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Some useful tips to save gas money for your boat

May 17, 2008
Observer Today
With gasoline prices escalating by the minute, motorists and boaters will be looking for ways to save a few cents so they can get optimum enjoyment from their pastimes.

Here are a few tips from Boat U.S. for getting the most from a tank of gas:

Number one — Leave the “extra junk” at home: Don’t load the boat up with weight you don’t need. Do some Spring cleaning and when you find all the “stuff” that’s been collecting mildew in the bottom of your boat for years, take it home.

Number Two — Water weight: At 8.33 pounds per gallon, why keep the water in the tank topped off if you are only going out for the afternoon?

Number three — Tune her up: An engine tune-up is an excellent investment and should easily pay for itself over the summer.

Number four — Tune your prop: If your boat goes 30 mph with a like-new prop and know that you have noticed a few dings and dents in it the boat only goes 27 mph. that’s a 10 percent loss in fuel economy, or figure you are wasting one out of every 10 gallons of gas you are putting into your tank.

Number Five — Paint the boat’s bottom: This applies primarily when boats are in salt, or brackish water. A fouled bottom is like a dull knife. It takes a lot more fuel to push through the water. Maintaining a clean bottom free of algae, and seaweed would also be beneficial.

Number six — Keep the boat trim: Using trim tabs, or distributing the weight evenly will help move your boat through the water with less effort-and less fuel.

Number Seven — Go with the flow: Go with the tide whenever possible.

Number Eight — Install a fuel flow meter: A fuel flow meter is like a heart monitor. When consumption starts to rise, it’s an early warning system that somethings amiss. A fuel-flow meter will allow you to select a comfortable cruising speed to optimize the amount of fuel consumed. These meters cost about $300, but you can calculate your fuel mileage by dividing distance traveled by gallons at fill-ups. By using your log-book, you can approximate fuel flow using average speeds and time under way.

The last tip will cost you $19 but it could pay off big time over the course of a year. There are more than 870 marinas around the country that will offer up to 10 cents off a gallon of gas to Boat U.S. members, just for showing your membership card. If you are interested in joining, call 800-395-2628.That same membership will save you money on boat insurance, repairs, boat towing services and boat slips. Cool!

I would like to throw a note of thanks to the Boat U.S. Association. They have a Life Preserver or Personal flotation Device loaner program for organizations conducting events that will initiate novices to water sports like boating or fishing. The service is free and the only cost involved is for return shipping of the devices. Boat. U.S. has provided the life jackets for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club’s Take-A Kid Fishing Day program for two years now.

This year’s event will take place on June 7. We will have activities on the water at the Dunkirk Yacht Club which will include some hands on, one-on-one fly fishing, free fishing time with parents or guardian, Access to the Department of Environmental Conservation Law Enforcement vessel the SAFE boat, access to the Sheriff Dept. Patrol boat, as well as interaction with some of their water safety teams. We will also include activities at the Conservation Club including one-on-one training and shooting of compound bows at 3-D targets, (I anticipate lots of dinosaurs). There will also be fly tying, worm harness tying, target shooting with air/propelled cork guns and food for all. There will also be fishing rods, fishing gear and T-shirt give-aways. The fee is $5 to defray the cost of some of the gear and a photo to show us that the kids are using the gear, and having fun. Catching a fish is optional. Sign up is at the Conservation Club. If you know some youngster who would like to attend, notify a club member. Deadline is June 1.

Calendar: Looking for something new? The Chautauqua County Federation of Sportsmen will hold their annual Cook your own steak and auction on June 7 at the Westfield Exempt Firemen Hall in Westfield. Tickets are $35 per couple and are also good for their cash drawing. The auction has a great variety of items. Call 366-1772 for tickets or information

Gene Pauszek is an outdoor columnist for the OBSERVER.



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