Big Boaters by Trevor

Mad Mariner points out an update to some regulation:

It's official. The Coast Guard thinks we're fat.

In a ruling two weeks ago, it raised the average passenger weight from 160 pounds to 185 pounds on charters and other passenger boats – the first increase since the 1960s.

I am not suggesting the Coast Guard has their pulse on the precise growth of the average boater. The only impact I see this having is more tickets being written for too many people on a boat. This effectively reduces the legal capacity of all boats by 15%. I certainly hope that they do not attempt to make this law retroactive ( I am hoping 'passenger boats" its only commercial boats) ; whereas someone with a plaque on their boat that says "CAPACITY 11" can be ticketed for having 11 people.

Ethanol Decision Looms? by admin

BoatUS was kind enough to drop us this email today:

Dear BoatU.S. Member,

We need your help. If you believe in "science first," now is the time to urge President Obama to require the federal EPA to understand the effects of higher blends of ethanol before allowing it into our country's gasoline supply.

Time is critical. Last year, a record number of boaters asked EPA to test marine engines before allowing up to 15% (E15) ethanol in gasoline. This testing has not been completed. Now, in late September or early October, EPA is getting ready to announce their decision. We expect they will allow E15 for some engines and not others. This will create different fuels with different availability, prices, and a lot of consumer confusion.

BoatU.S. appreciates and embraces the need to diversify our country's fuel and energy sources. However, we are concerned that EPA may put the "cart before the horse" by granting increased ethanol before we know what it will do in our marine engines. Many boaters, having suffered through the last ethanol transition, agree that we should learn from this recent history, and completely understand what the new fuel will do before approving its use in boats. It may turn out to be harmless, but what if it's not? Shouldn't we wait for the facts before making the decision?

Please help today. Click here and let President Obama know your concerns about ethanol and ask him to get the science first, before giving EPA the approval for more ethanol in your gasoline.

Our thoughts?  We wash and wax boats, we know a lot about that.  We do not know a lot about ethanol and how it will interact with marine engines.  Anecdotal evidence we hear suggests it is a bad idea due to how ethanol interacts with various materials used in the marine industry.  Our best guess is President Obama is less likely to know the answer to more/less ethanol than we,or other more knowledgeable people within the industry, do.  With companies (like Mochi!), coming out with "greener" technology and a variety of solutions, why not let the industry answer the question rather than guessing at what the right answer is?