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Most days, we don't go out of our way to stick our foot in it when it comes to politics and government. Instead, we strive to keep our business focused on the fun of fishing and boating. Most of you have great common sense anyway and we know that makes the biggest difference in providing a better future. That being said, it's time to speak up about how congress causes unnecessary boat repair with the ethanol mandate.
You might remember this topic because we have written about it before, but it's time to write again. We have a new congress, a new president, and even some new people at the state and local levels of government who can help make boaters' voices heard.
We could tell you personal stories, anecdotes, and recite a bunch of statistics for you, but we boil it down to two main points.
1. We know ethanol harms boats and causes a need for otherwise unnecessary boat repair.
2. Because of the ethanol mandate, ethanol is not easy to avoid. It is hard to find ethanol-free fuel, so this puts boats at high risk.
For more information, consider the following from our friends at BoatUS:
Gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol has been shown to damage boat engines. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conclusively demonstrated that E15 (15 percent ethanol) damages boat engines.
You could put the wrong fuel in your boat. While gas blends greater than 10 percent ethanol are prohibited for use in recreational boats under federal law, a 2016 Harris Poll found that 64 percent of consumers were not sure or did not pay attention to the type of gas they used. As the RFS forces E15 and higher blends into the market, the chance of misfueling will increase. Pumps dispensing blends greater than 10 percent ethanol are only required to display a small orange warning sticker.
Higher ethanol blends are becoming more common. E15 and higher ethanol blends can now be found in at least 23 states, often at the very same roadside gas station pumps dispensing E10 fuel. Boaters have to be extra vigilant to prevent misfueling.
(Click here to read the full press release from BoatUS)
Worst of all, boaters face big costs when they use ethanol and need boat repair. As BoatUS detailed, "87 percent of readers of a prominent boating industry publication reported engine damage caused by ethanol when E10 was used." That is only the E10 blend. Many fuel stations carry even higher ethanol blends like E15, E20, and even up to E85 percent ethanol. These cause even more damage to boat engines.
The type of damage and severity of the damage can vary. Ethanol can completely ruin an engine, but unreliable boat engines are a big safety concern on their own. Even if you are perfectly careful about your fuel, your boating experience can be adversely affected when other boaters experience engine problems.
Fishing and boating season is coming up fast. Changes to the ethanol mandate would have to be phased in, too, so it is important to act early. Time is of the essence, so let's make the ethanol mandate a thing of the past.
We are uniting with more than 500,000 BoatUS members petitioning the new administration and congress so the ethanol policy gets fixed.
Join us in making boaters' voices heard by clicking the button below!