The fuel system is the heart of your boat, so it's extra important to make sure it is taken care of properly before storage. Fuel system problems are the #1 problem among boat owners. With ethanol blended into today's gasoline, boat owners face an even higher chance of corrosion in their fuel system, which can lead to costly repairs.
To avoid potential consequences, it's imperative to fill your gas tank 95% full of fresh fuel and add a stabilizer like Marine Formula STA-BIL Ethanol Fuel Treatment and Stabilizer, as gas can go bad in as little as 30 days. Make sure you do NOT top off your tank because when it gets warm again, the gas may expand, causing spills.
By stabilizing your fuel, you'll protect your fuel system against corrosion, gum and varnish build-up and help clean the fuel system. Once you've filled your tank and added a stabilizer (for STA-BIL® Marine use 1 oz. to every 5 gallons of gasoline), run the engine for a few minutes to make sure the stabilized fuel is pulled into the carburetor and injectors.
Caution! There is confusion among some boat owners who think draining their fuel tank will help protect their engine. However, it's impossible to fully drain your fuel system. The remaining tiny droplets of fuel are exposed to air, which in turn creates gum and varnish buildup and corrosion on the walls of your system. The build-up can develop in key places that completely inhibit fuel flow or cause fuel leaks and can lead to a variety of engine problems including complete engine failure come springtime.
Written by Tom Bingham - Tom is director of marketing at Gold Eagle Co. with six years of experience in the performance chemical industry and seven years in the outdoor power equipment industry and is a certified small engine mechanic.