Having a stress free vacation is top priority for all of as when it comes to travelling. This is the same for sailing too. Since prices at the pump remain high, it is even more useful to pay attention to certain technical parameters that can really reduce fuel consumption. If you rent a boat, here is a list of 9 essential tips to save fuel while enjoying your trip.
1 – Appropriate motorization
If you’re always at full speed to reach a normal speed, your boat is most likely underpowered. In this case, a more powerful outboard may be necessary. Think about getting a 4-stroke engine, which is much less fuel consuming.
2 – A properly fitted outboard
Neither too high nor too low, the outboard must be at the right height in relation to your boat. Ideally, the anti-ventilation plate of the outboard should be in line with the bottom of the hull when the trim tab is in neutral position.
3 – A well adjusted trim
Positive, negative or neutral? It all depends on your boat, the use you make of it and especially on the condition of the seas or oceans on which you are sailing. The trim allows you to adjust the angle of your engine, which affects the deviation of the water flow and therefore the pitch of your boat.
If the trim is positive your boat will tend to pitch up. Ideal on flat water or to have your back to the waves. Conversely, if the trim is negative, your boat will be flat. This position can be optimal when the boat is upwind or in a turn and if the sea is in front (be careful when loading the boat).
Finally, if the trim is neutral, your boat will be slightly raised. Good solution if you are in the chop.
4 – An adapted propeller
One of the essential tips to save fuel is to check your propeller. It must be adapted according to the boat, the motorization and your navigation programs.
5 – A well-maintained engine
An oil change is of course necessary from time to time. Their frequency varies according to the number of hours of sailing, but also according to the age of the engine. To find out how often they should be done, consult your boat’s maintenance guide.
6 – A clean hull
It is also important to check the condition of your hull fairly regularly. Don’t hesitate to clean and treat it to remove algae and shells that like to settle on it and add weight to your boat. This is an easy tip to save fuel.
7 – The weight on board
Find out what the weight limit is for your boat. Obviously, the heavier your boat is, the more fuel it will consume. Make sure you distribute the weight evenly throughout the boat and don’t overload it unnecessarily.
8 – A good preparation
Good preparation beforehand will avoid making detours or going backwards and thus consuming more fuel. Always carry a map and/or GPS with you at all times.
9 – Flexible navigation
And lastly, on the list of the essential tips to save fuel is relating to the navigation. If one manoeuvres suddenly or accelerates too abruptly, fuel consumption will increase drastically. Maintain a steady speed and avoid jerking for the sake of your wallet and your crew.