March 1, 2020 @ 4:00 PM

Benefits of Synthetic Lubrication to the Recreational, Charter & Commercial Fishing Industry

The Origin of Synthetic Oils .

Research into alternatives to petroleum oil began long before Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1933. But not until WWII choked off Germany’s crude oil supply and dramatically revealed petroleum oil’s failings on the front lines did a clear incentive to develop synthetic oil emerge.

The Limitations of Distilling Conventional Oils

Conventional oils have inherent limitations. Distillation cannot remove impurities detrimental to lubrication such as waxes, that solidify in cold and prevent engines from starting . Distillation can’t remove the lighter unstable molecules that evaporate due to high heat. The extreme conditions of warfare exposed the limitations of conventional oil and the world needed a better oil!


Albert J. Amatuzio  Pioneered Synthetic Oils for the Automotive and Marine Industry.

Amsoil’s , Albert J. Amatuzio developed the first American Petroleum Institute rated synthetic oil in 1972 which is why Amsoil is registered trademarked,  The First in Synthetics . Amsoil was the first to produce numerous other synthetic products to the market as well.  In 1994, Albert Amatuzio was Inducted into the  Lubricants World Hall of Fame for his pioneering achievements.

Necessity Drives Synthetic Lubricants Forward

True Group IV Synthetic Oils Are Built, Not Distilled!This means formulators start with individual molecules and build the oil from the ground up in a laboratory. No pun intended!

Chemists select only pure uniform materials best suited for lubricating an engine, which is typically ethylene when manufacturing synthetic lubricants. Using organic synthesis, chemists use ethylene to build larger molecules called alphaolefins to build polyalphaolefins which is the final product used to make synthetic motor oil.

What is the Formulation of Semi-Synthetic, Synthetic Blend and Full Synthetic Oil Today?  

 In a very abbreviated explanation, a legal dispute in 1999 between Mobil 1 and Castrol with respect to Castrol’s advertising claims and their refining process of how they manufacture synthetic oil has redefined the landscape of synthetic oil today!

Basically, highly refined or hydrocracked mineral oils are now marketed as synthetic oils even though they cannot provide many of the benefits attainable with that of a True Group IV PAO Synthetic oil. Therefore today, almost every oil manufacturer provides or markets some form of synthetic oils.

Today, full synthetic is most likely a Group III hydrocracked synthetic oil if it is not capable of extended drain intervals. Semi-synthetic and synthetic blend are likely conventional/mineral oil with some percentage of Group III synthetic oil formulated in the final product. The price of the oil to the  consumer should have some relationship to the categories of the Group oil base stock utilized in its final product.


How to Identify a True Group IV PAO Synthetic Oil?

Oil manufacturers keep most of the information or contents of their oil proprietary and there is typically no mention of the  Group oil base stock utilized in any description or formulation of their oil.

The best approach is to read the label on the back of the oil container and or look up the specification sheet on-line to determine the oil drain interval if available. Read the fine print disclaimers as well since it is common that severe duty driving conditions prohibit the use of extended drain intervals by many of the synthetic oil manufacturers since they are Group III hydrocracked synthetic oils.

Amsoil also manufactures Group III synthetic oils in their product line to remain competitive in the marketplace today since the court ruling in 1999  which allows Group III hydrocracked oils to be classified as synthetic. Oil drain  intervals are typically listed on the back of the oil containers or specification sheet. The sales price of the oil and the drain interval provide a good idea which Group oil base-stock is being utilized in the formulation of synthetic oils today!  

As an example, Amsoil 15w40 Heavy Duty Diesel & Marine Synthetic oil clearly states on the specification sheet available on-line.

Service Life 3X OEM recommendations, not to exceed 50,000 miles/600 hours or one year, whichever comes first. Drain intervals may be extended further with oil analysis.


2 Stroke Synthetic Engine Oil

Most 2 strokes oil manufacturers produce oil to perform on a mixture of 50:1 or less. 50 parts fuel to 1-part oil. When a synthetic oil manufacturer guarantees their product to operate at 100:1 ratio, you can bet that it is a top tier synthetic oil, probably Group IV with Group V additives. This is highest level and quality of synthetic oil lubrication and most expensive to produce.


Benefits of Synthetic Oils to the Marine Industry


Synthetic oil significantly reduces engine wear which helps equipment last longer which saves money.

Synthetic oil can improve fuel efficiency up to 5% due to less friction of a chemically pure lubricant to save money!

4 stroke marine synthetic oils are specifically designed with additives to resist rust due to the humid and wet operating environment of marine engines.

Extended oil drain intervals reduce hazardous waste and equipment downtime while costing less overall to perform maintenance annually.

High quality synthetic oils have less vaporization as measured by (NOACK Volatility test) resulting in better performance and reduced oil loss.

Synthetic oils provide better lubrication during critical engine start up since the oil molecules have a clinging effect to internal engine parts.

Certain synthetic oils can pour or flow even at temperatures of -38 degrees Fahrenheit creating easier start up in below freezing temperatures.

2 stroke synthetic oils reduce or eliminate harmful carbon deposits while significantly increasing equipment longevity. Synthetic 2 stroke oil generate less smoke as well due to the higher-level group oil base stock utilized .


Synthetic lubrication is here to stay…but all synthetics are not all created equal!