Fuel Question

HamdogHamdog Lee's Ford Marina, Lake Cumberland in KYPosts: 247Member ✭✭
My 342 is on the hard right now being repaired from storm damage. Looks like we will launch a week from tomorrow. I can stop and fuel up before launching but it will have to be Ethanol fuel. The marina has non-ethanol. Is the cost savings worth the one time addition of the ethanol? Never had ethanol in her before. Would you fill up with the highest octane or stick with the mid grade stuff? I am guessing it would save me about $175.00.
"Wetted" Bliss 2005 Rinker 342 - Black Hull - Twin Mercruiser 350 Mags - BIII's
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Comments

  • 212rowboat212rowboat Posts: 2,100Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    if you burn it quickly, quickly being within a month, you're likely just as good with the ethanol as with rec fuel... 

    you'll run a tad warmer.  

    run a bottle of star tron with it... it'll offset much of the corrosive nature of the stuff, which is the issue with boats and ethanol- as well as time... alcohol attracts water, and depending on how long it sits is how much you'll accumulate...  you'll only save about $165 if you follow this advice..  higher octane is always better to control pre-detonation... pre-detonation is a risk but one that's easily mitigated by having a healthy engine and fuel system, and having timing correctly set with good plugs.   


  • MarkBMarkB OntarioPosts: 3,041Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    $175 won't pay for much on a boat. I'd go with the better fuel and still add stabil.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,289Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ethanol fuel....garbage. Never had it in a boat since its introduction. I'm with MB, use non-ethanol with your choice of additive. I use Startron.
  • MarkBMarkB OntarioPosts: 3,041Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    In fact I'm pretty sure I use Startron.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

  • frodo13056frodo13056 Channahon, ILPosts: 208Member ✭✭✭
    It shouldn't be that big a deal if you add marine stabilizer. It's very hard to find ethanol free gas on southern Lake Michigan (and even at gas stations) in Illinois / Indiana so ethanol it is for us. I always add startron stabilizer every time I add fuel to the boat - and (knock on wood) have not had any issues going on 9 seasons. I usually take advantage of the lower pump prices when I move the boat to the harbor on my trailer.
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,289Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    .....must be a strong corn lobby!
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 4,217Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very strong corn lobby. Funny how those small government red states hate the Fed until the money flows their way. lol

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 3,410Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    It is a very strong corn lobby. My father in law farms a few thousand acres of corn/soybeans in East Central Illinois. That is all you see around his area.

    Back to the OP, I can't get ethanol free fuel either in Western PA, I I fill up and add Marine Stabl to my fuel. I put as much in as I have since you can't put too much in. You will burn thru it before you know it.
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA
    Go Steelers!!!
  • randy56randy56 Newburgh INPosts: 2,069Member ✭✭✭✭
    Just filled up boat with ethanol gas because there is not a choice in Southern IN. Went inside the gas station and ask how much ethanol? They had know idea but just said it's in there. The guy said if it was 10% or more it had to be posted on the pump by law,  it was not . It was a Marathon. So I used 93 octaine. Running Rinker's  on corn.
    Boat Name : Knot My Prolem

    2003 - 270
  • NavyCTRCNavyCTRC Pensacola, FLPosts: 303Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2016
    Ethanol has been such a big problem for boats that here in FL, a good number of regular gas stations have been getting it.  If you tow the boat, it might save up to a buck a gallon over the marina.  There are two stations fairly close to me that have ethanol free gas.

    Almost forgot, activecaptain.com is a great source of info for local marina gas prices and such.
  • nhsdnhsd Posts: 157Member ✭✭✭
    I am surprised that western PA (where I live) and West Virginia (where I boat most) both seem to have only ethanol gas. This area was once a major oil producer and is still a fossil fuel (coal and natural gas) area. It has a few farms growing corn, but certainly is not "corn country". I am not sure why the ethanol requirements are so strict, but I burn only ethanol gas in my boat as that is all that is reasonably available on or off the water.

    Dave

    2002 Captiva 212, 5.0 220 hp, Alpha 1, 1.62 gears

    Moon Township, PA - boating in the Ohio River

  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 2,611Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Same on the Potomac.  It has been years since I filled up with non-ethanol fuel.
  • HamdogHamdog Lee's Ford Marina, Lake Cumberland in KYPosts: 247Member ✭✭
    Thanks guys. I believe I will play it safe and just fill up at the Marina with non-ethanol fuel. Still $4.00/gallon.
    "Wetted" Bliss 2005 Rinker 342 - Black Hull - Twin Mercruiser 350 Mags - BIII's
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Cape Coral, FLPosts: 6,392Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Crooks
  • raybo3raybo3 Revere MAPosts: 3,630Moderator mod
    IMO I would avoid the ethanol if you can. I have no choice but to use it. Here is what it does. It will break down and "try" to clean the inside of your fuel tank cause all the cr&p to loosen up and cause problems. It most likely wont be in there to cause water problems but it will definitely cause problems. 
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,289Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    ....and then there's phase separation!
  • randy56randy56 Newburgh INPosts: 2,069Member ✭✭✭✭
    Since we do not have choice, I understand gas treatment is a must. If it stays in the tank for a long time and not used up.
    Boat Name : Knot My Prolem

    2003 - 270
  • JoeStangJoeStang Metro DetroitPosts: 956Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2016
    I try to use ethanol free,  but if it's quality e10 and you use the boat frequently you'll be fine. You will lose about 5-10% mpg, so the savings aren't as much as you think. 

    Ethanol free is about 3.50 up here right now, and the only e10 station I'd go to on the water is 2.69
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganPosts: 4,217Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Lucky I have several places, including my marina that sell ethanol free gas. I suspect there are enough boaters/marinas the refinery in IN makes batches of it. 

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,289Member ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JoeStang, very interesting and correct comment. My uncle used to work for one of the largest oil companies in the world in an executive position in research. That's who turned me on to synthetic oils, good filters and keeping engine/drive/transmissions cool.

    He HATED ethanol fuels. Their company research tests showed 20% loss of vehicular power under load. He used to get red faced when anyone said the word ethanol. He said that crap ruined engines and related equipment and cost more for the consumer because it burned like sh*t.

    Then he'd get going on the "real costs" of corn for fuel growth!

    I guess he passed on his hatred of ethanol to me as I hate that sh*t too!

    Now if we can just get Obama into retirement before his wife mandates E85!

    Sorry....I feel better now! :-)

  • F1100F1100 Lake SimcoePosts: 196Member ✭✭✭
    Hmmm I wonder why a oil company would be against ethanol?

    Your uncle must not have known much about engines, alcohol is a GREAT fuel.  Its just a lot of engines are not designed to utilize its high octane.

    ethanol has a great octane rating of 99, which allows very high compression ratios to be used if the engine is designed to use it. It burns clean and is sustainable.

    Go down to the drag strip and watch some alcohol powered drag cars.

    Brazil seems to have adopted well to using ethanol... we are just behind the times.

    And yes it can pick up more water, however incorrect fuel storage and old school venting are the issues, along with improper fuel line materials and engine materials.

    Dont blame the fuel type, blame the poor engineering. Time to get out of the 1960s

    we should all be thinking of ditching these current designs anyway in favour of battery packs and electric motors anyway. Alcohol is just a stepping stone.
    1993 300 FIESTA VEE TWIN 5.7L ALPHA GEN 2
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,289Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2016

    X

  • HamdogHamdog Lee's Ford Marina, Lake Cumberland in KYPosts: 247Member ✭✭
    Hey Guys

    I found a station close to where the boat is being launched tomorrow that has Ethanol free gasoline. Question is which Octane should I fill up with? I am guessing middle grade 89 at a minimum?

    Thanks.

    "Wetted" Bliss 2005 Rinker 342 - Black Hull - Twin Mercruiser 350 Mags - BIII's
  • AlswaggAlswagg Posts: 2,141Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I use ethanol fuels in everything I own.  Boats, snowmobiles, snow blowers tractors, C3 corvette, everything.  0 fuel related problems.  0. Nada nothing.  
  • randy56randy56 Newburgh INPosts: 2,069Member ✭✭✭✭
    89 is fine
    Boat Name : Knot My Prolem

    2003 - 270
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,289Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think only 91 octane is still  ethanol free. I believe 87 and 89 contain "up to" 10% ethanol.
  • 212rowboat212rowboat Posts: 2,100Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Michael T said:
    I think only 91 octane is still  ethanol free. I believe 87 and 89 contain "up to" 10% ethanol.
    depends on the area, MT... you can get blue fuel here that's 113, all the way down to 87, still alcohol free... 

    Al-

    I've seen ethanol kill small engines... especially small engine with soft lines like weed eaters and leaf blowers.  I rebuilt a 360 a few years ago and put a tunnel ram intake on it... the kit came with a cheap crossover line for the rails, which I didn't anticipate so I used it for a short time... and swapped it no more than two months later for a good-year proper FI line (blue lining)... that thing was almost toast in that short a period.  I did some research on the matter, and pegged it to the ethanol.. Since then, rec fuel is readily available at a lot of places, some within a 1/4 mile of me.. 

    watching the computer fuel trim, STFT's were crossing zero regularly while running rec fuel.. running ethanol (15% here) would run hotter and demand more as witnessed on the lambdas... spark would advance in the low forties on the rec fuel where it wouldn't hardly touch 37 on the ethanol.. 

    At the same time, I pulled a fuel pump from the tank of that truck, and markings were gone- the label eaten... I put a new one in, and pulled it later when I put a larger tank on the truck, and it was eaten alive in less than six months submerged in the ethanol fuel... meanwhile, and after talking about this with a friend who is a offroad fabricator/builder, he used blue fuel exclusively in his rig... he rolled a mudder and while srapping it (same exact model of fuel pump in that tank) it was still pretty much pristine. 

    then there is volume of sales and in ground tanks to concern about... water accumulating... 

    then there is mileage which rec fuel almost (almost) makes up for the difference in cost- I doc'd 3 MPG's better running rec fuel in a 426 Buick and about 1.5 in a 4.0 inline.  

    newer ignitions (fatter spark, timing accounting for it) help... different materials in the fuel system (less reactive to the solvent nature of alcohol) help... sooner or later, either ethanol will go away, or builders will take it into account (if they haven't already)... 
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,289Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Drew, is "blue" fuel farm fuel. You can get that here too but you need identification.
  • AlswaggAlswagg Posts: 2,141Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    When we first started to see ethanol in fuels here we had a few related problems in customers boats.  But, they were all older and all in need of repairs anyway.   Like fuel lines mechanical fuel pumps  filters ect.  All were well over 10 yo  now since those have been upgraded to all fuel system components that are alcohol compliant we have no issues.  My old tractors, replaced fuel lines.  My old Corvete, replaced all rubber fuel components.  Yes all of these are from the 70s they needed replaced any way.  Am I scared to run ethonal fuel in a 700cc 135 hp triple? No, not at all.  Jetted accordingly not a single problem.  Change filters accordingly and appropriate services no issues should develope.  
  • Robs_232Robs_232 Posts: 200Member ✭✭✭
    When I read Al's comments I knew he had just stirred a hornets nest. I still use non ethanol here in the big corn state of Iowa in my boat (now). However, I have never had a fuel related problem in any motorized vehicle or equipment using ethanol (boats, cars, trucks, snowmobiles, ATV's, mowers, etc.). I have even used E-85 in my truck. Biggest difference is fuel mileage, with cheap oil its not worth running.
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