standard unleaded.
However, E10 is about 3% less efficient than unleaded, and would need to be about eight cents a litre cheaper to be cost effective.
“Petrol companies themselves don’t recommend E10 for marine engines, so what does that say?” Lindsay asked.
Many modern marine engines, including those built and sold by OEDA members, have been designed to work with E10 fuel.
“But the point is this – E10 can be used but it’s not recommended,” Lindsay said. “It involves more work, more maintenance and more risk.
So if you want to give yourself the best chance of having a great time on the water this summer – exclude the E10 and use standard unleaded fuel in your boat’s engine.
According to the NSW Maritime Services E10 should not be used in a boat unless:
• the engine manufacturer recommends the engine model is compatible with E10;
• the fuel tank, fuel hoses/fittings and fuel filtration system use ethanol-compatible components;
• the vessel is used frequently, ensuring fuel is not stored for long periods of time;
• the fuel system, including fuel tank, is regularly inspected and serviced to remove water and debris;
• specific procedures are adopted for “off season” fuel management; and
• the vessel will not be operated in conditions where engine failure may result in a serious threat to the safety of the vessel and its occupants.
WHY TAKE THE RISK?
For further comment – Lindsay Grenfell, Executive Officer OEDA