9. Go Digital
Look through the performance numbers on the various boat tests in this issue. Despite different lengths and horsepower, boats typically settle into a sweet spot for the most miles per gallon and best range just after climbing onto plane. With digital fuel-flow monitors on the dash, you can monitor your best gas mileage in real time. Mercury even takes it a step further, employing an “Eco-Screen” in its SmartCraft gauges. The screen literally turns green and reads “optimized” when your boat is properly trimmed at the most efficient revolutions per minute. Mercury claims it provides a 10 percent to 20 percent increase in fuel economy. If gas costs $3 per gallon, and you use 500 gallons, that’s $1,500. With the gauge, you pocket major cash. Estimated Savings: Up to $300
Have some tips of your own for boating on a budget? Head to the forums to share them with your fellow boaters!