Your experiences with ethanol storage over the winter?

Dave S

Well-Known Member
TECHNICAL Contributor
Oct 3, 2006
Upstate South Carolina
Boat Info
There has already been one posting on CSR about problems with contaminated ethanol fuel showing up on that first spring launch.

And as more and more of you folks who store over the winter do your spring launches, it would be good if you could tell us how you stored fuel over the winter (empty tank, full tank, etc) and what your experiences were at the spring launch. This post may be of benefit when fall rolls around again so people can learn the do's and don'ts you may have experienced with ethanol.
Interesting you should ask, because I recently got an email response from my marina advising that there is no ethanol added to their gas. Not sure I believe them, but to answer your question I stored my boat with the tank nearly full and added fuel stabilizer. I've had the boat out three times this season and have experienced nothing unusual thus far with the boat engine or generator.

Assuming fuel is pulled from the bottom of the fuel tank and that gas floats on top of water, I'd already know if I had water in my tank, right?
If my mechanic will do it, is there any reason not to empty the tank (winterized half-full) as a preemptive measure when commissioning?
we have ethanol fuel for quite a few years here in Kali-for-nia (as Arnold would say it) and I have not experienced any issues.... I do always utilize the proper dose of stabil in the tank if I forsee the 100 gallons not being used within 3 weeks.
after a long winter's nap (oct 5-april 28) with a mere 30 gallons in each 125 gallon tank and the prescribed amount of star-tron, the boat started as if i ran it a week prior. i havent got out for a ride yet (only from the sling to the slip) but she's purring like a kitten (fingers crossed).

of note: there's a sticker near each fuel fill deckplate that clearly states ethanol blends are NOT recommended for this boat. :smt100
We had no problem with ours. It was winterized with about half a tank, with Sta-bil added. We dropped it in the river, it started right up, and cruised at various speeds for about three hours with no problems whatsoever.
Mine was pickled on Oct 31st and I fired it up 2 weeks ago. Put it away with 10 gals in a 58 gal tank. Used Sta-Bil and had no problems so far. Changed the filter, drained and cut it open, nothing unusual..
1/3 tank left over winter, new filters, ran about 45 minutes up river w/ no problems. Filled her up with fresh...hope to be fine from here.
She was winterized with a full tank and the appropriate amount of Sta-bil. She splashed last weekend. No problems.
I filled up at the end of October w/100 gal. and added stabil. I splashed Friday with no problems on a 1 hr cruise. Sat we were out for about 2 hours and again, no problems. I have not added anything to the tank so far. With the fuel price today, I am glad I have a full tank to start the season :thumbsup:
Instead of spending a half hour filling the tank before winterizing. . .I ran around and burned off 1/8 of my remaining fuel instead! I probably had 40 gallons in my 125 gallon tank left. I then added 15 gallons from my JetSki cans (purchased from Wawa). . .and let the mix sit over the winter with some stabilizer.

No (fuel related) issues with 3 hours on the engines this year.
Winterized full with stabil added last October. Added some ISOHEAT to fuel before starting last week. Boat started and ran great at various speeds. No fuel issues. GB
Winterized with about 100 gals in each 120 gal tank with Sta-Bil
Fired up 3+ weeks ago. Ran 2+ hours to the marina and no problems whatsoever. Will need fuel this weekend and not looking forward to $4 a gal!

Pflieger Marine Service here, the answer to your questions about ethenol is here. Crusader, Westerbeke and Volvo have all sent me service bulltins saying that if you don't use your fuel within 2 to 3 weeks it MUST be stabalized. This is IF you are using over E-10.

ALL gas has at least E-10 no matter what you are told. Out east some of it is E-85(this is all bad). I have the bullitens and would post it if you like.

We sell Startron, a very good addaitive and stabalizer. Most important, have a good water seperater and change it anually. Ethenol breaks down quickly directly into water.

Pflieger Marine Services
UPDATE - ran the entire 100 gallons from winter with no problems :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
I have a bottle of the Star-Tron for winter storage this season. I've used the Sta-Bil in the past with no problems.
When you mention water separators, do you mean the mercrusier water separating fuel filters, or a separate apparatus to accomplish this on gasoline boats?


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