Owning a boat can be expensive, with maintenance, fuel expenses and storage all adding up as the years go by.
In our latest blog, Mylor Chandlery have come up with a few simple and smart ways to cut down your running costs and even improve the efficiency and performance of your boat.
Leave Your Boat Moored Or Stored Over Winter
Keeping your boat in the water until Spring is a smart idea if you've already paid for mooring and you're all insured up. So when the new sailing season rolls around, you can keep a keen eye on any good haul-out or antifouling deals that come your way.
Alternatively, putting your sailing trips on ice until the summer will save you money as winter can be a particularly expensive time for fuel consumption, heating bills and unexpected maintenance costs that can crop up due to the dropping temperatures.
Keeping your boat covered and protected in storage over the winter will also protect her from the elements.
Clean Your Hull And Propeller
Making sure your hull and propeller are immaculately clean and cared for will also drastically improve performance.
Washing your hull rigorously and antifouling thoroughly could increase your speed on the water by as much as a few knots while improving fuel efficiency and reducing drag, allowing your boat to slice through the water.
For peak propeller performance, inspect your engine blades for evidence of obstruction, damage or debris - it's important to note that any significant chips or cracks to the blades will reduce fuel efficiency, costing you more in the long run. Again, cleaning and caring for your propellers is a useful task for any money-conscious helmsperson.
Streamline Your Onboard Inventory
More items on your boat = greater fuel consumption. It's fairly simple, but many of us tend to overlook or become blinkered to the amount of surplus gear piling up both above and below deck.
To avoid sluggish cruising and escalating fuel costs, remove anything unnecessary from your boat - particularly if you're a long-time seafarer - as there will likely be years of clutter weighing you down that you've simply become oblivious to. The heavier the items you remove, the fewer fuel tank top-ups you're probably going to need in the forthcoming months.
Upgrade Your Boat Lighting And Appliances
Is your boat getting on a bit? If your boat is 10 years or older, it's a good idea to look at the existing electrical fittings and appliances such as lights, heating and refrigeration as many of these elements will have become outdated over time.
More than ever, manufacturers are opting for more eco-friendly, power-saving electrical products that are designed to operate on incredibly limited power. For example, if you use old incandescent lighting below deck you could be draining as much as 60W of power whereas the installation of modern LED lights would only use 10W or less to run.
Investing in something like a Dometic CoolMatic CRX-50 Compressor Refrigerator not only offers you ample fridge and freezer space, it features intelligent temperature control and compressor speeds to give you energy savings of up to 25% when in use.
Stay Out Of The Sun
The adverse effects of sun exposure is an accumulative thing, and one day you'll look at your boat surfaces and see all the fading plastics, fabrics and fibreglass and wish you'd done something about it sooner...
Sun damage is unsightly and costly to repair and replace - it's also particularly bad for lifebuoys as longtime UV exposure can actually cause them to weaken and impair their safety and reliability when you need them most. Make sure you keep lifebuoys covered or, better still, keep them below deck when they're not in use. Investing in a boat cover to protect seat fabrics and attractive wooden surfaces will also extend the life of these more visually appealing elements.
All of this will help you to retain the value of your boat and save you from shelling out on expensive rejuvenation products and other exorbitant professional restoration costs.
Shop Around For Boat Moorings
If you're looking to save money on moorings and still get a convenient and reliable service, 'Boat Moorings: How To Find The Right One' on Boats.com is a great place to start. In the helpful article, they outline a number of useful tips and tricks to locating and securing a suitable mooring as well as giving you a glossary to help you make the most of what's on offer.