There are some things I avoid like the plague. The dentist, for example. Yeah, I know I should go more often, but I hate the entire experience. Nothing personal. I just hate it (and it usually costs me loads of money). So I avoid anything dealing with dentists until I have a tooth that is killing me.
Equally as distasteful to me is the entire issue surrounding ethanol-blended gasoline. I mean, it costs more to produce so-called E10 than it does to produce 100-percent gasoline, but it costs less at the pump because the government (meaning you and me) subsidizes the industry that is touted as being earth friendly when, in fact, it is anything but.
Yeah, I grudgingly burn it in my automobiles because of the cost savings at the pump.
But in my outboard? No way. Not a chance.
Well, E10 might soon be my only option. Why, you ask? Because Chalmette Refinery, the largest producer of conventional gasoline in Southeast Louisiana, announced last month that it would cease production of 100-percent gasoline early this month.
Well, the company said that and then tried to unsay it. Sort of.
An email from Chalmette Refinery clearly says no conventional gasoline will be produced after a mid-May shutdown of the plant, but before Louisiana Sportsman obtained that email a company official said 100-percent gas will remain available. And then he refused to call us back to clarify.
You can read full details about this extremely important matter here, but suffice it to say we still really don’t know what will happen.
The bottom line is that Southeast Louisiana could soon be a wasteland of ethanol. For the newer outboards, that might not be as big of an issue.
Of course, I don’t have a new motor. I have an early 1990s Mercury, and running ethanol through it will be like injecting Draino into my arm — bad things are sure to happen.
That’s the fate many of us face. And even those with newer-model outboards probably should be very careful (the manufacturers will tell you E10 is safe in their engines, and then quietly tell you to avoid that blended crap if at all possible).
So what are we all to do? Sell our boats? Buy kayaks? Take up golf?
Well, really all we can do is scour our areas for stores still carrying 100-percent gasoline and fill up whenever we find one. If none is available, then we will have to hold our noses and pump E10 into our tanks.
Obviously, fuel treatment designed specifically for ethanol fuel will be critical. Or you can simply run all the fuel through your engine on a regular basis — before it has time to accumulate water.
I’m thinking of buying stock in Sta-bil.