E15 Labels Highlight Potential Dangers | Quimby's Cruising Guide

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has started distributing E15 warning labels to NMMA member boat manufacturers to place on their vessels in hopes of alerting owners to the potential dangers of fuel with a high volume of ethanol. The labels will help educate boaters that E15 should not be used in their boat.

Contrary to studies that have shown ethanol to be hazardous to marine engines, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved a plan submitted by the ethanol industry that effectively completes the last step in the regulatory process and allows E15 to enter the marketplace.

According to the NMMA, there are significant safety, environmental and technological concerns associated with ethanol blends over 10 percent in recreational boat fuel tanks and engines. This means anything above E10 can pose serious problems, including performance issues like stalling, corrosion leading to oil or fuel leaks, increased emissions and damaged valves, rubber fuel lines and gaskets.

It is important for consumers to stay aware at their local gas pumps, checking for any high ethanol fuels and using only E10 or lower in their vessels. “We are encouraging manufacturers to take action and help educate boaters by placing these E15 warning labels on their boats,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “[The idea is] to warn about the dangers posed by E15 and help prevent costly and dangerous long-term engine damage.”