Back in the dark days of winter, Lenny Rudow wrote a post called Free and Cheap: In Boats We Trust that was very popular with readers. In it he described 10 ways to save money while boating, including cheap ways to make your boat look better without spending big bucks. Now deep into summer, here are a few additional tips that will save you money while boating.

gas pump and boat 1974

Even during the gas crisis in 1974, gas was cheaper at the station than this close to the water—if you could find any. Photo courtesy EPA

1. Fill up at the gas station, not at the marina

Gas is expensive, but it is more expensive the closer to the water you buy it. Fill up on the way to the launch ramp instead of at the marina and, depending on the size of your tank, you'll probably save at least a few bucks.

2. Make those repairs yourself

We've got a lot of helpful How To and Do It Yourself info on You can save money and down time, increase your boating satisfaction, and maybe even learn a new skill by making small repairs and improvements on your own. Luckily most boaters like to share information, so you probably won't have to go farther than the nearest dock (or waterside watering hole) to get help with just about any project.

3. Avoid buying products with "Marine" in the name

There are many products targeted for boaters that are identical to a non-marine-branded product, and usually the price is much higher. This is especially true for cleaning, sealing, and polishing products, but it also applies to anything you would use both on and off a boat. There are often valid reasons to pay for the extra waterproofing or saltproofing, especially for specialty items. For everything else, buy the "household" version.

That's it, three tips to save you money before you even get to the boat. Enjoy the summer, and let us know if you have other ideas to add to our growing Cheap Boating Tricks list.