What you need to know about, fuel, oil, and your outboard fuel efficiency

Posted by Carolien Henn on Mar 31, 2022 5:56:47 AM

Fuel is an essential part of boating, and there’s no avoiding it, despite how much we may want to when prices increase.

Fuel efficiency is something largely overlooked by boaters, who are under the impression that it’s their outboard’s job to be efficient. But your outboard can only work with what you give it. It’s best to know as much as you can about fuel consumption to ensure you own an efficient outboard, you’re running efficiently, and you’re checking for the right warning signs when filling up or maintaining your beloved boat.


Fuel and Oil: What's the difference?

While perhaps not everyone might get confused between fuel and oil, most boaters aren’t aware of the benefits and functions of outboard motor oil compared to their knowledge of fuel. With every different motor oil brand telling you to purchase their specific product for a host of complicated reasons, many boaters aren’t sure what they’re putting into their outboards and why. We’ve covered the basics between fuel and oil for you below, but the safest measure is always to first and foremost trust the manufacturer guidelines – after all, they built the outboard and know how best to maintain it.


The price of fuel affects everyone, but there’s not much we can do about what fuel costs. But, we can do something about how efficiently our boats use that fuel. 


Eight factors that Affect Fuel Efficiency

  1. Size does matter: it is a simple fact that bigger outboards use more fuel;
  2. Boat size and weight: the heavier the boat, the more fuel will be consumed by the outboards to run;
  3. Maintenance plays a big role in fuel efficiency as neglected outboards run less efficiently;
  4. Running against strong winds, waves and currents may affect your fuel consumption negatively;
  5. Running an outboard with the wrong propeller or a faulty dented, dinged, chipped propeller reduces the overall performance of your outboard which in turn affects fuel efficiency;
  6. A dirty hull may cause additional drag through the water which in turn affects fuel efficiency;
  7. Maintaining constant speeds increases fuel efficiency;
  8. Motor oil lubricates your engine and so reduces the friction your engine experiences while running. The better lubricated your engine is, the easier it will run without friction, and the less fuel it will need to do so.


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