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Boaters Can Cut Corners On Costs

Posted: August 21st, 2013 by Bill Dance

Surging gas prices have taken a bite out of family budgets in recent yearss and normally the first thing to get cut is recreation. But it doesn’t have to be so. And admittedly, and I mean really…how many of you are going to totally put the boat in storage and wait for prices to fall. As I thought, not many…and unfortunately, if we are waiting for fuel prices to fall, we could be waiting a VERY LONG time.

There are several ways boaters can save money and here’s a list of tips.

When hauling your boat back and forth to water remember:

* Always check the tire pressure on your towing vehicle and trailer. Low pressure can cause more resistance, and that results in more fuel burned.

* Simply making sure your boat sits level on the trailer will give you better gas mileage. It allows the trailer to be towed more smoothly and has less wind resistance.

* Double-check bearings and make sure bears and hubs are well lubed.

* A quality boat cover also offers less wind resistance.

* Heed speed limits, maintain constant speeds and accelerate slowly from complete stops.

* Always match vehicle’s tow rating to trailer weight. When towing, make sure the tow vehicle is capable of towing the boat and trailer package by checking the vehicle’s tow rating in the owner’s manual.

* Exceeding the tow rating on a vehicle not only reduces mileage, but also can be unsafe.

Of course, there’s also things you can do to save fuel economy that center primarily around the actual usage of your boat. These include:

* Don’t overload your boat. Before you go, take out the items you know you want need. A lighter boat burns less fuel.

* Keep your engine tuned. A smooth-running engine is more fuel-efficient.

* Keep your boat on trim and its bottom surface clean. If neither of these are in ship shape, you’re going to burn more fuel.

* Replace damaged props or tune those that need it. A prop that performs as it should doesn’t stress your engine, and in turn, also saves gas.


Nope, common courtesy won’t cut your fuel costs, but it could help you save money in blood pressure medicine.

Each summer waters are crowded with boaters that have their own recreational agenda.

Some want to fish. Some want to pleasure boat. Some want to water ski, and so on and so on. And despite the original idea of going to the lake to RELAX, the end result of crowded waterways can be the loss of common courtesy.

Yep, from the guy that cuts in front of you at the boat ramp, to the kid on the personal watercraft who blasts through your favorite fishing hole…there are often reasons for people to get mad.

But my advice…? Keep a clear head–an even keel. Be considerate and everybody will have a more enjoyable AND safer time on the water.

As always, catch one for me!

Bill Dance


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