5 Ways To Cut Fuel Costs
Whether you’re fishing in a weekend tournament of spending some quality time with family and friends, anglers tend to cover a lot of water over the course of a day. While modern outboards are surprisingly fuel efficient, there are ways to cut your fuel spending even further, and save a few bucks for the next trip to the tackle shop.
The best way to reduce fuel consumption is to ease up on that throttle just a little bit. Not many anglers realize it, but by simply reducing the speed of your boat from full throttle to maybe two-thirds, you can cut fuel consumption by as much as 50 percent! If you’re not in a rush to hit your spots, why bury the throttle? Pull back even a little and you’ll be able to count your savings. Over the course of a full fishing season, throttling back just a little can save you an awful lot of money.
Balance The Load
Balancing the weight inside your boat is another easy way to reduce your fuel costs. Always try to distribute passengers and gear so that your boat can easily get up on plane and not plow in the water.
Once it is planed out, trim your motor up gradually so you have as little of the boat in contact with the water as possible. By reducing drag this way, you’ll shave even more dollars off your fuel bill.
Keep Up On Maintenance
Keeping your motor properly tuned is an easy way to maximize fuel economy. Neglecting to change out engine spark plugs each year might save you a few dollars in the short term, but you’ll pay for it in the long run through higher fuel consumption. You’ll also shorten the life of your engine.
Keep Your Boat Clean
Even the simple act of keeping the bottom of your boat free of algae and crud can pay big dividends at the gas pump. If you trailer your boat, take the time to give it a periodic cleaning to remove aquatic growth. A few minutes with a pressure washer can make a world of difference. Beyond that, washing your boat and the engine’s lower unit can reduce the chance of accidentally transferring invasive species from one waterbody to the next.
If your boat is permanently moored at the cottage or a marina, it’s worth it to thoroughly clean the hull at least once a year with a soft bristle brush and a good hull cleanser like Boat Brite. Then, give it a good waxing to keep growth from adhering through the season. The smoother your boat hull, the less force required to push it through the water and the less fuel you’ll need to burn.
Update Your Engine
If you have an older motor, you might consider replacing it with a newer one. Modern outboards are incredibly fuel-efficient – to the point that if you use your boat a lot, you’ll notice a huge savings in your annual fuel bill. It might even be enough to offset the cost of that new motor.
High tech engineering makes modern outboards so fuel-efficient that it can really pay to upgrade to a newer engine – both figuratively and literally. Apart from offering significantly better fuel economy, new engines require far less maintenance than older outboards so, and have much less environmental impact. They’re quieter to operate, there’s no smoke in the cockpit, and they’re remarkable reliable besides.
Saving a few bucks here and there really adds up. By thinking about what you can do to reduce your boat’s fuel consumption, you can probably save enough each year for a new rod and reel, a brand-new GPS, or even a trip south for some salt water action. Now there’s incentive!