TIPS FOR BOATERS   Leave a comment

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The efficiency of a boat motor package is dependant on a number of factors.  The following are some of the after market things that one should consider to assure the performance of a boat.

Weight makes a boat work harder as it moves through the water.  The heavier the boat the slower it will move.  By leaving some of your gear at home, or in your tow vehicle you can cut down on the weight of the boat/motor package.  If fishing, it is not necessary to take all your rods and terminal tackle on every trip.  Plan ahead as to what you are going to fish for or do with the boat.  It also makes keeping the storage areas cleaner and less prone to mold and mildew problems.

Motors, no matter how state of the art, need to be tuned from time to time.  This should include examination of the prop.  A poorly tuned or damaged prop reduces the engine efficiency when it comes to movement through the water.

You can actually lose up to 5 mph in boat speed with a damaged prop.  If the boat travels 50 mph with a new prop and only 45 mph with a damaged or out of pitch prop, that is a lost of 10 percent performance while using the same amount of fuel.

Over the course of the boating year, a poorly tuned motor/boat package can prove to be costly in terms of fuel costs and wear on the engine.

An oft missed aspect of boat care is cleaning the hull.  Stuff builds up over the repeated presence in a body of water.  It has been described as being like a dull knife.  It just does not cut through the water as well when dirty. Slime on the hull slows the boat and increases fuel consumption.

If a boat is equipped with adjustable trim tabs, as most bass and deck boats are, use them wisely.  They allow the boat to move through the water more efficiently.  Also the distribution of weight in the boat will affect the efficient performance of a boat.  A boat in trim uses less fuel.  Subsequently it costs less to use over the course of the season.

When towing a boat, the tow vehicle uses fuel and costs more to operate from a fuel standpoint.  It also can affect the durability of the equipment.  The most efficient trailered vehicle is one covered with a boat canopy that makes it more streamlined as it passes through the air.  If the boat provides less wind resistance, it is less expensive to tow.  The fuel mileage of the tow vehicle is greater for a covered boat.

Boats with pedestal seats should have the seats lowered and folded up to provide less resistance.  This is true either while being towed or moving across the water.  Additional wind resistance of a seat left in the upright, or at full height of the pedestal, causes the base of the pedestal to become loose more easily.  The pressure of the air will shorten the life the pedestal base mount.

One of the lesser understood aspect of a boat motor is the propeller.  The key to selecting the right size is the engine rpm.  If the motor is running at its top rpm at full throttle with a normal load then he prop is the right size.  If it is not making it to the top then the prop is too small.  It the engine is over revving the prop could be too large.  Make sure you load the boat as you would in normal use before trying this test.

Props come in a variety of metals and plastic.  Plastic is usually reserved for temporary use in case of an emergency.  Stainless steel is the most expensive and delivers the most speed.  Its thin blades reduce drag and they can be forged into different configurations to optimize performance.  That converts into better fuel mileage.

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