July 05, 2006
Fuel Gauges - Guestimators At Best
Never trust your fuel gauge. Though RIBs have great fuel economy – they still can’t run on empty.
Too often, boaters rely exclusively on what the fuel gauge reads – unfortunately, unlike a car, the gauge on a boat is not accurate and is really only an estimated assumption at best. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense – when does the boat ever sit level in the water for the gauge to get an accurate reading. Definitely not underway – you can just imagine the fuel sloshing from end to end in the tank causing the sender to jump up and down.
The best way to insure you never run out of fuel is to understand exactly how much fuel your boat consumes under normal operation. The best way to do that is to establish a base line. A Vessel Assist captain gave me this easy tip:
Fill your tank and then take your boat out and cruise for one hour at your normal running speed, timing it so that you end up at the fuel dock at the end of your one hour test run. Top off your tank again. Then, use the amount of fuel you put back in your tank as your estimated hourly burn rate. Using that and your hour meter, you can easily figure out how much fuel is in your tank at any time.
It’s always good to follow this general rule of thumb. A 1/3 of a tank is for heading out; 1/3 of your tank is for getting back; and a 1/3 is for reserve.
Posted by ribcraftusa at July 5, 2006 10:10 AMBack To Index