Last year I wrote an article titled “Dealing with E-10 Ethanol Gasoline in a Marine Environment with StarTron” on This Old Boat Blog. For those who have followed my advice, the chances of those being hit with Ethanol Phase Separation have been greatly minimized. To simply recap, most of the fuel on the water today is E-10 fuel, that’s 10% of Ethanol. In a marine environment, with fuel tanks vented to the atmosphere, moisture can get into the fuel via everyday condensation. That little bit of water has a chemical reaction with the Ethanol, attaching the water molecules to the Ethanol. When this happens, the Ethanol separates from the fuel, creating a jelly like substance that floats in the fuel. The fuel loses octane and has a cloudy appearance. The separated Ethanol eventually clogs the fuel filters and damages the carburetors and/or fuel injectors. As the boats start to run rough and stall out, it’s too late…you’re headed for costly repairs.
For about four years, I have been using Startron in my fuel and I have not had any issues related to the fuel. Recently a friend of mine was hit with Phase Separation. In this case, the owner did not use the boat that much, thus the fuel in the tank was more than a month old. He went our for ride, but came back immediately after leaving the dock, as he noticed the boat was not acting her normal self. Sure enough, it was discovered that the fuel has Ethanol Phase Separation. The tank has to be drained and his carb had to be rebuilt. By using StarTron, it’s my opinion that this issue could have been averted.
I have 2 boats, a 17 foot Formula Ski boat and a Bertram 30. I use StarTron on my boats religiously. Unless you use a tank of fuel every 2 weeks, I would strongly recommend the use of Startron and if you have fuel injectors, do mess around and be penny wise and dollar foolish, use Startron.