Every sport or hobby has its mavens of minutiae, like the baseball fan who can recite the Brooklyn Dodger lineup of 1948 or the political wonk who knows eight ways to stop a fi libuster. Well, boating has guys like that too, and I’m one of them. I’ve been collecting nautical trivia since I was a kid. It’s an obsession, and a good one too, since I’ve found that many of these little esoteric facts have helped me get more out of my time on the water, and impressed a few friends along the way.
Head Off Trouble
Telling guests that using too much toilet paper will clog the plumbing is not enough. Be specific. Tests show that six squares at a time is the maximum.
You use approximately a gallon of gasoline per hour at wide-open throttle for every 10 horsepower. Not super accurate, but surprisingly close.
Keep It on the Plate
Avoid “round” food, ones that roll around on the plate. Choose hamburgers over hot dogs, niblets over corn on the cob and mashed over baked potatoes. And always square off your meatballs.
You know the weight of your passengers, and maybe the gear. What about the sloshy stuff in the boat? It adds up fast.
1 gallon of fresh water = 8.3 pounds
1 gallon of diesel fuel = 7.1 pounds
1 gallon of gasoline = 6.6 pounds
The absolute minimum berth width that any normal human will be comfortable with. The length should be 4 inches longer than your height.
Approximate fuel consumption at cruising speed can be estimated as follows:
Diesel - 5.3 gallons per hour per 100 hp
Gasoline - 7.8 gallons per hour per 100 hp