Gas-saving tips when boating

outboard motor oilGas prices may be on the decline, but so is the economy. It’s important to watch your fuel intake, and save every penny you can, especially when it comes to gas-guzzling outboard motors. All hope is not lost, though – here are some tips to save fuel when you’re out boating, according to the Boat Owner’s Association of the U.S.:

1. Leave the junk at home: Piles of excess weight will increase the amount of fuel burned per hour. Cleaning out 100 pounds of junk from your car will give you up to two percent more miles per gallon – so imagine what it’ll do for your boat.
2. Decrease the water weight: Don’t keep the water in the tank topped off if you’re only going out for the afternoon. At 8.33 pounds per gallon, it can really weigh the boat down.
3. Tune up: A tune-up and new outboard motor oil will get your boat running more effectively.
4. Tune your prop: A dinged prop will slow your boat down and use more fuel.
5. A fresh coat of paint: Paint the bottom of the boat. It takes a lot more fuel to push a dirty, chipped boat through the water versus one with a sleek new paint job.
6. Keep the boat in trim: Using trim tabs or distributing weight evenly will help you move your boat through the water more easily and with less fuel consumption.
7. Watch the tide: Check tide tables, and try to travel with the tide whenever possible.
8. Use a fuel flow meter: If fuel consumption begins to rise, it’s an early sign that something is wrong.

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