Suzuki Marine USA Completes Ecofuel Run to the Capitol and Works with MMA to Promote Sustainable Marine Fuel During American Boating Congress
TAMPA, FL— The opening of the 2023 American Boating Congress (ABC) in Washington, DC, took place on May 8 and featured a small boat that recently concluded a vast and significant adventure — running by water from Suzuki Marine’s home state of Florida up to the nation’s Capital. This trip — dubbed the Suzuki Marine EcoFuel Run to the Capitol — covered more than 940 miles aboard a 26-foot Sea Pro center console powered by twin Suzuki DF140 outboards and fueled exclusively by new EcoGen90 sustainable marine fuel from VP Racing. This unique Suzuki-powered boat will be used during ABC for on-water demonstrations to highlight and promote the availability of new sustainable and environmentally friendly marine fuels to the boating industry and government decision-makers in support of an ongoing effort by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA).
“We undertook this voyage in support of NMMA’s initiative to educate and inform the industry, policymakers, and the boating public about alternative marine fuels,” said George “Gus” Blakely, Suzuki Marine Executive Vice President of Sales & Service, in a news release from May 8. “There are roughly 12 million gasoline-powered boats across America today, so these new fuels offer a real opportunity for boaters and the boating industry to make an impact and lessen our environmental footprint. Not only are these fuels formulated with renewable content, but they also produce substantially fewer emissions and even provide boaters with enhanced performance and reliability. This is a win-win for boaters, the industry, and the environment,” added Blakely.
With its bold graphics, this Sea Pro 259 was a floating billboard promoting sustainable fuels as it traveled up the U.S. East Coast via both open ocean waters and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). It was piloted for the entire run by Nick Abraham and Matt Dugas — both Suzuki Marine endurance test captains based at the company’s U.S. Technical Center in Panama City, Florida. In addition, Suzuki Marine executives and three top boating journalists accompanied them on different legs of the voyage.
Strategically placed stops to rest up and refuel were taken at key Suzuki Marine dealers along the route. Among the dealers involved in supporting this massive undertaking were Advance Marine of Jacksonville, Florida; Phil Dolan Yacht Sales of Savannah, Georgia; Cove 2 Coast Marine of Charleston, South Carolina; Coastal Marine of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Marine Warehouse of Wilmington, North Carolina; Fort Macon Marine of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina; Bill’s Marine of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina; Centerville Marine of Chesapeake, Virginia; Friday’s Marine of Saluda, Virginia and Newburg Marine of Newburg, Maryland.
Those on the voyage encountered the range of conditions one might expect over such a long trip covering six states. Some days, it flew along at 35 plus mph through flat calm ocean waters. On other days, the adventurers had to battle high winds, spray, and steep, closely spaced swells that required constant attention to the throttle.
Through it all, the fuel and Suzuki DF140 outboards performed flawlessly with instant starting, strong acceleration across the powerband, and great top-end speed. Fuel efficiency was also excellent, particularly considering the wide range of operating conditions. The boat logged 941.5 miles while burning 479 gallons of EcoGen90 fuel — just a tick under two mpg in a 26-foot deep vee center console with twin 140 outboards.
In addition to running the entire 940-plus miles on this new EcoFuel blend, these twin DF140 outboards were equipped with Suzuki’s now-standard Micro Plastic Collecting Device. These devices, which are integrated into the outboards’ cooling systems, were checked and cleaned regularly throughout the journey, with the bits of collected microplastic pollution being sent to Suzuki in Japan for review and analysis.
“This voyage was an important first step. We look forward to working closely with NMMA during ABC to shine a spotlight on new sustainable marine fuels and the positive impact they can have on our industry and the environment,” said Blakely. “I want to thank VP Racing and our many dealers who supported and participated in this important effort. Suzuki will continue to focus on removing microplastic pollution from our waters, reducing the use of plastics across our business, and spearheading grassroots efforts to clean up our coastlines as part of our CLEAN OCEAN PROJECT initiative.”