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Yachts and Fuel – How Much do they Really Consume?

yacht fuel economy

Fuel is one of many annual running costs of a yacht. Not only does the yacht need fuel for cruising; the generators require it to keep the vessel running while at anchor and underway. As well as this, many of the water sports toys require it too.

Some yachts cross the Atlantic Ocean twice a year between the Mediterranean and Caribbean while others embark on world cruises. That equates to a lot of fuel.

So How Much Do They Really Consume?

According to the Yachting Pages, the longest Superyacht in the world, 180m M/Y Azzam, holds 1,000,000 litres of fuel. To put it into perspective, that is the equivalent of filling a regular hatchback car 23,800 times. Or, six Boeing 747 commercial airliners.

West Nautical’s Vessel Manager, Tony Hildrew, a former Yacht Chief Engineer said:

“Fuel is the single biggest expense when it comes to yacht operations, it is estimated that the global spend on fuel is around $150bn annually however this shouldn’t put you off, there are a number of ways to ensure your fuel consumption doesn’t get out of hand. Implementing a Ships Energy Efficiency Management Plan or SEEMP for short is a great way to keep fuel costs down without compromising on your cruising experience.”

Each yacht will consume fuel differently for a number of reasons. It could be the size and make of the engines. Or, how often the yacht is using generators. As well as the number of tenders and water sports toys on board that require fuel. For example, if the yacht is out at anchor and running on generators 90% of the time, the fuel consumption will be much higher than a yacht that is in a marina at night and connected to shore power and water.

Another factor that will affect fuel consumption is the yacht’s itinerary. This is because the sea conditions will impact how much fuel the engines consume.

yacht fuel economy

How Is Consumption Measured?

You will be able to input the start and ending points of your cruise on the map. This will automatically update the distance table. The next step is to enter the speed, fuel consumption and cost of fuel per litre to determine the cost of the trip.

Here is an example: A fast 30m yacht cruising at 20 knots will consume roughly 400 – 500 litres depending on the engine type. This would equate to the total consumption of 2500 litres for a distance of 100 nautical miles.

Another example is, a 70m yacht looking to travel 100 nautical miles with the engines burning 1000 litres per hour would add up to a total consumption of 8335L for that passage. Depending on where the yacht bunkered, the estimated cost with the price per litre being on the low end at €0.90 per litre would cost a total of €7501.50. An example of a 100 nautical mile passage would take you from Saint Tropez to The North Coast of Corsica.

How Much Does It Cost?

Fuel prices fluctuate depending on which country you bunker in and some places you bunker offer tax free fuel such a Gibraltar and Montenegro. Fuel prices can vary but typically costs between €0.80 and €1.30 per litre.

Yacht charter, sales and management company West Nautical added:

“Fuel costs should be at the top of any yacht owner and captain’s minds for two reasons: to minimise costs as well as reduce the environmental impact of burning unnecessary fuel. The superyacht charter market, more than most other markets, relies on pristine waters for their guests to enjoy their holiday. If the oceans in popular charter destinations are not maintained, it will decrease the demand for yacht charter and therefore the revenue for owners.” “If you are looking for expertise in operational management and engineering in order to plan a SEEMP, West Nautical would be delighted to assist.”

yacht fuel economy

About West Nautical

West Nautical sell, charter and manage superyachts from their head office in Newcastle upon Tyne. The business currently employs a team of 21 staff throughout their offices based in the UK, Russia, France and Cyprus.

  Since their inception over 25 years ago, West Nautical have become recognised as one of the most respected, trusted, knowledgeable and accountable professional services firms in yachting – largely due to their relentless determination to act in our clients’ best interests. Their approach and attitude is transparent, refreshing and focused on providing value-added services delivered simply, elegantly and affordably. 

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boat fuel consumption chart

Boat Fuel Consumption: 5 Tips for Measurement, Efficiency, and Savings

yacht fuel economy

Table of Contents

Boat fuel consumption can be a rather significant expense , and it’s one that goes up as gas prices rise. While it’s true that you have to pay to play, there are some measures boaters can take to cut down on this expense as the price of gas goes up.

Here are five tips to help save money on marine fuel for your boat:

  • Lighten your load by removing excess gear and weight.
  • When operating, bring the boat on plane, then leave the throttle alone.
  • Understand how to properly trim your boat—if the bow seems high, trim it down.
  • Ensure your boat’s propeller is the right size, material, and model to maximize performance.
  • Keep the bottom of your boat’s hull clean and smooth.

Read on for further details and instructions on implementing each of these five tips, and be sure to use a boat fuel consumption chart to understand your engine’s ideal fuel economy.

Own a Boat? Learn How to Offset the Cost of Ownership by Listing on Boatsetter

how to conserve boat fuel

1. Lighten the Load

Many boats get loaded down over time without anyone even noticing, and the heavier your boat is, the less efficient it will be. While some gear is absolutely necessary, some other stuff may not be — and when added up it can weigh a ton.

  • Think about removing that extra anchor rode, the big box of fishing weights, dishware that never gets used, and similar items from the boat.
  • Also consider the water and waste tanks, if your boat has them. Can you get by with a half-full water tank? If so, you’ll shed eight pounds per gallon. W
  • When is the last time you pumped out the waste tank? Again, you can remove a lot of weight from the boat by lowering its level.

2. Bring the Boat on Plane, then Leave the Throttle Alone

As is true with cars, boats tend to burn less gas at slower speeds. Boats are different, however, in that most get the worst fuel economy just below planning speed and the best economy just above it.

There are certainly some exceptions (such as some trawlers and some boats propped to go very fast) but as a general rule, the average outboard powerboat will break onto plane right around 3000 to 3500 RPM. And in most cases, this is where they get the best cruising fuel economy.

Note that on newer board your MPG may be displayed on a gauge at the helm . In this case, simply eyeball that gauge and you can see just when the boat’s getting its peak mileage.

boat throttle in neutral

3. Tweak the Trim

Most boats run best on an even keel at a slight inclination of just two to four degrees. But depending on the boat’s design and the weight distribution of gear and passengers, you may need to adjust engine or drive trim and/or trim tabs to get it running this way.

If the bow seems to dig in try trimming the bow up a bit, and if you have to crane your neck to see over the bow, trim the bow down some.

4. Make Sure You Have the Right Propeller

Few boaters ever change propellers to see if they can gain a performance edge, but doing so can add several MPH to your cruising speed, which equates to more miles traveled for less gas burned .

Finding the ideal prop for your boat may take some experimentation; remember that your goal is to turn wide-open RPM in the middle of the manufacturer’s recommended range, and adding an inch of pitch will decrease rpm by about 200, while dropping by an inch will increase RPM by about the same amount.

Also note that switching from an aluminum propeller to a stainless-steel model can gain you one to three MPH, as well.

boat propeller contributes to fuel efficiency

5. Keep the Bottom of Your Boat Clean

Few things sap speed and increase fuel consumption like a dirty bottom. While antifouling paint will keep most of it at bay, its effectiveness can drop with age. Plus, even a freshly-painted boat can develop a layer of scum or slime, and many boats have unpainted underwater surfaces like transducers that growth can adhere to.

  • So, if your boat lives in a wet slip it’s a good idea to pull up to a sandbar or beach once in a while and gently scrub the bottom.
  • If there are any areas where more substantial growth has attached, scrape them clean with a rigid object that won’t damage the surfaces, like a plastic putty knife.

Employ all of these tips, and your boat may burn one, five, or even 10 gallons less fuel on your very next trip. Every boat will be different, of course, but no matter how large or small it may be, at today’s gas prices those saved gallons can add up to some serious cash in the bank.

Earn an Average of $20,000 or More by Listing Your Boat for Rent on Boatsetter


With over three decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to dozens of boating and fishing publications and websites ranging from BoatU.S. Magazine to Rudow is currently the Angler in Chief at Rudow’s FishTalk , he is a past president of Boating Writers International (BWI), a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.

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The Ultimate Guide to Yacht Fuel Efficiency Tips

  • by yachtman
  • September 13, 2023 August 26, 2023

yacht fuel economy

Yacht fuel efficiency is important. It not only reduces costs but also helps the environment. Smart practices can give longer cruising and lessen carbon footprints.

Optimizing weight distribution is one way to boost efficiency. This prevents drag and improves fuel economy. Regular hull cleaning and maintenance are also key.

Advanced propulsion systems can improve efficiency, too. These eco-friendly alternatives reduce reliance on fossil fuels and provide smooth and quiet cruising. Utilizing tech like gyro stabilizers can increase stability and reduce engine power.

These tips can lessen your yacht’s environmental impact . Even small changes can reduce fuel consumption and help preserve our oceans. Implement these strategies and navigate in style and sustainability.

Pro Tip : Plan your route considering wind conditions. This optimizes sail usage and decreases engine power.

Understanding yacht fuel consumption

Let’s delve deep into a table that shows the impact of key factors on yacht fuel consumption. This will provide clear data, so we don’t feel overwhelmed.

Key Factors Impacting Yacht Fuel Consumption:

Now, let’s explore more about yacht fuel consumption. Regular check-ups help identify issues affecting fuel efficiency.

Energy-saving practices such as LED lighting, natural light, and air conditioning can reduce overall energy demands. Utilizing sails and wind power during optimal conditions reduces reliance on engines and conserves fuel.

Advanced tech like auto trim controls or navigation aids optimize performance and minimize power wastage.

By following these suggestions, yacht owners and captains can save costs and resources while reducing their carbon footprint. Understanding yacht fuel consumption is vital for smart decisions and optimizing any yacht journey.

Tips for optimizing yacht fuel efficiency

Want to save money and reduce your yacht’s environmental impact? Follow these key tips to make sure your fuel consumption is optimized!

  • Regular maintenance of engines and systems; clean, inspect, service.
  • Balance the load to reduce drag.
  • Steady cruising speed for best fuel efficiency.
  • Invest in a well-designed yacht with streamlined features.

It doesn’t stop there! Consider automatic trimming systems, advanced navigation, and even hybrid propulsion systems. According to ICCT, these can reduce fuel consumption by up to 30%! Keep up with industry trends to get the most out of your yacht. Enjoy sailing responsibly!

Best practices for fueling and refueling

Fuel efficiency is key for yachts. To ensure a smooth sailing experience and cost-effectiveness, follow best practices for fueling and refueling. Here are some tips to help you maximize fuel efficiency:

  • Regular Maintenance: Check and service the engine, filters, and fuel lines regularly. This will keep your yacht working well and reduce fuel use.
  • Fuel Quality: Use high-quality fuel from good sources. This will stop contaminants that can damage the engine or lower efficiency.
  • Optimal Speed: Keep your yacht’s speed steady. This is best for its hull shape, weight, and engine specs. Excessive speed or changing the throttle often consumes more fuel.
  • Trim Optimization: Adjust the trim of your yacht to find the sweet spot. This will reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency.

These practices not only give better fuel efficiency but also help with the engine’s life. By maintaining your yacht, using good fuel, finding the right speed, and optimizing trim, you can enjoy your sailing trip and save on fuel costs.

Furthermore, good planning for refueling can also make a difference in efficiency. Ideas include:

  • Refuel at Optimal Times: Refuel during calm weather. This stops strong currents or winds that can make the process harder and affect accuracy.
  • Choose Efficient Fueling Stations: Research and pick marinas with good reputations. They should provide clean fuel without impurities or adulteration.
  • Monitor Fuel Levels: Track your yacht’s fuel consumption. This prevents running out of fuel and ensures timely replenishment.

By following these ideas, you not only speed up refueling but also maintain optimal performance throughout your yachting journey. After all, efficient refueling goes with fuel conservation and a better yacht experience.

Eco-friendly practices for yacht owners

Yacht owners can be eco-friendly! Strategies to minimize their impact on the environment include:

  • Using biodiesel or hybrid engines to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Installing solar panels for onboard systems.
  • Opting for bio-based products, avoiding harsh chemicals and recycling waste.
  • Selecting eco-friendly anchors and practicing responsible anchoring.
  • Supporting local businesses that source supplies sustainably.

Plus, yacht owners should preserve natural habitats by avoiding sensitive areas and respecting marine wildlife. With these eco-friendly practices, they can contribute to the conservation of our oceans. Fun fact: a single superyacht can produce as much pollution as 50 cars! Source: The Guardian.

Conclusion: Benefits of implementing fuel efficiency tips for yacht owners.

Fuel efficiency tips for yacht owners bring lots of advantages. Through these tips, yacht owners can save money on fuel and also decrease their carbon footprint – helping to make the boating industry greener.

  • Cut fuel costs: By using fuel efficiency tips, yacht owners can cut the amount of fuel they use, leading to great savings.
  • Environmental friendliness: Fuel efficiency techniques can help reduce the environmental impact of boating, reducing air and water pollution.
  • Longer trips: Fuel-efficient yachts can go further with the same amount of fuel, letting owners explore new places without worrying about refueling.
  • Better reputation: Yacht owners who focus on fuel efficiency show their commitment to sustainability, gaining a good reputation with eco-friendly customers.

Not only do these tips have financial and environmental benefits, but they also give yacht owners the chance to help create a more sustainable future for boating.

In recent years, more attention has been given to fuel efficiency due to growing environmental concerns. The yachting industry is becoming more eco-friendly, with manufacturers investing in research and development to make fuel-efficient boats suitable for eco-friendly customers. As awareness increases, implementing fuel efficiency is now an important part of responsible yacht ownership.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: What are some fuel efficiency tips for yachts?

Answer: Some fuel efficiency tips for yachts include maintaining a clean hull, reducing weight on board, optimizing cruising speed, regular engine maintenance, using wind power when possible, and monitoring RPM usage.

FAQ: How does a clean hull affect fuel efficiency?

Answer: A clean hull reduces drag and allows the yacht to glide smoothly through the water, reducing fuel consumption. Regular hull cleaning and anti-fouling treatments are essential for maintaining fuel efficiency.

FAQ: How can weight reduction help improve fuel efficiency?

Answer: Carrying excessive weight on a yacht increases fuel consumption. By removing unnecessary items, limiting the water and fuel load, and using lightweight materials, you can improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs.

FAQ: Why is optimizing cruising speed important for fuel efficiency?

Answer: Yachts have an optimal speed range where fuel consumption is minimized. By finding and maintaining this sweet spot, yacht owners can significantly improve fuel efficiency and reduce fuel expenses.

FAQ: What engine maintenance should be performed for fuel efficiency?

Answer: Regular engine maintenance, including oil changes, filter replacements, and tuning, ensures that the engine operates efficiently. Clean fuel injectors, propellers, and cooling systems also contribute to better fuel efficiency.

FAQ: How can wind power be used to improve yacht fuel efficiency?

Answer: Sailing with the wind whenever possible or using sails to assist the engine reduces fuel consumption. Setting sails in favorable wind conditions allows yachts to harness wind power and save fuel.

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Calculating Boat Fuel Consumption

  • By Brett Becker
  • Updated: September 30, 2019

Calculating a boats fuel consumption proves important to boaters for number of reasons. With knowledge of a boat’s fuel economy-how much fuel the boat burns per mile or nautical mile of travel-boaters can estimate the range they can safely expect to run.

Some boaters go as far as to develop a boat fuel consumption chart for their boat. You can use any Boating boat test as a model for this. Of course, you can also install a fuel consumption monitor if your boat’s engine does not provide a fuel consumption readout.

Additionally, knowing your boat’s fuel consumption provides a good idea of how much it will cost you to operate the boat. When shopping for a new boat or marine engine, fuel consumption provides a major basis of comparison.

Estimating Your Boat’s Fuel Burn

It’s a different story with a boat. Since sea conditions vary more widely than road conditions, the time it takes to cover a distance varies more, so fuel consumption is measured in gallons per hour. Also, while many engines have fuel flow readouts , the ability to estimate fuel burn while shopping for a boat or engine is important. You measure fuel efficiency in pounds of fuel used per horsepower developed per hour. The pros call it “brake-specific fuel consumption.” This makes it important to know that gasoline weighs about 6.1 pounds per gallon and diesel fuel 7.2 pounds per gallon.

On average, an in-tune four-stroke gasoline engine will burn about 0.50 pounds of fuel per hour for each unit of horsepower. Likewise, a well-maintained diesel engine burns about 0.4 pounds of fuel per hour for each unit of horsepower it produces. These figures don’t take drag of the boat, sea conditions, or efficiency losses through transmissions and bearings into account. But they provide an excellent relative difference between engines when shopping.

Confused yet? Look at the mathematical examples below, and a boat’s fuel economy should become clear.

Boat Fuel Consumption Formulas and Calculator

Below is the Formula to Estimate Maximum Engine Fuel Consumption.

GPH = (specific fuel consumption x HP)/Fuel Specific Weight

Constants | Gas | Diesel SFC: .50 lb. per HP | .40 lb. per HP FSW: 6.1 lb. per gal. | 7.2 lb per gal.

300-hp Diesel Engine Example GPH = (0.4 x 300)/ 7.2 = 120/7.2 = 16.6 GPH

300-hp Gasoline Engine Example GPH = (0.50 x 300)/ 6.1 = 150/6.1 = 24.5 GPH

Keep in mind that these formulas apply when the engine is making peak horsepower, which usually is near wide-open throttle. Fuel consumption will be decreased at cruising speeds. Also remember that engines with electronically-managed fuel injection and direct injection will yield higher fuel efficiency .

To apply these formulas to your boat, just plug in its horsepower rating and multiply it by the specific fuel consumption average, then divide the product by the fuel specific weight.

Another way is to take the total engine horsepower and divide it by 10 for gas engines or .06 for diesel engines. As you can see, this formula is simpler to calculate and easier to remember. You don’t even need a pencil and paper. It’s just not as accurate as the formulas above. The result represents the approximate gallons per hour the engine will burn at wide-open throttle. For example, a 150-horse engine will use about 15 gallons per hour. Though these figures represent averages and can vary from 10 to 20 percent, they’ll put you in the ballpark so you can plan a long-distance cruise without fear of running out of gas . You can also keep track of your boat’s fuel consumption by installing a fuel monitor.

  • More: Engines , fuel consumption , How-To

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Measuring your Yacht Fuel Consumption per Hour

Oct 10, 2019

less than a min

Measuring your Yacht Fuel Consumption per Hour

How to measure your yacht fuel consumption per hour

Yachts are quite similar to other vehicles in the sense that they work through fuel. Similarly to any other vehicle, it is important to calculate the yacht fuel consumption per hour before you plan a trip or before you purchase a vessel. Fuel consumption is also a good comparison base between boats. Whether before going on a trip, or buying a yacht, you need to have all the facts straight and know how much money you are going to invest not only at once upon purchase but also periodically.

There are different factors in the fuel consumption of a yacht. For example, if you use a generator or if you stay at anchor instead of docking, the fuel consumption will be increased . The itinerary will change fuel consumption as well. Sea is different than roads and the conditions in a sea change more dramatically than on land, which also impacts fuel consumption.

Fuel consumption for boats is measured in gallons per hour . The efficiency of boat fuel is measured in pounds of fuel that are used in an hour per horsepower. In order to be able to read the calculation right, any boat owner should know that gasoline is almost 6.1 pounds per gallon while diesel is 7.2 pounds per gallon .

Usually, if you consider that all sea conditions are pristine, the fuel consumption of a normal diesel engine is 0.4 pounds per hour for each unit of horsepower.

How to calculate yacht fuel consumption

Calculating it by hand is complicated, which is why many people choose to use online calculators . The way it works is it allows you to put down certain parameters that calculate the fuel consumption. These parameters include route , units of measurement and engine power .

Lastly , what most people are interested in is actually the cost of fuel consumption per hour. So the last parameter to include is the current price of fuel . Marine websites usually include this price up to date.

Another step that people have taken is develop a boat fuel consumption chart for their own boat and find the average in a month.

Alternatively, there is a formula that calculates the maximum fuel consumption of the engine which is:

GPH = (specific fuel consumption x HP) / The specific weight of fuel

This formula determines the fuel consumption when the engine is at full speed . If the speed is decreased then the fuel consumption is decreased as well. Basically, what you need to do is include the horsepower rate of the boat and you multiply it by the specific fuel consumption average and you divide that product by the weight of the fuel.

If you want to compare your boats GPH with other boats than you can use TheBoatDB database. If you already have a boat you can register for free and compare it with other boats within the database.

These are simple methods to calculate fuel consumption, however for a precise one you would have to know all the specifics of your boat and put the parameters through the calculator.

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What Fuel Do Yachts Use? (All Types Explained in Detail)

Yachts, just like cars, require fuel to operate. However, unlike cars that run on gasoline or diesel, yachts can run on a variety of fuels, from traditional fossil fuels to more eco-friendly alternatives. In this article, we'll explore the different types of fuel used on yachts in full detail.

Some of the most common yacht fuels include diesel, gasoline, biofuels, natural gas, propane fuel, and electric or hybrid fuel systems that combine diesel and electric power. Using electricity produces no emissions or noise pollution, making it an eco-friendly option. However, they have a limited range and require frequent charging.

Sailing yachts typically use diesel, biodiesel, or electric propulsion systems, with diesel being the most commonly preferred. But what type of fuel is best for a specific type of yacht? Let's find out.

  • Diesel fuel is highly efficient and widely available in most marinas; however, it produces more emissions than gasoline.
  • Bio-diesel fuel can be used in any diesel engine with little to no modifications; however, it is not widely available and can be more expensive than diesel.
  • Electric fuel sources are virtually silent and produce zero emissions, but you may need to recharge your batteries frequently.
  • Converting your yacht to use natural gas can have significant upfront costs since you will need specialized refueling infrastructure.
  • Propane is widely available at marinas, is less expensive than diesel or gasoline, and can be used in any gasoline engine.

yacht fuel economy

On this page:

Types of fuel used in yachts, fuel for different types of yachts, factors to consider when choosing yacht fuel.

Below is a table showing the most common types of yacht fuel and their advantages and disadvantages:

Diesel fuel is the most common type of fuel used in yachts

Diesel fuel is a highly efficient fuel that provides excellent performance and fuel economy. It is also widely available and can be found at most marinas and fuel docks.

Advantages of diesel fuel

  • Diesel fuel has a higher energy density than gasoline, which means you can get more power from a smaller amount of fuel.
  • They are known for their torque and power making them ideal for larger yachts and long-range cruising.
  • Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than gasoline engines so you can save money on fuel costs in the long run.
  • Diesel engines are built to last, and they require less maintenance than gasoline engines. For more information on the life expectancy of a marine diesel engine , you can read this article.

Disadvantages of diesel fuel

  • Diesel fuel is generally more expensive than gasoline.
  • Diesel engines are slower to accelerate than gasoline engines.
  • Diesel fuel produces more emissions than gasoline, which can have a negative impact on the environment.

yacht fuel economy

Gasoline is another fuel option for yachts

Small personal boats usually use regular gasoline with 10% ethanol or lower. However, larger boats like yachts usually use off-road diesel.

Advantages of gasoline

  • Gasoline engines are known for their fast acceleration, which makes them ideal for water sports and other activities that require quick bursts of speed. They are also used to power smaller types of yachts.
  • Gasoline is widely available so it is easy to refuel your yacht.

Disadvantages of gasoline

  • Gasoline has a lower energy density than diesel fuel.
  • Gasoline engines are less fuel-efficient than diesel engines, so you'll spend more money on fuel in the long run.
  • Gasoline engines are generally less durable than diesel engines, so they require more maintenance and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Bio-diesel fuel is a renewable fuel source

Bio-diesel fuel is a renewable fuel source that is made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. It is a clean-burning fuel that produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel fuel. Bio-diesel fuel can be used in any diesel engine with little to no modifications.

yacht fuel economy

Advantages of bio-diesel

  • Bio-diesel is made from renewable sources and produces fewer emissions than diesel.
  • Bio-diesel produces fewer emissions than diesel, which makes it a more environmentally friendly option.

Disadvantages of bio-diesel

  • Bio-diesel is not widely available.
  • Bio-diesel is generally more expensive than diesel.

Electric and hybrid fuel systems are becoming more common in yachts

These systems use electric motors and batteries to power the yacht, with a diesel or gasoline generator as a backup. Electric and hybrid systems are quiet, efficient, and environmentally friendly.

Advantages of electric motor fuels

  • Electric motors are virtually silent, which makes for a more peaceful cruising experience.
  • Electric motors produce zero emissions.
  • Electric motors are very efficient, so you'll spend less money on fuel and maintenance in the long run.

Disadvantages of electric motor fuels

  • Electric motors have a limited range so you'll need to recharge your batteries frequently.
  • Electric motors are generally slower than gasoline and diesel engines.
  • Electric propulsion systems are generally more expensive than traditional gasoline or diesel engines.

Natural gas fuel can also be an option for yachts

Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that produces fewer emissions than diesel or gasoline. However, it is not widely available at marinas and fuel docks. If you plan on using natural gas as your yacht's primary fuel source, you might need to install a natural gas storage tank on board.

Advantages of natural gas

  • Natural gas produces fewer emissions than diesel or gasoline, which makes it a more environmentally friendly option.
  • Natural gas is generally less expensive than diesel or gasoline, which can help reduce your operating costs.

Disadvantages of natural gas

  • Natural gas is not widely available so it's difficult to find refueling stations.
  • Converting your yacht to use natural gas can be expensive
  • Natural gas requires specialized refueling infrastructure

Propane is another clean-burning fuel option for yachts

Propane is widely available at marinas and fuel docks and is less expensive than diesel or gasoline. It can be used in any gasoline engine with little to no modifications.

Advantages of propane

  • Propane produces fewer emissions
  • It is generally less expensive, which can help reduce your operating costs.
  • Propane is widely available, which makes it easy to refuel your yacht.

Disadvantages of propane

  • Propane has a lower energy density than diesel or gasoline.
  • Propane requires specialized refueling infrastructure, which can be difficult to find in some areas.
  • Converting your yacht to use propane can be expensive.

Below is a table showing the different types of fuel used for different types of yachts:

Fuel for sailing yachts

Sailing yachts typically use diesel, biodiesel, or electric propulsion systems. Diesel engines are commonly used in larger sailing yachts that require a lot of power, while biodiesel is often used by eco-conscious yacht owners who want to reduce their environmental impact.

Electric propulsion systems are becoming increasingly popular in sailing yachts due to their quiet operation and zero emissions, making them an excellent choice for eco-conscious yacht owners.

If you want to know how much fuel a sailboat consumes , you can read this article.

yacht fuel economy

Fuel for motor yachts

Motor yachts can use a variety of fuel types, including diesel, gasoline, biodiesel, and electric. Diesel engines are commonly used in larger motor yachts that require a lot of power, while gasoline engines are often used in smaller sporty yachts that are designed for speed and agility.

Biodiesel is often used by eco-conscious yacht owners who want to reduce their environmental impact. Electric motors are becoming more popular on motor yachts, particularly for smaller vessels. However, they may have a limited range and require frequent recharging, which can be a challenge on longer trips.

Fuel for catamarans

Generally, diesel fuel is the most common and preferred fuel for catamaran yachts because it provides better fuel efficiency, longer range, and greater power compared to gasoline. However, some catamaran yachts may also use alternative fuels such as biofuels or electric propulsion systems.

If you own a catamaran or plan to buy one , fuel costs are one of the recurring costs you might need to account for.

Fuel for trawlers

Traditionally, trawlers have used diesel as their primary fuel source because diesel engines are known for their efficiency and durability. Diesel fuel is also widely available and relatively inexpensive compared to other fuel options.

However, there are alternative fuel options that are becoming more popular in the marine industry, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biodiesel. LNG is a cleaner-burning fuel that emits fewer greenhouse gases and pollutants than diesel, making it a more environmentally friendly option.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel source made from vegetable oils or animal fats, which reduces dependence on fossil fuels and has lower emissions.

yacht fuel economy

Fuel for superyacht

Diesel fuel is often the preferred choice for superyachts due to its high energy density and efficient combustion properties. Diesel fuel is also readily available at most ports around the world, making it a convenient choice for yacht owners and operators.

However, some superyachts may also use alternative fuels such as biodiesel or liquefied natural gas (LNG) for environmental or cost-saving reasons. Some superyachts also use gas turbines or electric propulsion systems as an alternative to traditional diesel engines.

Gas turbines are known for their high power output and efficiency, making them a popular choice for larger yachts that require high speeds or long-range cruising capabilities. Electric propulsion systems, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly popular due to their environmental benefits and quiet operation.

Electric propulsion systems can be powered by batteries, fuel cells, or a combination of both, and can provide a smooth and efficient ride for passengers. However, electric propulsion systems may not be suitable for all types of superyachts, as they typically require a significant amount of battery storage and charging infrastructure, which can be challenging to install and maintain on larger vessels.

When chartering a superyacht , fuel costs generally cost around $4,760 to $11,900 per day (depending on distance and speed).

Fuel for megayacht

In general, the most common fuels used for megayachts are diesel and gasoline. Diesel is the preferred fuel for larger yachts because it is more efficient and has a longer range than gasoline.

Diesel engines are also more durable and require less maintenance than gasoline engines. Additionally, it is more widely available in most parts of the world, making it easier to refuel during long voyages.

On the other hand, gasoline is preferred for smaller yachts because it is more affordable and easier to handle than diesel. Gasoline engines are also quieter and more responsive than diesel engines so they are ideal for high-speed cruising.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in using alternative fuels such as biodiesel, hydrogen, and electric power for mega yachts. These fuels are more environmentally friendly and can help reduce the carbon footprint of yachting. However, they are still in the early stages of development and may not be suitable for all types of yachts.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right fuel for your yacht:

Consider the cost of fuel when choosing the right fuel for your yacht

Below is a table comparing the estimated pricing of alternative yacht fuels as compared to traditional fuel:

Propane, natural gas, and electric power can certainly be used as alternative fuels for yachts, and they can be cost-effective options in some cases. However, propane and natural gas may not be readily available in all locations, and electric power requires a significant amount of battery storage and charging infrastructure, which can be expensive and may not be practical for all yachts.

Availability is another important factor to consider

Some areas may have limited access to certain types of fuel due to a lack of infrastructure, regulations, or other factors. For example, biodiesel may not be readily available in some areas, while natural gas and propane may require additional storage equipment that may not be practical for all yachts.

Therefore, you might need to plan ahead and make sure you have enough fuel for your trip. This means considering the distance you will be traveling and the availability of fuel along your route. If you are traveling to remote areas or areas without access to the necessary infrastructure, it may be more practical to choose a fuel that is more widely available.

The environmental impact of fuel is a growing concern for many yacht owners

Some fuels are more environmentally friendly than others, so you can perhaps try to choose a fuel that minimizes your yacht's impact on the environment. Biofuels and electric power are becoming more popular options for yacht owners who want to reduce their carbon footprint.

The type of fuel you choose must be compatible with your yacht's engine

Some engines are designed to run on specific types of fuel, and using the wrong fuel can cause significant damage to the engine and even pose safety risks.

A gasoline engine is designed to run on gasoline fuel, while a diesel engine is designed to run on diesel fuel. If you mistakenly use gasoline in a diesel engine, the fuel injection system can be damaged, and the engine may not start or run properly.

The distance and duration of your yacht trips can also affect your choice of fuel

If you're planning a long trip, you might need to consider the range of your fuel. Some fuels have a longer range than others, meaning they can power your yacht for a longer distance and duration before needing to refuel.

Diesel fuel generally has a longer range than gasoline, making it a popular choice for long-range yacht trips. This is because diesel engines are generally more fuel-efficient than gasoline engines and can travel farther on a tank of fuel.

If you're only planning a short trip, you may be able to use less expensive fuel, such as regular gasoline. This can save you money on fuel costs, but ensure that the fuel you choose is still appropriate for your yacht's engine.

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How Important Is Fuel Economy?

cost of fuel for yacht

One of the comments that came out of my recent article on the couple cruising the Caribbean ( Catching Up With White Pearl ) in their Hampton 55 was in response to my surprise that there are not more trawlers cruising the Caribbean. That reader felt strongly that the price of fuel is a major roadblock to anyone hoping to explore distant shores on a trawler.

He gave as an example the current price of diesel is $12 a gallon in Grenada. That is way out of context, however, as he referenced XCD $12, which are Eastern Caribbean Dollars, the local currency of these Caribbean nations. Its conversion to USD is $4.44, so the cost of fuel is not nearly as exaggerated as he worried.

But the discussion is bigger than that. And now with Russian sanctions and our country looking to source gasoline and diesel elsewhere, we will certainly see an impact at the fuel dock.

To balance my thoughts with those of experienced yacht brokers, I stopped by the Seattle Yachts’ Annapolis office and sat down with brokers Dan Bacot and Greg Gelmann . Just how important is the price of fuel in the scheme of things to people going cruising on a trawler or other powerboat?

“It doesn’t figure into the picture much at all,” Dan said, with Greg nodding agreement. “The cost of fuel is simply the operational cost of running the boat.” The cost of boating.

As we talked about their past and current conversations with clients and those looking to buy a boat for extended cruising, fuel economy simply isn’t part of the broker/client discussion. Dan said it has a lot to do with how they’ve decided they want to manage that cost. Do they want to go fast, or do they intend to go slow and smell the roses?

(Seen below: The Nortthern Marine 57 has a 2,600 gallon fuel capacity that allows for a 5,000nm range.)

northern marine 57

For sailors coming to the Dark Side , they may be quite comfortable going relatively slowly, as it fits their comfort level after years of motorsailing. (It is commonly agreed that most cruising sailors are under power 85 percent of the time anyway, so it is not a new experience for them.)

Taking it to an extreme, Dan points out that the guy who buys a Cigarette or Donzi couldn’t care less how much the fuel costs or how much they use. They live for the thrill and exhilaration of going fast. Step aboard a Donzi 38, with a pair of staggered Mercury Racing V-8s pumping our 1,720 hp. The thrill of going 80 to 100 knots is what these guys live for. Who cares if they are burning 128 gallons per hour!?!

The same is true for the big sport fishing machines that run out to the canyons for game fish. One can walk past many of these yachts in marinas and know they are capable of going through fuel at a rate that might make your head spin. How about 230 gallons at 44 knots...

(Seen below: Big sportfishing yachts, like this Viking 54, will have a range of around 400 nautical miles with a 1,500 gallon capacity, but they can hit speeds of 40 knots.)

sportfishing yacht

While the above may not be your cup of tea, the point is that boat owners seek the style of boat that fits what they want to get out of boating. For some sailors coming over to power, slow is good, although I’ve met many sailors who decide, once they sell their sailboat , they are ready to go faster. I’m certain that is a major reason for the tremendous success of the Downeast cruiser market. Whether it is a Legacy, MJM, Back Cove, Eastbay, or any number of traditional looking, Flag Blue hulls out there that cruise comfortably at 15+ knots, this style of boat continues to be a big hit with ex-sailors. They enjoy the traditional look but want to enjoy a faster pace than they did under sail. Now they want to go places. It is no longer about the journey. It is about the destination.

A friend of mine has an Eastbay 43, after years of owning a large center cockpit sailboat. He recently brought his boat back up to Annapolis after cruising south during the winter months. He commented how they kept passing the same Ranger Tug, chugging along at displacement speeds. He said he would go crazy going that slow now, as it just doesn’t fit his current lifestyle of running fast for several hours, and then having the remainder of the day to explore a new destination along his route. It works well for them, much preferred to long days at six or seven knots.

The whole fast/slow discussion took center stage some years ago for a trawler dealer when the price of diesel fuel spiked, as happens every now and then. Grand Yachts Northwest, the Seattle Grand Banks dealer, wanted to quantify the cost of cruising, comparing its slower, semi-displacement “dependable diesel cruisers” to their go-fast, planing Eastbay models.

The analysis yielded interesting results. The style of one’s cruising dictated which kind of boat made sense, not the fuel burn. As it turned out, the two boats were fairly equal. Cruising a Grand Bank 42 Classic at sedate displacement speeds produced a fuel burn of just one gallon per mile. Running a similar size Eastbay at 22 knots produced the same gallon-per-mile fuel economy.

This gallon-per-mile figure has held up for many years of my traveling on boats. Mi-T-Mo, a steel 65-foot Army T-Boat gets one gallon per mile, a Downeast cruiser also gets one gallon per mile at mid-teen speeds. So, given this reality, how important is fuel economy in the big picture of cruising the trawler lifestyle? Not much.

For those who want to be more specific, there is plenty of information out there to crunch the numbers. Full displacement trawlers get the best economy. Take a Northern Marine or other full displacement trawler yacht and its single engine will provide a steady cruising speed that yields between 1.5 to 2.5nm per gallon. That is pretty good for a large, comfortable yacht capable of going anywhere in the world. Slow down and it gets even better.

(Seen below: The Northern Marine 57, mentioned above, is powered with a single John Deere 325HP engine providing an efficient 8-9 knot cruise.)

john deere boat engine

But Dan points out that most of his clients don’t go this route, as they prefer a semi-displacement trawler or motoryacht that has the potential to run at much higher speeds. This is considered important for when the weather turns sour, or they must reach their destination before the sun sets. Most of the time, however, these people cruise at displacement speeds, similar to the Hampton 55 PHMY in the article, but they can go 15 knots or more if the conditions warrant.

This explains the popularity of the Mainship, Endurance , Northwest , Fleming , Hampton , Nordic Tug , DeFever, Albin, and those other cruising powerboats that share the semi-displacement hull form. It remains the sweet spot in the trawler market for precisely this reason.

In addition, the inherent ethos of the trawler yacht is different than the typical motoryacht, and why it is the vessel of choice for most cruisers. The trawler carries a lot of fuel in its tanks, yet burns relatively little fuel under way. A speedy motoryacht carries a lot of fuel but also burns it at a high rate, enough that refueling may be a daily occurrence. The trawler crowd, especially those with full displacement yachts, can often go an entire season before needing to refuel. Hence it is the perfect choice for long distance, self-sufficient cruising. And that also explains why one won’t see a 32-foot Sea Ray or Tiara cruising the lower Caribbean from the U.S.

Hull efficiency can be interpreted differently by each of these variations of hull shapes, and each has it positive and negative elements. The full displacement, semi-displacement, and planing hull forms are well established in the boating world and a broker can easily explain the value of each as buyers develop his or her cruising plans. There is a fourth hull shape, the power cat, and in my experience, is outstanding in many ways, fuel economy (and subsequent long range) being one. There just isn’t much underwater surface to a power cat, so they run very efficiently through the water with reduced horsepower requirements.

Is there more to this story? Of course. But the reality is that for most cruisers, how much fuel they use only becomes a consideration to ensure there are fuel stops as needed. Actually buying fuel is just the operational cost of running a boat on an enjoyable cruise.

That is not to say that every trawler couple is carefree about the cost of cruising. One winter we brought our Zimmerman 36 down to Marathon in the Florida Keys to spend the winter months enjoying the warmth, smells, and lifestyle of these islands. I got to know all the trawler owners in our marina and at one point interviewed each couple to learn their story and cruising plans. One younger couple on a DeFever 44 hailed from the Midwest, living aboard with their huge German Shepard. Money was an issue with them, and they carefully watched their budget with concerns with fuel prices. It was a bigger concern to them than anyone else I’ve ever talked to in the trawler community. But they were not headed farther south and fully intended to stay in country as they continued to enjoy the trawler lifestyle.

Someone told me that during PAE’s Nordhavn 40 project to go around the world, the company spent more on satellite communications than fuel. Perhaps that puts it in perspective.

Arriving in paradise or Europe after two or three weeks crossing an ocean may require refueling, but I can assure you the concern is more about arranging for a fuel truck with clean diesel than fretting over the cost of the fuel itself. It was already considered and budgeted for when planning the trip. And it is well worth every penny for the rich experience it brings, along with lasting memories of a fantastic adventure.

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yacht fuel economy

Do you operate a yacht? Our app is perfect for you

Yacht fuel cost calculator - how to estimate the costs.

Yacht Fuel Cost Calculator - How to Estimate the Costs

Yacht captains have many responsibilities when it comes to the management of their vessel. One of them is keeping track of expenses, which is why it is important to familiarize yourself with the vessel’s operational costs. Keeping a luxury superyacht afloat isn’t cheap, and many claim that the average annual cost ranks up to 10% of the vessel’s price.

From these expenses, a significant portion goes to fuel. Filling up the tank of your boat is quite pricey, which is why a growing number of boat owners want to know exactly how much they are looking to spend for their upcoming voyage. This is also important for people who want to charter a boat for their holiday.

If you’re wondering how to best estimate the costs involved, you’re in the right place. This article will help you calculate your vessel’s yacht fuel cost while giving an overview of all the criteria used as variables. To make the process even easier, we link to a yacht fuel cost calculator to help you get an indication of the expenses you’ll need to cover. Let’s delve in!

Yacht fuel cost calculator

How to estimate yacht fuel costs, how much fuel does a yacht use.

  • Price of boat fuel per gallon?

Yacht fuel formula

The easiest way to calculate your fuel costs is by using a yacht fuel cost calculator. There is a great calculator available here in case you want to save time and get an approximate estimation.

yacht fuel cost calculator

As you can see, the yacht fuel cost calculator has many variables which you need to be aware of before you set out to calculate the approximate price. This is what we will be dealing with in the next few chapters.

To help you get a better understanding of the calculation process we will do things manually while giving you the exact formulas used to calculate your vessel’s fuel needs. Therefore, make sure you keep on reading.

There are several things you need to keep in mind when you first set out to estimate the total fuel cost for your next voyage. These are summarised in the following points:

  • Distance of journey - The total amount of nautical miles (or km)
  • Cruising speed - The (average) speed of your vessel (in knots or km/hr)
  • Fuel consumption - Understanding how many gallons (or liters) of fuel are consumed per hour
  • Yacht fuel price - Understanding the average market price per gallon of fuel

The first two points depend solely on your needs and personal preference, which means that they are more flexible on a subjective basis. The latter two points may require a bit of research, especially if you’re not familiar with the engine of the vessel.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into each of the points mentioned above, and offer the required formulas to help you calculate yacht fuel cost.

Calculating distance and speed

To understand the exact distance you are looking to cover in your next voyage, you can simply use Google Maps to plan your route. The following video explains the process in detail.

As soon as your route is planned out, you can measure the distance as well, selecting the preferred method of calculation. In our case, it is best to measure in nautical miles (1nm=1,85km), as this metric is more commonly used among sea men. The yacht fuel cost calculator above has an embedded map that helps you pinpoint the journey you want to make.

Next comes the cruising speed. The number is mostly calculated in knots (nautical miles/hr). The speed with which the vessel will cruise depends on the captain onboard, but is often influenced by the owner and guests onboard. You can make a rough estimation of this number based on previous trips.

Next, we need to calculate the amount of fuel that you will likely need. To do this we need to understand the engine type, its horsepower, and several other factors.

Let’s take a marine diesel engine for example. These engines are very common on motor yachts and consume approximately 0.4 pounds of fuel per hour for each unit of horsepower. You can find fuel consumption info for your specific engine by looking it up on the web or by calling the service number.

Once you know the fuel burn rate, it’s best to add a relative error margin of 10% based on minor factors. These include weather conditions, vessel size, and drag, all of which can increase the fuel burn.

How much fuel does a yacht use per hour?

Now that you know all the variables you can go ahead and calculate the amount of fuel that your yacht will need.

  • Start by calculating the fuel burn per hour based on the horsepower of the engine.
  • Add a multiplier based on the cruising speed of your vessel.

A vessel with a diesel engine of 300 horsepower will most likely burn 16-17 gallons per hour, which you can then use as a guideline when calculating the travel time based on the nautical miles you are looking to cover.

Superyachts are consuming much more fuel. An average 70-meter luxury yacht will burn around 130 gallons per hour with the engines running, while the amount increases significantly when the ship is moving. On average, you are looking at ±€2000 per hour (±1000 gallons) to achieve a speed of 20 knots. Of course, the higher the cruising speed, the more fuel you will be burning per hour, which in turn makes each hour at sea more expensive.

How much does boat fuel cost per gallon?

yacht fuel cost calculator

The exact price you are looking to pay per gallon depends on the marina you find yourself in. By looking at several price points of marinas, we get the following:

  • Average diesel prices range from $3.2-$3.9 per gallon
  • Average petrol prices range from $7.2-$7.8 per gallon

Note that discounts usually apply whenever you choose to purchase large quantities of fuel.

Why is boat fuel so expensive?

Marine fuel pricing is heavily inflated due to low supply and high demand. In short, the limited number of fuel stations at marinas have to service all the yachts that dock, which leads to a no-choice monopoly.

That said, yacht owners are usually not that concerned about the small price spike that marinas charge as an extra. If anything, they are happy to pay due to the convenience of the service.

How much fuel does a yacht hold?

Once again, the answer to this question depends on the size of the vessel. Smaller yachts can hold around 1300 gallons of fuel, while the bigger vessels can store up to 100,000 gallons. The ship’s engineers should be able to provide this number for the vessel you command.

Now that we have a better understanding of all the variables that determine the cost of fuel, we can go ahead and take you through the calculation process step by step.

First, know the total duration of your cruise. To obtain this information, divide the number of nautical miles by the cruising speed of your vessel (knots). For example, if you want to make a journey that totals 150 nautical miles while traveling at 20 knots, the yacht fuel formula looks as follows:

Total duration = 150 nm / 20kn

Total duration = 7,5 hrs

Note that the amount of fuel consumption may end up higher than expected if:

  • Sea and weather conditions are not favourable
  • You plan to make short stops along the way while the engine keeps running

Next, what you want to do multiply the number of hours by the number of gallons that your engine burns on an hourly basis while moving at the speed you previously indicated. If we take, as an example, the superyacht mentioned in the previous examples, we would make the calculation as follows:

7,5 hrs x 1000 gph = 7500 gallons

Now assume that you will also make two stops along the way, an hour and a half each, in order to let the guests enjoy their time; maybe ride a jet ski.

You then multiply the added number of hours with the consumption rate of a running engine. In this case:

3 hrs x 130 gph = 390 gallons

All that is left to do now is add up the total amount of fuel needed and multiply the number with the price per gallon.

(7500+390) x $3,5 = $27615

In this example, the final cost of your will set you back a little bit more than 27 thousand dollars. Just to be safe, calculate the additional 10% (margin of error) to be prepared against unexpected mistakes. This added amount is not necessarily an ad-on when you consider chartering. Private yacht owners, however, should add the amount to their final cost.

And that's it! You should now have a better idea on the steps you need to follow to calculate the fuel costs for your yacht. While there is quite a bit of information you should keep in mind, it is best to plan out everything with detail to avoid unforeseen costs. If you enjoyed this article, check out our blog post on yacht electrical systems as well.

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Marine Diesel Services in South Florida and Gulf Coast for Yachts

Our Guide to Yacht Fuel Capacity and Consumption

by Marine Diesel Specialists | Jul 25, 2023 | Blog , MAN Engines , Yacht Engines , Yacht Upkeep | 0 comments

Our Guide to Yacht Fuel Capacity and Consumption

Fuel consumption for yachts can vary based on factors such as the yacht’s size, weight, design, engine type, cruising speed, and the duration of the journey. Smaller pleasure yachts generally tend to be more fuel-efficient than larger luxury yachts, which may consume more fuel at cruising speed. Efficient navigation planning and optimizing cruising speed can play a crucial role in managing fuel consumption effectively. Regular maintenance and adherence to best practices can also contribute to improved fuel efficiency, ensuring that yacht owners can enjoy their voyages with minimized environmental impact and reduced operational costs. If you wish to understand more about yacht fuel capacity and use, then this article from Marine Diesel Specialists , experts in all things professional marine services , is a great place to start your journey toward understanding.

How Much Fuel Does a Yacht Hold?

Fueling a yacht is a critical aspect of ensuring smooth sailing and an enjoyable journey. The amount of fuel a typical yacht can hold in its tank varies greatly depending on the vessel’s size and purpose. Generally, yachts are designed with fuel tank capacities tailored to their intended use, whether it be coastal cruising or transoceanic voyages.

For smaller pleasure yachts, you can expect to find fuel tank capacities ranging from 200 to 1,000 gallons. These yachts are typically designed for shorter trips, day cruising, or weekend getaways, and their fuel capacities reflect those requirements. On the other hand, larger and more luxurious yachts, like superyachts and mega yachts, boast significantly larger fuel tank capacities. Average yacht fuel capacity can vary anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 gallons of fuel, allowing them to undertake extended journeys across vast distances with ease. It’s essential for yacht owners and operators to understand their yacht’s fuel tank size and plan their trips accordingly to ensure they have enough fuel to reach their destinations safely.

Remember, knowledge about fuel for yachts and yacht fuel tank sizes is vital to maximizing your sailing experience and minimizing the risk of running out of fuel during your adventures on the open waters. For more in-depth information on this topic, we recommend checking out reputable websites of yacht manufacturers that provide comprehensive data on yacht specifications and fuel capacities. There are many factors that can make the capacity of any specific yacht’s fuel canister better or worse for the owner; one such factor is the amount of resources that are used over the course of a trip out on the water.

How Much Fuel Does a Yacht Use?

Average yacht fuel consumption can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the yacht’s size, weight, and duration of your journey out on the water. It’s crucial to consider the yacht fuel capacity of the vessel and its efficiency to better understand its consumption patterns. Fuel capacity is the total amount of fuel a yacht can hold in its tanks, as we mentioned in our previous discussion on yacht fuel tank sizes. Fuel-efficient yachts are designed to minimize fuel consumption while maximizing performance, providing a more eco-friendly and cost-effective sailing experience.

On average, smaller pleasure yachts with fuel capacities ranging from 200 to 1,000 gallons tend to be more fuel-efficient. They often feature modern technologies and hull designs optimized for reduced resistance and better fuel economy. As a rough estimate, these yachts can consume around 20 to 50 gallons of fuel per hour at cruising speed. Larger luxury yachts, such as superyachts and mega yachts with fuel capacities of 10,000 to 50,000 gallons, may have higher fuel consumption rates, averaging around 100 to 500 gallons per hour at cruising speed.

If you are looking to get the most out of your yacht, then you cannot go wrong with marine diesel services and products for marine vessels that are designed to make every trip out on the water smoother and better than the one before. Luckily our expert marine rebuild specialists are able to provide all of the assistance you could ever need.

The Marine Diesel Experts in Fort Lauderdale Are Here to Help

Welcome to Marine Diesel Specialists, your ultimate destination for comprehensive boat engine care and top-quality products. As an authorized distributor, we take immense pride in offering exceptional MAN diesel marine engines renowned for their unrivaled reliability and outstanding performance. Our esteemed Gulf Coast Diesel Service branch operates with marine rebuild specialists in Fort Lauderdale and Punta Gorda, all dedicated to delivering unparalleled customer satisfaction.

Whether you seek expert guidance on engine selection, reliable repairs, or meticulous maintenance, our seasoned professionals are eager to provide you with comprehensive insights and personalized assistance. We’re committed to ensuring your boating experience is smooth and worry-free. To deepen your knowledge of marine engines, we encourage you to explore our vast collection of informative articles on our marine engine care blog which covers topics ranging from yacht fuel capacity and much more.  Feel free to contact our marine industry professionals today to discover the full spectrum of our offerings and experience our unwavering commitment to excellence.

Related Readings

  • Finding the Best Marine Diesel Engine for You
  • Benefits of MAN Marine Engines

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Our Marine Diesel Specialists offer a variety of products and services to provide marine diesel solutions in Fort Lauderdale and Punta Gorda. Our authorized MAN Engine dealers can offer expert maintenance, repair, and survey services, as well as complete engine, transmission, and generator overhauls. If you are seeking top-quality marine diesel solutions, products, or services, don’t wait to contact our Marine Diesel Specialists and Gulf Coast Diesel Service.

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What’s Good Fuel Economy for a Fishing Boat?

  • By Lenny Rudow
  • February 7, 2024

What’s good fuel economy for a fishing boat ? That’s a loaded question, because just what constitutes “good” is open to debate. If you’re talking about a 65-foot sportfish that weighs 100,000 pounds and blasts across the ocean at 30 knots with 4,000 diesel horses churning in the engine room, a third of a mile to the gallon isn’t bad. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a jon boat with a 15 hp four-stroke outboard and a light load can top 10 mpg. Or you could go even farther afield and note that there are plenty of kayaks that qualify as fishing boats and make three or four mph while burning only calories.

Comparison Standards

When judging a boat’s fuel economy, the best way to go about it is to compare boats of the same size. This is no easy feat. Boats aren’t standardized. For example, if two models have an identical length, they may well have different beams, and different horsepower with different brand engines. Then, there are environmental factors to consider. Was a boat’s fuel efficiency measured on flat calm waters, choppy seas, or in a maelstrom? How strong a current was running, and was the boat going with, against, or across it? The difference in that very same boat’s fuel economy can vary dramatically from one day to the next.

Usage Factors

Now let’s talk about just what all these boats are doing. Efficiency at idle is very different from efficiency at cruise, which is yet again different from efficiency at wide-open throttle. Some boats offer great economy while going slow, but poor economy while going fast. Others are the diametric opposite. So, where in the rpm range and speed band do you plan to compare them? This depends on how you use and run your boat the bulk of the time.

Considering all these factors, it’s clear that we have to recognize from the outset that assessing a boat’s fuel efficiency is often comparing apples to oranges with a few bananas and maybe a plum or two in the mix. Still, we can look at a broad swath of boats and make a few basic assertions.

Category Examples

A comparison of five 18-foot center consoles rigged with 115 hp outboards and running at approximately 30 mph is illuminating. At the top of the cruising efficiency range, one gets 5.7 mpg, and at the bottom, another gets 4.2 mpg. The average for all of these rigs is 5.0 mpg. However, is that gas-hog getting 0.8 mpg below average? Not necessarily, because it also has the most efficient slow pace, getting 8.8 mpg at around five mph while the other boats averaged 7.7 mpg. So, which of those boats gets good fuel economy? Well, are you cruising or are you trolling ?

Now let’s jump up the scale to 25-footers running at 30 mph on a single 300 hp outboard. The range tightens, with the best economy checking in at 3.5 mpg and the lowest at 3.0; the average sits at 3.2. Once again, for whatever reason the boat with the lowest cruising mpg scores the highest slow speed efficiency, but by a much lower margin (4.6 mpg versus an average of 4.5).

Running With the Big Dogs

Up we go again, this time to 30-foot twin-engine rigs with pairs of 300 hp outboards. The spread shrinks even more at 30 mph, from 1.5 to 1.8 mpg with a 1.7 average. Idling along at trolling speed, fuel economy is no more than 0.3 mpg apart. And at wide-open, no more than 0.2 mpg apart.

So, what can we tell from these results? The bigger the boat gets, the less of a difference you’ll see in fuel economy between different rigs. If you’re shopping for an 18-footer, fuel economy is worth some consideration, but if you’re shopping for a 30-plus footer, less so.

Notable Exceptions

Except that there are exceptions. What happens when we introduce a multi-hull boat (aka power cat) into the mix of 30-footers? The cat ekes out a win over the top V-hull, with 1.9 mpg. What about throwing in a twin-stepped hull into the mix? Best efficiency at 30 mph jumps up to 2.1 mpg.

Of course, power cats and stepped hulls have their own quirks and peculiarities. Remember: apples, oranges, bananas, and plums. When it comes to fishing boats, it’s pretty darn tough to determine exactly what “good fuel economy” means. Which brings us back to those fishing kayaks . Because considering how poor the fuel economy of boats in general can be, we’re thinking you just can’t beat five miles to the turkey-and-cheese sandwich.

  • More: Center Consoles , Fishing and Boating Tips , fishing boats

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Supersize center-consoles expand angling horizons, things to look for in a jig-and-pop boat, boost trolling coverage and success, panama’s topwater yellowfins, maryland cancels trophy striped bass season, give power to the states, protect the blue: faces of conservation in the florida keys – marathon.

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Check out Moscow’s NEW electric river trams (PHOTOS)

yacht fuel economy

Water transportation has become another sector for the eco-friendly improvements the Moscow government is implementing. And it means business. On July 15, 2021, on the dock of Moscow’s ‘Zaryadye’ park, mayor Sergey Sobyanin was shown the first model of the upcoming river cruise boat.

yacht fuel economy

The model of the electrical boat with panoramic windows measures 22 meters in length. The river tram - as Muscovites call them - has a passenger capacity of 42, including two disabled seats. The trams will also get cutting edge info panels, USB docking stations, Wi-Fi, spaces for scooters and bicycles, as well as chairs and desks for working on the go. The boats will be available all year round, according to ‘Mosgortrans’, the regional transport agency. 

yacht fuel economy

Passengers will be able to pay with their ‘Troika’ public transport card, credit cards or bank cards. 

The main clientele targeted are people living in Moscow’s river districts - the upcoming trams will shorten their travel time in comparison to buses and other transportation by five times, Mosgortrans stated. 

yacht fuel economy

As the river trams are being rolled out, Moscow docks will also see mini-stations, some of which will also be outfitted with charging docks for speed-charging the boats.  

yacht fuel economy

Moscow is set to announce the start of the tender for construction and supply in September 2021. The first trams are scheduled to launch in June 2022 on two routes - from Kievskaya Station, through Moscow City, into Fili; and from ZIL to Pechatniki. 

yacht fuel economy

“Two full-scale routes will be created in 2022-2023, serviced by 20 river trams and a number of river stations. We’ll continue to develop them further if they prove to be popular with the citizens,” the Moscow mayor said .

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  1. How Important Is Fuel Economy?

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    In order to be able to read the calculation right, any boat owner should know that gasoline is almost 6.1 pounds per gallon while diesel is 7.2 pounds per gallon. Usually, if you consider that all sea conditions are pristine, the fuel consumption of a normal diesel engine is 0.4 pounds per hour for each unit of horsepower.

  10. What Fuel Do Yachts Use? (All Types Explained in Detail)

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  16. 5 Ways to Improve Your Boat's Fuel Economy

    Keep Up with Maintenance. Clogged filters hamper engine efficiency, so make sure the engine's fuel and air filters are clean. Check the spark plugs, change the engine oil and inspect the propeller (s) . Additionally, check for loose belts that can slip and cut the power. If you're taking your boat to get serviced, winter is a good time to ...

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  18. Yacht Fuel Capacity and Use

    On average, smaller pleasure yachts with fuel capacities ranging from 200 to 1,000 gallons tend to be more fuel-efficient. They often feature modern technologies and hull designs optimized for reduced resistance and better fuel economy. As a rough estimate, these yachts can consume around 20 to 50 gallons of fuel per hour at cruising speed.

  19. Good Fuel Economy for a Fishing Boat

    The range tightens, with the best economy checking in at 3.5 mpg and the lowest at 3.0; the average sits at 3.2. Once again, for whatever reason the boat with the lowest cruising mpg scores the highest slow speed efficiency, but by a much lower margin (4.6 mpg versus an average of 4.5).

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