With winter oncoming, it customarily means an end to the boating season. As such it’s important to prepare the boats’ outboard and inboard motors for winter. Most important is managing the potential for engine damage because of the federally-mandated ethanol blend in our nation’s gasoline supply, says BoatUS, the largest recreational boat owner advocacy and service-safety group.
Ethanol in gasoline stored for long periods can damage marine motors, says BoatUS. What happens is what is termed “phase separation” of the fuel that can leave a corrosive water-soaked ethanol mixture at the bottom of the gas tank. Half of the respondents of a recent BoatUS survey, reported that they have had to replace or repair their boat engine or fuel system parts due to suspected ethanol-related damage, which cost an average of $1,000 for repairs.
To prevent ethanol problems over the winter, boats with built-in gas tanks should have fuel stabilizer added and the tank left nearly full, BoatUS recommends. They go on to say, E10 fuel remaining in small portable gas tanks (and not pre-mixed with 2-stroke engine oil) should be poured into your car’s gas tank and used quickly.
So how did ethanol get into our gas? Signed into law in 2005 and expanded in 2007, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires an increasing amount of biofuels such as corn ethanol to be blended into the gasoline supply. However, BoatUS argues that the ethanol mandate has failed to achieve promised consumer and environmental benefits.
In addition to winter storage and engine repair concerns, ethanol blended fuel is actually worse for our air and water, says the organization. According to research from the University of Tennessee, ethanol’s “clean alternative” record is highly questionable. The 2014 federal National Climate Assessment reported that ethanol production can require 220 times more water than gasoline.
Ninety-one percent of those surveyed by BoatUS prefer non-ethanol fuel for their boats. An AMA-commissioned poll found that 78 percent of all voters – not just boat owners – have very serious concerns about E15 use and 70 percent oppose increasing amounts of ethanol blended into our gasoline.
But, the Environmental Protection Agency ignores the public’s concerns and continues to increase the amount of ethanol required to be blended into our nation’s gasoline, BoatUS emphasizes. Even though it’s illegal to use E15 (15 percent ethanol by volume) in marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, lawnmowers and any vehicle made before 2001, E15 can now be found in 24 states. Using E15 in many vehicles on the road today will void the manufacturer’s warranty.
With a recent $100 million USDA grant made available to subsidize the installation of blender pumps at gas stations throughout the country, access to ethanol-free gas may soon be more difficult, leading to even more cases of inadvertent misfueling and engine damage, the boat organization advises. Says Ron Dingman, President and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association who also have a vested interest in this situation, “Thankfully, Congress is considering bipartisan legislation to repeal the ethanol mandate, but the question remains whether our legislators will protect consumers and our environment by eliminating the ethanol mandate.”
REWARD OFFERED IN GUN SHOP ROBBERY
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the organization representing the firearms and ammunition industry, has teamed with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agency in offering a combined reward of $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the violent armed robbery of KS&E Sports shop in Lawrence, Indiana. Three armed suspects assaulted the shop owner with a handgun, held an employee and customer at gunpoint and stole 43 handguns, semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. Yes, 43 easy to conceal handguns.
For those who are advocates of gun control, wake up and realize that this is how bad guys get unregistered guns on the street, many of which are used in shootings and killings. It’s a good chance those stolen firearms are all ready in New York and Philadelphia, and will likely be used to commit crimes. Felons don’t buy guns legally. They steal them or buy them on the black market and on streets of major cities.