With ever rising fuel prices and concerns over fuel supplies, boaters are paying attention to the efficiency of their engines now more than
ever. Increasing your fuel efficiency saves you time with fewer trips to the fuel dock; saves money through using less fuel; and saves the environment with decreased
emissions. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your tank of fuel:
Tune your engine. A properly tuned engine not only gets better mileage, it just
runs better and has fewer emissions. Your engine should be serviced at least once a year by yourself or a qualified boat mechanic. We strongly recommend
following the proper maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer of your particuliar engine. If your boat has set up for several months without being
run, it will need to have the carburetors cleaned in likely hood. Gas additives now in our gasoline cause all sorts of problems if the engine in not run on a regular basis. Be sure and get you engine serviced.
Use the appropriate propeller and check for damage. If your boat goes 30
mph with a like-new prop and 27 mph with a prop that's dinged and out of pitch prop, that's a 10 percent loss in fuel economy, or you are wasting one out of
every 10 gallons you put in your tank. Using the stock propeller may not be best suited for your type of boating. By experimenting with different props, you may
find one that saves fuel and improves performance. The biggest thing you have to worry about with the pitch in the propeller is to make sure the pitch of the
propeller allows the motor to generate or run in its recommended RPM range. As we have said, "a damaged prop, even a slight ding, can negatively affect fuel
efficiency and performance, get it fixed!" A hub that is slipping will cause excessive use of fuel. Lake Conroe Marine has a complete on premise propeller repair facility.
Drain boat of all unnecessary water before leaving the dock. At about eight
pounds a gallon, excess water weight can really add up. The lighter your boat is the better gas mileage you'll get. Keep bilges dry and top off water tanks only if
you think need it. If you are only going boating for a day or even a shorter period, you may not need water in the 'head". If you have a pontoon boat, check to be sure there is no water in the pontoons.
Reduce unnecessary weight and wind resistance. Bring only the gear you will
need for your outing. Everyone doesn't need his own personal cooler, water jug, eetc. Leave long range cruising gear at home if you are only headed out for the
day. Clear your decks of clutter and lower canvas tops, they create drag. Having two or three anchors isn't necessary in most circumstances.
Balance your load and allow the boat to plane quickly. Many boats are stern heavy with occupants, motor, batteries and fuel. Consider
moving passengers forward when accelerating and getting on plane. You can move some of your heavier items forward to balance your load. Passengers seem to like to relax in the stern; but, this concentrated
weight will require much more fuel useage to get the boat started and on plane. The bigger the boat the bigger the problem with to much weight aft.
Throttle back to cruising speed after start. Chances are that your boat does not
get the best mileage at full speed. Once you get up on a plane, throttle back slightly and find that speed where you boat is on plane and the motor is running
smooth without effort. Your boat will ride smooth and level and performs at its best once you find this speed..
Keep the boat in trim. Using your trim tabs and distributing weight evenly will
help move your boat through the water with less effort and less fuel. Make sure engine height is set correctly so that your engine is not too deep in the water
creating additional drag. Over trim will cause the nose of the boat to be up and also cause excessive use of fuel. Trim your boat to run flat and effortlessly.
Avoid excess engine idling. Visiting with the motor runing is a big user of fuel.
Even when idling in neutral, your boat is consuming fuel and the noise can be especially annoying to those around you. Plus idling can produce potentially
deadly carbon monoxide (CO) fumes. Some boats will have blowers in the engine compartment for these situations; however, just shutting the engine down and visiting is better that idling for a long time.
Use the proper fuel to oil mix for your engine.
If you must mix your own fuel, follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Too little or too much oil can harm your engine, affect overall performance and reduce fuel efficiency.
Purchase a low emission, fuel efficient engine. When looking at a new boat or
repowering your existing one, look for an engine that promises better fuel economy and lower emissions. Today's engines even rival the raw power of older gas-guzzling engines.