Magic Fuel Juice?

by Randy Vance | Boating Magazine | July 30, 2013

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I’m the biggest Doubting Thomas in the world when it comes to fuel additives claiming to make fuel last longer or burn better or do other miraculous things like increase economy or speed in a boat or car. Gasoline is gasoline and it contains a given amount of energy and based on the way your engine functions, it’s going to deliver a predetermined performance level in your vessel.

Even more unlikely to me is the idea that adding ½ ounce of some muddy looking sludge to 20 gallons of gasoline is going to give me better top speed and fuel economy in my boat. It’s also touted to help keep water molecules in suspension, an antidote for the ill-effects of ethanol in gas also claimed—and proven in BoatingLAB.com—by various fuel stabilizers like Stabil.

This stuff with the addition of far out performance claims is PetrolFusion. I first became aware of it under another brand name, AquoFusion. I patiently listened to the inventor’s schpeal, trying not to appear incredulous, condescending or, well, what I was: Doubtful.

The company claimed I’d get better fuel economy and up to 18% more horsepower out of my twin Evinrude 200 outboards on a Bluewater 2550.

I’d had the engines for four years. When they were new, the boat broke 50 mph, sometimes clocking 51 mph in ideal circumstances. By the time I got this stuff, there were over 300 hours on the motors and 48 mph was a pretty good top speed.

I put a 100 gallons of gas in and added an 8-ounce bottle of this stuff. If a little is good, an overdose has to be better, right? And what can a half ounce in 20 gallons do anyway? The claim is it reduces carbon build up, makes gas burn cleaner and better and helps protect the engines’ moving parts with a residual coating of nano-tech lube. And there’s that fuel stabilizer thing, too. OK whatever.

Well, the engines didn’t push me any faster, but I did have the feeling they were running smoother and more powerfully. The manufacture told me I OD’d the gas and negated the beneficial impact. As it turns out my counter-rotating engine was about to lose a bearing in the gearcase, too.

I had high hopes for fuel economy when it was repaired and back on the water. I forgot the PetrolFusion for a few trips and so burned through the overdosed gas and ran through another 60 or 80 gallons of untreated gas.

Finally, I remembered the goop, poured a shot in and added 40 gallons.

I hit 50 mph, a speed I hadn’t seen in a couple years. I got back to 2- to 2.2-miles per gallon in fuel economy—likewise something the rig hadn’t delivered in some time.

Next two times out, I added fuel and forgot the PetrolFusion. 49 mph top speed and 1.6 mpg.

On the following weekend, I refueled with the prescribed amount of PetrolFusion and my economy returned. I was again exceeding 50 mph. And here’s what I liked…when I used to get 2 mpg, it was at about 28 mph. Now I was hitting 2 mpg at 33 mph a much more satisfying and comfortable speed in this deep-V bottom boat.

I’m having a hard time doubting their claims.

I hit the Cape this past weekend for the Red Snapper fishing season. Bored on the way in, I was monitoring my vessel economy. I was trying to tweak out at least 2 mph and only getting 1.6 or 1.7. I’d forgotten the PetrolFusion.

I’m still skeptical. But this is what I observed.

PetrolFusion

Sixteen ounces is $60 bucks and treats 640 gallons of fuel, say 11 cents a gallon. Increasing my fuel economy from 1.6 mph to 2 mph—23% fuel economy improvement. I’d say it does what it says it does—it saves money. I know others who haven’t seen that benefit, but … I’m in! If you’ve had experience with this product or other fuel treatments the peeps at Boating Magazine would love to hear about them.

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