Ethanol fuel caution for boats

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The ethanol saga continues, and now NSW Maritime advises checking your facts before using these fuels. Also there have been developments in a USA court case...

NSW Maritime advises all boat owners to check with a local dealer about the suitability of ethanol mix fuels for their marine petrol engine.

NSW Maritime General Manager Recreational Boating and Regional Services Brett Moore said there was growing concern among boat operators about using ethanol mix fuels in their boats.

A number of risks have been identified including:

• Ethanol can affect some fibreglass fuel tanks because of its potential to act as a solvent;

• Ethanol can affect older fuel lines, seals and gaskets; and

• The fuel can separate into the petrol and ethanol components if condensation forms in the tank or where the fuel is stored for extended periods.

"Use of an inappropriate fuel can result in damage to the engine and boat components that may require repair or replacement," Mr Moore said.

"Fuels with ethanol can attack some fuel-system components, such as tanks and lines if they are not made from acceptable ethanol-acceptable materials.

"The ethanol can soften some fibreglass or rubber components or can leach resins from other materials from rubber components which can foul filters, carburettors or injectors.

"Whilst some boat owners have tried to do the right thing in their quest to reduce their carbon footprint by choosing the greener option, NSW Maritime advises boat owners to check with their engine and boat dealer about the appropriate fuel choice," Mr Moore said.

Also...

Ft. Lauderdale, FL-- Exxon, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, BP and Shell, all defendants in a proposed Florida class action lawsuit, were dealt a huge blow yesterday when a Federal Court in the Southern District of Florida issued an order denying their joint motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by three Florida residents, Erick Kelesceny, John Egizi and Todd Jessup. The Plaintiffs allege that the world’s largest oil companies failed to warn them, as well as all Florida boat owners, that the gasoline they purchase at the pump, which is blended with ethanol, may destroy fiberglass tanks and tends to absorb water and phase separate, which could cause damage to all boats, regardless of whether they have a fiberglass tank.

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