YOU ASKED for LESS ETHANOL With Your Gas; EPA ADDS MORE

Ethanol has been demonstrated to cause harm to marine engines.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., December 4, 2017 – This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked the public how much ethanol it wanted to be added to the nation’s gasoline supply and recreational boaters, as well as many other owners of gasoline engines and vehicles, spoke up against increasing ethanol volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). On Friday, EPA set the 2018 RFS at 19.29 billion gallons, a 0.05 percent increase over the 2017 standard. Signed into law in 2005, the RFS requires an increasing amount of biofuels, such as corn ethanol, to be blended into the gasoline supply.

“In August, EPA originally proposed a slight lowering of the overall ethanol mandate. However, bowing to pressure from the ethanol backers, the agency actually notched the mandate higher,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy. “We think the EPA’s decision unfairly supports the ethanol industry over-protecting consumers, recreational boaters, and the environment. If ethanol is as good for America’s fuel supply as Big Ethanol would like you to believe, then why do we have a law that forces more ethanol each year into the market? The RFS no longer works for Americans.”

When it was written, RFS assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to grow. Since 2005, however, gasoline usage has not increased as forecasted, which today forces more ethanol into each gallon of gas. To keep up with the RFS mandate, in 2010, EPA granted a waiver to allow E15 (15 percent ethanol) into the marketplace. However, only fuels containing up to 10 percent ethanol (E10) are permitted for use in recreational boats. As higher blends enter the gas supply, the chance of misfueling increases.

“Ethanol has been demonstrated to cause harm to many gasoline engines at the present 10 percent ethanol level, especially legacy outboard motors, decreases fuel efficiency, increases fuel costs for consumers, and has questionable environmental benefits,” added Kennedy. “BoatUS will continue to fight on behalf of America’s recreational boaters to fix the RFS.”

Go to BoatUS.com/gov/rfs for more information on the Renewable Fuel Standard. BoatUS is a member of the Smarter Fuel Future coalition.

VIDEOS: BoatUS – FIX, LEARN & DO Summer Boating How-to ‘Film Festival’ Kicks-off

  • 15 new VIDEO SHORTS by BoatUS Editors on How-To FIX, LEARN & DO Practical Boating Projects
BoatUS’ How-to videos are easy to watch.

NOT HOLLYWOOD, Calif., August 7, 2017 – What are the most common boating tasks when boat owners need to ask for help? Editors at BoatUS Magazine, the trusted voice of American boating, compiled a list of the top topics and announced the kickoff of a “BoatUS Summer How-to Film Festival” today with the release of 15 short, easily-watchable videos.

“We’re calling the video release a summer ‘film festival’ because all are themed with a “how-to” focus, are organized in one simple place to view, and are easy to watch outdoors,” added BoatUS Magazine associate editor Charles Fort.

Mark Corke, BoatUS Magazine associate editor, shared thoughts about the videos:  “The topics chosen come from decades of BoatUS member requests.  These are the practical things that most trailer-boat owners want to know.”

Titles range from launching your boat solo and changing a prop to backing a boat trailer down the ramp, changing a bilge-pump switch, and troubleshooting trailer lights.  Most are just two or three minutes long.  Breakout the popcorn and check out the videos at YouTube.com/BoatUS.

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):  Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.

6 Tips to Prevent Tragedy or Death at a Boat Slip – From BoatUS

  • Never Swim Near Boat Docks that have Electrical Power.
  • Freshwater Docks are More Dangerous than Saltwater Docks.
  • Someone in Trouble? Shut Down Power to Dock First.
  • Follow this Rule: “Reach, Throw, Row, but DON’T GO.”
Swimming near boat docks with electrical power can be deadly. Read what you need to know. Forrest Fisher Photo

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The fatalities over the weekend of an 11-year-old girl in New Jersey and 19-year-old young man in Ohio are bringing scrutiny to an age-old summer ritual that’s common on waterfronts across America: swimming near boat docks.  Initial reports say the youngster died when touching a dock’s electrified boatlift, and the Ohio teen died as a result of dangerous electrical current in the water while trying to save his father and family dog that also appeared to be stricken by the electrical current.

The BoatUS Foundation, the boating-safety arm of the nations’ largest recreational boat owners group, has some tips to prevent an electrocution tragedy.  While swimming deaths due to electricity fall into two categories, electrocution and electric shock drowning (ESD), both can be prevented the same way.  Electrocution can happen in freshwater or saltwater, when swimmers make contact with energized metal dock fittings, boats or other structures due to faulty alternating current (AC) wiring.

ESD occurs when AC gets into freshwater from faulty wiring and passes through a swimmer, causing paralysis or even sudden death.  Unlike electrocution, with ESD a swimmer does not need to be touching a boat or dock structure, and even minute amounts of electricity can be incapacitating and lead to drowning.  The risk of ESD is greatest in freshwater or brackish water, so some areas such as estuaries or rivers may only be in the danger zone after heavy rains.

In saltwater, electrical current takes the path of least resistance, bypassing swimmers. Unlike a drowning swimmer, who typically can’t yell out for help because their mouth is mostly underwater, an ESD victim is often confused about what is happening, may be able to shout, and will feel numbness, tingling, pain and paralysis.  Tingling in the swimmer’s body is one of the early warning signs of ESD.

What can you do to prevent an electrocution or ESD fatality? Here are 6 tips:

  1. Never Swim around boat docks that use electricity.
  2. Post “no swimming” signs.
  3. Have a qualified electrician with experience in dock electrical service inspect your private dock annually.
  4. Install ground-fault protection on your boat and private dock.
  5. Ask your marina if they have installed ground-fault protection, and if the electrical system is inspected and tested annually-just in case someone falls overboard. No one should ever swim in a marina

    Swimmers near boat docks can be affected and shocked in the water near to the dock because of this technical wiring deficiency. Courtesy of BOATUS
  6. Periodically test your boat for electrical leakage into the water. What do you do if you see a distressed person in the water near a boat dock?

A drowning victim often looks “playful,” while an electric shock drowning victim looks “distressed.”  It may be difficult, however, to immediately determine either, so play it safe by not jumping in.  The first task is to shut off power to the dock at the breaker panel, and if equipped, disconnect any power cable to the vessel.

If power cannot be shut down, follow the “reach, throw, row, but don’t go” mantra by using an oar, boat hook or throw a floatation device to reach the stricken person.

For more information, parents, dock owners, boaters, and marina and boat club operators can go to the BoatUS Electric Shock Drowning Resource Center at www.BoatUS.com/Seaworthy/ESD.

See more at: http://www.thefishingwire.com/story/406710#sthash.hku6iXil.dpuf.

Anglers, Avoid a Boat Fire: Pay Attention to these Six Things!

boatfire

Flame on a boat is a really scary experience. On my boat, smoking is not encouraged.  There are open gas ventilation vents, nearby gas lines, it seems common sense.  Losing your boat to careless fire is a heartbreaking experience, not to mention it might shorten your life too!  There are other reasons to be aware though.  Read on.

Fire ranks number five among all reasons for boat losses according to the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program claim file history.  Data never goes around the corner to find the truth.  Dig a little a deeper and those claims files also identify six specific areas that lead to most-reported boat fires.  If every boater paid attention to these six things, over a third of all fires aboard boats would be prevented.  So what are the top six ways boat fires happen?  Here are some lessons to take home?

26% of fires are due to “Off-the-boat” sources: Over a quarter of the time, a BoatUS member’s boat burns when something else goes up in flames – the boat next to theirs, the marina, their garage, or even a neighbor’s house. It’s every boater’s responsibility to prevent fires, but when all else fails, having a good boat insurance policy is the last backstop.

20% of fires are due to “Engine Electrical”:  For boats older than 25 years, old wiring harnesses take a disproportionate chunk of the blame here. A good electrical technician can put one together for you as most boats of this age had relatively simple electrical systems.

15% of fires are due to “Other DC Electrical”:  The most common cause of battery-related fires is faulty installation of batteries – reversing the positive and negative cables or misconnecting them in series (when they should be in parallel).  So take a picture.  Label the cables.  Use red fingernail polish to mark the positive lug.  By gosh do everything to hook it up right the first time.

12% of fires are due to “AC Electrical”:  Most AC electrical fires start between the shore power pedestal and the boat’s shore power inlet.  Inspecting the shore power cord routinely (connector ends especially) and for boats older than 10 years, inspecting or replacing the boat’s shore power inlet, could prove wise.

9% of fires are due to “Other Engine”:  This one is all about when an engine overheats due to blocked raw water intake or mangled impeller, the latter of which can also happen after experiencing a grounding or running in mucky waters.  Be sure to check the engine compartment after getting underway and replace your impeller at least every other year.

8% of fires are due to “Batteries”:  This fire fact is for the outboard folks to pay attention to.  On older outboards, by far the most common cause of fires is the voltage regulator.  At 10 years of age, failure rates on these important electrical components begin to climb.  Once it hits 15 years old, it’s time to replace.

Take Action: Does your boat insurance cover boat fires?  It is an easy thing to get a free boat insurance check-up and quote by calling the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program folks at 800-283-2883.  Online, just click over to http://www.BoatUS.com/insurance.

Ethanol Free Gas in Trouble

ethanolfree1

E0, or ethanol-free gasoline for boaters may be hard to come by this summer as a result of the Renewable Fuel Standard mandate forcing more ethanol into the fuel supply. February 24, 2016

In a Press Release summary from Margaret Bonds Podlich, President of BoatUS, we learn about the dire need for boater fuel.  Her story points out many important considerations that you may not be aware of.

E0 (zero-ethanol) gasoline, which is sold at marinas and gas stations, is in effect being pushed out of boat fuel market to make room for the Renewable Fuel Standard-mandated E15 and higher ethanol blends. This means boaters may see shortages of E0 fuel as early as this summer’s boating season.  BoatUS believes boaters need a reliable, trusted fuel to ensure smooth engine operation and safe navigation.

ethanolfree2As Democrat presidential candidates turn their attention to South Carolina, it is worth considering how a particular federal law that both candidates support wreaks havoc on the state’s boaters.  That law is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and it has led to some significant, albeit unintentional, negative consequences for owners of the roughly half-million boats registered in the Palmetto State (SC).

When gasoline containing ethanol and boats mix, boat owners lose. That’s because of something called “phase separation” – think oil and vinegar – that can turn fuel stored in a boat’s gas tank into corrosive, water-soaked ethanol mixture, unusable in any engine.  Half of those who responded to a recent informal national survey by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) said they have had to replace or repair boat engine or fuel system parts because of suspected ethanol-related damage. The average cost for these repairs was $1,000.

The federal ethanol mandate requires increasing amounts of biofuels – primarily corn ethanol –to be blended into America’s gasoline supply every year.  In part because of the mandate, more than 90 percent of American fuel today is E10, or 10 percent ethanol.  In addition, higher ethanol-blend fuels such as E15 are becoming more prevalent in the marketplace, even though federal law prohibits the use of 15 percent ethanol in marine engines, ATVs, motorcycles, lawnmowers or any cars made before 2001.

Boaters have long preferred ethanol-free gasoline to other fuels, so much so that many refer to E0 as “marine fuel.”  However, our country’s supply of E0 is projected to be reduced dramatically from over 8 billion gallons in 2014 to just 200 million, possibly as early as this summer’s boating season.  E0 is in effect being pushed out of boat fuel market to make room for the RFS’ mandated E15 and other higher ethanol blends.  The prospect of this disappearing act has the boating community in South Carolina and around the country extremely concerned.

Correcting the RFS before it wipes out the availability of E0 for boating families and wreaks additional havoc on marine engines is the responsibility of our next President and Congress.  Ted Cruz, by becoming the first political candidate to win Iowa while opposed to the mandate, shows that supporting the RFS is not a political necessity.  It is now time to fix this broken law.

Thankfully, there are bipartisan ideas to fix the ethanol mandate in Congress, but the question remains whether our elected leaders will act and solve the problem. America’s boaters, and certainly those in South Carolina, hope they will.  For more information, contact www.boatus.com.

All Images in this story are credited to “Boat Owners Association of The United States.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half-million members with government representation, fighting against unfair federal taxes, fees and regulations that single out boat owners. BoatUS is also non-partisan and works with state agencies to promote boating laws that make sense.