Fuel certainly isn’t getting any cheaper. With another price hike always just around the corner, owners of any type of vehicle need to make a tank of petrol stretch that much further. Boat owners are no exception. While there’s no magic petrol formulation that will last twice as long and nobody has yet invented a boat that runs on water, there are still measures that you can take to make your boat more fuel efficient and lessen the frequency of refill trips.
The more aerodynamic your boat, the less fuel it will consume. Take down the canvas, and lower your windscreen if you can. Remove anything that will cause drag and air resistance. With a lower profile, your boat will not work as hard to propel itself and the result will be a decent saving on fuel. Also keep your load to a minimum – whatever is non-essential can stay on the pier.
The further your bow is sticking out of the water, the harder your motor will have to work – this comes down to aerodynamics again. What you need to do is make sure that your hull is as level to the water’s surface as possible. Adjust your outboard to lower the bow and raise the stern – but keep her level. Don’t let her tilt too far towards the bow. The flat draft will really help your motor to push without overworking.
You don’t want a propeller that’s sized for speed, nor do you want an undersized one that struggles to drive your boat. What you want is the perfect in-between – a prop that is pitched to cruising speed. The happy medium will again ensure that your engine is not overtaxed.
Just like any other motor, your boat’s engine will work most efficiently when it is checked regularly and kept well-tuned. An overworked and under-maintained engine will bleed fuel and cost you dearly.
You’d be surprise at how little it takes to create a fuel-guzzling drag on your boat. Even rust, sediment and barnacles on your hull will create a greater aerodynamic load for your engine to bear. So, make sure you check and defoul your hull regularly to improve your boats overall performance, as well as aesthetic appeal.
While you’re busy cleaning… You will have noticed how much debris and dirt can get trapped in or wrapped around your propeller. Check the prop(s) before and after every trip to ensure consistent smooth running.
Contact us for more fuel-saving and maintenance tips or for advice on selecting the best boat for your boating needs and running budget.