Boaters advised against E15

While the recently approved E15 blend in conventional petrol will decrease GHGs emitted to the atmosphere, it may increase repair bills for boat owners and those with smaller engines.

It is thought that boaters will fill up their boats with E15 at participating stations despite the fact that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not approve the blend for many types of engines.

As manager of Margate Boulevard, Northfield-based Proffessional Boat Sales at Village Sea Marina Andy Biddle explains: 'The problem is boats can't run anything more that 10% alcohol in those engines.'

Biddle is now taking action to warn boaters off using E15 and, although the marina does not sell fuel, he is creating fliers to inform those who dock at the marina of the potential damage E15 could cause.

October 2010 saw the EPA approve the use of E15 in cars manufactured later than 2007. In January 2011 this was expanded to include cars, SUVs and light trucks built after 2001.

Although boats, small engines, motorbikes and off-road vehicles are excluded from the approval due to the possible damage the higher ethanol blended fuel could have, petrol stations are required to mark E15 pumps with warning signs.

In December last year the National Marine Manufacturers Association challenged the increase with a federal suit.

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