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    17 Fuel Saver Ideas-gctid400245

    17 Ways To Save Fuel

    This Summer

    By Tom Neale

    Don't let the dollar signs at the pump get in the way of your boating season. While different boats and circumstances require different tactics to minimize fuel consumption, there's usually more than one trick of the trade that'll work for your vessel.

    1 Watch Your Wake

    If your stern is digging a hole in the water, you're wasting fuel. Your boat may be unbalanced because of weight distribution, it may be overloaded, and/or it may be running at inefficient rpms for the load, engine, boat, and other circumstances. It's true that you can usually save fuel by running slower, but if you're digging a hole at the slower speed you've chosen, you're probably doing more harm than good.

    2 Give Seat Assignments

    To keep on an economical trim, don't let everyone sit in the bow or stern, and don't run on a heel (unless maybe if you have a sailboat). Keep safety and stability as an utmost goal as you do this. You may have to experiment to get the right trim, if it's safe to do so. Only move people around while the boat is traveling slowly, or stopped, considering the circumstances.

    3 Experiment

    Be creative with trim tabs or motor trim for the best ride with the load you have. Usually you can feel this and also tell by the wake. Fuel consumption meters help immensely. Optimum trim-tab position will vary with factors such as chop, wind, rpm, and load.

    4 Ditch The Dings

    If your prop looks the least bit askew or has any dings, pull it and send it in to be swung and reconditioned by a good prop shop. Just a little deviation in a prop can cost a lot of fuel. Often it's good to send it in every few years for checking even if it appears to be OK.

    5 Have The Proper Prop

    Ask a good prop shop or experienced engine installer to check if you have the best prop for your rig and usage. Often a motor will come with a standard prop that may not be the best for your boat. Determining this may require experimental running by qualified shop personnel.

    6 Run At An Even Pace

    Frequent speeding up after slowing down can consume extra fuel.

    7 Diminish Windage, If Possible

    For example, consider removing the bimini cover or T-top cover, if practical.

    8 Pick Calm Days To Travel

    Waves and wind can slow the boat and cause more fuel consumption. Even a little chop can slow many fast planing boats. Learn wind patterns for your area. For example, in many areas it's normally calm in the morning but a sea breeze kicks in during midafternoon.

    9 Try to Travel With The Wind

    If you have a choice as to direction of travel in chop and wind, pick the destination that's going with the chop. If you can, return on the opposite side of the river in a calm lee.

    10 Anchor, Or Pick A Closer Destination

    You can have all sorts of fun just sitting out at anchor for the afternoon.

    11 Check The Bilge Pump

    Make sure the float switch and pump intake are located so that they get the maximum amount of water out. Sometimes there's a significant difference in where the water pools while running and while sitting at the dock.

    12 Don't Run With Fuel And Water Tanks Full

    Liquid such as fuel and water adds a huge amount of weight and therefore consumes a lot of fuel. Figure, as a rough and approximate rule of thumb, 8 pounds per gallon to get an idea. But don't run with partially full tanks if this may sacrifice safety or range that you will need.

    13 Lighten Up

    Explore your boat for things that you can leave ashore. This could be especially helpful for lighter boats. Examples could include old lines that you don't use, soggy or impaired life jackets and cushions (which should be replaced, anyway), water standing in coolers, water in a bait or fish well, and junked non-working parts that can be stored ashore or ditched.

    14 Avoid Bottom Drag

    As your hull is moving over a relatively shallow bottom, or close to steep channel walls, it will meet resistance in pushing aside the water, and slow down and dig in, causing fuel waste, not to mention safety concerns. Never let this happen. Slow down. If your hull is a flat planing hull, you may not suffer from bottom drag, but slow down, anyway. You may be about to spend money on a lot worse than fuel bills.

    15 Keep The Bottom And Running Gear Squeaky Clean

    You'd be amazed at how much drag just a few barnacles or a little grass can cause. This is greatly exacerbated if any of those few barnacles are on the prop. You'll also be amazed at how quickly fouling can grow in many geographical areas, particularly in the summertime. It may take only a week or two.

    16 Keep The Engine Tuned, Oil Fresh, And Air Filters Clean

    Different engines have different tuning issues, including, for example, computer-controlled ignition, spark plugs, carburetors, fuel pumps, and fuel injectors.

    17 And Don't Forget!

    When buying fuel at our BoatUS Cooperating Marinas save up to 10 cents off per gallon. To find where you can fuel up and save, visit

    www.BoatUS.com/MSL.

    #2
    18 Buy a Dinghy.

    Comment


      #3
      like Rolls-Royce in the past: if you have to ask for the price you can't afford one.....

      Comment


        #4
        kjs wrote:
        like Rolls-Royce in the past: if you have to ask for the price you can't afford one.....
        so true...

        19- bring a senior citizen on board with you.. they are TAX FREE.. lol

        KEEP IT GOING.. SEE HOW MANY MORE IDEAS WE CAN GET...

        Comment


          #5
          I see #1 being done very very often. I see people here talking about running at low RPMs which keeps the hull bow-up and inefficient. I don't know why there is this myth that low RPM is best for fuel or engine wear. I get tired of repeating myself about this.

          Comment


            #6
            Forgot a big one; run with the tide or slack when possible.

            Comment


              #7
              TrophyTroubles wrote:
              Forgot a big one; run with the tide or slack when possible.
              Don't forget clandestine, 'guerilla' gas fill-ups under the cloak of darkness


              Comment


                #8
                LazyCrusr wrote:
                Don't forget clandestine, 'guerilla' gas fill-ups under the cloak of darkness

                LOL, I tried that at 2 AM for a couple years, but finally got caught. So SKIP this one Sarah!
                Tony, Cape Cod, MA
                Vice Commodore Bourne Yacht Club
                1994 Carver 390 Cockpit Motor Yacht
                454 Merc Cruisers inboards
                "HOLODECK"
                2014 10' hard bottomed Dink powered by 3.3HP Mariner 2 stroke
                www.bourneyachtclub.com

                Comment


                  #9
                  LazyCrusr wrote:
                  Don't forget clandestine, 'guerilla' gas fill-ups under the cloak of darkness

                  If I tried that at my marina.....they would throw me out on the spot.:sorrow:

                  We recently took a boat trip to a friends house.....he has a place on the water.

                  While we were there,(3 days) we topped off the tanks using cans and getting gas at the local station. It took four trips to put in 80 gallons. We saved .65c per gal. which equals $52.

                  If he lived closer, we would do this all the time..........unfortunatly, it's a 35 mile trip...one way.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    SwampNut wrote:
                    I see #1 being done very very often. I see people here talking about running at low RPMs which keeps the hull bow-up and inefficient. I don't know why there is this myth that low RPM is best for fuel or engine wear. I get tired of repeating myself about this.
                    Not all boats are the same. We have found reducing the speed to have a big effect on fuel consumption with our 3218 and with our 4588. Depends a lot on the size and the power plant.

                    Thanks for sharing this Beth.
                    Patrick and Patti
                    4588 Pilothouse 1991
                    12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
                    M/V "Paloma"
                    MMSI # 338142921

                    Comment


                      #11
                      SwampNut wrote:
                      I see #1 being done very very often. I see people here talking about running at low RPMs which keeps the hull bow-up and inefficient. I don't know why there is this myth that low RPM is best for fuel or engine wear. I get tired of repeating myself about this.
                      If your running 7mph at hull speed I do believe your pulling better mpg then running at 3600rpm on plane. I dont have flow meters, I will get some next year and test this. Dont you have them?

                      Now if your plowing at like 12mph bow high *** digging, then ur burning WAY more gas then needed, but if your cruising at hull speed I am pretty sure your getting better mileage. I dont even know how people can drive a boat like that, the 3055 bow goes so high you prolly cant even see the horizon. I sure can shut off 1 engine and get better mileage also.

                      I am aware 5.7 is most efficient on plane, but is it TRUELY the best mpg?

                      I also used to do the midnight fuelup, cant anymore at the new marina. Thats ok though, fuel here isnt much more then pump and no ethanol.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        R&Jonthebay wrote:
                        If I tried that at my marina.....they would throw me out on the spot.:sorrow:

                        We recently took a boat trip to a friends house.....he has a place on the water.

                        While we were there,(3 days) we topped off the tanks using cans and getting gas at the local station. It took four trips to put in 80 gallons. We saved .65c per gal. which equals $52.

                        If he lived closer, we would do this all the time..........unfortunatly, it's a 35 mile trip...one way.
                        I'm sure that I would get a loud, nasty yelling at at my place but doubtful they'd throw me out for a 1st offence. 2nd, good chance.

                        So I don't do it there, instead going to a lightly used ramp where my sis meets me. (BTW: you guys would probably love to see her lumping around 5 gallon cans!)

                        The one time anyone was around we just threw 'em in the boat and went for a short ride before filling - the swim platform makes this soooo easy. Anyway, at $4.99 marina prices I am saving over $1.30/gallon by doing this. 30 gals at a time, heavy for sure but quite doable!

                        Simple economics

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Above all... slow down.

                          If you're pushing water up and out of the way or trying to move a boat up onto the surface... you're burning fuel that is not used for moving forward.
                          Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

                          iBoatNW

                          1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Papa Charlie wrote:
                            Not all boats are the same. We have found reducing the speed to have a big effect on fuel consumption with our 3218 and with our 4588. Depends a lot on the size and the power plant.

                            Thanks for sharing this Beth.
                            YOUR WELCOME...

                            dirty bottoms save fuel..... we pulled it and cleaned 2 years of crapola off and increased our fuel/rpm by easy 75%.... blew us away... going from barely pushing 7knots to kicking 18 knots and looking like we are barely moving..:worth

                            we stay around 2100 when traveling... we are on the boat.. life is in NO rush for us to get back to town... no cell, no internet, no traffic, no worries..

                            Comment


                              #15
                              19. Leave Dixie tied up and take out the Mini.

                              Comment

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