Originally Posted by gotchiguy
Sorry but....using even a 10% ethanol blend in a modern outboard engine will completely wreck it.
I'm not sure this is true. There's a lot of hyperbole out there about ethanol laced gasoline, and very little in the way of hard data on failures. Do a search for ethanol-caused failures in the marine industry and you'll probably be surprised at how much theoretical evidence you come up with, how much supposition exists on failures ("it broke, so it must be ethanol"), and how few can be positively attributed to ethanol. The phase separation thing that scares most people off doesn't seem to be an issue (phase separation occurs when the alcohol absorbs moisture either from water ingress or from the atmosphere; in certain circumstances, it will cause the water and alcohol to drop out of the gasoline.) I have not heard of any more phase separation occuring than I did about water contaminated fuels using straight gasoline (which implis that it's simply water contamination rather than phase separation.) There is a known issue with some 1960's fiberglass fuel tanks that are not alcohol intolerant, and helped fuel the alcohol debate (if you'll excuse the pun), but they were limited to just a few makes: Bertram, Hatteras, and one other, as I recall; due to a specific vinylester resin used in the fiberglass itself.
Brazil has been running E85 for quite a few years, with minor alterations to vehicles and boats. As stated, it's mostly a matter of ensuring that plastic and rubber components are alcohol-compatible. There is a reduction in power using ethanol, as it's a lower energy fuel compared to gasoline (at least that's what I've heard.)
That said, production of ethanol is not exactly cheap. The arguments against include diesel costs for ethanol production at 2 gallons per gallon of yield (this being corn-based ethanol in the US.) Any end user savings tend to be offset by the increase in food prices due to shortage of the base stock (i.e. corn prices went up here since so much was diverted to ethanol production.
In the US people have to drive tens of miles to fill up their boats because finding ethanol free fuel over there has become very difficult.
Yes, but people in the US are terror-stricken and misinformed, in the same manner that you are. E10 has been quietly run in about half the gas stations in California (and probably elsewhere) for about 20 years without anybody noticing or complaining. I'm sure a good deal of this went into marine engines on trailer boats. I use it without a thought and have for the 6 years I've been running this boat (and 5 on the last one) and have yet to experience any fuel related problems.