NEWS - BIA Victoria says no to ethanol

NEWS - BIA Victoria says no to ethanol

The Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) has warned Victorian boat owners not to use ethanol fuels in their boats to avoid potentially costly damage to engines and fuel systems.

The warning comes after it was determined by government officials that the shelf life of ethanol fuel can be as little as two to three weeks, said BIAV. It is understood that with many boat owners not using their boats every weekend, the fuel can start separating and cause engine damage once it reaches its expiry date.

BIAV general manger, Robert Coco said his organisation was committed to alerting boat owners of the damage that ethanol fuel could do to boats that were not in regular use.

“Whilst many engines are fine with a 10 per cent ethanol blend, the shelf life of ethanol puts boat motors in danger of damage,” said Coco.

“Boaters should check that the petrol they are using is ethanol free, by looking at the labels at service stations before filling up.

“Ethanol can eat into fibreglass fuel tanks and other parts of the fuel system, which in turn can lead to harmful deposits in the engine,” Coco said.

BIAV said non-ethanol fuel is still readily available in Victoria, although not in NSW, which can be an issue for boaters on the Murray River and other northern waterways. Regular unleaded fuel in NSW had two per cent ethanol, which is set to increase to four per cent by 2010 and six per cent by 2011.

Premium unleaded is the only ethanol-free fuel in NSW, which has prompted many marinas to stock only premium to avoid the risks associated with ethanol, BIAV said.

All pumps in Victoria that dispense ethanol blend petrol should have the percentage of ethanol in the petrol clearly displayed. If not, it can be reported by phoning 1800 803 772.

For more information, phone Robert Coco on (03) 8696 5600 or 0414 492 984.