Working on a boat motor
Tips To Better Fuel Mileage
Tips For Protecting Your Boat

Tips to Better Fuel Mileage

1. Don’t carry a full fuel tank around unnecessarily when boating on the river.  Keeping your tank full (for most boating trips on the river) is just carrying around weight that will increase your fuel consumption.  More weight means more fuel needed to get up on plane and to stay on plane.  We recommend a half a tank at most. The same is true for your water tank.  A gallon of gas weighs approximately 6 pounds and a gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds.  An extra 40 gallons of gas and extra 10 gallons of water will add approximately 334 pounds to your boat. The same logic applies to your holding tank–pump-out early and often to reduce the load you carry.

2. Keep the hull of your boat clean.  Marine growth can affect the hydrodynamics of your boat.  The river scum makes the surface rough and increases drag.  Make sure your boat’s hull is cleaned and waxed before launching it.

3. Make sure your prop(s) are in good condition.  Even small dings can dramatically reduce the efficiency of your boat. Also, the pitch and diameter of the prop(s) you have on your boat will affect both performance and fuel efficiency.  Ask our service department whether there is a better prop for fuel efficiency for your particular boat.

4. Make sure your boat is properly trimmed. A big wake burns more fuel.  Use your trim tabs to adjust the trim of your boat.

5. Distribute the weight on your boat.  Making sure that the gear and the people on your boat are properly distributed (both side to side and stern to stem) will prevent your boat from using more fuel than necessary.  A balanced boat is more fuel-efficient and much easier to drive.

6. Carry less gear.  Leaving more gear at the dock that you do not need on the boat reduces weight and saves you gas.

7. Keep your engine well tuned. Marine engines get more punishment than car engines so keeping them well maintained and tuned up often will improve their performance.

8. Avoid excessive warm-up time and idling. Using fuel to go nowhere is an expensive waste.

9. Don’t zigzag.  The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  Zigzagging means you are traveling further and burning more fuel.  Check your wake to see how straight you are going.

10. Slow down.  The faster boats go, the more use fuel they use.  Slow down and you may enjoy the view more, too, not to mention all the money you are saving!

11. Have a fuel flow meter added to your boat. Many of the new boats we now sell feature fuel flow or management systems that allow the skipper to monitor the fuel burn rates in real time. This allows you to adjust your trim and speed and find that “sweet spot” for better fuel efficiency in every condition for your particular boat.  Fuel flow meters can be added to almost any boat.  Stop in to our service department and ask for a quote.

Tips For Protecting Your Boat

1. Keep your anodes in good condition. Anodes are the one of the most important pieces of equipment to protect the submerged metal parts of your boat from corrosion. Unfortunately, many boaters fail to inspect their anodes often enough to make sure that they are in good condition and, therefore, able to do their job.

Anodes have been on boats since time of wooded sailing ships, when the corrosion caused the iron nails that held the copper sheathing to fail, which allowed the sheathing on the ships to fall of leaving them exposed to worm damage. Unprotected rudderpost straps also suffered the same fate.

Anodes are “sacrificial” metals that draw off the electrical current from the metal you are trying to protect. In other words anodes are metals you sacrifice to the corrosion gods instead of, for example, more expensive metals such as your outdrive. To work, anodes must have an “electron pathway” (be directly touching or connected by a wire), from the metal they protect and must be made of a material that generate more negative voltage than the metals they protect. For example, aluminum used in boats generates -.75 volts, while magnesium generates -1.6 volts.

Anodes are available in three metals:

Magnesium for freshwater use
Zinc for saltwater use
Aluminum for both freshwater and salt water.

Which is right for your boat? Where do you run your boat? Both magnesium and zinc anodes are cheaper than aluminum. So if your boat is used exclusively in freshwater, than magnesium will save you money. Zinc for exclusively saltwater boats. That said, aluminum anodes work and last longer in both water conditions so in the end, aluminum could be the anode of choice. In addition, aluminum is a good choice if you run fresh water most of the time and go salt water for a short time each season. Using aluminum anodes will save you’re the effort of having to switch anodes between trips to the ocean.

This is very important: NEVER INSTALL ANODES OF DIFFERENT METALS. This will essentially make you boat a battery and create a quickly corrode your metal parts. Also, use only marine approved metals. Boat anodes are made of alloy, a metal that is a blend of metals. For instance, if you used pure aluminum as an anode, it would form an oxide layer that will prevent the anode from working and lead to the corrosion you are trying to prevent.

Inspect your anodes often. If they are heavily pitted, eaten away, or have a patina over them, replace them. Spending a few bucks on anodes is a lot cheaper than replacing a set of props or even the outdrive!

2. Use a fuel additive for protection against phase separation of E10 gasoline. The introduction of ethanol into gasoline has been a challenge for the boating industry. The primary concern with ethanol is Phase separation. Phase separation results from the absorption of water by the ethanol in the E10 gasoline. Water is heavier than gasoline and as the ethanol attracts water, the resulting ethanol/water mixture sinks to the bottom of the tank, separated from the gasoline. This is known as phase separation. Untreated, phase separation can damage your injectors or carburetor and in extreme cause engine failure.

It gets worse. Because ethanol is more than 100+ octane, the ethanol in fuel is responsible for a significant amount of the octane rating of any E10 gas. As the ethanol drops to the bottom of the tank from phase separation, the octane rating of the remaining fuel is reduced. This can result in a loss of performance and engine damaging pinging and engine knock…..But wait, there more! In addition to phase separation, the ethanol acts as a solvent in your boats fuel system and engine. This means that it will break up tars, sediment, and strip away gums and varnish that may have accumulated in your tank. This debris can play havoc with your injectors or carburetor.

Don’t panic. There is an easy solution. We sell a fuel additive Star Brite’s Star Tron that has been proven to prevent phase separation and the other problems caused by E10 fuel. Used as directed, this additive will help protect fuel system and engine, which could save you the cost of some expensive repairs.