This past winter wasn’t nearly as bad as the winter of 2014-15. But that’s all behind us now. Boating season is around the corner and summer fun on the water is now ahead of us. We’ve done some blogs here on best practices to get your boat ready for use after winter dormancy. It’s just as important to pay attention to the fuel you’re putting into the boat.
Marine fuel treatment is a must these days. This should lead us to consider the question of how to choose a good marine fuel additive, when all you see are a hundred different choices that all claim to be awesome.
Check The Label
The most important thing a marine fuel additive for gasoline can do is stabilize the fuel and prevent phase separation. If it claims to do these, that should mean it has a water controller or water absorber in it – something to turn free water in dissolved water. And it should be a non-alcoholic water controller. Alcohol is the problem with marine gas, and it’s not going to be part of the solution to fix it.
It would be good if the marine gas treatment provided extra detergency to clean the fuel system and keep injectors clean. Clean injectors are the most important link to great boating performance on the water.
Watch Out For Certain Ethanol-Specific Claims
The unfortunate thing is that there’s a lot of consumer confusion in the market because of unscrupulous product claims. We get questions from people asking us if a certain fuel additive will “get rid of the ethanol in the gasoline”. In reality, there’s nothing you can add to the fuel that will make the ethanol go away. Well, apart from adding a whole bunch of water to the fuel to make the ethanol drop out – but that would be kind of stupid and counter-productive to do.
You want to get a marine fuel additive that addresses the problems ethanol causes in the marine environment – water absorption, phase separation, damage to some older fuel system components and fuel tanks. That’s what people really mean when they think about “fixing ethanol”. And that’s what you want in a marine fuel additive.
If the marine fuel additive you’re looking at implies that it will get rid of the ethanol, that’s some snake oil you want to stay away from.