PS Advisor: 09/03
I was really pleased to see you publish an article on bio-diesel [July 15]. I first used it about 6 years ago when I had 5 gallons shipped from the Nopec factory in Lakeland, FL. The shipping cost to Vancouver, WA was almost as much as the purchase price. Happily, we can now purchase 100% bio on shore in five-gallon containers at Albina Fuel in Vancouver. Donaldson's Gas Dock just up stream from the Interstate-5 bridge in Portland, OR, also dispenses the 100% bio. This means some blending, of course, but we have been exceedingly pleased with the reduced soot and odor. And, of course, it is better for the air.
Two marinas in the immediate Seattle area sell bio-diesel. Elliot BayMarina sells B100, Shilshoal Bay Marina B20. For additional locations,see this link: www.biodiesel.org/buyingbiodiesel/retailfuelingsites/default.shtm.
-Barry Baker, P.E.Seattle, WA
Mike Elliott runs the fuel docks at Elliott Bay Marina and Shilshole Bay Marina which covers a lot of boats and they both carry bio-diesel. They also give you an oil absorption mat so you can catch the overflow before it hits the water.
Lake Forest Park, WA
The June 2003 issue of Maine Times says there are three bio-diesel outlets in Maine: one in Arundel, a Blue Hill co-op, and Frontier Oil in South China. There is also a short sidebar to this article from Captain John Foss of the American Eagle schooner out of Rockland. He says he has used bio-diesel in his boat for almost three years.
In response to your request for marinas that sell biodiesel, a few are listed on this forum. Also a good place to contact people who are using the fuel for marine and non-marine uses. http://forums.biodieselnow.com/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=9.
Thank you for the article on bio-diesel. I've used it in my boat for the last 4-5 years with no ill effect. It fuels my Yanmar 3GMF 3-cylinder engine in my 1979 Ericson Independence 31. I buy it at the local fuel dock along with diesel fuel at a mixture of 1 part bio-diesel to 3 parts diesel or 25% of the mix. It's readily available there at Marina Fuels, 310/823-2444 at $5.40 per gallon from the pump. Marina Fuels is located in Marina del Rey CA, a 10- minute drive north of LAX.
I am sold on bio-diesel, having used it both personally and professionally. After I repowered my Cheoy Lee Bermuda 30 with a Yanmar diesel engine, I used bio-diesel exclusively for close to three years until I sold the boat. It was wonderful—a clean, renewable resource, and when it burned, the exhaust smelled like popcorn. However, as you said, it was very difficult to find and also very expensive—$5 or $6 per gallon, although with a small engine, it was not a big deal, as it only amounted to approximately $100 per year. Now that I have a trawler with a 200-hp diesel, bio-diesel is no longer an option, and I deeply regret it.
I first became aware of bio-diesel, professionally, when we sponsored the "Sunrider Expedition." The Sunrider was a diesel-powered 25-ft. Zodiac RIB, which went around the world, powered exclusively by soy diesel and solar power.
I applaud the fact that you're bringing this fuel option to the forefront. I wish we could also bring it to the attention of Congress and the administration.
-J. J. Marie, President
Zodiac of North America
The way to this administration's heart is most likely through supply and demand. The best move might simply be to ask, and keep asking, your local fuel dock operator to stock bio-diesel. The few extra dollars spent per year will be a good investment in the future.