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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Fuel on an imported boat

    My friend and i are considering purchasing a new pontoon boat from USA and importing it to the UK. I have been told that the fuel in USA is different in some way to the UK and the fuel tank and engine have to be modified. Can anyone give me any info on if this is correct please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Stratford on Avon
    Posts
    10,796

    Default Re: Fuel on an imported boat

    No mods required. Thy do have a lower octane fuel than our 95 RON, but our higher grade fuel will be good for the engine. The fuel tank and hoses would only need changing if you are planning to use 85% ethanol. No5 sure where you are going to source that

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Fuel on an imported boat

    Their lowest grade is a bit lower than our regular 95RON unleaded, their middle grade is pretty much on par with 95RON, their premium is more or less equivalent to super unleaded in the 97-98RON range.

    If the US literature demands at least 91 octane, 91 pump octane number is ~95RON unleaded.

    I would expect they will be designed to deal with US 89, as there’s absolutely no way the manufacturer can know with confidence the grade of fuel coming out the tanks in marinas will be even up to delivered spec.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Fuel on an imported boat

    In the US they use a different system for describing the octane number so their numbers do not translate well into the octane numbers there. In the UK (and Europe) the Research Octane Number (RON) is used to describe the octane level, and Motor Octane Number (MON) used by car manufacturers to state the performance of the engine for different fuel octane level. In the US they use a system called Pump Octane Number (PON) which is somehow between MON and RON.

    UK standard unleaded 95 octane (RON) is equivalent to 90/91 octane in the US
    UK super unleaded 98 octane (RON) is equivalent to 93 octane in the US.

    Fuel in the marinas in the US is usually 89 but I have seen 92-93.

    In terms of the impact, octane level will be reduced over time depending on temperature and exposure to atmosphere. So even in the UK if your tank is not sealed and having old fuel (over a month or so) the octane level is certainly reduced... not forgetting that some marinas' main tank is horrendous...
    Marine Surveyor

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Oxfordshire
    Posts
    4,135

    Default Re: Fuel on an imported boat

    Not sure of this but doesn't petrol in Europe have different additives/bio content which dissolve US fuel lines? Nothing to do with octane ratings.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    243

    Default Re: Fuel on an imported boat

    You are overthinking it a bit. Do not worry at all, my last US boat had a Mercruiser V8 GM engine, i always used normal 95 octane from the service station which i purchased 50 liters at a time with a 2 jerry cans in my car trunk on the way to the marina.
    The engine ran like a sewing machine from every time in the 3 year period i owned her before she was replaced with a diesel boat.
    In this period , i had an average of 110 engine hrs/year which is a bit more than the average boater.
    Ocqueteau 8.15,200hpNanni.
    Buster Sun R,25 hp outboard

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Oxfordshire
    Posts
    4,135

    Default Re: Fuel on an imported boat

    As its a pontoon boat are you using it inland, BSS regs require fuel lines marked with the appropriate British Standards so again fuel lines might need changing for BS marked ones.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    31,375

    Default Re: Fuel on an imported boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Marilyn Crook View Post
    My friend and i are considering purchasing a new pontoon boat from USA and importing it to the UK. I have been told that the fuel in USA is different in some way to the UK and the fuel tank and engine have to be modified. Can anyone give me any info on if this is correct please.
    Leaving aside the fuel issue, are you sure you can legally import such a boat? It will need to be CE marked which means complying with the RCD. It is highly unlikely the boat will meet this requirement given that such boats are not designed nor built for the EU market. Don't forget even if you overcome this difficulty you will have to pay VAT (and possibly duty) on the cost of the boat and all shipping charges.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Fuel on an imported boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Tranona View Post
    Leaving aside the fuel issue, are you sure you can legally import such a boat? It will need to be CE marked which means complying with the RCD. It is highly unlikely the boat will meet this requirement given that such boats are not designed nor built for the EU market. Don't forget even if you overcome this difficulty you will have to pay VAT (and possibly duty) on the cost of the boat and all shipping charges.
    Yes we realise it has to be CE marked and the standard rate VAT is payable on the cost of the boat and shipping costs and Import Duty at 1.70% is payable on the cost of the boat

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    8,614

    Default Re: Fuel on an imported boat

    The Americans have been using Ethanol in their fuel for longer than we have and use it in higher percentages than we do now, so should be ok in that sense.
    I don't think we use E10 yet, but they do in the USA.

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