Courtesy Suzuki/Ron Ballanti
Editor’s Note: Boating Contributing Editor, Capt. John Page Williams joined Team Suzuki for a leg of this trip, running right into Washington, DC. A naturalist, licensed captain and award-winning journalist, Williams is working on an in-depth report for you about Suzuki and VP Racing fuels.
This month’s opening of the 2023 American Boating Congress (ABC) in Washington, DC featured a small boat that recently completed a genuinely large and significant adventure — traveling from Suzuki Marine’s home state of Florida to the nation’s capital by water. This journey, dubbed the Suzuki Marine EcoFuel Run to the Capitol, spanned over 940 miles aboard a 26-foot Sea Pro center console propelled by twin Suzuki DF140 outboards and fueled exclusively by VP Racing‘s new EcoGen90 sustainable marine fuel.
This one-of-a-kind Suzuki-powered vessel was 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 National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) effort.
“We undertook this voyage in support of NMMA’s initiative to educate and inform the industry, policy makers and the boating public about alternative marine fuels,” said George “Gus” Blakely, Suzuki Marine Executive Vice President Sales & Service.
“There are roughly 12 million gasoline powered boats across American 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.
Courtesy Suzuki/Ron Ballanti
This Sea Pro 259 was a floating billboard advocating sustainable fuels as it traveled up the East Coast of the United States via both the open ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). Nick Abraham and Matt Dugas, both Suzuki Marine endurance test commanders based at the company’s U.S. Technical Center in Panama City, Florida, piloted it for the duration of the race. On various legs of the voyage, they were accompanied by Suzuki Marine executives and three top boating journalists, including the contributing editor of Boating Magazine, Captain John Page Williams.
Along the route, strategic refueling and rest stops were made at important Suzuki Marine dealers. 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, North Carolina; and Friday’s Marine of Saluda, North Carolina were among theOn such a lengthy journey spanning six states, the travelers encountered a wide variety of weather conditions. On certain days, it was traveling at over 35 mph over level, calm ocean waters. On other days, the adventurers had to contend with strong gusts, spray, and steep, closely spaced swells, which demanded constant throttle control. A significant portion of the trip was spent traversing the ICW, which fluctuated from extended no-wake operation to wide-open running to congested commercial shipping zones.
Through it all, the fuel and Suzuki DF140 outboards performed faultlessly, with instantaneous starting, strong acceleration throughout the powerband, and excellent maximum speed. Moreover, the fuel economy was exceptional, especially considering the diverse operating conditions encountered. The boat traveled 941.5 miles while consuming 479 gallons of EcoGen90 gasoline, achieving a mere 2 mpg with twin 140-horsepower outboards on a 26-foot deep vee center console.
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Courtesy Suzuki/Ron Ballanti
In addition to traveling over 940 miles on this new EcoFuel blend, these twin DF140 outboards were outfitted with Suzuki’s now-standard Micro Plastic Collecting Device. Throughout the voyage, these devices, which are incorporated into the outboards’ cooling systems, were inspected and cleaned, and the collected micro plastic pollution was 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 micro plastic pollution from our waters, reducing the use of plastics across our business, and spearheading grass roots efforts to clean up our coastlines as part of our CLEAN OCEAN PROJECT initiative.”
About Suzuki Marine
Suzuki is a leading manufacturer of 4-stroke outboard motors ranging from the ultra-portable 2.5 horsepower to the flagship DF350 V-6 with contra-rotating dual propellers. Over the years, Suzuki outboards have won nine Innovation Awards from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) for motors as small as 25 horsepower, demonstrating Suzuki’s commitment to making the best technology available to the widest possible audience. Over the past few years, Suzuki Marine USA opened a U.S. Marine Technical Center in Panama City, Florida and moved to a new corporate headquarters in Tampa, Florida, to be closer to the heart of the U.S. boating industry and boating capital
of the country. Through its CLEAN OCEAN PROJECT, regional cleanup and habitat restoration efforts around the world, and company-wide plastic waste reduction efforts, Suzuki has demonstrated a commitment to protecting coastal and marine habitat at home and around the world.