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7 simple tips to improve your boat fuel economy

A few years ago, gas station prices rose above $ 6.00 / gallon. My pals, who drove boats over 25 feet tall with two outboards, cried almost every time they filled up. Me? I was grateful that I had a smaller platform. Here are 7 tips to improve your boat’s fuel economy while saving gasoline.

1. Trailer of your boat. The easiest tip to save gas is to fill your tank at the gas station. The surcharge is lower than at the petrol station. You also save slip or berth fees.

2. Stop the engine! New fluids, plugs, and filters mean your outboard purrs like a kitten. Boat mpg increases, offsetting the cost of tuning.

3. Four-stroke versus two-stroke. When it’s time to repower, consider a four-stroke engine. Four hits used to be a lot heavier than two, but these days they’re lighter. The fuel consumption of the boat is not only better, but four-stroke cycles are also economical and environmentally friendly.

4. Size matters. Lighter hulls mean that boaters need less powerful outboards to propel them. Lower power outboards mean less fuel consumption in the boat. Work boats like Carolina Skiffs have no liners, which reduces the overall weight of the hull. Same goes for Jon boats. A maritime skiff offers a good combination as it has a modified V-hull and no liner. So performance is good while the boat’s fuel costs are lower.

5. The need for speed. Do you want to improve the fuel economy of the boat? To give gas. The boat’s fuel consumption increases with higher speeds and revs. So slow it down. Bring it on the plane and cruise.

6. A clean boat is a happy boat. Dinged props are less efficient. Dirty hulls with barnacles provide additional air resistance. The boat’s fuel consumption is worsened by air resistance and drag. So check the props and clean your boat, wax or lacquer hulls.

7. Match your performance to your boat. A recent trend is to maximize the performance of your boat. This is fine if you are not concerned about your boat’s fuel economy, but if you do, you should be running a lower powered outboard. Remember that if the power is insufficient, the engine will have to work harder to push the hull and crew. This will throw your boat’s fuel consumption out the window. When you strike the middle ground, you’ll get great performance while saving money.

There are many other ways to save gasoline, and that means you have more money to buy fishing tackle!

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a contributing writer for Covey Rise magazine, a contributing editor for Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer is a regular contributor to over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics including fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. When not fishing, Keer and his family hunt highland birds over their three English setters. His first book, A New England Coast Fly Fishing Guide, was published in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or www.thekeergroup.com.

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