Gasoline

The fuel of portable generators and outboard dinghy motors. This liquid gold can power your toys and also explode your yacht!

The worst part about gasoline is having to purchase it. We have had a Honda 2000 generator for several months and are comfortable with the burn rate it gives us. It burns through 1 gallon in about 8 to 10 hours, depending on the demand we put on it. This lets us charge up our electric motor bank in a hurry if we drew too much power from it trying to motor through an inlet.

In the Bahamas, our crew member brought his 2hp Honda outboard along with him, so we have enjoyed the freedom from rowing that it has brought us. The freedom does come at a price! This little motor burns through fuel at an alarming rate! To conserve fuel, we travel at less than hull speed on our dinghy, and we travel in the straightest line possible, making the trip as short as possible. Hull speed for the dinghy is 3.5 knots, so we usually travel at around 3 knots. This makes getting places slow, but still faster than rowing!

Now, even with all these factors in mind to reduce fuel consumption, that dinghy motor burns through the fuel at an alarming rate! We carry 10 gallons of gasoline on Wisdom, and this has never been a problem. From Hatteras, NC to Lake Worth, FL, we only had to buy 30 gallons of gasoline to run the generator. We carry two 5 gallon jugs, and when one jug was empty, we would then begin searching for the cheapest fuel.

Usually, we would buy fuel once a month, so it was never that big of a financial burden. We bought fuel right before we left Florida for the Bahamas, and left with 10 gallons of gasoline, ready to carry us along for a long time.

Then we started using the outboard, and in under a week, we burned through 5 gallons of gas! We are anchored between two private islands owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruises, and our next destination is a chain of uninhabited islands. The thought of getting stranded with no fuel felt unsettling!

So we went to one of the islands to see if they could sell us some fuel. The price of fuel is insane in the Bahamas! They charge $6.50 per gallon, and after the taxes are added, the 5 gallon jerry can cost us $35!

This put the brakes on running that outboard so much, as it represented a very expensive convenience. We used to row for free, and it got us to shore and back to the boat. We simply timed the tides and made our journey at the right time! The outboard is convenient, but an expensive one.

The priorities for gasoline will be: 1st, the generator. 2nd, the outboard.

We will try to anchor closer to shore so that we can row in instead of burning gas, and only use the outboard when absolutely necessary.

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