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- Steer Smart
Check local boating conditions such as currents, winds and swells before departure. A boat is less efficient in a messy chop, so do what you can to stay out of nasty water. Avoiding opposing currents, and your boat will save gas.
- Take Just What You Need
Take a look at what you are carrying, and what can be left behind. Hauling around a bunch of unnecessary gear forces your boat to work harder and use more gas. You do not need to carry as much fuel and water as your boat can hold, you can just take what you need for the day. You may also consider fuel additives and treatments that will help keep gas fresh, avoid moisture, varnish and gumming problems.
- Keep Your Propeller in Shape
This is another great boat gas saving tip. Keep your boat propeller always in top shape, because nicked or dinged blades not only diminish fuel efficiency, but they can also cause vibration and engine wear. Make sure you are running a propeller that allows your boat maximum efficiency.
- Change the Oil, Plugs and Air Filters
Regularly change the oil and spark plugs in your boat. Gasoline powered engines require mindful tuning. Replacing or cleaning air filter elements help engines breathe easier and operate more efficiently. Some experts claim you can improve fuel economy by as much as 10 percent by servicing an extremely clogged filter.
- Maintain Optimum Speed
Another boat gas saving tip is to maintain an optimum cruising speed. Needlessly pushing water costs money, and maintaining optimum speed, slightly faster than minimum planning speed will maximize your boat’s fuel efficiency. It’s also important to distribute the weight on board. Installing trim tabs can help.
- Study Your Gauges
If you install a fuel flow meter you can monitor your fuel consumption in real time, which is really helpful because this will allow you to accurately adjust the throttle and trim. Monitoring your speed, rpm and fuel consumption will help you find your boat’s most efficient planning speed.
- Keep It Clean
This boat gas saving tip should be applied regularly to always keep your boat in great condition. A hull covered with marine growth wastes gas. If you keep your boat in the water for extended periods, be sure to fight plant and barnacle buildup because any extra friction simply burns fuel. A fresh coat of antifouling paint prevents growth. Better yet, keep your boat on a trailer or in dry storage.
Video courtesy of BoatU.S.
Visit our next section to learn how to stay safe in the water while boating.