How To Save Boat Fuel
Summer is filled with great boating days and creating the best memories on the water. These days may be priceless, but as we move into the end of summer and beginning of fall, you may begin to realize how expensive all that boat fuel has been. The solution is NOT to take your boat out less! The solution is to follow these simple tips to keep your fuel usage as low as possible while still enjoying your time out on the boat.
- First, get all the unnecessary extra weight off your vessel! Remove anything you do not need, such as toys, water sport equipment, garbage, books, and any other heavy items that you do not need offshore. It may not seem like you are making much of a difference, but eliminating the excess weight on your boat will help it ride smoother and easier, saving you some money on boat fuel.
- In order to get the best gas mileage, you need to service your engine regularly. The same way a car does not run as well when it is overdue for an oil change, a boat needs to be serviced at least once a year in order to run at its best. Some engines will need specific servicing instructions, which you can find in your owner manual.
- While spontaneity is fun and exciting, you can get the most out of your fuel by making a plan for your boat trips. Know where you are going, for how long, and check the weather and tides before heading out. Unknowingly coming in contact with harsh winds, choppy water, and other stringent conditions will deplete your fuel faster than you realize. Plot out the safest and easiest route to make your fuel last longer.
- Keep the bottom of your vessel clean! This is especially important if you keep your boat in a wet slip. Underwater, plants and creatures can begin to build up on your boat, as well as dirt and other debris. It is easy for this to get out of hand, so scheduling regular cleanings is your best option. If you leave these to stick to your boat, it will cause extra drag on the water, which will burn through your fuel. Cleaning your boat this often may be time consuming, so another helpful method is to paint your hull with antifouling paint, as this will prevent all that build-up.
- Get a prop shop to take a look at your boats propeller. If your propeller is not in the right condition, then running your boat will cause a noticeable increase in fuel consumption. A prop shop has the equipment needed to repair your propeller as well as determine whether you need to be using a different propeller in order for your boat to be more fuel efficient.
- Another part of your vessel to check is the trim tabs. The trim tabs on your boat reduce drag and stop your boat from plowing. If these are not working correctly, you will have to run at a higher RPM, causing the boat to burn through fuel. Make sure that your trim tabs are working properly so that you have the smoothest ride possible and use the least amount of fuel.
- If you are a fisher, one way to run through boat fuel is to idle your engine. Not only does this burn way more fuel than necessary, but it also affects your boat long-term by reducing the life of your engine. Switching to an electric trolling motor will use no fuel at all, and it will save you money both short and long-term.