View Full Version : extended trip fuel concern

10-12-2015, 02:12 PM
We are wanting to go for an extended boat trip on lake powell, but are wanting to go in just the boat and not take the house boat. the concern is going to be fuel, and how to avoid running out of it.

I could consider a prop change to a more fuel efficient prop. we can certainly sacrifice the nice hole shot i enjoy now for the more efficient range, is there a prop that would do this that would make a noticeable improvement? current using an ACME 4 blade xxxx I don't remember the number. I have the original OJ wakeboard prop to switch to, but i do not recall it being much more fuel efficient. any suggestions on prop?

next will be to carry more fuel. any thoughts? I could strap a bunch of cans across the rear deck for travel, but that would be 25-30 gallons and then dealing with the cans in the way etc. I could put cans in the lockers, but that really does seem like a good route to a fireworks show with my family as the host.

Are there any other ways to carry additional fuel? could I put a fuel bag in the ski locker? does something like this exist? can it be done safely? fuel transfer would be a concern too.

i would like to get to a total of about 80 gallons for the stuff we think we would like to do and when we would get to a marina for refueling.


10-12-2015, 03:25 PM
Are you planning on going way up river were there are no fuel stations? Or do they close in the winter? We had no fuel concerns exploring. There are several marinas due to all the house boats

10-12-2015, 05:14 PM
here is some of my summary and complex fuel consumption estimates:
launch at bullforg, mile 92
camp explore play to escalante river, mile 68
92-68= 24 miles, minimum without exploring or playing, add some exploring and riding down 2.5 hours 15 gal
ride and play in escalante and it canyons, 1.5 hours 9 gal
travel to san juan river, mile 55 and then up river exploring along the way, 3 hours 18 gal
oops, i ran out! tank is 40 gal
nearest marina is dangling rope at mile 40
from san juan camp, figure 20+ miles 1 hour there but you have to go to rainbow bridge, explore cathedral canyon 2 hours, 12 gal
spend a day riding and exploring, 3 hours, 18 gal

getting to the nearest marina and back to camp will be 10-12 gallons. Yes there are marinas that are open, but it will be far away and will take a minimum of 2 hours to get to and return to camp. i do think that dangling rope you can pay at the pump so the hours are not as critical, but i don't plan on that unless i am able to verify.

if we take the house boat, we usually have 150-200 gallons avail for playing, and we tow the boat. but we are going with a small crew and want to have new experience, but we don't want to experience paddling the moomba very far. (we've had that on the small local lake and it sucks for less than a mile when there is no one left on the lake at night)

beat taco
10-12-2015, 08:06 PM
Rotopax makes plastic cans that are uniquely shaped and made of thicker plastic and guaranteed to have spouts that don't leak or vibrate loose. They can be strapped just about anywhere. I would think you could get 4 of the 4 gallon ones on your tower. Plus the ones you plan on putting on your swim deck. I've done the swim deck a lot, but it's only good for 20 gallons. Only problem with the rotopax is the cost.

10-13-2015, 01:29 AM
If you're willing to throw money at it, they do make fuel bladders. Pick a storage locker and there ya go!

I know on my old boat when I had to drain the fuel tank I bought a $40 generic 12v electric fuel pump. it's pretty slow, but it works.
Or I would think you could find a hard tank (like they used in boats for hard ballast systems)...

10-13-2015, 09:24 AM
Yearround thats some serious traveling.

I think I would be looking at carrying 4-6 5gal jugs in my V drives.

You might also do some research on your path and how accessible it still is. When we went in 13 the water was lower then they expected and they haven't been gaining water.

Exp Wahweap Marina is where we got the house boat from and it shows you can cruise across the bay between a rock structure to another big body of water, this was our plan. Yea no go, there is no water in that area anymore.

Another caution you need to have is the Cruise boats that go through the main channel and down some of the legs, those ships throw a knarley wave. We hit it with the Mojo and literally Claudia flew up from the observer seat, serious rollers. You can't sit dormant either or they will swamp you. You have to power through them, they are literally 3-4ft at times depending how close you are to the boats.

Like I said we launched off Wahweap and explored up to I believe it was Navaho Creek, and there is a Marina by Antelope Point.

Only thing I can tell you is slow cruise is a lot more fuel efficient then 20+ mph.

We slow cruised a lot and never dropped below 1/2 a tank between Marinas, I know they have Fuel stops more then they have listed. We passed 2 separate ones after we left Wahweap. I think they my not be listed as main points because they have no Launch area or something.

10-13-2015, 09:50 AM
I vote for buying at least (5) 5-gallon VP gas jugs. Probably the square ones so you can pack them in the Vdrive compartments. Buy a cap for each and have 1 extra cap onboard with a spout. The jugs are around $25-30 each with caps I believe.

10-13-2015, 12:45 PM

10-13-2015, 12:53 PM

I love these type of jugs. you can also easily fit 6 gallons in each with room to spare.

10-13-2015, 01:35 PM
Great input, thanks!
Mike, we are not going down to Wahweep, at least not part of the current plan. that would be another 30 miles down river to get to that area, just lots more gas! we are fully aware of the lake levels and the rollers that the tour boats throw. much more concerning is being on the water when a storm comes up. we've had storm rollers over the boat with everyone in jackets and the bilge pumping. not a pleasant occurrence.

I like the custom bladder, replace the front ski locker with a fuel bladder and external transfer pump. they are rather pricey though. but cheaper than a tow.

I had thought about the cans in the rear lockers. it does not seem that anyone is too concerned about it. I have not used the containers that Drew mentioned, but it seems to me that most of them leak a bit and that would be a bit of an issue, we will have other gear in the lockers that probably don't mix well with fuel, like our sleeping gear and food.

maybe some hard tanks on each side locker that would be flat enough to still use above them for storage and keep the weight even. I plan to take out the ballast entirely for this trip. will have to sacrifice the big wake for the other adventures.

It doesn't sound like I have any great prop options though. was hoping a prop change could gain another 1/2 gal/hour. I will be going from a normal elevation of 5700 down to 3400' and we keep the cruising speed under 25, but we are also running with some I/O's and they don't cruise so well at the lower speed, at least that is what they say.

10-13-2015, 02:06 PM
The VP jugs wont leak. Especially a new one.

10-13-2015, 02:31 PM
You can borrow my spare prop if you want-- have to send it back though. It's the OJ 13.7 x 17.5. It will give you some more top end and still give you passable hole shot as long as you don't get over about 1800 lbs. of ballast. If you decide to buy a prop get the ACME 1161 or 537. I think they are 16 pitch and will give you some fuel economy while losing just about nothing. You can see Al's comparison of that prop if you run a search.

10-13-2015, 03:06 PM
oops, i ran out! tank is 40 gal
Oops, I ran out! My tank is either only 37 gal... or if it really is 40 I was only able to use 37.

If you use gas cans, definitely use one of these shaker siphons:http://www.homedepot.com/p/American-Specialty-Wonder-Pump-6-ft-Siphon-Hose-6-PMP6HD/203635079 That is the only way I move gas from portable cans - I'll never pour again.