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It’s time to be cautious when fueling your boat, car, lawn mower or any engine that requires gasoline. A Federal mandate to remove regulatory barriers to year-round sales of E-15 passed June 1st of this year. This action will impact all consumers, especially boaters. The lifting of restrictions will allow the sale of E-15 at all fuel stations nationwide.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association state, “There are no boats capable of burning E-15 fuel without risking severe damage.” “There are serious, well-documented human safety, environmental and technical concerns with Ethanol blends over 10% in recreational boat fuel tanks.”

Rec 90, which is regular gasoline without ethanol, is more expensive than the E-10 or E-15 fuels. It can be challenging to locate and only select gas stations carry it. Many state harbor facilities offer Rec 90 exclusive along with diesel fuel and do not sell any ethanol blended fuels. Even though it cost more, by using pure gasoline you should not face replacing an engine. An upside of using the Rec 90 in a vehicle or boat, you get better mileage.

Manufacturers of small engines have issued warnings that damage caused by E-15 will void any equipment warranties. The risk of burning out a small engine in a lawn mower, chainsaw, blower, along with a water pump, trolling motor or off-road vehicle, can also be dangerous to the user. You can avoid a possible fire by using the ethanol-free gas in your small engines and perhaps not suffer the loss of the entire piece of equipment.

Beware of promises that an additive, and there are many, will compensate for ethanol use. They cannot guarantee to protect your equipment.

Fuel stations have offered E-10 for several years, and it is considered to be safe at this time. Manufacturers of late model marine engines say they have been able to develop engines that operate using the E-10. Some manufacturers have stated that even a little bit of fuel with 15% ethanol can damage a marine engine and void its warranty.

When you pull in to fuel up, check the fuel rating. Don’t just choose the hose that provides the least expensive fuel. Filling up with it could result in the most costly purchase of gas you ever made.

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8 Responses to Ethanol 15-Filling Up Could Be Costly

  1. James Donovan says:

    Can you run rec 90 in a car that has a catalytic converter? will it cause any issues to run it through a tank every once in a while?
    I run my boat and jet skis exclusively with REC 90 its plentiful in my area of Florida. 4 stations within 1 mile of each other 🙂
    Thanks in advance


    You should have seen the gunk that was in my carburetor. Had to have it rebuilt before starting engine this season. Now since filling the tanks at the end of last season, as is recommended to eliminate condensation, I have 300 gallons of contaminated fuel!

  3. Brad says:

    Ethanol in gasoline is nothing but a farm subsidy.
    1) It costs more to produce ethanol than it is worth – read govt subsidy to the refineries.
    2) The price of corn is more due to the increased (ethanol) demand.
    3) Ethanol is short lived in a tank and can damage marine and other engines, tanks, hoses and fuel systems.
    4) Ethanol laced fuel has less BTU’s than non-ethanol fuel. Better ‘mileage’ with non-ethanol.

  4. Murph says:

    I used that website puregas.org last week. We went to bike week In New Hampshire. It was helpful. That combined with Google maps helped us find ethanol free gas pretty close to where we were. Recommend it . You may have to go a little out of my the way but if you want ethonal free it’s worth it. I try only to use it in my Harley.

  5. Brett Frevert says:

    I find it interesting that every auto company has approved e-15 for their vehicles made after 2001, yet the lawnmowers and boaters can’t figure it out???

  6. James Pyke says:

    Check out an website called pure-gas.org It lists all the gas stations that have ethanol free gas. Our government is always trying to help!! NOT

  7. Don Sixta says:

    I boat up in Maine around the town of Gouldsboro. I also have a boat in Galveston TX. Do you know of or how can I find a list of places that sell 90-Rec?

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