Top Ten Tips For Getting the Most From a Tank of Gas

Published online: Jun 20, 2007 News
Viewed 280 time(s)
Fuel prices are reaching their summertime highs in many parts of the country, so Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) has a few tips that could help stretch your fuel dollars:

1.
Leave the extra `junk' home:
Don't load the boat up with weight you don't need. Do a little spring cleaning - unused equipment that has been collecting mildew in the bottom of lockers for years should be taken home.

2.
Water weight
: At 8.33 pounds per gallon, why keep the water in the tank topped off if you're only going out for the afternoon?

3.
Tune her up
: An engine tune-up is an excellent investment and should easily pay for itself over the summer.

4.
Tune your prop
: If your boat goes 30 mph with a like-new prop and only 27 mph with a prop that's dinged and out of pitch, that's a 10 percent loss in fuel economy, or, you're wasting one out of every ten gallons you put in your tank.

5.
Paint the boat's bottom:
When boating in salt or brackish waters a fouled bottom is like a dull knife. It takes a lot more fuel to push your boat through the water.

6.
Keep the boat in trim:
Using trim tabs or distributing weight evenly will help move your boat through the water with less effort - and less fuel.

7.
Go with the flow:
Consult tide tables and try to travel with the tide whenever possible.

8.
Install a fuel flow meter
: A fuel flow meter is like a heart monitor; when consumption starts to rise, it's an early warning that something is amiss. A fuel flow meter also allows you to select a comfortable cruising speed that optimizes the amount of fuel being consumed. If you don't want to spring for a fuel flow meter (about $300), you can calculate your fuel mileage by dividing distance traveled by gallons at fill-up. Using your logbook, you can then approximate fuel flow using average speeds and time underway.

9.
For sailboats only:
While their engines are miserly, a sailboat with a fouled bottom, prop, or poorly maintained engine can have marked effect on its fuel economy.

10.
Get a discount:
Many of the 870 BoatU.S. Cooperating Marinas around the country offer up to 10 cents off a gallon of gas. To get the discount all you have to do is to show your BoatU.S. membership card. If you aren't already a member, join online now for a special rate of $19.00 by going to http://www.BoatUS.com/membership or call 800-395-2628.

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