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Propwash A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour... good times!

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Old 03-23-2006, 01:29 PM
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Smcdermott Smcdermott is offline
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Gasohol

I understand that RI is going to the new E-10 Gasohol by April 15th (10 % Ethanol blend) and I believe Mass is going the same direction as well. There has been a ton of information out there on this stuff with varying degrees of issues. The general consensus is that the Ethanol acts as a solvent and will do everything from clean out gunk in your lines (and those of the tanker trucks, pumps etc...) to dissolve the adhesives used in making older glass fuel tanks. I spoke with my dealer today and they are urging using a new 10 micron fuel filter and changing it often. In addition you should be keeping an eye on the fuel water separator under the hood of the motor for any signs of debris. Other issues include older boats experiencing degradation of the fuel lines if they are not rated for alcohol blends. I would definitely keep this in mind as you fill up this spring and make sure you are not experiencing any issues before making a long run. I know this made up my mind when considering renewing my Sea Tow membership. I will be happy to PM some links to anyone looking for more info. I am all for more environmentally friendly fuels but don't want to end up 15 miles out with no power. Lets keep each other in the loop if anyone experiences any issues.

Sean
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Old 03-24-2006, 10:55 AM
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Smcdermott Smcdermott is offline
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I read a few more things on this issue and of course the more you read the less you know! I spoke with RI DEM and apparantly there may or may not be Ethanol in our fuel this spring. RI passed a law last year that MTBE be removed from our fuel by July of '07 but at the same time the Feds passed two other bills that will affect what we see at the pump. The first was a bill that no longer required fuel to be oxygenated. The second was a bill that a minimum amount of ethanol had to be added to our gas by the refineries at the national level. So, whether or not we have ethanol will be somewhat up to the individual distributors more so than a state mandate. I'll certainly post if I learn more.

Sean
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Old 03-24-2006, 11:26 AM
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Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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Thanks Sean.
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:22 PM
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Smcdermott Smcdermott is offline
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Learnings continue...

I was hunting around on the web site for Motiva which runs the major distribution center in Providence. Listed on their site were customer service numbers for Shell and Texaco. I figured it couldn't hurt to give the Shell number a call. To my surprise by selecting the right prompts I ended up with one of their chemical engineers on the other end of the line. While I was on the phone he was pulling up spreadsheets with formulations by month for all the New England states. As it turns out we are running MTBE in RI as of February data. He did say the pipeline that heads in our direction was going MTBE free and that he would expect Ethanol to be in our fuel before long. I was very surprised with his candor regarding the issues of the fuel in Marine environments. Water and the solvent properties I have read about he confirmed and even went on to say that they had warned "them" about it. Didn't want to push who "them" was but it was good to hear from the horses mouth if you will that I am not wasting my time learning about this stuff. He said there should be indicators on the pumps indicating the presence of ethanol in the fuel like there is for MTBE and also said to watch your local gas stations as their should be tank cleaning activity right before the switch due to the solvent properties of the ethanol.

Sean
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Old 04-09-2006, 03:29 PM
Rip Ryder Rip Ryder is offline
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BIG PROBLEMS-- BIG MONEY

Scott,

Conn. went through this problem last year. And from what I have heard it was a major problem for boaters. You may not be to bad off where your boat is newer. I would strongly suggest carrying a spare water seperater filter and spare engine fuel filter. You may also think about putting a stainless clam shell over your fuel vent. That is the number one place for water to enter your fuel on the boat. I would also run your tank down a few times during the season, so not to let the tank have old fuel sitting on the bottom creating the gunk. It can be so bad for the older boats that fueling up stirs up the gunk and they don't even get off the fuel dock before all hell breaks loose. I posted something about this on thehulltruth.com and got some replies from the Conn. boaters.

Good luck.

Capt Keith

Edited to remove direct link.
Sean
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Old 04-09-2006, 08:28 PM
phlyphyshr phlyphyshr is offline
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With all due respect, I believe the amount of agitation fuel gets sloshing around in the tank of a boat, would elimiate the problem of sludge and gunk settling in the bottom of the tank. Running the tank low is not a good idea, as most gauges are less than accurate. If you do, make sure your Sea Tow is paid up!

Do keep an eye, however, on your filters. When reformulated fuels were first introduced we saw a lot of problems with fuel line degradation, most of it was caused by MTBE though, so if you survived that,,,,,,,,,,,
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