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Ethanol, Winboat, KVH, Thetford Marine in tech news


NMMA finds ethanol alternative

Engine manufacturers from across the recreational boating industry have identified biobutanol as a suitable and safe alternative biofuel to ethanol, which damages numerous types of engines.

For the past five years, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), under the direction and guidance of the U.S. Department of

Energy and Argonne National Laboratory, have evaluated the performance of recreational marine

engines operated on fuel containing up to 16i percent biobutanol.

The U.S. Congress has mandated a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended into the gasoline supply by 2022.

Methods to increase renewable fuels in the gasoline supply have primarily focused on ethanol. Multiple reports show that ethanol blends greater than 10 percent cause significant damage to marine engines.

Biobutanol does not phase separate in the presence of water like ethanol does. Phase separation occurs when water is introduced and ethanol separates from gasoline, forming two separate solutions. An engine won’t run on the ethanol solution, which sinks to the bottom of the tank and is corrosive. Biobutanol has a higher energy content compared to ethanol and has caused no performance-related issues in marine engines.

Consumer availability of biobutanol fuel blends is not expected for a couple of years, the NMMA said in a statement.

For more information on biobutanol, visit the U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center at, hover over “Fuels and Vehicles” and click on “Emerging Fuels.”


Winboat offers foldable RIBs in U.S.

Russia-based Winboat has begun offering its fully foldable RIBs in the United States. The design merges the compact properties of an inflatable boat with the performance of a classic rigid inflatable boat. Winboat foldable RIBs can be assembled and inflated in less than 10 minutes.

Constructed with a fiberglass, V-shaped hull and flexible tubes, the first prototypes were made in 2004. Winboat’s boats range from 9 to 15 feet and come with a 5-year warranty on the hull.

For more information, visit


KVH to distribute Fleet services

Inmarsat and KVH Industries began a reciprocal distribution agreement under which KVH is a global distributor of Inmarsat’s Fleet One and FleetBroadband services, and Inmarsat is a distributor for KVH’s Videotel Basic Training Package for all vessel types and NEWSlink newspapers for leisure and non-passenger merchant vessels. Both agreements are non-exclusive.

Fleet One is a voice and data service. Videotel’s Basic Training Package offers training on subjects including basic firefighting, coping with hazardous weather and entry into enclosed spaces. NEWSlink is a portfolio of more than 75 publications in 17 languages delivered daily by e-mail.

“KVH is happy to see more of Inmarsat’s customers gaining access to our NEWSlink news and Videotel training content, which are already used by more than 20,000 maritime vessels,”

said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH CEO. “KVH has sold Inmarsat’s maritime services to our customers around the world for nearly 20 years, and we’re pleased to become a global distributor for the new Fleet One services.”


Carbon fiber toilet debuts

Michigan-based Thetford Marine has introduced the short version of its Tecma X-Light carbon fiber toilets. Each toilet is hand-crafted of pre-preg carbon fiber for maximum rigidity and low weight, 15.4 pounds; the X-Light Short is 14.6 pounds and 13 inches high.

Like all Tecma toilets, the macerator unit and clog-resistant turbine are self-contained.

For more information, visit

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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