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Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs #14299093 02/27/22 02:58 PM
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This past Friday afternoon I stopped to get fuel at one of the CEFCO stores in Paris, it was cold and windy, and I was probably thinking about going fishing this weekend as well and wasn't paying attention to what I was doing. I started selection fuel and before I know it, I'd accidentally selected non-ethanol fuel and was at the point of no return so I ran with it and put $25 in a nearly empty tank. It is way more expensive than regular, but here's the rub. My gas milage started climbing about 5 miles down the road and by the time I got home the average was up somewhere between a gallon to a gallon and a half. I tow my boat almost every weekend now and overall had been running about 16.5 mpg for a weekly average in a 2013 5.0 Ford F150. By the time I got home that average had shot up to about 17.5 mpg on a 25 mile run. Just wondered if any of y'all had experienced this or would try it and report back your results. I haven't crunched any numbers, but I don't think it would be worth the extra cost but running it a little more could give some even better numbers. Definitely thinking about putting my SHO on this diet.

Last edited by ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50); 02/27/22 02:58 PM.

2012 ZX200 Skeeter
2012 Yamaha 200 SHO

Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
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Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50)] #14299103 02/27/22 03:08 PM
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n_fish Online Content
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My Merc 4-stroke 200hp gets much better fuel mileage with the non-ethanol fuel, but it’s getting real expensive! I’m sold on the non-ethanol fuel, therefore I’ll keep using it. Haven’t tried it in my tow vehicle.

Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: n_fish] #14299106 02/27/22 03:10 PM
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ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50) Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by n_fish
My Merc 4-stroke 200hp gets much better fuel mileage with the non-ethanol fuel, but it’s getting real expensive! I’m sold on the non-ethanol fuel, therefore I’ll keep using it. Haven’t tried it in my tow vehicle.

Good info, thanks!


2012 ZX200 Skeeter
2012 Yamaha 200 SHO

Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
On these Pro Staffs: McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Chicken Express, Chick-Fil-A, and Dairy Queen.
Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50)] #14299110 02/27/22 03:16 PM
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Have used it for over 20 yrs in same boat. Yea it's a little higher but never had any problems at all so I will keep using it. Also noticed the oil I use went from 20 a gallon to 30. That's a pretty good jump

Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50)] #14299135 02/27/22 03:32 PM
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I won’t put ethanol gas in my boat. Prefer non ethanol in my vehicle but don’t have an option sometimes.



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Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50)] #14299196 02/27/22 04:31 PM
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I have an 04 50hp 2 stroke merc that will not idle with regular gas. even start up is harder when I use ethanol gas. When I use ethanol free it cranks up in a crank or 2, and can idle all day. I am sold that ethanol free gas does make a difference. When i first got my boat i was running regular gas with a version of "Don's cocktail" every fillup....and even with that, there is a clear and noticeable difference using ethanol free gas.

Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: horseplaydvm] #14299199 02/27/22 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by horseplaydvm
I won’t put ethanol gas in my boat. Prefer non ethanol in my vehicle but don’t have an option sometimes.


you must be rich!

Havent filled up in 2 months sadly....but it was almost $5/gallon here. Even before Joe Byron when gas was cheap it was high $3s when regular was $1,80-$2ish bucks

If i could do it....id use only ethanol free gas in my vehicle too, but its super pricey here and at the lake.

Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50)] #14299215 02/27/22 04:45 PM
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I had an older 115 evinrude that was very hard to start. Living in Montgomery county there is no ethanol free fuel available. Was up at Fork and put ethanol free fuel in the boat. I noticed right away that it began to idle better. The cold start not an issue anymore. Have a 200 merc now. Won't use any other now. What a difference.


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Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: Alan] #14299332 02/27/22 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan
I had an older 115 evinrude that was very hard to start. Living in Montgomery county there is no ethanol free fuel available. Was up at Fork and put ethanol free fuel in the boat. I noticed right away that it began to idle better. The cold start not an issue anymore. Have a 200 merc now. Won't use any other now. What a difference.


That was my exact experience as well! the first time i tried to run it as dry as possible before putting in the ethanol free stuff....noticed on that first fill up it was already idling better. And for about the next 5-10 trips (i dont run too much on days and am on the TM more) progressively just felt like it was running better/cleaner. I didnt pick up speed and dont track my MPG....but just the audible sound and feel in the seat had a cleaner feel to it if that makes sense. Then after all that regular gas was out by the second third fill up i really started noticing the easier starts!!!

And like I said, I ran a "dons cocktail" additive and also "hot soaked" my motor with gas and seafoam to clean it up, changed fuel lines/pump....so I really did all I could possibly do (imo) to make the regular gas work. It worked...but theres a night and day difference when I run ethanol free in my 2 stroke.

Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50)] #14299375 02/27/22 07:36 PM
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E-0 fuel is definitely better for 2 stroke marine and your small lawn mower etc motors. Not sure there is really any advantage for the new 4 stroke outboards. As far as fuel mileage its not going to increase one full MPG regardless of what your computer was telling you. It might increase a little bit but not that much. Check your real mpg by calculating the amount you actually put in at the pump and you might be shocked how much your computer is cheating, the fast lane truck channel on youtube have some videos on this and it can be off quite a lot, Ford is the worse followed by RAM, Chevy was the most accurate but was still showing better computer MPG than real world.

Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: Lone_Wolf] #14299413 02/27/22 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Lone_Wolf
E-0 fuel is definitely better for 2 stroke marine and your small lawn mower etc motors. Not sure there is really any advantage for the new 4 stroke outboards. As far as fuel mileage its not going to increase one full MPG regardless of what your computer was telling you. It might increase a little bit but not that much. Check your real mpg by calculating the amount you actually put in at the pump and you might be shocked how much your computer is cheating, the fast lane truck channel on youtube have some videos on this and it can be off quite a lot, Ford is the worse followed by RAM, Chevy was the most accurate but was still showing better computer MPG than real world.

My boat has already mader me realized this. Usually on Monday mornings when I drive to work, because the fuel monitoring system is trying to recalibrate for the boat not being behind the truck, I'll burn lest than 10 miles of fuel on a 25 mile trip. Once it normalizes: about Tuesday, it will start clicking off fuel range equivalent to the distance I'm actually traveling one mile at a time. Hook the boat up Saturday morning and head out and it starts clicking off miles left on what's in the tank 3 and 4 miles at a time. My truck gets really thirsty. I'll do some paper for sure. I'd like to see what it is actually getting; I've never crunched the numbers on this one.


2012 ZX200 Skeeter
2012 Yamaha 200 SHO

Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
On these Pro Staffs: McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Chicken Express, Chick-Fil-A, and Dairy Queen.
Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: bockscar] #14299416 02/27/22 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bockscar
I have an 04 50hp 2 stroke merc that will not idle with regular gas. even start up is harder when I use ethanol gas. When I use ethanol free it cranks up in a crank or 2, and can idle all day. I am sold that ethanol free gas does make a difference. When i first got my boat i was running regular gas with a version of "Don's cocktail" every fillup....and even with that, there is a clear and noticeable difference using ethanol free gas.


I have a 2010 50hp 2 stroke Yamaha and have never used anything but NE in it. I bought it used and it would start running rough at 7/8 throttle when I got it. It will r run great at 3/4 throttle, so I was planning to take the carburetors off and clean it, but wasn't looking forward to that job. I happened to notice that one store I used had a pump that was 93 octane non-ethanol, so I bought a tank. All of the motor issues went away when I switched to that fuel. There's a lot of places with 87 octane non-ethanol in my area, but that's the only place I have found 93. I just buy all my boat fuel from it. It's nearly $5 a gallon, but I don't usually burn but a gallon or 2 per trip

Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: coosa] #14299431 02/27/22 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by coosa
Originally Posted by bockscar
I have an 04 50hp 2 stroke merc that will not idle with regular gas. even start up is harder when I use ethanol gas. When I use ethanol free it cranks up in a crank or 2, and can idle all day. I am sold that ethanol free gas does make a difference. When i first got my boat i was running regular gas with a version of "Don's cocktail" every fillup....and even with that, there is a clear and noticeable difference using ethanol free gas.


I have a 2010 50hp 2 stroke Yamaha and have never used anything but NE in it. I bought it used and it would start running rough at 7/8 throttle when I got it. It will r run great at 3/4 throttle, so I was planning to take the carburetors off and clean it, but wasn't looking forward to that job. I happened to notice that one store I used had a pump that was 93 octane non-ethanol, so I bought a tank. All of the motor issues went away when I switched to that fuel. There's a lot of places with 87 octane non-ethanol in my area, but that's the only place I have found 93. I just buy all my boat fuel from it. It's nearly $5 a gallon, but I don't usually burn but a gallon or 2 per trip

There is a place I need to drive to east of Paris on Highway 82 that might have the premium no ethanol 93 octane; didn't know they made it, there is a VP Racing fuels gas station and from what I understand they sell a full range of fuel from plane old 87 octane with ethanol to full blown racing fuel all at the pump. They might have it.


2012 ZX200 Skeeter
2012 Yamaha 200 SHO

Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
On these Pro Staffs: McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Chicken Express, Chick-Fil-A, and Dairy Queen.
Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50)] #14299444 02/27/22 09:07 PM
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I have always used just 87 ethanol since it hit the market. Never had a problem with it in anything. So I've never had a reason to waste money on nonethanoll or higher octane

Re: Ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel in your boats and tow rigs [Re: coosa] #14299524 02/27/22 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by coosa
Originally Posted by bockscar
I have an 04 50hp 2 stroke merc that will not idle with regular gas. even start up is harder when I use ethanol gas. When I use ethanol free it cranks up in a crank or 2, and can idle all day. I am sold that ethanol free gas does make a difference. When i first got my boat i was running regular gas with a version of "Don's cocktail" every fillup....and even with that, there is a clear and noticeable difference using ethanol free gas.


I have a 2010 50hp 2 stroke Yamaha and have never used anything but NE in it. I bought it used and it would start running rough at 7/8 throttle when I got it. It will r run great at 3/4 throttle, so I was planning to take the carburetors off and clean it, but wasn't looking forward to that job. I happened to notice that one store I used had a pump that was 93 octane non-ethanol, so I bought a tank. All of the motor issues went away when I switched to that fuel. There's a lot of places with 87 octane non-ethanol in my area, but that's the only place I have found 93. I just buy all my boat fuel from it. It's nearly $5 a gallon, but I don't usually burn but a gallon or 2 per trip


its seriously mind blowing how much of a difference the gas can make on a 2 stroke. and....im no scientist or mechanic but i can tell you with 100% certainty the gas has made a difference.

The original place/Only place in town that had the gas stopped selling it to replace it with [censored] flexfuel! so i filled up with regular gas for a tank...also let the ethanol free get low before filling up because i wasnt looking forward to using the regular gas again......and I didnt wanna pay lake prices for gas, so I was giving regular gas another run. NOPE....noticed it THAT day! harder start and itd die on idle!! Just like before...i will say not as bad as before (figure that was residual ethanol free gas the good that using that gas did for the system as a whole) but it for sure was noticeable.

Well....hit puregas after because i wasnt liking it and wanted to see if I had to bite the bullet and buy lake gas! Luckily a town on my way back from the lake had it....and its the good [censored]!!!! Talked to a kid from the gas station, according to him the owner is not only loaded but has a classic/fast car obsession! I guess he has a few old corvettes and muscle cars....so thats basically his own gas station because he has it with that higher grade ethanol free gas. I pay for it for sure and its not cheap at all...but id rather pay that then deal with problems on or off the water fuel related. My motors too damn old for me to try it work any harder than it needs to. So yea, just been filling her up with the good [censored] and closing my eyes while the numbers roll roflmao

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