PostHeaderIcon Ethanol Free Marinas in Florida

Are you looking for ethanol free marinas in Florida?  Most boat owners know that the ethanol found in most gasoline today can wreak havoc on a marine engine.  In addition to being sure that you are using additives to help combat the effects of ethanol gasoline, you should also try to use gas that is ethanol-free.  Marinas in Florida vary in their offering of ethanol free gas; it’s not always easy to find ethanol free marinas in Florida, but making an effort to do so can reap huge rewards.

MarineFuel.com is a great resource for locating marine fuel docks all around the U.S. and Caribbean.  Its easy to use search tools allow you to not only locate ethanol free marinas in Florida, but also to compare prices of competing marinas.  The site’s other features also provide marina search capabilities and tons of great information about boating and green boating practices.

Another way to try to locate ethanol-free marinas in Florida is to take to the chat boards and open forums of any online boating community of which you may be a member. Community members maintain profiles similar to the likes of social media communities like Facebook.  On the community forum, members are able to post and respond to comments and questions.  Boaters tend to be friendly and helpful people by nature anyway, so someone is sure to help you find the ethanol free marinas near you.

Another great resource is pure-gas.org.  This site provides users a list of ethanol free gas stations across Canada and the U.S.  Search by location for both local gas stations and ethanol free Florida marinas.  This site operates with the assistance of its users, so if you know of a gas station or marina not listed, be sure to share the tip.  It would also be wise to let the gas station or Florida marinas know that you’ve recommended them to the site.  This will help encourage them to keep working to supply ethanol free fuel, which is becoming a more difficult and costly task over time.

PostHeaderIcon Ethanol Free Marinas: The Best Option for Your Marine Engine

Ethanol free marinas have become the Holy Grail for boaters with gasoline powered marine engines.  This is because experienced boaters know that the ethanol that is found in most gasoline – including the fuel at many marinas – can wreak terrible damage on your marine engine over time.

Many boating forums across the web contain threads specific to finding ethanol free marinas.  Searching through many of these discussions, however, you’ll soon realize that ethanol free marinas are becoming more and more difficult to locate.  By using a resource like the Fuel Dock on MarineFuel.com, you’ll be able to make your search for ethanol free marinas a lot easier.

Another point of concern for many boaters is whether or not marina owners can be believed when they say that they are using ethanol free gasoline.  The best way to deal with this situation is to be sure to use the treatments available for marine engines regardless of whether or not you are told the gasoline you are using is ethanol free.

The reality is that almost all gasoline has some trace of ethanol in it due to the use and reuse of the gasoline tanker trucks.  One load may be ethanol free and the next load might not be.  Marine mechanics often tell their customers to test the fuel they are using for their boat.  Test kits are inexpensive and take only a few minutes for results.

Ethanol free marinas seem to be more available in certain parts of the country.  Due to recent changes in fuel laws, being able to find ethanol free marinas could become even more difficult, too.

One thing to consider is that ethanol free marinas may have prices that tend towards the more expensive side because of the difficulty of obtaining ethanol free fuel.  The best thing you can do when you locate ethanol free marinas is to share that information with other boaters.  MarineFuel.com offers a “fuel spotters” program that would allow you to help spread the word.  These marinas need to be sure that business is booming to help them continue to offer ethanol free fuel to their customers.

If you are looking for ethanol free marinas in your area, or planning a long voyage and want to know where the ethanol free marinas are along your route, be sure to check out MarineFuel.com for all your marine fuel inquiries.

PostHeaderIcon Ethanol Fuel E15 and Your Boat Engine

Ethanol E15 Fuel on Boat EnginesEthanol E15 blended fuel has been linked to many boat engine problems – from performance issues to permanent damage. In 2006, the problems became more widespread as increased distribution of ethanol gasoline in the United States made ethanol fuel more available to boaters at the fuel dock. Upcoming U.S. legislation proposing an increase from up to 10% ethanol (E10) to up to 15% ethanol (E15) has caused boaters and the entire marine industry to become concerned about further impact on boat engines.

Why Ethanol Causes Problems for Boat Engines

Derived from corn in the U.S., gasoline containing ethanol is a blend of ethanol and refined alcohol. The result is an ethanol solvent that can cause several different problems to your boat engine if proper precautions are not taken.

Ethanol is hygroscopic, which means it will attract and attach to any water that gets into the fuel and has the ability to absorb 50 times more water than non-ethanol gasoline. Since boat fuel tanks are vented, condensation and moisture is likely to occur in fuel tanks – particularly when the fuel tank is not full. When the solvent reacts with water it can create sludge in the fuel tank that clogs fuel filters, carburetors and other engine parts.

The ethanol damage can be especially troublesome in older boats with fiberglass fuel tanks made with thophthalic resin. The ethanol can react with the resin in these older fuel tanks and create a sludge build up. In some cases, fuel tanks need to be entirely drained to remove sludge filled fuel. Other boat owners have suffered from performance issues, costly repairs or a completely ruined boat engine.

Potential E15 Issues for Boaters

In 2010, the EPA has proposed increasing the percentage of ethanol from up to 10% (known as E10) to up to 15% (known as E15). Despite initial ruling that the sale of E15 gasoline is restricted to only on-road vehicles model year 2007 and newer, there is still potential for E15 fuel to mistakenly get into boats.

According to the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA), “there is significant risk of consumer confusion and misfueling.” Although E15 may not be offered at a fuel dock, millions of smaller boats that may purchase fuel at gasoline stations on land could be at risk. The NMMA is also concerned that E15 will be marketed as a lower cost fuel and boaters may choose fuel based on price without being informed of the potential consequences. Because marine engines have not been tested with E15, the exact implications on boat engines are unknown. However, the impact of E15 is widely expected to be more severe and damaging to both old and new boat engines

Precautions to Protect Your Boat Engine

With proper precaution, many of the boat engine issues caused by ethanol fuel can be mitigated or avoided altogether.

Here are some recommended precautions to deal with ethanol gasoline for E10 or E15:

  • Refuel often. Ethanol fuel should not sit in a gas tank longer than 90 days, therefore it is important to use fuel and refuel as often as possible.
  • Maintain fuel filters. Changing fuel filters regularly will help keep your carburetors clean and stop engine damaging sludge build-up caused by ethanol.
  • Fuel your boat at marinas. Don’t risk fueling your boat with a higher level of ethanol if E15 becomes available at gasoline stations on land. Fueling your boat at a marina will be safer because E15 will not be approved for sale at a marina.
  • Choose fuel wisely. Although some states have regulations requiring E10 for gasoline, there are marinas that offer ethanol-free fuel. Whenever possible, select ethanol-free fuel for your boat.

Sources: National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, Fuel-testers.com, Boating Industry

PostHeaderIcon Fall/Winter 2010 Marine Gas Prices

Marine gas prices are affected by a wide variety of factors.  With the Fall and Winter seasons upon us, you can expect that both marine gas prices for wholesalers and retail will see a slight rise over the coming weeks.  While not every state may be affected by a price rise (some may even see some decreases), it’s important to remember that with the holidays and cold weather increasing the demand for petroleum, it’s inevitable that marine gas prices will be affected as well.

For many folks across the U.S., this time of year may mean an end of boating season as cold temperatures and the threat of ice and snow make boating a less than desirable option.  For these boaters, marine gas prices for Fall and Winter won’t be a point of concern.

For those boaters, however, living in warm weather states where boating is possible year-round, there remains the chance of some marine gas prices rising.  One positive bit of information to hold onto, though, is the knowledge that 2010 overall saw some of the lowest gas price swings in the last five years.  That may mean that if the trend remains the same for the end of 2010, there shouldn’t be any major price rises keeping boat enthusiasts from taking advantage of the beautiful boating weather in places like Florida, southern California, The Gulf Coast and the Caribbean.

According to Gassbuddy.com, last year at this time, regular gasoline averaged $2.64 a gallon.  Though we have seen an increase, currently the national average is $2.88, the increase is not a huge price change from a year ago.  In fact, gas prices have even fallen in some states like Arkansas and Missouri.

Be sure to keep on the watch for marine gas prices reports from reliable resources such as MarineFuel.com.  With the ability to search and compare marine gas prices anywhere in the U.S. and the Caribbean at MarineFuel.com, you’ll be sure to find the lowest prices available in your area whenever you’re ready for a day of fun out on the water.

PostHeaderIcon Choose the Right Boat Gas for Your Marine Engine

Boat gas is fairly similar to automobile gasoline, with a few exceptions.  While it’s not a terrible danger to the performance and durability of your marine engine to use regular auto gas from your local corner store, it benefits your marine engine to use marine boat gas whenever possible.  Plus, choosing the right boat gas for your marine engine helps guarantee optimal performance and engine longevity.

The number one major difference when it comes to the gasoline used by marine engines versus auto engines is the presence and levels of Ethanol.  Ethanol is a common additive in auto gas.  When used in too high of quantities in marine engines, however, the ethanol can ruin the fiberglass, plastic and rubber parts of a marine engine.  Be careful when choosing your boat gas – you should never use a fuel that has more than 10% Ethanol content.

The other common type of fuel used in marine engines is diesel.  The diesel used in boats is fairly similar to that of auto diesel, however, the use of additives helps to ensure that the diesel fuel used in your marine engine helps your boat run at its best.  Generally speaking, larger boats use diesel boat gas because it is the best choice of fuel for prime performance.

The choice of which boat gas to use is also dependent upon the type of engine you have on your vessel.  Polyethylene tanks (also known as plastic tanks) are common and usually require gasoline fuel because diesel often cannot be stored in this type of tank.  Aluminum tanks can be used with both gasoline and diesel fuel, however these tend to be a bit more pricey and also run the risk of corrosion.  Fiberglass offers a sort of middle option, but they aren’t very common and can be affected by the ethanol in gasoline.

The best suggestion for choosing the right boat gas for your boat is to check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s marine fuel recommendation.