My trawler spends plenty of time sitting in a slip with her fuel tanks semifull and her powerplant twiddlin' its thumbs. To deal with the consequences, I installed a fuel polisher last year to remove contaminants, a savvy move in retrospect because I've since been able to keep my go-go juice surprisingly clean by simply and periodically flipping the polisher's switch.
Fuel burns less efficiently with age, however, and about a month ago I noted—or rather my wife noted—that our boat's exhaust was looking ominously dark and environmentally questionable. "Look at the soot on the transom," she said.
So I decided to give Starbrite’s new Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment (for diesels) a try. It had been prominently displayed on the shelves of my local marine store for several months. Moreover, it's based on naturally occurring enzymes, according to the label, a claim that had an environmentally friendly ring to it.
How does the stuff work? After using sight gauges on my fuel tanks to carefully calculate exactly how much Star Tron to add, then using the polisher to thoroughly mix it in (in lieu of chugging around in washing-machine sea conditions), I cranked my venerable Lehman and immediately noticed virtually no soot!
Starbrite claims the product has other benefits as well, like increased fuel economy and power, long-term fuel stabilization, and cleaner injectors, all things that will take more time to verify. But as for carcinogenic particulate emissions? They have been radically reduced. And no Racor or fuel-polishing plugups, either.
This article originally appeared in the September 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.