EXCITING NEWS:Snag-A-Slip Acquires SlipSure!Snag-A-Slip, the leading online slip reservation system is pleased to announce its acquisition of SlipSure, the largest same-day booking app for boaters. Launched in 2015, Snag-A-Slip reaches more than 750 marinas from Canada to the Caribbean and is still growing. With a mission to make reservations effortless for both marinas and slipholders, the process is now easier than ever with the convenience of instant bookings. Visit snagaslip.com.RCI Marine's New Home in the NortheastThe RCI Group just opened its newest state-of-the-art marina, Bridgeport Harbor. Located in Bridgeport Harbor, CT, the deep-water marina is a beautiful destination on Long Island Sound. The marina's full-service boatyard, equipped with 75- and 200-ton travel lifts, and Bridgeport
Water damage out at sea is a persistent risk, especially with electronics that we rely on every day. Well, not anymore! Enter to win a uGO PHONE 2.0 Dry Bag (valued at $129). Featuring uZIP technology, this compact, plastic bag fits all sizes of smartphones and floats in water, allowing you to use your phone without removing it from the bag. Visit marinalife.com/wintercontest through March 31 to enter!
Chesapeake oyster lovers have a reason to cheer this summer as the region’s oyster population reached the highest it’s been in 35 years and continues to flourish. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) recently chose 10 sites for large-scale oyster reef restoration including Harris Creek and Little Choptank River in Maryland, as well as Lafayette and Great Wicomico Rivers in Virginia.
Even though the overall blue crab population was down last year, warranting prices to increase, the female crab population was up — meaning the Bay’s crustaceans are currently healthy and thriving.
According to the 2021 Bay Barometer, “Between 2020 and 2021, the abundance of adult female blue crabs in the Bay increased from 141 million to 158 million,” reports CBF. This increase proves a vital boost to the Bay’s wildlife habitats.
A BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD FOR THE BAY
To have a healthy aquaculture requires maintaining a pollution-free ecosystem. CBF pioneers marine cleanup partnerships between state and local governments and conservation groups and is crucial to implementing clean water coalitions.
This past winter, the Congress signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) containing a $238 million dollar-increase over five years for CBF.
Funding was also granted through the EPA for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which will contribute to upgrading sewage treatment facilities to reduce the Bay’s polluted runoff. For more info or to get involved, visit cbf.org
MARITIME MUSEUM HOSTS SUMMER HAPPENINGS
Cruise to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) this season to experience fun in historic St. Michaels, MD. Events include an Independence Day celebration of fireworks and entertainment with Big Band Night in July and Watermen’s Appreciation Day on August 14 featuring live music and a “watermen’s rodeo” you don’t want to miss. Visit cbmm.org
CBMM’S WORKSHOPS & EVENTS
“Apprentice for a Day” shipyard programs
Mixed-level yoga classes
Boater safety courses
Kayak paddle programs
Log canoe cruises
Community ecology cruises
BALTIMORE COUNTY’S FIRST BOAT SHOW
Created for Maryland dealers, by Maryland dealers, Baltimore County’s first Chesapeake Bay Boat Show was held at the Timonium State Fairgrounds this past January. Guests enjoyed live music, free seminars, 70 exhibitors and 150 boats and jet skis on display. Don’t miss next year’s event scheduled for January 20-22. Visit thechesapeakebayboatshow.com
World events over the last two years have created a record high interest in recreational boating, but unfortunately they also generated record high fuel prices. To help you understand exactly how various boats burn fuel differently and how to run your boat at its most efficient, we’re turning to Steve Zimmerman, founder of Zimmerman Marine, a highly respected boat yard and boat builder with six locations in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
Steve is knowledgeable in all aspects of boat maintenance and design that affect fuel consumption. I had the opportunity to ask Steve recently to dispel commonly held misconceptions about fuel use in popular styles of recreational boats.
Bob: When boaters talk about fuel consumption, they mostly speak in terms of gallons per hour, not miles per gallon. What’s the difference?
Steve: Many boaters focus solely on gallons per hour (GPH); however, in determining how much fuel you use to cover a given distance on your boat, we have to bring speed into the equation. For example, if someone asked which is more efficient, a boat burning 11 GPH or a boat burning 22 GPH? The answer is it’s impossible to say without calculating miles per gallon (MPG)
If the boat burning 11 GPH is traveling at 10 knots (nautical miles per hour), we divide 11 GPH by 10 knots to see it is getting 0.9 nautical miles per gallon (nMPG). If the boat burning 22 GPH is traveling at 22 knots, 22 divided by 22 equals 1.0 nMPG. So, in this example, we see that although the difference is minor, the boat burning double the gallons per hour achieves better mileage.
Bob: If people are considering a new boat, are some designs more fuel efficient than others?
Steve: All boat hulls require a certain amount of energy to move through water. The more easily they move through the water, the less energy is required. The primary factors that influence how easily the hull can be moved include hull shape, length, total weight and drag. Hull shapes are sorted into three basic categories: full displacement, semi-displacement and planing. To determine which offers the best fuel economy, we introduce the most important variable of all: speed.
Bob: So, the faster a boat goes, the more fuel it burns?
Steve: Usually that’s true, but not always. Different hull forms respond differently to the demand for speed. As speed increases, boats move through the water in three basic ways. At slow speeds the boat sits fully in the water, riding between a wave at the bow and a wave at the stern. Full displacement boats live in this zone. As soon as speed increases, fuel burn rises sharply.
Semi-displacement and planing hulls can apply more horsepower and begin to climb up onto the bow wave. In this phase the bow rides awkwardly high, and fuel economy plummets. By applying even more power, these hulls ride more on top of the water. The bow comes down, speed increases, and fuel burn levels off. All get better fuel economy at the slower speeds, but the penalty for higher speeds varies substantially between hull types.
Bob: Can you explain how different hull types vary of fuel use?
Steve: Yes, let’s look at the most common hull forms used in recreational boats:
FULL DISPLACEMENT Let’s look at some actual numbers from a full-displacement trawler in the 40- to 50-foot range. At a speed of 7.5 knots, if it’s using 3 GPH, that equals 2.5 nMPG? If we push for a little more speed, the fuel burn changes, at 9 knots, burning 11 GPH, it’s down to 0.8 nMPG. Notice that by going just 1.5 knots slower, it’s using 300% less fuel.
SEMI-DISPLACEMENT Now let’s look at a semi-displacement boat of similar size. If this boat is going 8.5 knots and using 3.4 GPH, it’s getting 2.2 nMPG. If we increase to 10.5 knots, using 14.2 GPH, we’re down to 0.74 nMPG. Once again, going just 2 knots slower increases fuel economy 300%. If we push this boat into higher speeds though, the fuel burn differs significantly. At 15 knots, fuel use goes up dramatically to 23.5 GPH, and our efficiency is down to 0.64 nMPG. At 20 knots, using 35.0 GPH, we’re down to 0.57 nMPG. When more of the boat’s hull is on top of the water, the penalty for increases in speed diminishes dramatically and economy levels off. As speed increases, fuel economy will gradually decline in small increments.
PLANNING Finally, let’s look at a boat designed for speed, a lightweight planing hull. When going slowly at 7.5 knots, burning 2.6 GPH, that equals 2.9 nMPG. When we increase to 11.0 knots, burning 9.2 GPH, that lowers the fuel rate to 1.2 nMPG. At a top speed of 25.0 knots, burning 27.5 GPH, that gives only a small decrease in fuel burn to 0.9 nMPG.
Notice that at the slow displacement speeds, a slight increase in speed causes a large decrease in fuel economy. But once the boat is out of the water at planing speeds, a significant increase in speed had a smaller effect on fuel consumption.
It should also be pointed out that weight matters, but it matters considerably less at displacement speeds. A full displacement trawler can pack on the cruising weight without much of a penalty. The other hull types won’t pay a penalty at lower speeds, but at higher speeds the additional weight will take its toll.
Bob: Generally speaking, going slower saves fuel?
Steve: For all cruising powerboats, when it comes to fuel economy, speed trumps all other factors—but only at slow speeds. At full-displacement speeds going a knot or two slower can double or triple your fuel economy.
Among the things that influence fuel economy on planing hulls are the condition and cleanliness of the props and rudders, alignment of shafts, health of bearings and a fouled bottom. Once you are on plane, increases in speed matter far less, but the importance of a clean underbody and running gear matters far more. Don’t be misled by GPH, taking the extra step to calculate MPG, which ultimately determines overall fuel use.
The marina management company is pleased to announce its growth into New England with three Connecticut properties: Old Harbor Marina in Clinton, Mystic Point Marina in downtown Mystic and Glastonbury Marina (formerly Seaboard Marina) in Glastonbury.Since its founding on the East Coast in 2015, Oasis has spread out rapidly across the United States from the northern Great Lakes to southern Florida. The company is now stepping foot on the West Coast with plans to grow new team members and properties in the future. For updates, visit oasismarinas.com
Suntex Marinas Lands New Property in New York
Suntex Marinas, a premier marina owner and operator, is proud to announce its recent acquisition of Sunset Harbour in Long Island, NY. Situated along the South Shore, this 332-slip marina provides easy access to the lovely Great South Bay. Visit suntexmarinas.com
SWITLIK Life Rafts are Back for the Season
SWITLIK Life Rafts are back in stock, in every variety just in time for spring and summer boating. Short lead times are now offered on survival equipment, rafts and man overboard modules. For more than 100 years, this U.S.-based company has produced high quality safety equipment in Trenton, NJ. Visit switlik.com
Since 1977, Pursuit Boats has produced high-end, yacht-quality fishing and cruising vessels across tons of locations. Magnificently appointed and highly anticipated with possibilities for every angler, the OS 445 is Pursuit's largest boat yet. Prepare to cruise in liveaboard luxury with this season's new model. Visit pursuitboats.com or marinalife.com/pursuit-concierge-club
Marinalife Photo Contest
2022 Photo Contest Is Open for Submissions!
Marinalife is pleased to announce our third annual photo contest, where we welcome snapshots that capture moments of maritime merriment from photographers of all skill levels. For details, see page 16 or visit marinalife.com/2022PhotoContest