Boating Industry

July 2016

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MARKET FOCUS SECTION { FUEL ADDITIVES } July 2016 | Boating Industry | 35 ADDRESSING ETHANOL While it's not the only reason boaters have fuel issues, ethanol is a key player in many of the problems. (See more on ethanol issues in our reader survey on p. 13) "When we talk to dealers and we talk to mechanics at the shows, ethanol is still the big- gest issue," Grochocki said. "Everybody has a problem with it. It's not something that's going away. If anything, it's going to get worse." Those concerns prompted the creation of ValvTect's newest additive, X-Tended Protec- tion Plus (or XP+), designed to protect engines from problems that arise when an engine is not used on a regular basis, such as gums, varnish, corrosion and water issues. "It's the nature of the beast with storing fuel on boats," Grochocki said. "Boats sit for a longer period of time than cars do. Same issue you have with any type of recreational vehicle … you run into those issues." XP+ contains a stabilizer, proprietary cor- rosion inhibitor, water dispersant to remove controlled amounts of water and detergents to help clean up carbon deposits. XP+ is designed to "improve performance as well as taking care of ethanol," Grochocki said. Changes over the last decade -- such as an increase in ethanol-blended fuels and more slow speed zones — have resulted in higher levels of carbon deposits. "Everywhere in boating carbon build up is an issue," Dornau said. "It seems like carbon has become more of a problem in the ethanol fuel era than it was in the old days. … Etha- nol fuels, in some cases, evaporate a little bit quicker, so they tend to build up gums and varnishes, a little more water in the fuel. That can lead to extra carbon." In an effort to address that, Star brite intro- duced Ring Clean+ in 2015, which combines carbon removal with the proprietary enzyme mix of its flagship Star Tron product. "The main chemical is going to be a really strong carbon removal and the enzymes are helping break down things, make it easier to process in the engine," Dornau said. "It en- hances combustion, helps the engine process the water in the fuel as well. We launched it to work in conjunction with Star Tron, which is an every-fill-up product. This is going to be every fourth or fifth tankful depending on your boating habits." Gold Eagle is also looking to address etha- nol concerns with its new Sta-Bil 360 (an up- date of the previous Sta-Bil marine product) which it calls the "ultimate protection against ethanol blended fuels." Common engine problems "come down to three things — preventing the develop- ment of gum in the varnish," Bingham said. "Second is removing any of those deposits that have developed in the past. Lastly corro- sion and the tendency of water to mix with alcohol/ethanol. "They're not all tied to ethanol, but etha- nol can exacerbate some of those issues that a boater or any engine owner could face." Sta-Bil 360 provides corrosion protection above the fuel line, an industry-first, the com- pany says. "The key benefit is if you look at a car- buretor or in many cases a fuel line, a good fuel additive will protect against corrosion anywhere the fuel touches, but it's not long- lasting," Bingham said. "After the fuel goes away, the protection goes away. The 360 technology releases a vapor that deposits a microscopically thin corrosion prevention barrier on metals. So where all that water vapor can attack metals and you can get problems like white rust on aluminum or actual rust on metal parts, the vapor pro- tects those parts whether the fuel is soaking them or not." Bingham also offered some caution about buying ethanol-free (E0) fuels in an attempt to avoid ethanol problems. "Sometimes, disreputable dealers are not actually telling the truth and selling it at a higher price," he said. "The other problem is that ethanol is an octane enhancer, so some of this fuel that doesn't have ethanol in it is a very low octane fuel." MANY OF THE NEW ADDITIVES IN THE MARKET ARE ATTEMPTING TO ADDRESS ETHANOL ISSUES.

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