Expert Tips for Saving Fuel

Power your center console with enough horsepower to get up on plane and running without difficulty.
Power your center console with enough horsepower to get up on plane and running without difficulty.John Linn

These expert tips will let you leave fuel docks in your wake and keep more cash in your pocket.

The best propeller for your boat will allow the engine to "turn up" to an optimal speed.
The best propeller for your boat will allow the engine to "turn up" to an optimal speed.John Linn

Choose the Right Prop
The primary criterion for selecting a propeller is to make sure it allows the engine to "turn up" to a speed within the band designated by the manufacturer - usually within 500 revolutions of absolute top rpm. Within that band, you can select a variety of props that will allow the engine to turn up, yet have differences in pitch and number of blades, plus possess more subtle characteristics such as rake, skew and cup.

Getting your bow up and hull out of the water helps reduce surface drag.
Getting your bow up and hull out of the water helps reduce surface drag.John Linn

Optimum Trim
Properly trimming out reduces the wetted surface of the hull by raising the bow.

An open console and T-top is better for fuel consumption.
An open console and T-top is better for fuel consumption.John Linn

T-Tops, Hardtops, Towers
Opening or closing windshields, and raising or lowering canvas enclosures can help improve fuel efficiency.

Slowing down your speed is a great way to better conserve your fuel consumption.
Slowing down your speed is a great way to better conserve your fuel consumption.John Linn

Back Off, Burn Less
Unless you're in a tournament, are racing to make a bridge opening or have that momentary need for speed that afflicts us all, slow down to save fuel without costing any real time.

Declutter your boat. Take out anything you don’t need to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.
Declutter your boat. Take out anything you don’t need to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.John Linn

Pounds = A Real Drag
One of the quickest ways to get more miles per gallon is to get the lead out!

Your boat hull’s paint job affects fuel consumption.
Your boat hull’s paint job affects fuel consumption.John Linn

Later Craters
Efficiency mavens select ablative paints, such as Interlux Micron or Petit Hydrocoat. These wear away, leaving a smooth surface. If your boat has sat idle for a while, it pays to hire a diver to scrub the bottom or to don a mask and fins and do it yourself.

Use your boat’s fuel meter to find an optimal speed for fuel consumption.
Use your boat’s fuel meter to find an optimal speed for fuel consumption.Boating Magazine

Electronics can also help improve your boat's efficiency and reduce the number of stops you make at the fuel dock. FloScan's CruiseMaster 5500 fuel meter is an effective way to record fuel consumed and find your most efficient speed.

Garmin's GMI 10 marine instrument.
Garmin's GMI 10 marine instrument.Garmin

Connect Garmin's GMI 10 to its GFS 10 fuel sensor and you’ll have an economy and gallons-per-hour fuel monitor.

Lowrance’s LMF 400 gauge.
Lowrance’s LMF 400 gauge.Lowrance

Connect the Lowrance LMF-400 or LMF-200 to Lowrance’s EP-60R gas engine fuel sensor, and you have fuel flow, consumption, trip fuel used and seasonal fuel information at the touch of a fingertip.

Maretron's FFM100 module.
Maretron's FFM100 module.Maretron

Maretron's FFM100 module, combined with an appropriate fuel sensor, delivers detailed fuel-management information to any NMEA 2000 standard display.

Mercury’s SmartCraft VesselView.
Mercury’s SmartCraft VesselView.Mercury Marine

Mercury Marine offers the SmartCraft VesselView integrated control center. It displays approximately 50 functions, including fuel level, fuel used, fuel range, low fuel and fuel to a waypoint.