|Written By: Mercury Marine||Originally Published in the November 1987
issue of The Outfitter Magazine.
With prices at gas pumps increasing, it’s a thrifty idea for boaters to review their fuel-saving techniques.
The Mercury Outboards boating authorities offer these suggestions for economizing on fuel in ways that won’t cause you to economize on your boating or fishing enjoyment:
Remember that boating fuel is consumed on the highway as well as on the water. Make sure your boat trailer’s tires are properly inflated for improved gas mileage (longer tire life, too). Lubricate the wheel bearing periodically; reduced friction results in a smoother pull.
Watch your boat’s weight. The lighter you rig, the better the fuel economy will be, so check your gear and make sure you really need all the usual cargo. Balance your passenger load to help your boat get on plane quickly and reach the desired speed without plowing. Use your power trim feature to minimize the amount of surface in contact with the water.
Slow down. Wide-open-throttle running can increase fuel consumption by 50 percent or more. Once you get on plane, it’s far more economical to throttle back about one-third.
Shut down. Avoid excessive idling. Whenever you have to stop, shut off the engine. A warm engine restarts easily without choking.
Stay in tune. Proper ignition timing and clean spark plugs are necessary for optimum fuel economy. Your servicing dealer should inspect the carburetors for proper float level, correct jetting and smooth choke operation.
Keep your propeller in good shape. A damaged prop is a power robber. Make sure you’ve got the right pitch and diameter for your boat.
- Keep the boat’s bottom clean. A slick hull reduces underwater drag.