Boating Better With Quality Fuel
North American Precis Syndicate
Being wise about how you fuel your boat, says boating expert Don Onken, shown here with Tony Battiato and John Cosker, can help you save energy, money and the environment. (NAPS)
By Don Onken
(NAPSI)—I have spent many years of my life racing boats
professionally and enjoying boats recreationally. My love for being out on
the water has been passed down through my family, and it is truly a way of
life for all of us. As the owner of the American Ethanol Mystic Powerboats
51-foot Catamaran, I am always pushing to get every last ounce of performance
out of the boat. There is a significant amount of highly technical work that
goes into building, preparing, maintaining and driving a record-setting boat
that frequently surpasses 200 mph out on the water in competition.
Ironically, one often overlooked component of boat maintenance and
performance is actually one of the simplest elements—the fuel.
We run our competition boat on a fuel blend that has a high concentration
of ethanol, which is a renewable biofuel made from
plants that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Ethanol has higher octane than
standard gasoline so it helps us gain horsepower and speed in the boat. It
also burns cleaner and cooler, which is a smarter choice for our engines.
And, since ethanol displaces toxic chemicals in gasoline that have been
linked to groundwater contamination, cancer and smog, it’s a choice we
feel good about in protecting the waterways that are such an important part
of our lives.
Gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol is commonly known as E10 or “regular
unleaded” at the gas pump. Ninety-seven percent of the nation’s
gasoline supply contains 10 percent ethanol, so it’s likely that most
boaters are at least familiar with the fuel. What some boaters may not know
is that E10 is safe and approved for use in all marine engines, and has been
warranted for use for nearly two decades. Meanwhile, E15 (made with 15
percent ethanol) is being increasingly offered by leading retailers across
the U.S. because it allows them to offer higher-octane fuel at competitive
prices—up to 10 cents per gallon less than E10. E15 is a great choice
for anyone with a car model year 2001 and newer because it is higher octane
than E10 at less cost, which is a clear benefit. However, E15 is currently
not approved for use in marine engines, which is why fuel pumps are clearly
labeled with the ethanol content of the fuel.
Ethanol certainly has a place within the boating world. It’s an
inexpensive source of octane that also promotes cleaner, more environmentally
friendly boating, something anybody should be able
to get behind. Ethanol-free gasoline is frequently sold near marinas at
significantly higher costs than E10, and boaters should be aware that E10 is
a choice that could save them money at the pump and be perfectly suited for
their boat. Every major marine manufacturer—Kawasaki, Mercury Marine,
OMC, Pleasurecraft, Tigershark,
Tracker, Honda, Yamaha and others—approves 10 percent ethanol blends in
their marine engines.
Getting the Most From Your Boat
Boating is a way of life for many families other than my own. Whether you’re
racing competitively or just taking the family out for a day of fun on the
water, proper care and maintenance for your boat is always of the utmost
importance. And part of that equation is knowing
which fuel meets your price and performance needs. Following the guidelines
of your owner’s manual, paying attention at the gas pump, and knowing
the facts about which ethanol blends will work for you are all keys to
keeping your boat running smoothly and reliably.
For other tips, see www.onkens.net
• Mr. Onken
is the owner of Onken, Incorporated.
“Boaters should know that gasoline blended with
10 percent ethanol, known as E10 or “regular unleaded,” can save
them money at the pump and be perfectly suited for their boat, says boat owner
and fuel expert Don Onken of Onken,
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)