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Tech Tips – Petrol for Marine Engines

As some of you are aware I work for Caltex manufacturing fuels and I have been asked by WBAQ members what is happening with Unleaded Petrol as there is concern that it may come off the market entirely due to Government legislation.

I have asked Caltex’s marketing for some direction especially in relation to boat motors.

The current legislation proposed for QLD is a 5% mandate, with no ban on the sale of ULP.

Based on that, sites may sell both or just one or the other, ULP or E10. An alternative to E10 is Vortex 95 or 98, which would be suitable for marine engines. We did do a press release to NSW Boating Associations which they used for communication to their members, however, the proposed legislation is slightly different in QLD. The press release NSW is included for info.

Choose the right fuel to get the best performance from your boat.

January 19, 2010 – Environmentally friendly Bio E10 Unleaded fuel is suitable for most petrol vehicles, however it can cause significant issues for some boats.

In the interests of promoting the use of cleaner, greener, locally produced fuels, the NSW and QLD State Governments are taking steps to ensure the broader use of biofuels. In NSW, regular unleaded petrol is being phased out and replaced with an ethanol-blended fuel – e.g. Bio E10 Unleaded, which is petrol blended with up to 10% ethanol. Premium grade unleaded petrol without ethanol will continue to be available at your usual outlets. Although the environmentally friendly Bio E10 Unleaded is perfectly suitable for road vehicles, it can cause significant issues for boats. Some recently manufactured boats have been designed for use with E10, but always remember to check with your engine manufacturer for compatibility first.

Bio E10 Unleaded – What to expect

When used under normal boating conditions, the ethanol in Bio E10 Unleaded can cause issues for boat owners:

The condensation from your petrol tank can cause the ethanol to separate from the petrol, which can lead to ignition difficulties and ultimately engine damage.

The solvent properties of Bio E10 Unleaded dissolve and weaken the fibreglass tanks, making it prone to leaks.

It may cause problems for carburettors, rubber fuel lines, fittings, seals, and filtration systems.

If any spillage occurs, the ethanol will cause the paintwork to blister.

Choose Caltex Vortex Premium Fuels for your boat

To ensure your boat performs at its best, we recommend using either Caltex Vortex 95 or 98 Premium Unleaded fuels. Unlike regular unleaded, Caltex Vortex Premium Fuels are designed to clean your engine by removing performance inhibiting deposits from critical parts of your engine when used regularly. This results in more power, better acceleration and increased fuel economy for your boat. Vortex 98 Premium Unleaded also combines the highest octane grade to give your boat maximum performance potential.

For more information visit

Contact: Mabelle Reyes, Biofuels Marketing Manager, P: 02 9250 5652, E:

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