Non-Ethanol Boat Fuel – The Facts

non-ethanol boat fuel pump on Lake Gaston at eaton ferry marina

Boat engines are complicated machines with many critical components. Boat owners want to keep their engine in good condition to not only enjoy their boat but also to save money on repairs! One of the most critical ways boat owners can keep their engine running smoothly is to use the right boat fuel. Many people will notice that fuel nowadays is branded as either containing ethanol or non-ethanol. With these options, it can be unclear which fuel boaters should add to their watercraft. Eaton Ferry Marina wants boaters to know which fuel they should be using and offers non-ethanol boat fuel on site. 

What is Ethanol?

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol, is a clear and colorless organic chemical compound. Ethanol is created naturally by fermentation of sugars or by a petrochemical process like ethylene hydration. It is similar to the alcohol found in beers, wines, or liquors. Ethanol is flammable and has a higher octane than gasoline.

Why Is Ethanol Mixed Into Gasoline?

Adding ethanol to gasoline can reduce harmful emissions and air pollution. Since ethanol burns at a higher octane than gasoline, it acts as an oxygenate. Ethanol helps the gasoline burn more completely during combustion, therefore emitting fewer pollutants.

E10 vs E15 Boat Fuel

E10 gasoline contains 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. E15 fuel contains 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. E0 fuel contains no ethanol at all and is 100% gasoline. E10 gasoline is the most common gasoline available in the United States. In fact, 98 percent of the gasoline in the United States contains 10% ethanol.

Why Does The Amount of Ethanol in Boat Fuel Matter?

Many manufacturers recommend no more than 10% ethanol is boat fuel. Ethanol unfortunately attracts and absorbs water. While E10 gasoline can absorb about 10 times as much water and still burn properly, the water can separate from the ethanol fuel. Ethanol and water attract each other and create layers within your gas tank, similar to mixing water and cooking oil.

How Ethanol Fuel Impacts Your Boat

If the gas, ethanol, and water create separate layers of fuel, it can cause damage to your boat. The water-logged fuel layer can choke your engine, or it can create a highly corrosive substance in your fuel tank. This sort of damage can not only end your lake fun early but also cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. Choosing the right fuel for your boat is incredibly important.

Understanding What Fuel To Use In Your Boat

In terms of what kind of fuel to put into your boat, experts say the gasoline should contain no more than 10% ethanol. The less ethanol in the gasoline, the less likelihood moisture or water collects in the fuel. Ideally, boaters on Lake Gaston will want to look for fuel that does not contain any ethanol to keep their engines running smoothly. We recommend checking with your engine manufacturer to ensure you are using the proper fuel for your boat.

Where Do I Find Non-Ethanol Boat Fuel on Lake Gaston?

Eaton Ferry Marina has a non-ethanol fuel dock on Lake Gaston. In addition to ethanol-free boat fuel, we offer a wide range of marina services. From boat sales and service to boat rentals and storage, we are Lake Gaston’s premier full-service marina.