by Conrad & Judy Kreuter
With gasoline prices so high and prices at the boatyard soaring, here a few money saving tips.
When fueling up try not to top off your tanks. Overflow fuel from the gas vent can amount to a considerable quantity. The summer’s heat can also expand the volume of gasoline in the tank causing it to overflow. Shut off the pump nozzle before the tank reaches full capacity. Purchase and use a fuel overflow container. These devices use a suction cup to attach over the fuel tank vent to catch fuel coming from the vent. Dock at a marina, which is closer to your favorite fishing area. Overall you will use less gas getting there.
Trailer your boat instead of docking it. You can fill up your boat’s gas tank less expensively on the street than at marina. You will also save by not having to paint the bottom each year. Consider high and dry rack storage instead of slip rental. It will also save the cost of bottom painting. Make sure your engine is tuned up. A well-tuned engine maximizes your gas efficiency. Have your propeller reconditioned. This will give better fuel economy. If you are considering a re-power of your outboard boat, investigate newer four stroke electronic fuel injected engines. Have your mechanic perform your tune up and winterization at the same time. This saves on double handling and labor time, which saves service charges.
Consider multi-function electronics like depth finder and GPS in one unit. You are only paying for one installation and the initial cost is less than two separate units. Have repairs performed by authorized dealers who have the tools, training, and technical information to get the job done quickly saving labor time and money. Take an adult education course on engine and boat repair. You can do minor repairs and tune-ups saving yourself money. Use your boat often during the season so that growth does not build up on the bottom wasting fuel and slowing the boat. If your boat has many seasons of old bottom paint, have the layers removed and start with a fresh coat of bottom paint to improve efficiency. Apply multi-season bottom paint. This will cut your bottom paint bill in half.
Consider paying your yard bill in advance and ask for an early pay discount, which many boat yards give especially over the winter. Join organizations like Sea-Tow and Boat U.S., which offer discounts thru participating marinas on repairs and parts. Take a boating course through the power squadron or Coast Guard auxiliary. Most insurance companies will offer a discount for the successful completion of a basic boating course. Watch for sales at marine supply stores. Stock up on reduced items.
Buy bulk oil for your outboard. It is the same quality oil. You just have to bring your empty container. You may save as much as $5.00 a gallon.