and to get more MPG out of a tank of gas" Jim, Florida
Carry less weight: heavier house boats require more power to push them through the water, so by removing
unnecessary items lightens the load, which translates itself into more mileage
Keep engine tuned: With proper annual
maintenance of the ignition, sparkplugs, timing, flame arrestor, and choke adjustment will easily pay for itself in fuel economy,
starting, performance, and engine life.
Plan your trips: one of the simplest techniques to save fuel
is to plan ahead in order to eliminate unnecessary traveling.
Use hull speed: the formula for calculating hull speed is the square root of your waterline,
multiplied by 1.34, = the theoretical efficient speed to cruise. Ex: 36ft waterline,
sq. root is 6, x 1.34 = 8.04 knots
technique: use enough power to have the houseboat climb up and over the front bow wave and maintain enough speed to ride in front of the wave. (visualize
a surfer out surfing ahead of a wave)
Fuel Flow gauge: many houseboats are installing Fuel Flow Meters
that are connected to GPS units which easily calculate and show the actual fuel consumption, MPG, fuel remaining, and estimated range. They will pay for themselves in no time just from the savings in fuel.
Warm up time:
an easy tip is to reduce the "warm up time" at the dock before departing. With
today's newer engines, computer controls, there's no reason to idle the
engines for more than a few minutes.
Less fuel & water: if a gallon of water is @ 10 lbs, and gasoline is @ 8 lbs, by calculating your needs for the trip or weekend, and maybe by having your tanks half filled, you can save yourself carrying 500 or a 1,000 lbs which translates
into money in the bank. Be sure to calculate your fuel consumption in order to use the 1/3 rule. (see below)
The 1/3 rule for fuel: is
to calculate 1/3 of the fuel
to get to your destination, 1/3 to get back, and to have 1/3 as a reserve in
Angle & trim tabs: proper boat angle helps to reduce the enormous drag that can happen when plowing through the water. Use the Trim & Tilt, and your trim Tabs to get the bow up depending
on sea conditions.
Proper propeller (s): for optimum fuel economy, be sure to have the correct pitch propellers to optimize
your houseboat milage. You want the engine(s) to be able to attain WOT with the average boat load. Improper propeller(s) are a major cause of poor fuel economy and can cause serious engine damage.