5 Ways to Improve a Boat's Fuel Economy

Fuel is rarely cheap enough to not notice the ongoing expense of filling up your boat. And who doesn’t want fuel efficiency out of a boat, car or any other vehicle? 

Fuel economy on a boat

When it comes to reducing a boat’s fuel consumption, there are several methods you can employ. Here are 5 ways to improve the fuel economy on your boat.

Use the Trim

Proper engine trim can reduce resistance in the water and help your boat run more efficiently. When you throttle up your boat, it pitches up. Once the boat gains speed, adjust the altitude of the hull to get it to run parallel to the water’s surface.

Boat fuel economy trim adjustment

Adjust the trim, which is normally done with a little switch operated by your thumb on the throttle. Not only does it help the boat run more efficiently, but it also provides a smooth ride for you and your passengers.

Lighten Up on the Throttle

Running on wide open throttle across the water is fun, but it burns a lot of fuel. You can economize plenty of fuel by just lifting a little bit. 

Boat fuel economy throttle

For example, rolling off the throttle just 600 RPMs on a 40-foot cruiser will knock about 5 mph off the speed, but it can also cut fuel consumption by over 40 percent. That sort of fuel savings adds up over the course of a season.

Drop Some Weight

The longer you have your boat, the more stuff you probably have on board. All that stuff is weight your motor has to push, so offload any items you don’t need. 

Boat fuel economy tips

Another thing that adds weight to a boat is the gasoline itself. Filling up your boat’s tank when you don’t need the extra fuel adds weight to your vessel. And if you don’t use it all up, you risk fouling the gasoline anyway without fuel stabilizer. Don’t fill the tank if you’re not going to use all of it, and/or add marine fuel stabilizer if the boat is going to sit unused for a while. 

Keep Up with Maintenance

Clogged filters hamper engine efficiency, so make sure the engine’s fuel and air filters are clean. Check the spark plugs, change the engine oil and inspect the propeller(s)

Boat fuel economy maintenance

Additionally, check for loose belts that can slip and cut the power. If you’re taking your boat to get serviced, winter is a good time to do it since many people have their boats put away until spring.

Clean the Hull

Trimming your boat reduces drag in the water, and so does keeping the hull clean. Algae can accumulate on the hull, especially if the boat is tied up at a marina.

Boat fuel economy tips hull cleaning

And even if your boat is trailered to and from the water often, road grime can accumulate on the hull and algae can still grow. Give the hull a good cleaning and waxing with an anti-fouling agent once a year to help improve your boat’s fuel economy. Keeping the hull clean and waxed allows it to move through the water more efficiently, thereby reducing fuel comsumption.

 

 

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