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What can boaters do to help save on fuel?

Here are ten tips to consider before you head out on the water.

1. Time for a tune up. Make sure you tune your engine annually to ensure that it’s running at its best.

2. Check your prop. Propellers are most efficient when they’re matched to your boat. The right prop can help increase your fuel efficiency.

3. Keep the prop and hull clean. Barnacles and other sea growth often make a home out of your boat which in turn will slow it down and affect your fuel economy.

4. Idle less. Engines today are fuel injected, so when they’re started, they’re ready to go in a couple of minutes.

5. Lighten your cargo and tanks. Take stock of what you have aboard and clean out what you don’t need. Don’t run with a full freshwater or fuel tank unless necessary. Added weight = more drag.

6. Watch your wake. A big wake is a big sign that you’re burning a lot of fuel. Reduce your speed and burn less.

7. Eliminate the drag. Canvas and bimini tops are great for sun protection but taking them down before you’re underway can improve fuel efficiency.

8. Trim Properly. Given the conditions, the right trim will help your boat run much smoother.

9. Plan ahead. The better you navigate, the less you’re running your engine, and the less gas you burn.

10. Become a Sea Tow member. Benefits include exclusive member-only discounts, like savings on fuel at participating marinas.


When refueling, ALWAYS be sure to follow the proper precautions to do so safely. Good rule of fuel thumb? Follow the thirds… 1/3 of your fuel to your destination, 1/3 back home, and 1/3 in reserve.

Sea Tow members receive free fuel delivery as a benefit of membership. So in the event you run out of fuel while on the water, your local captain will get you back up and running.



Find your sweet spot. Maintain a fuel log and keep track of your engine hours when you fill your tank and how many gallons you take on at each refueling. With this information, you can calculate your gallons per hour. Then keep an eye on your tachometer to find the RPM where your engine runs most efficiently.

Sea Tow Team

Sea Tow has been the premier leader in on-water boating assistance since 1983. We want to share news, press, tips and all things boating.

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