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Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

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Topic author United States of America
mbenner
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Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

Postby mbenner » November 12th, 2018, 3:03 pm

I bought a 1993 Carver 300 Aft-cabin. It feels like the perfect boat for my solo travel. Next May I plan to reposition it from Fulton, MS on the Tenn-Tom where I'm refurbishing it, to Sanford, FL, which will be its hailing port.

Two questions:
1.) Is cruising Florida's Big Bend a good idea, vs. making a direct run from Carrabelle to Inglewood or Port Charlotte? I have a month to make the trip.

2.) If I were to limit my speed to 5-6 mph (hull speed) for most of the trip, could I expect to get 3mpg, vs the 1mpg I've experienced on-plane (350cid Chevy engines)?

Your thoughts and advice will be appreciated.
Michael Benner
The Black Rose
1993 Carver 300
mbenner1950@yahoo.com

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Re: Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

Postby bud37 » November 12th, 2018, 3:35 pm

What is your rpm at hull speed....here is a calculator, maybe not an exact match for your HP but in my experience close enough.........http://www.boat-fuel-economy.com/mercur ... us-gallons
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Topic author United States of America
mbenner
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Re: Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

Postby mbenner » November 12th, 2018, 4:34 pm

Thanks Bud! The calculator is very helpful. My boat achieves hull speed at about 1000RPM. The calculator tells me I can expect just over 2mpg. I was hoping for 3mpg, but 2 is 100% better than 1!
Michael Benner
The Black Rose
1993 Carver 300
mbenner1950@yahoo.com
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Re: Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

Postby Cooler » November 12th, 2018, 8:53 pm

Hello Michael, your fuel consumption question is intriguing. I assume your engines are actually Crusaders and your drives are direct or V drives. Most, not all, of the calculators assume outboards or I/O, which get better mileage. Another way to improve efficiency is running one motor at a time. Not recommended for twin engines, but if you truly keep it to 5 MPH, I don't think you can do any significant damage for this one trip, beyond any damage running that low for that long. You will lose efficiency by keel/rudder drag, but not as much as 2 engines running at just above idle. Maybe this is a great opportunity to do some testing. Number of hours on these engines will also play into the equation. Carry an extra set of plugs at least. Most good marine mechanics will tell you that running gasoline engines too slow, for too long, will be more abuse than running them too fast. Most marine engines are built to run 3200 to 4000 RPM.

Keep us posted on your findings. I burn about 22GPH at 3200 - 3400 RPM. I would love to burn less, but ahh heck, it's boating. Gas price at my marina was 3.10 per gallon all season, so I should not complain. That is 89 Octane, no ethanol.
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Re: Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

Postby John Easley » November 13th, 2018, 8:51 am

Hey mbenner,

You can cruise around the bend. It's just that most people don't. And for good reason. There aren't a lot of stops and not much in the way of touristy or noteworthy things to do in that area. Most people hop from Carrabelle or thereabouts to Cedar Key, Tarpon Springs, or Clearwater and then work their way down the coast.

Keep us posted on your travels.

John
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Topic author United States of America
mbenner
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Re: Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

Postby mbenner » November 13th, 2018, 7:04 pm

Thanks for the responses. I hadn't considered doing any damage to my engines by running them under a light load. Most of what I'd read was about wear and tear caused by constant heavy loading for gas engines, unlike diesels. At any rate I'll likely do some running at slow bell and some at planning speed just for fun.

I'm interested in the Big Bend for its exploring opportunities. I've visited some interesting ports while working in the area and am curious about poking into some of the rivers that empty into the gulf. It looks like the Apalachicola and Suwanee may be open for a few miles and I'd like to go up to Shield's Marina at St. Marks.

My main concern about cruising the Big Bend is whether channels are well marked. I believe there is a good deal of shallow water near the coast, which brings me to my next question: What iPhone apps are the best for coastal navigation?
Michael Benner
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1993 Carver 300
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Re: Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

Postby bud37 » November 13th, 2018, 8:39 pm

Hopefully by next May the area will have recovered, they took one heck of a hit from Michael.......we will not be going to Pcb this year.....Mexico beach is gone, and severe damage from Tyndall to Appalach.....maybe check before you go, St Marks may be just fine......good luck man , sounds like an adventure.

Lots of shoal and sand bar changes after a storm like that....
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Topic author United States of America
mbenner
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Re: Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

Postby mbenner » November 14th, 2018, 10:32 am

Thanks Bud, I will be visiting those places by land before I go, possibly doing some work down there to assist their recovery. I did some preliminary damage assessment in southwest GA a week after the storm. I'll be using extreme caution and vigilantly watching for shoaling. I just installed a new depth sounder for the trip. I remember Destin after Opal - changed the entire topography of the gulf there and ruined the fishery for a few years. Mother Nature is a mighty force indeed!
Michael Benner
The Black Rose
1993 Carver 300
mbenner1950@yahoo.com
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BH_AtEase
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Re: Best route & fuel consumption advice,, please

Postby BH_AtEase » December 4th, 2018, 8:31 pm

mbenner wrote:
My main concern about cruising the Big Bend is whether channels are well marked. I believe there is a good deal of shallow water near the coast, which brings me to my next question: What iPhone apps are the best for coastal navigation?


Navionics is a great app; the Sonar charts are crowd sourced from boaters and are much more accurate than official soundings. I know several delivery captains who swear by them.

Ben
97 Carver 445

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