Boating with Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

As summer quickly approaches, many in the boating community are in the process of transitioning their fuel use to an ethanol-enriched blend. Through the introduction of an informational campaign, boaters can learn how to best optimize performance of their watercraft with E10, a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline.

Manufacturers of all major brands of marine motors approve the use of up to a 10 percent ethanol blend in their equipment without voiding the warranty. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) no longer requires a sticker warning about alcohol fuels to be placed on new boats as there are now far fewer issues with the use of E10.Boat US

“We found that once the transition to E10 is complete and the first few tanks of ethanol-enriched fuel are run through the system, the issues with E10 are manageable,” said Bob Adriance, Technical Advisor with BoatU.S. “We’ve also seen that owners who use their boats frequently and cycle through fuel have less problems than those whose boats are only occasionally used.”

Some suggestions for boat owners include:

Inspect fuel filters frequently since ethanol acts as a solvent and it will loosen particles that commonly settle in fuel tanks over time.

Top off tanks for winter storage to 95 percent full to leave room for expansion.

Check fiberglass fuel tanks since older boats with fiberglass fuel tanks can experience significant difficulties with E10.

More information about using E10 in marine vehicles can be found at and at

EPIC, Ethanol, News