Warning: Why you shouldn’t fill up your boat with gas from a roadside gas station

Experts recommend using recreational fuel for boats

Boats docked along Lake St. Clair. (WDIV)

PONTIAC, Mich. – The Coast Guard has issued a warning that filling up your boat with gas from a roadside gas station could put you in danger out on the water.

Boating season has arrived for Michiganders, and there’s a new federal government order regarding gasoline.

“I think we’re going to probably see some problems in the future,” said BIll Nickolopoulos, the service manager at Colony Marine in Pontiac. “Boaters are not using their boats like people use their cars, so they don’t go through the amount of fuel that cars do.”

Many residents take their boats from the driveway to the water, so stopping at gas stations to fill up both the car and boat is convenient. But proposed new gasoline standards could cause problems.

“It’ll start ruining O-rings and rubber hoses, rubber fuel lines, stuff like that,” Nickolopoulos said. “The newer stuff is built to handle the 10%, but nothing that I’ve seen that’s with the 15% yet.”

Increasing the ethanol content in the gasoline makes it more environmentally friendly and helps the corn farmers of America. But mechanics at the Michigan Petroleum Association said the extra 5% ethanol could wreak havoc on boat engines.

“If we have to pump your tank, just to get rid of the old fuel is about $600, not including the labor to do so, and then put more fuel in and fix whatever damage it’s caused,” Nickolopoulos said.

Experts recommend sticking to recreational fuel -- don’t use regular.

“I would definitely not use the E15 yet,” Nickolopoulos said. “I’m not confident with that one yet.”

The new gasoline mixtures are set to take effect June 15.

Officials are sharing why you should not fill up your boat with gas from roadside gas station.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.