Owning your own boat can be quite rewarding, but it is also a lot of work. Maintenance, docking fees, repairs… You do everything that you can to keep it in tip-top condition. However your biggest expense will always be fuel. With current gas prices, it can be difficult to decide whether you should take a trip or not. But what actually affects how quickly your boat consumes fuel? Here’s what you should know.
- Your Boat Type
Not all boats are made the same. Some have a malibu wedge while others don’t; a fishing boat isn’t the same as a cabin cruiser. This is because the engines are built differently and consume fuel differently. So you should definitely take the kind of boat you want into account when considering how much you have to spend on gas each month.
- The Average MPG
The miles per gallon determines fuel efficiency. On average, a boat will be about 1 to 4 miles per gallon if you’re traveling at a speed of 20 knots. If you want to calculate it for yourself, look at your total speed and the amount of gallons that your boat uses. That will provide you with your MPG.
- The Engine Type
Top-notch, high-end engines are going to require more fuel because they are pushing harder to get through the water. More horsepower means that it is using more gas.
- Engine Maintenance And Bottom Condition
This is entirely dependent on you; if the engine isn’t being maintained properly, then it’s having to work a lot hard to do the same job. That’s why it’s important to keep the engine in good condition.
The bottom condition is the kind of paint that’s used on the bottom of the boat. If it’s kept clean, then the boat will cut through the water more smoothly, allowing you to conserve on fuel.
- The Fuel Type
You should always follow the fuel recommendations for any particular vessel in order to keep it in good working condition and to maximize on your MPG.
- The Size Of The Boat
The bigger the boat, the heavier it’s going to be, and the heavier that it is, the more fuel it’s going to need to use to get the boat through the water. The length of the boat, however, will typically use less gas because the shape of it will more easily cut through the water.
- Hull Shape
As mentioned earlier, long hull shapes will cut through the water more easily. If you want to conserve on fuel, look for hulls that are V-shaped.
- Weather Conditions
Wind can greatly impact how much fuel you use. If you’re going against the wind or there are lots of waves, then you’re going to use up more gas to go the same distance. Adversely, going with the tide will help you to save on gas.
- Your Driving Style
Frequently starting and stopping or driving erratically will quickly use up your fuel, so start learning better driving practices. It’s best to go at a steady pace than to be constantly accelerating.
The amount of fuel that your boat needs, as mentioned above, can be greatly affected by a number of factors. If you’re interested in other ways to save on gas, feel free to contact your local supplier to see what they can do to help.