The lowest-cost, cleanest octane boost for boats

FROM THE JULY ISSUE: The U.S. has 12 million recreational boaters, and Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, wants to make sure they know about ethanol’s benefits when fueling up.
By Bob Dinneen | June 21, 2017

It’s summer, when temperatures can soar into triple digits. One of the best ways to cool down is to head out on the water for fishing, skiing or other recreational sports. The U.S. has 12 million recreational boaters and I want to make sure they know about and can take advantage of ethanol’s benefits when fueling up.

All watercraft is compatible with ethanol blends up to 10 percent and every marine engine manufacturer has approved the use of E10 for decades. To highlight ethanol’s benefits and use in marine applications, the Renewable Fuels Association is a co-title sponsor of the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail this year. The tournament runs through early fall, but it already has helped educate boaters and consumers on ethanol’s benefits.

Crappie Masters President Mike Vallentine says his organization has “worked hard over the past few years, dispelling the myths and mistruths regarding E10 fuel in outboard engines. … We aim to educate boaters and all outdoor lovers that ethanol is safe for your boat, safe for the water and fisheries, safe for the environment, safe for the future and the best choice all around, along with supporting America's farmers.” He also notes that every poll taken has shown tournament anglers are using E10 in their boats.

Meanwhile, earlier this summer, RFA launched an ad campaign to further educate consumers on ethanol use in marine engines, with ads in Marina Dock Age, The Hill and Morning Consult. The ads highlight the numerous benefits to using ethanol, including:

• With its 113 octane rating, ethanol is the highest performance fuel on the market.

• Ethanol is the cleanest fuel on the market. It is the best tool available to reduce emissions that can be harmful to marine life. Ethanol also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to gasoline.

• Ethanol is the lowest-cost fuel option available to boaters.

A recent Morning Consult survey also found that three out of four recreational boat owners are comfortable using ethanol in their boats.

But it is important to remember that while E10 is approved for use in all marine engines, higher ethanol blends, such as E15, are not. The U.S. EPA has approved the use of E15 in all 2001 and later model year vehicles, but only for on-road vehicles. Through more than four years of E15 sales, there has not been a single case of E15 misfueling in a marine engine.

So while out enjoying a spin on local waterways, fuel up with 10 percent ethanol, the cleanest, lowest-cost and highest source of octane on the planet.

Author: Bob Dinneen
President and CEO
Renewable Fuels Association