1. #1
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    Exclamation Hey You Boat People Out There

    This is for the boaters in the crowd. I am not sure if the same additives are put into the fuel here south of the border, but in any case, figured it was worth the posting:

    Boat owners warned about using ethanol

    Canwest News Service Published: Thursday, June 19, 2008

    NANAIMO -- Boat owners should be wary of ethanol-blended gasoline and its potential effect on marine engines, cautions Fred Boese, president of Nanaimo's Blue Peter Marine.

    He says fuel containing ethanol, derived primarily from corn and wheat, may dissolve the fuel lines on older boats, clogging carburetors and other engine parts.

    "Materials have come a long way on the newer boats but most of the boats on the coast are older, and we've been seeing a number of American boats [from states where ethanol fuel blends are already mandated] come in with problems related to their fuel," he said.

    Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008


    Although it looks as though this problem migh already be "here".....
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    I have a friend who drives a tanker truck for a company that has several gas stations in the area. He has been warning me about the ethanol blended fuels for several months now. I sent an email to Mercury Marine asking about the effects on their engines and what precautions to take. As far as the two cycle outboard engines, ethanol shouldn't affect the engines. However, the problems that may be observed deal mostly with the corrosiveness and the ability of ethanol to dissolve varnish and other deposits. Ethanol also absorbs moisture. With older boats, there is a high probability of the ethanol blends dissolving trashy deposits and clogging the fuel filters. It is advisable also to have a filter that absorbs water or install an independent water seperator. Most boats built past 1991 will have very little noticeable affects, except for the water absorbtion issue. Older boats may have problems with fuel lines, hoses and even tanks (fiberglass tanks) that may dissolve. If you have a boat with a 15-year old fuel line, it probably needs to be changed anyway due to normal degredation. Mercury advised me to keep my fuel tank filled during periods of storage to prevent the ethanol blend from absorbing water from the air that would otherwise fill a half filled tank of fuel. The makers of Stabil fuel additives have a marine 2 cycle specific additive for ethanol blends. I would suggest using this if the boat isn't used regularly. Also, change fuel filters more often, before signs of trouble begin to show. It is also advisable to keep extra filters aboard ship in case of problems away from the dock. The same will apply to 4 cycle engines in regards to all of the moisture and solvent problems associated with the fuel. It really sounds bad, but somebody who follows a normal maintenance schedule will probably not be able to tell much difference. Ethanol will actually run cooler, but it also will lower efficiency of the engine compared to petroleum based fuel due to lower btu's.
    If you have any doubts, contact the manufacturer of the engines you run. Most are quick to respond and are glad to have feedback from their customers. Mercury Marine responded in less than a day to my email.

    The ethanol problems that keep coming up over and over remind me of when the first years of R134a refridgerant began to replace R12 in automobiles. Manufacturers were selling retrofit kits in excess of hundreds of dollars. I know of several people who just changed the hose fittings, vacuumed the system, added the right oil, then charged it back up with the 134a.. Cost of around $40. It isn't as cold as the R-12, but the difference is only a few degrees at the dash vents.
    I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

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    Thanks rhv, figured either you, Harve or Doug would answer up with a good run of detail on that. Kinda figured the regular maintenance aspect would be as for any mechanical device. Keep it well maintained and there should be no significant problems. HOPEFULLY
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    I'm here to help.. Or is that confuse?? Either way, I'm here, sometimes. I've run a few fill ups of ethanol blend through my boat and have used the regular stabil additive, but the cost difference in the ethanol blend is little enough that I will probably start buying it. It supposedly has more additives to prevent moisture and the corrosion effects of the alcohol on the fittings and lines. I expected the product to come out, but what suprised me was the timing. As soon as my friend told me they were going 10% ethanol blend at their stations, the Stabil product magically appeared in magazines and at Wal-Mart. Of course, we knew it was coming soon, so I guess they were already working on it. I have noticed a drop in fuel mileage of about 1 mile per gallon in my pickup truck with the ethanol blend. That's not much until you consider I only was getting around 16 mpg on a good day. However, the performance of my truck seems better, maybe due to the cleaning affects of the ethanol.
    I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

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    My boat experience is with honking big marine Diesel engines,though I just go into the engine room,hit the starter button and clamp my hands over my ears as I check oil and water levels before reporting to the pilot that we are ready to go hit it.I don't tear them down for repair.I'm a deckhand who's currently hobbling around with a broken leg due to a 3' fall on deck.
    A few years ago,the Waterways Journal had a big write up about a company ceremoniously de-fuelling all of their boats and replacing the fuel with bio diesel before sending them on their regular Lower Mississippi runs.They waxed prolific about how "XYZ Towing was on the cutting edge of helping the environment,helping biofuel technology to mature and gaining better fuel economy to boot."
    What wasn't mentioned later that month was that each one of those vessels got as far as Baton Rouge where they had to stop,have all of their fuel removed and take on regular Diesel fuel.
    The engineers had had their fill of replacing gunked up fuel filters and running at reduced horsepower.I'm not sure what the problem was but apparently marine Diesels don't like the taste of bio fuel yet.
    I guess just like with gasoline engines some mods have to be made before it'll work properly.I sure hope that no one fills up with either flavor and finds themselves needing power when the fuel lines choke on them.

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    Biodiesel has a tendency to soften hoses and rubber components. It's possible that on older diesel engines, the "plumbing" wasn't exactly up to snuff to handle the bio. Silicone hoses are less likely to be affected, so a cheap line could have been a culprit. Another possibility could be that somebody didn't filter out the glycerin before calling it biodiesel. Biodiesel is a great product, but you have to have everything clean to start with. The tanks on the tow might have had an accumulation of trash from the years that draining and refilling might have loosened up, with the help of the cleaning effect of the biodiesel adding to the problems. I've run B-10 without problems, changing my fuel filters on regular intervals of 12-18,000 miles in the little bitty 12.7 Detroit in my old '96 Freightliner. In fact, I would rather have the B-10 as opposed to the straight petro diesel. It just runs better and gets better mileage with my equipment.
    My new kick to study and try is a Hydrogen cell to supplement the fuel on my pickup truck. The stories I've read about building a cheap electrolisis cell and plumbing a vent line into your manifold for the hydrogen gas seem to be sound science. I could see it having a slight benefit on fuel economy. It would create hydrogen gas from water in the electric cell to be burned in the normal combustion of the petro gas. While I don't believe the claims of 50% fuel economy increase, 5-15% sounds reasonable.
    I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

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    I leaned this years ago,just forgot to add it to my previous post.
    When Rudolf Diesel designed his engines back in the day,he ran them on peanut oil.
    I don't know if you could find enough to run yours without raising eyebrows or getting accused of giving some kid the hives with the exhaust but it would be a nicer smell that some of the sick engines around Memphis.

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    giving some kid the hives with the exhaust .
    Peanut allergy lawsuits would be rampant.

    Lots of metro bus lines actually run grades of biodiesel.

    The resultant smell is that of french fries cooking. MMMMM...

    Didn't Rudolf almost blow himself up? Didn't he start working with coal dust compression ignition engines? Seems like one of his first engines "ran away" out of control, blowing up and nearly killing him... At least that's the story I remember.. It's been a few years since my Junior college days..
    I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhvfd1214 View Post
    My new kick to study and try is a Hydrogen cell to supplement the fuel on my pickup truck. The stories I've read about building a cheap electrolisis cell and plumbing a vent line into your manifold for the hydrogen gas seem to be sound science. I could see it having a slight benefit on fuel economy. It would create hydrogen gas from water in the electric cell to be burned in the normal combustion of the petro gas. While I don't believe the claims of 50% fuel economy increase, 5-15% sounds reasonable.
    Well, after much studying and re-educating myself on chemistry, I have come to the conclusion that the amount of energy required to produce hydrogen from water is greater than the amount of energy produced from the hydrogen created, thereby, if I tried to use this 'technology' on my pickup, I would actually see negative results. So much for that, the last thing I need is reduced fuel economy.. I'm glad that Mythbusters has a fan forum that addresses topics like this..
    I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

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    Smile Well............

    Since my name was mentioned.....................

    Biggest problem is that when a Marine Engine Quits, you have a bit of difficulty walking home............. (Except me, of course. Chiefs walk on Water.) I haven't heard of any problems here in the Mid-Atlantic, Fresh or Salt.

    Doug, Stay safe out there. That slop that is flowing South is too thick to Drink and too thin to Plow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Doug, Stay safe out there. That slop that is flowing South is too thick to Drink and too thin to Plow.
    Ya no kidding, although the buoyancy that it offers....
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Doug, Stay safe out there. That slop that is flowing South is too thick to Drink and too thin to Plow.
    Better believe it.
    However,knowing what gets dumped legally and otherwise into Ol'Man River,I have a strict policy of not falling overboard.As Pres.George H.W. Bush was lampooned as saying"Not gonna do it.Wouldn't be prudent.Not at this juncture." I have intentionally jumped in to test my Mk V vest for flotation but that was years ago ,on a falling river and when the various plants weren't discharging.
    Nowadays,I would commence to walking on the water if I slipped overboard.
    A month and a half ago,I slipped off a covertop on a barge,fell three feet onto the deck and broke the tibial plateau of my left leg.They said I sounded like a little girl screaming over the radio to the pilot telling him that I'd been hurt.Though on the barge centerline,I was still clinging to the coaming(look at your p/u truckbed for an example)for dear life when help arrived.
    I was originally scheduled to be able to put weight on it in August but my therapist tells me that in two weeks,the Doc will be starting me on weight bearing therapy.
    I could be back on deck cussing pilots and other Mates by summer's end.
    Last edited by doughesson; 06-26-2008 at 01:06 PM.

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    Talking Yeah.............

    Understand the coaming. There's a lot of hazards on deck like Hatch Covers on a Frosty Morning, Tripping over Face Wires, Slippery Goo on the Push Knees...... Makes me want a nice safe job like Firefighting...........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    I have an Evinrude E-Tech and the fuel requirement is pretty specific. E-85 blended fuels will not work. I have a call into BRP to inquire about the warranty but I have a good feeling what the response will be (do not use it). The biggest rpoblem I have is filling a 40 gallon tank for weekend excursions in the boat and filling up the truck to haul the boat back and forth. A single weekend trip will run me about $300 in fuel alone. I was out on the water a couple of weeks ago and witnessed a boat go up in flames after the fuel line let go. Minor injuries but the boat burned down to the water line!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    (Except me, of course. Chiefs walk on Water.)
    Just because God gave you fire and Moses is your brother doesn't mean you get to show off to the rest of us with your water tricks....
    Jason Knecht
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    Just because God gave you fire and Moses is your brother doesn't mean you get to show off to the rest of us with your water tricks....
    Dont worry Dickey, its just Methuselah showing off again. heheheheee
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty42 View Post
    I have an Evinrude E-Tech and the fuel requirement is pretty specific. E-85 blended fuels will not work.

    Maybe I should have been more specific.. Mercury has approved the use of E-10 Blended gas, but not the E-85. We don't have any stations around here that I know of selling E-85, but the E-10 blend is a government mandate, and already at the pumps. It runs great in my 96 Chevy pickup. On a side note, I've been told that 87 octane and 89 octane are pretty much the same thing with the blended fuel. Save your money, and get low grade price.

    A recent article I've read said that Oregon has included an exemption for Marinas to sell the unblended, petro gas. The point was made that it could be dangerous for a boat crossing the Columbia River Bar. IF the engine stalled on water in the fuel,(due to alcohol absorbtion) it could lead to disaster against the Rocks. The article didn't say how the supply would be met. Most refineries will not sell unblended fuels due to the Government mandate. Airplane fuels also have exemptions from the mandates.
    I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

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    Most piston engined a/c require a minimum of 100 octane fuel as well. And Carbouretor icing is not a fun thing to experience at any time. Very bad for the o'le ticker.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhvfd1214 View Post
    Maybe I should have been more specific.. Mercury has approved the use of E-10 Blended gas, but not the E-85. Most refineries will not sell unblended fuels due to the Government mandate. Airplane fuels also have exemptions from the mandates.


    Well, There's the solution.......... Fuel your boat at the Airport.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Well, There's the solution.......... Fuel your boat at the Airport.
    There is nothing like the smell of 100 octane, low lead, (blue lemonade colored) airplane gas burning in a V-8 engine. SWEET... But, I wouldn't know anything about that.. I'm not sure how it would do in a 2 cycle marine engine...
    I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

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