A Day On The Lake

A Day On The Lake

As part of a three-part series, TV storm chaser and action adventurer Ricky Forbes is exploring all that summer has on offer with help from Co-op fuels.

Summer in Canada is synonymous with lake life. For many, this means taking to the water for either an adrenaline-fuelled ride or a relaxing and leisurely cruise by boat or personal watercraft.

In either case, there are many things boaters need to know before revving up their engines. Get started with these crucial reminders to help ensure you don’t miss a minute of fun in the sun.


To protect your marine engine, take care to supply it with the right type of fuel. Use of an inappropriate fuel can result in damage to the engine and boat components.

“High-performance marine engines require high-performance fuels,” said Tyler Fraess with Martin Motor Sports. “It’s required by the manufacturer and it’s better for the longevity of the engine.”

All grades of CO-OP® Gasoline are Top Tier certified – a standard to ensure performance optimization and engine protection. Co-op’s premium-grade gasoline contains no ethanol and is ideal for small-engines. Regular and mid-grade gasoline may contain up to 10 per cent ethanol.

Fuels with ethanol can attack some fuel-system components such as tanks and lines if they are not made from acceptable ethanol-compatible materials. There is also a risk that alcohol separates from the fuel when exposed to water ,causing lower octane gasoline and a water-alcohol mixture that can’t burn.

Overall, most current marine engines are designed to operate on fuel with up to 10 per cent ethanol, but always consult the owner’s manual for the appropriate type of fuel for your watercraft’s engine.

You’ll also want to inspect your boat’s propeller for any damage. Discover Boating notes, “The smallest dent can cause your boat to lose performance and burn excessive fuel. A damaged prop( eller) also can vibrate, putting too much stress on bearings and seals, causing additional damage.”


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, higher octane fuel may also improve performance when towing a trailer, especially in hot weather.

Discover Boating offers the following suggestions for towing and trailering:

  • Determine the towing capacity of your vehicle – generally you’ll need a truck or SUV, but smaller cars can typically handle lighter fishing vessels.
  • The owner’s manual of a boat usually only lists its “dry weight” (the boat’s weight without the engine, accessories, etc.). When considering your vehicle’s towing capacity, be sure to add the boat’s motor, coolers, gear and anything else that might accumulate weight.
  • The heavier the boat, the more people needed to get it in and out of the water.
  • Transport Canada treats boat trailers as motor vehicles, so confirm it meets all necessary regulations.

Treat your boat and trailer like you would any other vehicle. This means keeping them clean and routinely changing engine oil, checking the lower unit oil and greasing wheel bearings. Don’t forget about Co-op’s premium lubricants like SONIC® Dynamix Plus or Sonic 4-Stroke SLAs, as well as other Co-op grease products, formulated to protect your recreational vehicle’s trailer wheel assemblies.

For more tips and suggestions on smart boating practices, check out discoverboating.ca.  And stop by your local Co-op Gas Bar/Convenience Store on your way to the lake to fill up on snacks and beverages for you, as well as high-quality fuels for your next ride.

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