The Renewable Fuels Association and the National Boat Racing Association have announced a new partnership to provide all Hydroplane and Runabout racing boats competing in the 2011 NBRA series event races with E10.
RFA Director of Market Development Robert White says the partnership will help them dispel some myths about ethanol and boat engines. For a number of years there have been the misconceptions that ethanol has a compatibility issue with two-stroke engines and marine engines. White says that is completely false and this partnership gives them a chance to educate people about the truth and share their story on a national level.
Nearly every gallon of gasoline sold in the United States today is blended with ethanol, mostly in the E10 formulation, which has been approved by EPA for use in all engine types, including boats. But White says the notion that ethanol hurts boat engines persists.
NBRA President Dan Crummett agrees that proper maintenance is at the heart of caring for any small engine.
"I think any tool that you allow to sit, which a lot of boat owners with small equipment tend to do, at the end of the winter you have to go out and rebuild the carburetor because of varnished gasoline," Crummett said. "And that was years before ethanol became an issue. It's a matter of taking care of your equipment. We race this stuff and I'm not going to do something that hurts my racing motor."
Crummett says the NBRA, which holds six to eight races per year, is happy to showcase how racing boats are able to perform to their best capability using E10 fuel.
White says ethanol pride will be displayed at every race with outreach to additional boat enthusiasts - thanks to help from corn farmers. Although the main sponsorship is from RFA, several state corn growers associations have put in funding for advertising in such publications as Boating Magazine, which reaches 160,000.