Gas, Gas, Everywhere, But Is It Safe To Use?

December 2015

On our Houseboat forum page, Amelia wanted to get some advice on what kind of gas would be safe to use for her Yamaha outboards:

I just made the hour-long trek to buy ethanol-free gas, all 10 gallons of it at a time, and decided that was a stinky chore I would like to minimize. So, does anybody know if I can burn 100LL (hundred octane low-lead aviation gasoline, which doesn't contain ethanol) in our Yamaha T-60 outboards? When we take the travel time into account, it's not THAT much more expensive, and it's readily available 10 minutes from home. We don't use enough to keep the ethanol stuff fresh, even with stabilizer added.

easttnboater: I don't see why it would not work fine. I would contact Yamaha and see what they say.

Amelia: Thanks for the thoughts! I called a Yamaha guy who said he didn't have the definitive official answer, but he did know that the state ferry that operates nearby had an outboard on a runabout they hardly ever used, and had continuing problems with gummed-up carburetors. He went over to the local airport, bought himself some gallons of 100LL, and has had no further problems. I think we may just go with that! At $5.50/gallon, it's not cheap, but neither is $4.05 for ethanol-free, an hour's drive (or 6 hours of perfect weather by homemade houseboat) away. And carburetor teardowns are really pricey. The local outboard guy thinks he has a license to steal. Bless his heart.

This conversation went on to include more advice about finding the right gas for your specific set-up, one of those things that’s important to get right. Check it out at www.houseboatmagazine.com/forum.

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