Biodiesel Boat Tours In The San Juan Islands

The same journey that had the new hubby and I cruising by the Andy Warhol exhibit in Jackson, WY took us up to the San Juan Islands of Washington state. While visiting the islands, we discovered the presence of several biodiesel-fueled charters and whale watching tours. To my knowledge, only one of these - the Bon Accord - runs on 100% biodiesel, while the others use a mix of bio and petroleum products. The Bon Accord is used to serve kayak tours, bringing guests to quiet spots where they can explore the islands with minimal impact and maximum enjoyment. Given that biodiesel is a much healthier fuel option for marine and freshwater environments, shouldn't it be more prevalent in the boating world? Apparently, the state-operated Washington State Ferries, which operates in and around the San Juan Islands has experimented with B20 biofuels, but experienced some challenges which lead to the suspension of the program. It seems that the biofuel mixture was clogging the vessels’ engine filters and fuel system. WSF is working with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) to design a research study to determine the cause of the ferry system’s problems with biodiesel.

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