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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A recently purchased boat (24' with Yamaha 2-stroke) was inspected by a marine mechanic to spot problems before purchased and it was discoverd that there is a tremendous amount of water in the fuel tank, fuel filter, lines, and carburetors as a result of Ethanol fuel being used in the boat. Purchaser is going to have everything from the tank to the motor serviced to remove the water, but the question is this:

There is over 60 gallons of fuel in the tank. Is there any way to save any of that fuel so that it's usable? For example, does the water contamination mix with the fuel or does it sink/float? The boat has been stationary in a sling for weeks, so it would seem a person could siphon off the water or fuel from the other product.

Also, if the fuel is useless, what are his options for disposal keeping in mind cost versus environment? Thank you, in advance, for your assistance folks!
 

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the new fuel does actually mix with the water- whereas the old ethanolless fuel kept seperate. i dont know of any way to use it, maybe someone else does:confused:
 

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I don't have any first hand experience, since I'm not using fuel with ethanol, but everything I've read says that the fuel can't be saved.

I know at least 3 different boats that had a wide degree of water in their tanks, from less than a gallon to several gallons. From what I've seen when the fuel is removed, it has little white blobs floating all around in the gas. The ethanol absorbs the water and turns to a milky white drop of sh!#. One guy callled a company that does tank restoration out of VB, and they said that gasoline can't be filtered and recovered, but diesel fuel can.

One man with a 24 Albie that I know, had to replace all the lines, rebuild the carb, new filters all around, remove the tank and clean out, because the white **** clings to the hoses like plaq in your arteries, and can't be effectively cleaned out. I'd also be concerned about injectors if no carb.:confused: Don't just remove the water from the tank, it's more involved than that.

I have no clue as how to dispose of the fuel, except that some counties and cities have a certain day to dispose of used oils, or maybe call your local fire cheif, he'll know where to direct you.

I'd even be scared to save it and run it through a lawn mower:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well that pretty much answers that question! Thank you very much. It just seemed that he might be able to salvage some of that fuel, but I guess not. NOTE: He is having the rest of the fuel system cleaned from the tank exit to the combustion chambers. Thanks again.
 

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Well that pretty much answers that question! Thank you very much. It just seemed that he might be able to salvage some of that fuel, but I guess not. NOTE: He is having the rest of the fuel system cleaned from the tank exit to the combustion chambers. Thanks again.
This is all second hand info, maybe you can get a second opinion, but from what I;ve heard, it's not a good result to the problem.
 

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When water and ethanol gas mix the alcohol absorbs the water. When the alcohol becomes saturated it drops from the gas mixture, The alcohol is also a factor in the octane rating of the gasoline. The best use of the leftover is a burn barrel or somebody with a military vehicle that is multipurpose fuel. I know of two such people and could ask them if you wish?
 

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I had a fuel filter fail which cost “Boat US $670.00” (I have unlimited tow insurance) which for what it cost is an outstanding deal tow me across the bay! I now carry a spare fuel filter and plan on installing a second cartridge filter with a water drain. With that said I think you could pump out the fuel tank using an electric fuel pump with a inline fuel/water filter “type with a check valve and a site glass in the bottom to see amount of water” you would need to drain off the water occasionally but in the end you should be able to transfer and filter the fuel. On a steady platform (a boat out of the water) after being aloud to sit for a reasonable time should allow the water and fuel to separate fuel on the bottom gas on top. From here there are chemicals for evaporating small amounts of water from the fuel, sponges that absorb water from the fuel and stripping pumps to remove the water until you start pumping fuel. Or you could use the fuel in your in laws lawn mower and just replace it with good stuff.
 

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From Star Brite web site - professional information;

E-10 Ethanol Fuel Problems

STAR BRITE STAR TRON SOLVES FUEL PROBLEMS CAUSED BY NEW FORMULATED E-10 ETHANOL ENHANCED GASOLINE

The gasoline we buy for our boats and cars is in the process of a major reformulation. Ethanol, an alcohol derived primarily from corn, is both a domestically produced, and renewable fuel. E-10 (10% ethanol) has become a critical component of our fuel infrastructure, but it requires better housekeeping, especially in the boating industry. Ethanol is being phased into the fuel supply across the country.

The problem is all alcohol’s are hygroscopic. That means it likes water, and it attracts and couples with moisture in the air, resulting in greater amounts of water collecting in the fuel tank. Since water is heavier than gasoline, the water and ethanol mix settles to the bottom. This is referred to as “phase separation”, and eventually the water/ethanol phase is drawn into the fuel delivery system. If there is no water separator in the line, the water goes into the injector/carburetor and the engine does not run properly. In extreme cases, the engine will stop running. For automobiles, this is not a common problem in that an entire tank of fuel will most likely be used up within one week, well before a water/ethanol build up takes place. Also, automobiles have smaller gas tanks, leaving less air space for condensation to accumulate. Boats usually do not use up their fuel for many weeks, if not months, and their large gas tanks, when left low in fuel, readily form condensation. This presents a problem for most boaters.

An additional problem boaters will face is loss of octane, which is critical to an engine's performance. Ethanol is over 100+ octane, and provides the fuel with much of its octane rating. Once water reaches about a .5% level, it will phase separate. With the ethanol drawn to the bottom along with the water, the fuel will lose octane, and this can cause a loss of performance, including pinging and engine knock, which can damage your engine. It also severely worsens fuel economy and power.

There are other problems with E-10 fuel. Ethanol is a powerful solvent and readily breaks up tars and organic sediment found in many marine fuel tanks. The ethanol/water mix also makes a potent stripping agent for old varnish and gum accumulated from years of gasoline sitting in the tank. These organic contaminants, once loosened from tank walls, can plug filters and injectors quickly, disabling your boat’s engine. In cold weather, the water/alcohol phase can also freeze, turning into a syrupy mix that plugs filters.

To assist boaters, Star Brite has introduced Star Tron, a revolutionary fuel additive based on enzyme technology that can prevent these water-related fuel problems. The enzyme package in Star Tron disperses water derived from normal condensation into microscopic clusters, and allows the water to pass through the fuel system and engine harmlessly, preventing the buildup on the tank bottom that can contribute to poor performance, fuel gelling and corrosion.

This de-watering effect prevents potential phase separation. If large amounts of
water are already present it will be de-emulsified and drop out of the body of the
fuel, improving overall fuel performance. Over a period of time, with fresh gas
loads treated with Star Tron, even large accumulations of water will be totally
eliminated.

Star Tron can also counter the effects of lost octane, greatly improving the
combustion performance of E-10 fuel that has had water contamination. Star
Tron can also prevent filter plugging from old gum and varnish. The enzymes
help break down the dislodged sludge and other deposits into sub-micron-sized
particles that usually pass through the fuel filter and are burned away as part of
the combustion process. Tank deposits that would cause gelling are solubilized
so that fuel flows uninterrupted through the filters.

Star Brite Star tron is available in 8 fl. oz, 16 fl. oz, 32 fl. oz. and bulk sizes at
most marine supply retailers. One fluid ounce of the additive treats 15 gallons of
gas. Consumers seeking further information can call Star Brite toll free at 1 800
327-8583.
 

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After reading Fish boys response I wonder if the problem he is speaking about was fuel from a fiberglass fuel tank. Boat US has published several articles about this problem. If I remember correctly it was something about the new fuel leaching resin out of the fiberglass which mixed with water to create milky looking fuel contamination. I would recommend reading those articles if you have fiberglass fuel tanks. Being that I have aluminum tanks and that I found it necessary to look in my fuel tank while replacing a descending unit and later adding a fuel flow gage did not see any that sort of contamination. Even though the fuel looked normal it did not stop my cartridge filter form clogging up causing the painful tow I spoke of earlier!
 

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Do NOT use E10 in your boat, that has gone through phase separation, even if the water has been removed.

The reason is because Ethanol is used as an octane booster and with the Ethanol gone, your octane rating will be way low, causing detonation.

- Dae
 

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I have been using E10 since they put it on the market with zero problems. I think if you maintain your fuel system you will have zero problems as well. Invest in a quality fuel filter/water separator, one that is recommended by your engine's manufacturer and keep your tank full AT ALL TIMES!!!!! Since I have been using ethanol blended fuel I have removed less than 2 teaspoons of water from my fuel water separator and that is over a period of 300 hours. I feel it is all about maintenance. Empty the tank put 10 gallons or so of new fuel in it dump that and fill her up and I think you will be fine. I would burn the old gas in my lawn mower!!!
 

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After reading Fish boys response I wonder if the problem he is speaking about was fuel from a fiberglass fuel tank. Boat US has published several articles about this problem. If I remember correctly it was something about the new fuel leaching resin out of the fiberglass which mixed with water to create milky looking fuel contamination. I would recommend reading those articles if you have fiberglass fuel tanks. Being that I have aluminum tanks and that I found it necessary to look in my fuel tank while replacing a descending unit and later adding a fuel flow gage did not see any that sort of contamination. Even though the fuel looked normal it did not stop my cartridge filter form clogging up causing the painful tow I spoke of earlier!
nope, I was referring to a friends boat that had a metal tank. But you are right about some fiberglass tanks and I've enen heard of trouble with some plastics.

Many people that are having trouble, are in instances where they bought a used boat and didn't have the luxury of knowing the history of the tank/fuels. If you already have big trouble, like SWD2K and others, there's not much to do but start from scratch, I think it's a bad idea to run it in a mower if there's already been seperation. Unless you need a new JOHN DEER riding mower.:eek: :D
 

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well, i have first hand experiance here.

i took my mako(that i spent 3 years rebuilding) out right about a week ago...acted sluggish....


dropped her at the doctor......

he sent me a bill.....
the diagnosis was

alot (he said several gallons) of water in the new fuel tank....
carbs full of water
racor full of water

also did water pump
thermostats
re sealed lower end
and a few other odds and ends

when i filled her up, it just didn't smell right..i figgured it was just the e-10 mix.....wrong


anyways, tanks being pumped, filters, fuel lines, racor filters....all been replaced


i dont think this is a snowjob, the guys a friend of the family....


id just dispose of the gas, just write it off....i did.....90 gallons...you do the math


boat....break out another thousand


danny
 

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I use this company to dump my old fuel they are in Portsmouth just outside the Mid Town tunnel. take the first exit after the west norfolk bridge turn right and go back under the bridge it's the first building on the left after the curve. I forgot the name of the company but here is the phone number...757-484-6303 Hope this helps.
 
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