The costs of operating a sailboat vs a powerboat always stun me. I went for a 45 minute ride in my slip-neighbor’s 35′ sport fisher this morning, because he was demonstrating an engine performance problem for some of the other boat owners.
10 minutes of slow motoring got us into the open bay, then it was oscillating between wide open throttle and modest cruising speed for the next half hour, then a sedate idle back to the slip in Rockhold Creek. I have no idea how much fuel he burned, but I know that his boat is powered with two 350 hp inboard gas monsters (that sound absolutely great, by the way – you gotta love that roar for the raw power it represents). And I have to admit that it was really fun to be way up in the air on the fly bridge going slowly and going fast. Really, it pushed the fun meter all the way over to the right. Kind of cool, too, to be at eye-level with the osprey nests.
Back at the slip, he adroitly parked the boat stern-first (I was impressed) and we tied up. But again, how much fuel did we burn. . . ? 5 gallons? 8 gallons? What would a 100 mile trip to Deltaville Virginia cost in fuel? Again, not sure about that, but I do know that my slow, low-powered sailboat burns a gallon of diesel every 2.75 hours at cruising speed. And I know I can afford that!