Boat Fuel and Boat Fuel Gauges

Boat FuelBoat fuel is the only regular cost associated with enjoying your fuel boat, and because it can be a significant cost depending on the size of your boat and how often you use it, many boaters want to be able to try to save as much money as possible on fuel for boats.

Boat fuel budgeting is something that many boaters don’t know exactly how to do.  Figuring out your car’s fuel mileage is fairly easy, but because the distance traveled by your boat isn’t as easily measured as in a car (boat fuel consumption is measured in gallons per hour rather than miles per hour), how do you know how much boat fuel you’re really using on average?

Unless you have a serious need to understand your exact fuel consumption (for example, charter boat owners and other professional boaters), you can learn a lot from simply learning how to conserve boat fuel.   Even sailboats with auxiliary motors that use considerably less boat fuel than power boats do benefit from learning a few tips to save money on fuel.

Simple Tips for to Save Money on Fuel Boats

  1. Check your boat fuel gauge – Boat fuel gauges are tricky things.  Because often the fuel gauge and the internal tank sensor are not actually manufactured by the same company, there can be issues with improperly working boat fuel gauges. In addition, the rocking movements of a boat can also affect accurate fuel gauge readings.    Your best bet is to you’re your boat fuel gauge checked if you suspect inaccurate readings. Fortunately NASA recently developed “a wireless fluid-measurement system for marine use,” which should one day help eliminate poor boat fuel gauge functioning.
  2. Reduce Your Boat’s Weight and Wind Resistance – The less extraneous gear you bring along, the lighter you will be.  Also, remove and store any canvases (and tubes when not in use) that you don’t need to cut down on wind resistance while cruising.
  3. Keep Your Engine Tuned – When your engine is properly maintained, you will enjoy better fuel economy, less emissions, and better performance.
  4. Kill the idle – Just like in a car, sitting for long periods of time while idling is a major waste of fuel for boats.  If you’re not moving, turn off the engine.
  5. Forget Full Speed Ahead – Once you get on plane, throttle back until you find a good cruising speed for your boat.  You will save tons of boat fuel by doing so.

One final tip is to make sure you shop around for fuel prices.  At, we make this easy by allowing you to search and compare boat fuel prices at your local marinas and fuel docks.

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