Boating Tips to Save Fuel

August 06, 2022

Now more than ever, boaters are looking for more economical ways to enjoy their time on the water. If you’re one of them, try these fuel saving tips to save money during this boating season.

Giving your marine engine an annual tune-up will increase fuel efficiency. Another simple fuel saver is to ensure that your propellers are matched to the kind of boat you have and what you use it for (e.g., towing water skiers, fishing). Ask the pros at a propeller shop for recommendations and experiment with different models. The right prop can potentially increase fuel efficiency by as much as 10%. Throughout the year, inspect the prop for damage and keep it clean. A clean, ding-free prop is even more efficient. For boats that spend a lot of time in the water, barnacles or stuck-on grass can create drag on the hull and make the engine work harder and use more fuel.

Now that the engine and hull are taken care of, take stock of what’s onboard. Additional weight means more drag. Clear out anything you won’t need, from extra gear to old, unused lines and tools. Of course, this does not include safety gear. Freshwater tanks can remain partially empty to save weight. Carefully plan how much fuel you need to have on board. A rule of thumb when planning for fuel use on any outing is you need to have one-third of your fuel to your destination, one-third back home, and one-third in reserve. If you don’t need a full tank to safely return (you obviously don’t want to worry about getting stranded), keep your tanks filled to a minimum.

Don’t forget to use your BoatUS app to identify which local fuel docks offer our member discounts. If you don’t have the app, you can download it for free at If you’re not a member and want to become one, give us a call at 410-255-8700. BoatUS has more details and tips at

Follow these simple steps, so you can save money this summer! As always, happy to help.