Bay Bulletin

Isobutanol Cleared for Marine Use in Maryland

Due to the efforts of the Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) and executive director Susan Zellers, Marylanders may finally have a feasible and better alternative to ethanol in our boat fuel tanks.

Ethyl alcohol (ethanol), which is used as a biofuel additive to gasoline, is the same alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. Many boaters who have had unpleasant and costly experiences with the blend would agree that we should have left that combustible in our drinks. Issues with engine failure, fuel line deterioration and useless water-soaked E-10 fuel onboard have been persistent.

After extensive testing by the National Marine Manufacturers Association in collaboration with the Department of Energy and the Argonne National Laboratory, isobutanol blended fuel (i12.5) presents a solution to the problems. Higher-chain alcohols such as this are not as volatile or corrosive as ethanol, and they do not absorb water—the three main complaints about ethanol-blended fuel (E-10).

MTAM spearheaded the effort with help from Maryland delegate Herb McMillan to secure an EPA exemption to a biofuel-splash-blending rule thereby opening the path to isobutanol for marine on the Bay. Splash blending is a method where additives are mixed at the time of transfer and delivery from main storage facilities. EPA granted the exemption. 

Now it’s a matter of switching over, which will take some time as marine fuel distributors and outlets develop the supply chain. And there’s the question of price, which is unknown at the moment and will certainly fluctuate with supply and demand. 

Internal combustion engines will run without issues with mixtures of E10 and isobutanol (i12.5). However, the EPA requires that fuel vendors empty their ethanol storage tanks to the lowest possible levels before converting to the new fuel.

Interested marine fuel vendors with questions should contact Greg Roda,, at biofuel producer Gevo.


Clarks Landing Adds Manton to the Roster 

Tim Manton has joined the Clarks Landing sales team to focus on Sea Ray, Beneteau and brokerage power boat and yacht sales. Manton brings a passion for boating and a 100-ton USCG masters license to the equation. He is located at the Clarks Landing Bay Bridge Marina office;

Clarks Landing operates from three Maryland locations—Shady Side, Chester and Bay Bridge Marina.


Jackson Creek Dredged to nine feet MLW 

Keith Ruse at Deltaville Boatyard reports that after a 45-day public/private project hosted by the boatyard in conjunction with Middlesex County and Dock of the Bay, Jackson Creek is open for a wider range of traffic.

Contact Deltaville Boatyard for more information. 804-776-8900;


Annapolis Yacht Sales Takes on Ribcraft

Marblehead, Mass. builder Ribcraft has selected Annapolis Yacht Sales as its exclusive Maryland dealer and preferred service center for the Chesapeake region.

Ribcraft builds rigid inflatable boats for military, commercial and recreational markets in sizes ranging from 15 to 32 feet.;


Grady-White Wins Again 

At the Miami International Boat Show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association awarded Grady-White Boats the 2016 Customer Satisfaction Index award, the marine trade association’s top recognition for customer satisfaction in the fiberglass outboard boat market.

Grady-White has received this award every year in the fifteen years of the survey. Visit them online at

Talk of the BayMike Ogar