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Regular fuel with ethanol or ethanol free fuel?

Old 09-18-2019, 08:45 PM
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Default Regular fuel with ethanol or ethanol free fuel?

Iíve always run regular 87 octane with a stabilizer. Was thinking about switching over to the non-ethanol just because Iím not using it as much as I used to. Whatís everybody doing out there? Never had much of a problem with regular fuel and stabilizer so Iím not sure if itís worth the extra money for ethanol free.

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09-19-2019, 06:58 AM
jobowker
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Lots of user FUD when it comes to this topic.
If I had a choice, and both fuels were comparably priced, I'd go with non-E.
If I had a choice, and non-E was much higher priced, I'd go with ethanol.
Since I live in Massachusetts and we don't have a choice, and haven't for years, I will continue to use ethanol.

Ethanol is in there for emissions and nothing else. No one should pretend in any way that it is a superior fuel.
That said, the ethanol problems in boats are way overblown. I get it, no one ever had an engine problem in a boat prior to ethanol's introduction.

I guess I like to live dangerously.
1) I used to own an I/O, and kept it in a saltwater slip for a decade.
2) For the past 15 years or so I've only used 87 octane ethanol.
3) I don't use stabilizer
4) The gas currently in my boat (September) will sit in there from now until next May.

Amazing that I'm still alive to talk about it.
According to everything I'e read on the internet, I should have been getting fuel tanks pumped out constantly and had huge ethanol-related repairs.
Old 09-18-2019, 09:13 PM
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The argument goes that alcohol is a solvent and so is hard on hoses etc. and that it absorbs water meaning you end up with more water in your fuel supply. In Downeast Maine anyone with a gas engine is pretty adamant about only using ethanol free gas. Up until this year only one of the five nearby fuel docks sold e-free gas and was always crowded. This summer all five were selling it so the demand must be high.

i can see the reason to use e- free and see no reason to use e-gas except for the slightly lower price so I have been using e-free with my 150 Mercury OB although I suppose now I don't have much choice lol.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:18 PM
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100% non ethanol in boat, truck, Harley. I donít care what the price per gallon is...I pay $3.65/gallon and it costs me less than the headaches in fuel related repairs.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:27 PM
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I only use ethanol free fuel and stabilizer in my boat and anything else that may sit awhile. If I were you I would run it til near empty and put fresh non-ethanol fuel with stabilizer in it. You need to run it for a few minutes afterwards to get the fresh fuel and stabilizer running through the system before putting it away. Again, that's just what I would do.
Old 09-18-2019, 10:35 PM
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.

Ethanol is crap. Stay away as much as can.
you get lower power, less mpg
Potential fuel issues
higher combustion temperatures

Ethanol is blended in by injection. It's a virtually uncontrolled process. There's no quality control. A huge problem is that often ethanol content drastically exceeds 10%. Spot sampling at stations has found 20-30 + % ethanol.
without taking a test kit and checking it every time you have no idea what you're actually getting.

tests were done on E85 and mercury outboards.... Which is legal for sale in some parts of the country........ And motors failed rapidly due to the higher combustion temperatures. . Manufacturers caution against using anything but 10% max ethanol for this reason.

But I'll repeat it, you have no way of knowing what ethanol concentration you're actually getting, and it's frequently high enough to drastically shorten your engines life.

What you think you save in cost....you lose in other ways

And use 93 octane gas...not 87.

Last edited by mbb; 09-18-2019 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:37 PM
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Suggest you stick with one or the other . Biggest problems derive from switching , especially from E0 to E10 when the ethanol can separate with the residual water on the bottom of a tank of E10.

You mention the slightly lower cost of E10 gasohol but didn't mention the slightly lower NMPG economy due to the lower energy content of that 10% ethanol.

That said , I haven't had ethanol related fuel problems in my T/I/B boat in the 2800++ running hours since the Massachusetts mandatory switch to E10 about 2003. . And the engine fuel system and combustion chamber stays cleaner due to the ethanol.

( But..... in 2003 my Jeep GC's in-tank fuel pump (w/integral filter) died within a day of my 1st fill of E10 back then. The repair shop had about 10 or more of those pumps they had replaced that week hung on a fence. )
Old 09-18-2019, 11:56 PM
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I run whichever is available. Prefer Non E but will not drive ten miles out of my way for it. Been running E gas for over 20 years and NEVER had an issue yet. However, all my boats were newer with non fiberglass tanks. Almost all the newer engines are designed to run E-10.
If you find and can test a gas station and find they are selling gas with over 10% E-10 you might just want to call the authorities......and your lawyer.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:27 AM
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Non-E since I bought my boat new in April and will continue to buy non-e. I really don't know what the cost is (I think about $4/gallon). I run non-e in my power equipment at home too.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:39 AM
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My opinion, Non E if boat is going to sit for long periods or especially boats with carburetors and is fairly easy to get, But if use the boat regular even thru the winter, use stabil type fuel treatment, and keep fuel tank full so it doesnít sweat or condensation in the tank with temp changes, and if have ethanol rated fuel lines havenít had an issue yet with running E-10......
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:50 AM
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stabilizer doesn't prevent phase separation or water absorption on ethanol gas.
If you are in a high humidity environment - (as most areas adjacent to water) the ethanol formulations will absorb moisture from the air allowed thru the vent. Day to night temp variations will cause the tank to breathe new air in and out and the ethanol will attach to the moisture. If you run your boat a lot and the tank is emptied over a period of days or a few weeks, then this isn't likely to be an issue. However, if the tank lasts for several months or over the winter, the water may build to problem levels. I have a number of neighbors who were penny conscience (bought E10) and dollar foolish (had to have tanks pumped out). I always buy non-ethanol gas - irrespective of my boating plans as weather can often delay planned trips
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mbb View Post
.

Ethanol is crap. Stay away as much as can.
you get lower power, less mpg
Potential fuel issues
higher combustion temperatures

Ethanol is blended in by injection. It's a virtually uncontrolled process. There's no quality control. A huge problem is that often ethanol content drastically exceeds 10%. Spot sampling at stations has found 20-30 + % ethanol.
without taking a test kit and checking it every time you have no idea what you're actually getting.

tests were done on E85 and mercury outboards.... Which is legal for sale in some parts of the country........ And motors failed rapidly due to the higher combustion temperatures. . Manufacturers caution against using anything but 10% max ethanol for this reason.

But I'll repeat it, you have no way of knowing what ethanol concentration you're actually getting, and it's frequently high enough to drastically shorten your engines life.

What you think you save in cost....you lose in other ways

And use 93 octane gas...not 87.
This person is adamant about things that are totally wrong. No one said anything about E-85 (85% alcohol).
Run marine stabil and e10 if you like, just don't switch back and forth.
While it's true we don't know the concentration, I don't know if I buy "ethanol free" that it actually is.
If your boat is newer, it is good to go. If someone has been running non ethanol gas, be prepared for initial problems once you switch over.
I have 10 motors and they all start easily. I use marine stabil in everything, everytime, with E-10. Adds 10 cents per gallon. Use what the manufacturer says to use.
Waay too many people use E-10 now with no issues, to go through a huge hassle. Keep reading and check other threads.
Old 09-19-2019, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaPro48 View Post
This person is adamant about things that are totally wrong. No one said anything about E-85 (85% alcohol).
Run marine stabil and e10 if you like, just don't switch back and forth.
While it's true we don't know the concentration, I don't know if I buy "ethanol free" that it actually is.
If your boat is newer, it is good to go. If someone has been running non ethanol gas, be prepared for initial problems once you switch over.
I have 10 motors and they all start easily. I use marine stabil in everything, everytime, with E-10. Adds 10 cents per gallon. Use what the manufacturer says to use.
Waay too many people use E-10 now with no issues, to go through a huge hassle. Keep reading and check other threads.

Actually.....its E15 that was tested and is disastrous for outboards.... just 15%. You can search for info yourself. Just Google e15 outboards.

https://www.boatingmag.com/e15-gas-is-bad-for-boat-engines/ check out the photos of the difference between e0 and e15 ethanol on the engine parts.....

the fact remains ethanol content often drastically is greater than 10%. But do whatever you want for your engines.

It's not a hassle there is apps and websites with lists of stations that that sell no alcohol fuel. It's really common in areas high in Boats too.

Last edited by mbb; 09-19-2019 at 05:10 AM.
Old 09-19-2019, 05:04 AM
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I have already been using E10 in a 2005 F150 through the summer and plan run it down low this fall and fill it back up with non-e and stabil while it sits through the winter.

So the first half of next year I know itís good fuel not absorbing water. Burn that off in the spring/early summer and start using cheaper E-10 through the summer again while itís used more frequently. Repeat with non-e fill up next fall/winter.

I thought I had a good plan but now I donít know. I donít understand how it is more harmful to switch to non-e for the winter than using E-10 year round. Iím almost convinced to just pay more year round and not use the e-10 at all.

Old 09-19-2019, 05:58 AM
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Some of the guys posting on here may well be outboard mechanics. I would ask someone who works on these engines day in and day out what they suggest. Most I have talked to strongly recommend non E gas with stabilizer.
Old 09-19-2019, 06:26 AM
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The difference between 10% ethanol and 15% ethanol = 50% increase in ethanol. Ethanol will clean your fuel tank but also dilute the oil coating on the cylinder walls.
Old 09-19-2019, 06:26 AM
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This shouldn't even be a topic of discussion. It's pretty simple. The difference in non-E fuel cost is a nit compared to the money you spend on a boat, equipment, trailer, insurance, maintenance, vehicle to tow, ramp fee or storage, house on the water and on and on. How much is 1 less possible problem worth?
Hands down, buy the E Free unless of course you're in NJ where I can only get E.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:33 AM
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ethanol free

pay me now or pay me later, you pic.
Old 09-19-2019, 06:58 AM
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Lots of user FUD when it comes to this topic.
If I had a choice, and both fuels were comparably priced, I'd go with non-E.
If I had a choice, and non-E was much higher priced, I'd go with ethanol.
Since I live in Massachusetts and we don't have a choice, and haven't for years, I will continue to use ethanol.

Ethanol is in there for emissions and nothing else. No one should pretend in any way that it is a superior fuel.
That said, the ethanol problems in boats are way overblown. I get it, no one ever had an engine problem in a boat prior to ethanol's introduction.

I guess I like to live dangerously.
1) I used to own an I/O, and kept it in a saltwater slip for a decade.
2) For the past 15 years or so I've only used 87 octane ethanol.
3) I don't use stabilizer
4) The gas currently in my boat (September) will sit in there from now until next May.

Amazing that I'm still alive to talk about it.
According to everything I'e read on the internet, I should have been getting fuel tanks pumped out constantly and had huge ethanol-related repairs.

Last edited by jobowker; 09-19-2019 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by fowl intent View Post
Some of the guys posting on here may well be outboard mechanics. I would ask someone who works on these engines day in and day out what they suggest. Most I have talked to strongly recommend non E gas with stabilizer.
A few years back, I got rid if my piece of shit Etec and bought a new Yamaha. My neighbor is a Yamaha tech and works for a reputable dealer in town. He told me to do myself a favor and run rec90 instead of ethanol fuel. The heat and humidity in south florida will cause you to get water in the fuel.
Going on 4 years with zero fuel issues.
Old 09-19-2019, 07:04 AM
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Very good points. Iíll go back and read this again next time Iím tempted to save a few bucks on e-gas I might regret.

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