As we all know, pushing a heavy object through a fairly thick fluid with a propeller is difficult, requiring the expenditure of a lot of power. Fuel to produce that power is getting really expensive, and is likely to continue that way.

Do we have to punch that throttle every time we get the bow into open water? That’s a matter of personal preference, but it’s a fact that running at slower speeds will save fuel and money. And speed reduction is just one of many things boaters can do to reduce shock at the pump. Here are words of advice collected from the experts at and Boat Trader.

Attitude adjustment? Boston Whaler's 320 Outrage is a fast boat. It also idles well if you want a good look around...

The first order of business is to know how much you’re burning at different speeds and loads, and in different conditions. A fuel flow meter is a handy tool to help.

Installing a Fuel Flow Meter

Boat Speed vs. Fuel Economy

It should go without saying, but an engine in good condition will always perform more efficiently than one with gummed-up works.

Annual Outboard Engine Service - Do It or Don't?

The diameter and pitch of the prop, and even the material the prop is made of, make a difference in whether the engine is running at its optimum rpm., both for speed and fuel efficiency.

The Right Propeller, Part 1 and The Right Propeller, Part 2

These three cut right to the chase, offering specific advice on how to handle your boat to maximize fuel efficiency:

Burning Fuel Matters
Fuel Economy Secrets
Ten Ways to Run Efficiently

Finally, words of advice from the world of sailboats: Let Mother Nature help.  Use the positive current available to you, and avoid the negative.

In and Out With the Tide

Let's be fuel-frugal out there. See you on the water.

- Eds.