Your experiences with ethanol storage over the winter?

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by Dave S, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. jhortonvt

    jhortonvt New Member

  2. gonebonkers

    gonebonkers New Member

    May 5, 2009
    Annapolis, MD
    310 Sundancer
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo Drives
    Tanks left almost empty over winter with Star-tron and Sta-bil. I add star-tron and sta-bil year round. All went well on startup and subsequent checks. No problems heard from other boat owners in the community.

    1990 310 Sundancer
  3. FireIsland1

    FireIsland1 New Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    long island
    I pulled filters and the gas was clean
  4. glennj3

    glennj3 New Member

    May 25, 2009
    Timmonsville SC
    Mid Cabin Cruser
    180 Inboard Mercruser
    I have never added stabilizer to my fuel, have always left plenty of fuel in the tank all winter. She always cranks easily and runs great. Has one 50 gal metal tank. Is a 170 HP Mercruser inboard/outboard. She is 21 years old.
    I never have put ethanol blended fuel in her as of today.

  5. ultratiger89

    ultratiger89 New Member

    May 25, 2009
    Planet Mars
    2003 260DA, Kohler 5E
    350 Mag BIII
    same here
  6. out-n-aboat

    out-n-aboat New Member

    Nov 18, 2006
    weymouth massachusetts
    1999 29 Sun Sport
    7.4 MPI Bravo 3
    Iused starbrite every time I fill up and never had a problem.
  7. Bridog

    Bridog Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    Gulf Shores AL / Brick NJ
    2016 19SPX OB
    Mercury 150 4S OB
    Is this still a problem? I thought it was a big hoax? ;)
  8. DPF

    DPF New Member

    May 4, 2010
    Lake Erie
    2007 32 searay sundancer
    350 mags
    I have just bought an 07 32 sea ray that has only 42 hrs and the fuel has set for 2 years in tank. I did research on ethanol and what I should do about this. First from my research, you should store your boat with a full tank of gas. The reason is the alcohol will absorb moisture through the vent tube and the less air space above the fuel the less moisture, I am lucky the previous owner did this. Second use the right amount of fuel stablizer, the red stablizer helps but it was formulated more for gas without alcohol. I used a product called valrotec which is stablizer and moisture inhibitor one bottle in each tank every fill up, formulated especially for E-80 gas. When I splashed my new boat I topped the tanks off with Hi-test gas (40 gal 20 each). I have burned 3/4 on both tanks so far and had no problem. I plan to top her off with Hi-test next weekend.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  9. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    Sarasota Fla.
    2019. 250 SDX OB
    300 Verado V8
    I had about 1/2 tanks over the winter and just did all the filters. the fuel filters had small particals of "stuff" in them and the mech said it was due to phase seperation , he suggested either full or empty tanks due to moisture, said he sees it every year.
  10. Budds'Outlet

    Budds'Outlet New Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    pacifric Northwest
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III
    I've stored with a partly filled tank every winter with Sta-Bil added and have never had a problem. I have two fuel filter/water seperators in line and change them each year. I always fill the tank with fresh gas on the first cruise of the year. This year it took 50 gallons at $4.02 a gallon. Ouch! At WOT I reached 4,200 rpm so I'm thinking things are OK.
  11. ikecasey

    ikecasey New Member

    Jul 6, 2011
    Fort Washington, MD
    1996 270 Sundancer
    7.4 Liter Mercruiser
    I have a '96 Sundancer with 7.4 liter Mercruiser. It starts fine, but shuts off every few minutes - then starts again. Do you think this is bad gas or an electrical problem? I have had this problem for a few years.
  12. rondds

    rondds Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    Jersey Shore
    2001 380DA
    Merc 8.1s (2008)...Hurth ZF 63 V-drives...WB 7.0 BCGD (2013), Garmin 8208 & 740 MFDs, GMR 24xHD dome
    Three things you need to start an engine - SPARK, FUEL and AIR. Your problem can be any one of these. Hard to say over the internet.
  13. Banagy

    Banagy Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    Bay Port,MI
    2005 Sun Deck with Lowrance HDS 7 Touch Gen 2 GPS fish finder and Navman radio Bennett Trim Tabs.
    5.0 with Alpha 1 drive
    Use sta-bil for years with the 10% never had a problem
  14. sdl22

    sdl22 New Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    SeaBrook, Texas
    230 SELECT
    I winter oct thru march.. I add the fuel cocktail to the cool fuel module (filter housing), per O&O book. I also give the fuel a strong dose of starton treatment and try to run in for a few minutes to be sure the strong dose makes it to the engine.
    I usually store with about 90% fuel... I typically perform the dosing when I do the end of season engine/drive oil change.. I also add starton when I know I'll be away from the boat longer than 3 weeks during the boating season.....

    3 winters and no problem.. (knocking on my hard head)
  15. Bodkin Creek George

    Bodkin Creek George Member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Bodkin Creek, Chesapeake Bay Md.
    2004 340 SDA
    8.1 V-Drives
    I treat both tanks on each and every fill up and in the winter I use the stabilizer. Never had a problem.
  16. JimFromMD

    JimFromMD Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Annapolis, MD - Middle Chesapeake Bay
    2005 300DA, Garmin 740s w/Vision Charts and GMR18HD RADAR
    5.0MPI w/BIIs, Kohler 5E Generator.

    I use startron all year. Changed the water sep fuel filters while winterizing and dumped the contents into a cut-in-half pink anti-freeze bottle. Even though the bottle is semi-translucent... once the fuel settled you could see some water sitting on the bottom. Luckily not a ton, but definitely was there. Found it in the fuel filters for both engines. Did not find it in water sep filter dedicated to the generator, but then again, I didnt run the gen all that much this season.

    Local SR dealer says they see water in the filters all season during changes. They also recommended storing the boat for the winter 85-90% full even though SR / Merc recommends storing as empty as possible. They feel full is best, leaving 10-15% short of full to allow space for expansion as the spring arrives... otherwise you may get some burps of fuel out of the vent onto the shrink wrap or winter canvas.
  17. floriduramax1

    floriduramax1 Active Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    280DA, Magic Tilt triple axle, 2006 GMC 2500 D/A
    T4.3/ Alpha
    Maybe it's just our humidity, but ethanol in fuel here is like having your water maker turned on! That is the biggest reason I sold my Proline walk around cuddy with Johnsons on it! I left it with about 70 gallons of gas mixed with Startron for approx 2 mos or less and when we took her out she quit about 1/2 mile from the boat ramp! I changed the fuel/water separator 3 times to get back to ramp! Got her to the shop and pulled the inspection cover to look down into the tank and could not believe my eyes! I was able to use my Arrow air operated pump and fill a 55 gallon drum with gas by holding the pick up line above the water. I then had to pump the rest into buckets and burnt it in brush fire! I had to replace the o-rings on all the carbs drain screws and bowls :( I sold her two weeks later. I now only buy gas on the street when I know we will be using all of it. I then get gas at the marina when I take her back home! I hate that crap! You can for sure tell the difference in her performance without the ethanol "snake oil"! I think it's a big scam to line the pockets of politicians and corn farmers...I know a couple corn farmers personally :(
  18. markrinker

    markrinker New Member

    Jul 19, 2011
    Lake Union - Seattle, WA
    2000 410DA
    Caterpillar 3126

    Compression helps... :smt021
  19. rondds

    rondds Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    Jersey Shore
    2001 380DA
    Merc 8.1s (2008)...Hurth ZF 63 V-drives...WB 7.0 BCGD (2013), Garmin 8208 & 740 MFDs, GMR 24xHD dome
    Compression is a function of air.
  20. Bodkin Creek George

    Bodkin Creek George Member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Bodkin Creek, Chesapeake Bay Md.
    2004 340 SDA
    8.1 V-Drives
    Forgot to mention that I change my fuel water separators in the spring since I run the cocktail through the engines when winterizing. Probably could change them after running the cocktail through but it's just the way I do it. I agree that the use of ethanol is a scam. What's worse is the price they charge for so called "Marine Fuel" that is available to them without ethanol, but they choose to sell us the other crap to make a few bucks more.


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