Four Fuel-Saving Tips | Boating Magazine

Four Fuel-Saving Tips

Extend your range with these fuel-saving tips.

Fuel-Saving Tips

Adding more fuel capacity to your boat, whether with a fuel bladder or by installing a built-in auxiliary fuel tank, is a common way to get the desired range and maintain enough fuel for a margin of safety. But it is possible to extend your range without spending a dime on extra equipment or time in installation of accessories. Check out these ­fuel-saving tips.

Having the right propeller can make a big difference in improving your boat’s fuel economy. In general, you want a prop that allows the engine(s) to rev up as high as possible and still remain within its rpm range. Try a variety of props, including three- and four-blade models, to find out which one works best for your boat.

Another variable that can affect economy is weight. We realize that those extra cases of water and that spare pair of water skis are convenient to have stowed aboard. But you will burn more fuel for carrying them. In fact, Boating conducted a test and found that the test boat’s fuel burn decreased by 1 percent for every 100 pounds we removed from the test boat. The horsepower-to-weight ratio is as important a tool for those designing boats as it is for those buying boats.

A boat with a clean, smooth bottom will reward its owner with enhanced efficiency. Remove old cratered layers of anti-fouling paint and recoat with an ablative paint that will maintain a smooth surface. Drag increases as an exponent of speed, so even minor imperfections count.

Make sure your engine is running in top condition if you want to get the best fuel efficiency.Adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Replacing ill-performing spark plugs and cleaning or replacing air filters are just two items that can save you dollars on fuel.