1If your stern is digging a hole in the water, you’re
wasting fuel. Your boat may
be unbalanced because of
weight distribution, it may be
overloaded, and/or it may be run-
ning at inefficient rpms for the load,
engine, boat, and other circumstanc-
es. It’s true that you can usually save
fuel by running slower, but if you’re
digging a hole at the slower speed
you’ve chosen, you’re probably doing
more harm than good.
DON’T RUN WITH FUEL
AND WATER TANKS FULL
12Liquid such as fuel and water adds a huge amount of weight and there- fore consumes a lot of fuel. Figure,
as a rough and approximate rule of thumb,
8 pounds per gallon to get an idea. But don’t
run with partially full tanks if this may sacrifice safety or range that you will need.
HAVE THE PROPER PROP
5Ask a good prop shop or experienced engine installer to check if you have the best prop for your rig and usage.
Often a motor will come with a standard
prop that may not be the best for your
boat. Determining this may require
experimental running by qualified shop
GIVE SEAT ASSIGNMENTS
2To keep on an economical trim, don’t let everyone sit in the bow or stern, and don’t run on a heel
(unless maybe if you have a sailboat).
Keep safety and stability as an utmost
goal as you do this. You may have
to experiment to get the
right trim, if it’s safe to
do so. Only move
people around while
the boat is traveling
slowly, or stopped,
considering the cir-
RUN AT AN EVEN PACE
6Frequent speeding up after slowing down can consume extra fuel.
13Explore your boat for things that you can leave ashore. This could be especially helpful for lighter
boats. Examples could include old lines that
you don’t use, soggy or impaired life jackets
and cushions (which should be replaced,
anyway), water standing in coolers, water in
a bait or fish well, and junked non-working
parts that can be stored ashore or ditched.
DIMINISH WINDAGE, IF POSSIBLE
7For example, consider removing the bimini cover or T-top cover, if practical.
PICK CALM DAYS TO TRAVEL
8Waves and wind can slow the boat and cause more fuel consumption. Even a little chop can slow many fast
planing boats. Learn wind patterns for your
area. For example, in many areas it’s normally calm in the morning but a sea breeze
kicks in during midafternoon.
AVOID BOTTOM DRAG
14As your hull is moving over a rela- tively shallow bottom, or close to steep channel walls, it will meet
resistance in pushing aside the water, and
slow down and dig in, causing fuel waste,
not to mention safety concerns. Never let
this happen. Slow down. If your hull is a
flat planing hull, you may not suffer from
bottom drag, but slow down, anyway. You
may be about to spend money on a lot
worse than fuel bills.
TRY TO TRAVEL
WITH THE WIND
9If you have a choice as to direction of travel in chop and wind, pick the destina-
tion that’s going with the chop. If you can,
return on the opposite side of the river in a
KEEP THE BOTTOM AND RUNNING
GEAR SQUEAKY CLEAN
15You’d be amazed at how much drag just a few barnacles or a little grass can cause. This is greatly
exacerbated if any of those few barnacles are
on the prop. You’ll also be amazed at how
quickly fouling can grow in many geographical areas, particularly in the summertime. It
may take only a week or two.
3Be creative with trim tabs or motor trim for the best
ride with the load you have. Usually
you can feel this and also tell by the
wake. Fuel consumption meters help
immensely. Optimum trim-tab posi-
tion will vary with factors
such as chop, wind, rpm, and
ANCHOR, OR PICK A
10You can have all sorts of fun just sitting out at anchor for the afternoon.
KEEP THE ENGINE TUNED, OIL
FRESH, AND AIR FILTERS CLEAN
16Different engines have different uning issues, including, for exam- ple, computer-controlled ignition,
spark plugs, carburetors, fuel pumps, and
... AND DON’T FORGET!
17When buying fuel at our BoatU.S. Cooperating Marinas save up to 10 cents off per gallon.
To find where you can fuel up and save,
CHECK THE BILGE PUMP
11Make sure the float switch and pump intake are located so that they get he maximum amount of water out.
Sometimes there’s a significant difference in
where the water pools while running and
while sitting at the dock.