Top tips to save fuel
There are some simple tips to save fuel on a passage.
The use of an autopilot will assist fuel savings by holding a steady course, reducing the use of drag-inducing steering movement and minimising the distance travelled.
You should plan to navigate around compromising weather or wait until conditions improve.
Even very fast boats can gain fuel savings from picking the right time to depart if you do your boating in tidal waters.
Cutting down your speed and finding the optimum speed for your boat, aligned to the weather and water conditions will measurably improve fuel consumption. Smooth use of the throttle will also improve efficiencies.
Use the correct engine size for your boat and find the “sweet spot” - the most efficient running speed and trimming the boat when planing speed has been reached, will all improve efficiencies.
Use a fuel monitor. Most new boats have digital engine gauges to analyse fuel efficiency and can display fuel consumption data on multifunction displays such as those offered by Simrad®
Fuel gauges on boats can be inaccurate and running out of fuel on a trip compromises safety to all involved.
Using the right propeller will improve fuel economy by as much as 10% - the wrong prop causing your engine to over-rev or under-rev. Similarly, check for any damage to the blades which can impact performance.
Reducing weight by not carrying unnecessary items, or the number of people beyond the safe laden weight will not only improve performance but enhance safety. Balancing the load will also allow the boat to plane quickly
Drain the boat of any unnecessary bilge water before leaving the dock.
Reduce clutter on deck. Not only will this improve the aerodynamics of your vessel, it will reduce any potential trip hazards.
Minimise distance. A Simrad® chartplotter will allow you to chart the most direct course, delivering savings in fuel, and of course wear and tear on the vessel itself.