UPDATED! Princecraft Starfish 16′ DLX SC review #6: preliminary fuel consumption figure

August 30, 2012

One day last week I attached a full tank of high test to the Mercury EFI 40 with a recorded hour meter reading of 10.1 hours. Last night I switched the tank out at 14.9 hours, even though there was some fuel left. This morning I added 18.8 litres at $24.63 to top the tank up.

What was the engine doing in that interval? Two evenings involved running 6 miles to Indian Lake to troll. Others involved the usual jaunts at cruising speed out to fishing spots on Newboro and Pollywog. These involved considerable slogging through weeds. One chore was towing a full-dress Ranger bass boat and its owners back to Newboro in the dark after its engine mysteriously quit*. I’d never seen a five-blade prop for an outboard before.

* January 30, 2013: After several months of thinking about this fuel consumption anomaly, I must conclude that someone added fuel to the tank of the unattended boat without my knowledge. The prime suspect would be the owner of the Ranger bass boat I towed in to Newboro.

Note:

My hour meter measures time that the key is on, not revolutions, so a trolling hour counts the same as an hour on plane.

18.81 litres is 4.96 US gallons or 4.13762 Imperial gallons.

hours 4.8

UPDATE: 7 September, 2012

I may not have put enough gas in the tank at the station the last time, because today’s top-up came at 16.5 hours. I put a bit more fuel in this time and it took 21.32 litres at a cost of $28.56.

The boat usage during this interval involved trips on plane of two to six miles in length.

Obviously it takes a large sample to provide a reasonable estimate of fuel consumption with measurement as clumsy as what I am using. But I shall persist.

UPDATE: 18 September, 2012

I switched for a full tank at 18.4 hours after a series of three-mile runs on plane over the course of a week.  So that’s 1.9 hours per tank at cruising speed.  I think there would have been enough fuel for a bit more.  Perhaps two hours per tank is a reasonable estimate of fuel consumption under normal conditions and load — as long as there is a second fuel supply available if the tank runs dry.

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