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Old 07-08-2022, 06:40 AM   #1
BroadHopper
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Default Gallons per hour

Just checking on what everyone is doing to save boating gas.

Normally I burn from 8 to 11 GPH on my 1988 223LS with 454MAG. I rebuilt the carb and leaned it a bit. I replace the oil with a thicker semi-synthetic. I also replace the 21" pitch 3 blade SS with a 20" 4 blade. I notice a 1 GPH average savings.

This year I played with the trim tabs and the power tilt so that I can maintain a plane speed of 25mph. I gain an additional GPH. I'm happy with the 6 GPH.

Any more tricks, other than stop boating?
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Old 07-08-2022, 07:51 AM   #2
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Looking at www.winnigas.com, it looks like Irwin Marine way way down the south end of Paugus Bay, via that crowded and slow Weirs Channel in Laconia has one of the lowest gas prices for boat gas at $5.59/gal for 89-octane, Citgo.

Drove past 603-Gas on Rt 25 in Moultonborough two days ago, and the big price sign said $4.499/gal.

It basically seems that no one SWIMS in Lake Winnipesaukee. With a $2.49 foam noodle swim safe belt, made with a noodle and a line down the center hole, tied tight around the waist, it will turn you into an automatic super distance swimmer with the breast stroke and side stroke ..... with ZERO gasoline use. ....

Wearing a pfd will keep you afloat and save you from drowning if you are somewhat drunk or are a non-swimmer, and it will help keep you warm, but you cannot actually go swimming too good while wearing a pfd.

Boaters should be required to pass a half-mile swim test to qualify for a N.H. boater's license. ....
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Old 07-08-2022, 03:07 PM   #3
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Any more tricks, other than stop boating?

Have you considered adding a fuel flow meter/calculator? I have found that GPH burn rates are not always intuitive and linear. I can often go "a little faster" and reduce fuel burn, depending on how specifically we are running. Or in other cases, I can go faster for no fuel burn penalty (in the 9-12kt range).
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Old 07-09-2022, 09:44 AM   #4
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Have you considered adding a fuel flow meter/calculator? I have found that GPH burn rates are not always intuitive and linear. I can often go "a little faster" and reduce fuel burn, depending on how specifically we are running. Or in other cases, I can go faster for no fuel burn penalty (in the 9-12kt range).
Thats a really good point!
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Old 07-09-2022, 09:52 AM   #5
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There are lots more options.

First empty the boat of all unnecessary gear! Weight has a pretty significant impact on efficiency.

Next make sure the bottom is really cleaned and waxed, to reduce drag.

Then consider running with less fuel, plenty of options on Winnipesaukee to refuel when needed, rather than running around with 50 gals of fuel you dont need that day.

After that, engine work. Make sure the spark arrester is clean, if its dirty/clogged you will have a rich fuel mixture. Specialty intake manifold and carb can help, possibly swap to an EFI system, and make sure you have all your ignition items updated. Get the best quality plugs/wires/etc you can find.

Every item on its own doesnt make a huge difference, but in totality it is possible to have a noteworthy impact.

ATB/Good Luck
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Old 07-10-2022, 05:23 PM   #6
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Thats a really good point!
If you have engines that are EFI, or anything from the last 15 years or so, odds are your engine already has fuel burn data coming out of the ECU. From there it is pretty easy to connect to a NMEA2000 network and just about any modern MFD will display and manage fuel burn data.

Depending on your engine/ECU you might be able to use a generic J1939 to NMEA2000 bridge, or you might need one from the engine manufacturer (more common with outboards).

For older engines, you need a device inline with your fuel feed (eg: https://www.westmarine.com/buy/lowra...nsor--15957285 )
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Old 07-10-2022, 09:15 PM   #7
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Let's see. There is no place on Winnipesaukee that takes more than an hour to get to at 22 kts. If I add fuel burn monitors ($500 x2?) a new MFD ($4000?) I spend $5000. I can reduce fuel burn from 25 gph to 23 gph(?) and save $12/hour? $12 sounds pretty good, but it will take 400+ hours to break even. If I'm cruising at displacement speeds (where I have never dumped a tray of hors d'oeuvres), my fuel burn is more like 5-8 gph.
Points:
1. Saving on fuel can be expensive
2. Fuel is only a small part of boating costs
3. You don't have to go fast to enjoy boating.
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Old 07-11-2022, 07:13 AM   #8
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Let's see. There is no place on Winnipesaukee that takes more than an hour to get to at 22 kts. If I add fuel burn monitors ($500 x2?) a new MFD ($4000?) I spend $5000. I can reduce fuel burn from 25 gph to 23 gph(?) and save $12/hour? $12 sounds pretty good, but it will take 400+ hours to break even. If I'm cruising at displacement speeds (where I have never dumped a tray of hors d'oeuvres), my fuel burn is more like 5-8 gph.
Points:
1. Saving on fuel can be expensive
2. Fuel is only a small part of boating costs
3. You don't have to go fast to enjoy boating.
Depends on your engines. If you have older engines and need inline fuel flow devices, it's less than $500 for a PAIR, not each.

A basic Raymarine Axiom 7 is less than $600.

A NMEA2000 starter kit is $100.

So realistically you're at about $1200. Unless you already have an MFD purchased in the last 10 years or so, then odds are it has NMEA2000 connectivity.

And of course my original comments were targeted at those who are burning enough fuel to make thinking about managing consumption rates worthwhile. If you're just puttering along at idle speed most of the time, then this whole thread isn't really relevant.

Also by monitoring fuel consumption, and possibly other engine data that you won't get on standard analog gauges, you get a better idea for how your engines are running and potential maintenance issues that can be done early before they get expensive.
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Old 07-11-2022, 09:52 AM   #9
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I was watching the Garmin MFD, equipped with the engine gauges/integration in my Finseeker center console this weekend. After filling up at Y and heading back at full speed (as I usually do), I burned 2 gallons getting back to the house. At full throttle it consumes 16-18gph. $12+ bucks each way to the gas station alone...I guess I need to slow down!
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Old 07-11-2022, 10:37 AM   #10
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I was watching the Garmin MFD, equipped with the engine gauges/integration in my Finseeker center console this weekend. After filling up at Y and heading back at full speed (as I usually do), I burned 2 gallons getting back to the house. At full throttle it consumes 16-18gph. $12+ bucks each way to the gas station alone...I guess I need to slow down!
and you make fun of me...;-)
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Old 07-11-2022, 04:07 PM   #11
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I was watching the Garmin MFD, equipped with the engine gauges/integration in my Finseeker center console this weekend. After filling up at Y and heading back at full speed (as I usually do), I burned 2 gallons getting back to the house. At full throttle it consumes 16-18gph. $12+ bucks each way to the gas station alone...I guess I need to slow down!
To my point above, slowing down might be beneficial to fuel burn, but you might also be surprised to see that it is not a linear relationship.

Assuming your boat is similar to the one tested here:

https://www.boatingmag.com/2020-finseeker-220-cc/

Slowing down to 18.9 knots would yield an increase in fuel economy, but below that pretty much anything down to hull speed is actually going to iNCREASE fuel burn.
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Old 07-11-2022, 06:09 PM   #12
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Wow, I can’t compete at all with these staggering numbers! Our 22’ Eastern with a Yamaha 115 averages but a piddling 1.8 Gal per hour. Mostly Glendale to Welch and back at maybe 22 MPH. Now I feel guilty especially as my wife holds both EXXON and Chevron stock

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Old 07-12-2022, 06:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
Just checking on what everyone is doing to save boating gas.

Normally I burn from 8 to 11 GPH on my 1988 223LS with 454MAG. I rebuilt the carb and leaned it a bit. I replace the oil with a thicker semi-synthetic. I also replace the 21" pitch 3 blade SS with a 20" 4 blade. I notice a 1 GPH average savings.

This year I played with the trim tabs and the power tilt so that I can maintain a plane speed of 25mph. I gain an additional GPH. I'm happy with the 6 GPH.

Any more tricks, other than stop boating?

MPG is the only way to know if you are saving fuel; you can burn GPH when sitting still. My last boat had a 454 and 24 degree stepped hull. My MPG peaked at 2.7ish MPG between 30 and 40 MPH. It was substantially worse at around 2.0 MPG (if memory serves) at 25 MPH and got around 2.2 MPG between 40 and 45 MPH. Slowing down a planing hull boat is not always the best solution for economy. That said, if I run my current boat on plane at a 20 knot (23 MPH) cruise, it currently costs me 7 bucks per nautical mile, if I run at 8.5 knots (10MPH) it costs me 2 bucks per nautical mile. Guess what speed I run...
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Old 07-12-2022, 06:47 AM   #14
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"If you have to ask (how you save fuel), you can't afford it."

JK, sorta, but at some level it is what it is. When we bought our new vessel, I looked up the efficiency chart and discovered that the engine is most efficient (vs. speed as a ratio) at 3500 RPMs. Since that's about 20 MPH, which is fine for a cruising speed, we tested it a few times ±500 RPMs going to West Alton sandbar and back, and it was about right.

The problem is there are so many other variables that might change the formula: Bimini open/closed, number of passengers/weight, current, wind, how many Pop's delicious shrimps I ate at lunch, etc. that, ultimately, it's not all that consistent.

I think the best thing to save gas is just change driving habits and use.

One thing that halves our daily use is going out with another couple. Along with more anchoring rather than cruising, it's a huge savings.

Oh, and finally, we've looked to save overall to make up for fuel costs—instead of eating out the other day, we ate lunch on the boat. The $100 lunch savings outweighed the extra $60 fuel. (Of course, we hit up Town Docks yesterday on the skis, which cost $90 along with $100 in fuel!)

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Old 07-12-2022, 09:53 PM   #15
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Unfortunately, (maybe fortunately??) I don't live on the lake and don't put enough time in to care at this point. We'll be up for a week renting in Alton again this year and I plan to boat just as I did last year. We split a place with 4 other families, 8 kids between 4 and 9, who love being on the water every day!

So long as I can afford it, I'll be out there toting them around letting them experience the joys of boating on the big lake! It helps that since I bring the boat the other families tend to make it a point to try and beat me to paying for fuel while we are up, its kind of a game at this point haha!
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Old 07-13-2022, 02:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave R View Post
MPG is the only way to know if you are saving fuel; you can burn GPH when sitting still. My last boat had a 454 and 24 degree stepped hull. My MPG peaked at 2.7ish MPG between 30 and 40 MPH. It was substantially worse at around 2.0 MPG (if memory serves) at 25 MPH and got around 2.2 MPG between 40 and 45 MPH. Slowing down a planing hull boat is not always the best solution for economy. That said, if I run my current boat on plane at a 20 knot (23 MPH) cruise, it currently costs me 7 bucks per nautical mile, if I run at 8.5 knots (10MPH) it costs me 2 bucks per nautical mile. Guess what speed I run...
20 for the win!
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Old 07-15-2022, 01:58 PM   #17
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Just paid $6.25 a gallon here on Winnisquam.


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Old 07-15-2022, 09:43 PM   #18
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Just paid $6.25 a gallon here on Winnisquam.
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Wow. Most places on Winnipesaukee are now under $6.00 and a couple under $5.00. Price should go down with the next delivery.
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Old 07-15-2022, 10:31 PM   #19
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I don't think Winnisquam has a lot of on-lake competition to drive down prices.
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Old 07-16-2022, 06:25 AM   #20
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Just paid $6.25 a gallon here on Winnisquam.


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You would think the Crawfords would match the price of the gas on Winnipesaukee! Currently $5.89. LLM is at $5.29.
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Old 07-16-2022, 06:44 AM   #21
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You would think the Crawfords would match the price of the gas on Winnipesaukee! Currently $5.89. LLM is at $5.29.
Why? Business is about getting as much as you can for your product. With little competition there is no need to lower the price.
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Old 07-16-2022, 07:09 AM   #22
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Same business. Two different buys. I assume he is still working off is last buy price. On Winnisquam they are your only choose for gas. Even knowing that they are and have been fair over the past few years


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Old 07-16-2022, 07:38 AM   #23
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Pricing too high would result in more customers using off-lake sources through their caddies.

Business try to stay competitive and prices generally reflect a mixture of demand and consumer inefficiencies.

Last edited by John Mercier; 07-16-2022 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 07-16-2022, 10:09 AM   #24
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44-miles and 65-minutes from the Wolfeboro town docks, the Panda Market in Buxton, Maine is now selling regular gasoline for $3.99/gallon.

And, a six gallon portable boat gas tank weighs about 39-lbs, so it cost about $24 to fill up the tank, there in nearby Maine, good-to-go for a 40 or 50-hp four-stroke outboard on a 16' aluminum side-steer boat. If your Lake Winnipesaukee boat is bigger than 16' w/ a 50-hp, then your boat is too danged BIG and paying for all that expensive gasoline is your own danged problem!

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Old 07-16-2022, 01:29 PM   #25
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You're going to drive 88 miles and 100 minutes to save... what?

You do know there are other stations much closer to the lake with lower prices?

Especially Winnisquam.
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