• Friends: Please double-check the email address you have on file. Make sure that it is current and able to receive email. When our emails are rejected it can damage our ratings and slow down future deliveries.
    Thanks!

Houseboat fuel and range

nzaugg

Well-Known Member
We ran larger Yamaha engines (125 hp, 4-stroke outboard) on our previous houseboat and they pulled about 2.5 gph when running 4200-4500 RPM. We could only run around 6-8 mph, giving us about 2-3 mpg, but that was a pontoon. Your results may differ. I was never comfortable pushing the line on the houseboat engines fuel capacity though, since I always wanted to have enough that I could run engines for a while to manage wind issues if necessary.
 

Bigbassman

Well-Known Member
In my experience, those 48-foot rentals go about 8 mph max at 3500 rpm towing a powerboat, and get about 1-1.5 mpg. Easier to calculate mpg than gal/hr...
Cool, thanks. That is helpful. I assume 1-1.5 mpg is for twin engines running together, right?

Agreed mpg for the boat is most helpful for planning the trip, taking into account both engines running at a known RPM.

Not sure why Aramark gives such inaccurate numbers, and at GPH instead of MPG.

So, at 1-1.5 mpg (running twins at 3500) that gives me a round trip range of only 38-57.5 miles, without refueling, and NO genset usage.

Distance to middle of last chance is about 30 miles...and another 12.3 miles to Dangling Rope

Might be required to refuel in DR at some point after steaming out that far, either before making camp, or at the end of the trip, before heading back to Wahweap.

Maybe these 48ft rentals aren’t usually steamed out to Last Chance and beyond. We might be limited to Warm Creek, Gunsight, etc with this rig.
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
You’ve got two 115-gallon tanks on that boat. The second tank is a reserve tank you can pump into a PWC, powerboat or...the other houseboat tank. Your generator is not going to use that much on your trip, so conservatively you’ll have 150 gallons (likely more) for boating. That’s a range of at least 150 miles, closer to 200... no problem if all you’re doing is going to Last Chance.

As I noted before, I’ve taken this boat to the Escalante and back from Wahweap without refueling...
 

Bigbassman

Well-Known Member
We ran larger Yamaha engines (125 hp, 4-stroke outboard) on our previous houseboat and they pulled about 2.5 gph when running 4200-4500 RPM. We could only run around 6-8 mph, giving us about 2-3 mpg, but that was a pontoon. Your results may differ. I was never comfortable pushing the line on the houseboat engines fuel capacity though, since I always wanted to have enough that I could run engines for a while to manage wind issues if necessary.

Good info, thanks—yeah keeping some reserves for wind issues is a great idea.


You’ve got two 115-gallon tanks on that boat. The second tank is a reserve tank you can pump into a PWC, powerboat or...the other houseboat tank. Your generator is not going to use that much on your trip, so conservatively you’ll have 150 gallons (likely more) for boating. That’s a range of at least 150 miles, closer to 200... no problem if all you’re doing is going to Last Chance.

As I noted before, I’ve taken this boat to the Escalante and back from Wahweap without refueling...
Yep, I appreciate the input! Good to know someone who has made it out that far and back without refueling. I guess since this is our very first trip ever, I’m just trying to make sure the family is safe all the way out and back. ;)

And good to know dangling rope isn’t that far off in an emergency.
 

Powder Hound

Well-Known Member
Cool, thanks. That is helpful. I assume 1-1.5 mpg is for twin engines running together, right?

Agreed mpg for the boat is most helpful for planning the trip, taking into account both engines running at a known RPM.

Not sure why Aramark gives such inaccurate numbers, and at GPH instead of MPG.

So, at 1-1.5 mpg (running twins at 3500) that gives me a round trip range of only 38-57.5 miles, without refueling, and NO genset usage.

Distance to middle of last chance is about 30 miles...and another 12.3 miles to Dangling Rope

Might be required to refuel in DR at some point after steaming out that far, either before making camp, or at the end of the trip, before heading back to Wahweap.

Maybe these 48ft rentals aren’t usually steamed out to Last Chance and beyond. We might be limited to Warm Creek, Gunsight, etc with this rig.
That 1-1.5 mpg is the total usage not per engine. I have never dropped below 1 mpg no matter how hard I was pushing the engines. You should have a round trip mileage of 100 miles only burning the fuel for the engines. Peter
 

Peto

Well-Known Member
You should be fine... Watch the fuel consumption on the genny and if you get concerned make a day trip to DR and top off and then find a new camp site for the rest of the trip... Maybe further down lake so the travel time on the last day is reduced. Thats what we typically do when on a houseboat.

Don't over think it :)
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
the spec sheet says twin 60 hp 4 stroke outboards
I had a 60 HP 4 stroke Mercury (what Aramark uses) on my 2007 Lund. MPG might be different, but GPH would not. With that boat, I could run WOT from Bullfrog up to Red Canyon (1.5 - 2 hours), fish all day, and then run WOT back to Bullfrog. I never went through more than 9 gallons of fuel.

Those 60's might not be fast, but they are efficient (I guess it doesn't take much fuel to make 60 HP). You have nothing to worry about for fuel consumption on the drive engines.
 

Bigbassman

Well-Known Member
You should be fine... Watch the fuel consumption on the genny and if you get concerned make a day trip to DR and top off and then find a new camp site for the rest of the trip... Maybe further down lake so the travel time on the last day is reduced. Thats what we typically do when on a houseboat.

Don't over think it :)
Good advice! I won’t over think it. :) I’m really looking forward to just exploring Last Chance and looking for whatever spot looks great —and is available. You can only plan so much!
I had a 60 HP 4 stroke Mercury (what Aramark uses) on my 2007 Lund. MPG might be different, but GPH would not. With that boat, I could run WOT from Bullfrog up to Red Canyon (1.5 - 2 hours), fish all day, and then run WOT back to Bullfrog. I never went through more than 9 gallons of fuel.

Those 60's might not be fast, but they are efficient (I guess it doesn't take much fuel to make 60 HP). You have nothing to worry about for fuel consumption on the drive engines.
Great! That makes me feel better. The more people that say the drive engines will be good, the better. That leaves plenty of gas in the toy tank for the fishing boat!

Now I have to figure out how to make a temporary mount for my finder so I can use it on the rental boat! Maybe I’ll start a new thread...
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
You’ve got two 115-gallon tanks on that boat. The second tank is a reserve tank you can pump into a PWC, powerboat or...the other houseboat tank. Your generator is not going to use that much on your trip, so conservatively you’ll have 150 gallons (likely more) for boating. That’s a range of at least 150 miles, closer to 200... no problem if all you’re doing is going to Last Chance.

As I noted before, I’ve taken this boat to the Escalante and back from Wahweap without refueling...
I have taken my 65 x 14 foot houseboat from Wahweap to the beginning of Great Bend without refueling. If windy conditions come up, that changes things. I also don't run the V-8 engines over 3,000 rpm, and only run the generator to cook (electric stove) and run the A/C at night and recharge the houseboat batteries.
 

Peto

Well-Known Member
Powell Bay is a good spot to find a site -- 37.115601, -111.290163

It's up lake enough to be convenient for day trips farther up lake and not too far from Dangling Rope Marina for fuel Ice and Ice Cream :)


Deep in to Last Chance is a prime spot with early shade (probably not an issue in May ) ----- 37.147532, -111.309593
It's where you'll find Crystal Angel II when it goes out.
 

TR.

Well-Known Member
Lot of factors change mileage, many as described. Bring a yardstick and measure full. time to go no further at 2/3 or thereabouts. 1/3 to get home and 1/3 when you get lost or a big headwind pops up. I bring 10 gallons extra so I can bend that a bit because I always have Some in reserve.

TR
 

Flipper

Well-Known Member
I have a 54' house boat with dual 4.3 Mercruisers and a 12.5KW genset. We have found that it is best to run the House boat motors at around 60 to 70% of WOT (wide open throttle). Once the boat is warmed up say 20 minutes or so run it wide open to see what WOT is on your boat. Make a mental note of where the RPM's are at WOT and back off to around 2/3's full throttle. Say WOT is 4200 RPM, the run your motors at 2600 to 3000 rpm and you will go roughly 80 to 90 % of the speed you will get at WOT but use only about 60% of the fuel. The 12.5 KW genset uses approximately 1 1/4 gallons per hour, depending on the load you put on it. If I go 40 miles uplake, 80 round trip and run the Genset 10 hours or so I will use approximately 100 gallons. How many boats you are towing and the direction and speed of the wind will also determine your fuel efficiency.
 

greyhackle

Well-Known Member
My gas mileage experience this last weekend 3/20/21.
I have a 16 ft Hews Craft with a 90 HP Mercury 2 stroke.
I decided to test the mileage.
We ran from Bullfrog ramp up river to p- cove. Approximately 43 miles one way.
Friday I ran all the way up and back full throttle @ 5500 RPM.
When back it took 22 gallons of fuel.
Sunday I made the same trip, but ran all the way up and back @ 4500 RPM. With only a 3MPH loss of travel speed.
This trip when I topped off the fuel it took 12 gallons.
That's a huge difference for a 3 MPH gain!
I'm sure house boats would run the same.
So I'm cutting back my throttle from now on!!
Especially since fuel will be so cheap this summer.
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
My gas mileage experience this last weekend 3/20/21.
I have a 16 ft Hews Craft with a 90 HP Mercury 2 stroke.
I decided to test the mileage.
We ran from Bullfrog ramp up river to p- cove. Approximately 43 miles one way.
Friday I ran all the way up and back full throttle @ 5500 RPM.
When back it took 22 gallons of fuel.
Sunday I made the same trip, but ran all the way up and back @ 4500 RPM. With only a 3MPH loss of travel speed.
This trip when I topped off the fuel it took 12 gallons.
That's a huge difference for a 3 MPH gain!
I'm sure house boats would run the same.
So I'm cutting back my throttle from now on!!
Especially since fuel will be so cheap this summer.
Thanks for sharing- That is great advice. Boats use a lot less gas at less than full throttle.
 

Bigbassman

Well-Known Member
My gas mileage experience this last weekend 3/20/21.
I have a 16 ft Hews Craft with a 90 HP Mercury 2 stroke.
I decided to test the mileage.
We ran from Bullfrog ramp up river to p- cove. Approximately 43 miles one way.
Friday I ran all the way up and back full throttle @ 5500 RPM.
When back it took 22 gallons of fuel.
Sunday I made the same trip, but ran all the way up and back @ 4500 RPM. With only a 3MPH loss of travel speed.
This trip when I topped off the fuel it took 12 gallons.
That's a huge difference for a 3 MPH gain!
I'm sure house boats would run the same.
So I'm cutting back my throttle from now on!!
Especially since fuel will be so cheap this summer.
Thanks for the info! We definitely plan on running 2500-3000 rpm, or whatever turns out to be the most efficient for these twin 60 hp 4 strokes. (y)
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
Engines are twin 60 hp merc 4 strokes. Gen is a 8000 watt westerbeke. It is all propane boat including fridge. 2500 RPM will drive you nuts, more like 3200-3500. Go full throttle then back off 20%. You should get about 6 1/2 mph. If it has a toy tank you should have plenty of fuel. That boat uses a pretty robust inverter so what we do is get up in the morning turn the gen on, cook and get ready to explore,fish, etc, while charging the batteries. Then leave with the gen off and then when we get back we turn the gen on. Cook and charge phones etc while charging house batteries. When batteries are charged turn the gen off. Before we go to bed we usually play cards with the gen on till bedtime then turn gen off. Repeat next day. Gen might be on a total of 8 hours a day. We always take fuel and carry it on the top deck. Hate 5.50-6.00 gallon gas prices, 3.00 is bad enough. This is our 26th consecutive year, prety much got it down. Oh yeah, you can make it without a pumpout if you strictly limit shower times. Call boat rentals and ask for the manager, she may negotiate the preboard price, dropping off 100$. You are pre-boarding,right. Spend the first night on the boat at the dock and get loaded , get instruction and inspection then leave at daybreak, other wise you won't get off the dock till 10:00. Top off the fuel before you leave also.. You could end up leaving 20 gallons short and then wonder why you used so much fuel. Insist on that one. They will say they can look in the fill hole and tell hom much fuel is in it....baloney. You would do that in the afternoon of preboard day, before fuel dock closes. Safe trip!!!! Check the fridges once in a while to make sure the proper lights are on.
 
Last edited:

Bigbassman

Well-Known Member
Engines are twin 60 hp merc 4 strokes. Gen is a 8000 watt westerbeke. It is all propane boat including fridge. 2500 RPM will drive you nuts, more like 3200-3500. Go full throttle then back off 20%. You should get about 6 1/2 mph. If it has a toy tank you should have plenty of fuel. That boat uses a pretty robust inverter so what we do is get up in the morning turn the gen on, cook and get ready to explore,fish, etc, while charging the batteries. Then leave with the gen off and then when we get back we turn the gen on. Cook and charge phones etc while charging house batteries. When batteries are charged turn the gen off. Before we go to bed we usually play cards with the gen on till bedtime then turn gen off. Repeat next day. Gen might be on a total of 8 hours a day. We always take fuel and carry it on the top deck. Hate 5.50-6.00 gallon gas prices, 3.00 is bad enough. This is our 26th consecutive year, prety much got it down. Oh yeah, you can make it without a pumpout if you strictly limit shower times. Call boat rentals and ask for the manager, she may negotiate the preboard price, dropping off 100$. You are pre-boarding,right. Spend the first night on the boat at the dock and get loaded , get instruction and inspection then leave at daybreak, other wise you won't get off the dock till 10:00. Top off the fuel before you leave also.. You could end up leaving 20 gallons short and then wonder why you used so much fuel. Insist on that one. They will say they can look in the fill hole and tell hom much fuel is in it....baloney. You would do that in the afternoon of preboard day, before fuel dock closes. Safe trip!!!! Check the fridges once in a while to make sure the proper lights are on.
Great info, thank you! Yes, we’re pre-boarding the night before. Prolly getting in after 5pm, so they might be closed already. But they said they’ll leave required info for us, and boat will be on T-Dock. Plan to unload everything then make a run to Walmart for shopping. Also hoping to catch some stripers or eyes off the docks at night! I’ve seen quite a few videos of people catching there at night.

When you say you always take fuel, how much are you talking? Is it as an emergency backup? Or do you always refuel with it? Just curious what you would suggest to bring.

Great info about topping off the tank upon departure. They should do that free of charge, right? Since we’re assuming a full tank at departure. Right?
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
Great info, thank you! Yes, we’re pre-boarding the night before. Prolly getting in after 5pm, so they might be closed already. But they said they’ll leave required info for us, and boat will be on T-Dock. Plan to unload everything then make a run to Walmart for shopping. Also hoping to catch some stripers or eyes off the docks at night! I’ve seen quite a few videos of people catching there at night.

When you say you always take fuel, how much are you talking? Is it as an emergency backup? Or do you always refuel with it? Just curious what you would suggest to bring.

Great info about topping off the tank upon departure. They should do that free of charge, right? Since we’re assuming a full tank at departure. Right?
Yes, they top off the tank before you leave free of charge, but best to confirm in advance with whoever does your checkout procedure....
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
Bigbassman.....We fish and have three fishing boats. We usually go to Paiute Canyon in the San Juan arm so we're used to distances that require extra fuel. Will not go to DR in the middle of a trip because of the lost fishing time and the fuel used to get fuel. We have taken as much as 70 gallons. Don't suggest you take that much but 20 or thirty gallons will be appreciated sooner or later. We take a hose and a cheap hand pump that fits the hose. Since the fuel is on the top deck, it doesn't take much to get the flow started. Have some one with brains holding the hose down below so as not to overfill a fuel tank. You will here the timbre change when it gets close to being filled. The guy up top just pulls the hose out of the container when told. Any fuel we have left goes into the engine or gen tanks. It is not uncommon for the houseboat fuel tanks to be low when you leave the dock. Trust me, I worked there for 10 years. And yes, JFR is right, top-off is free. By the way, a little grease on the gears goes a long way. They work hard for little pay...Pick a friendly porter, tell them your expectations and you will be light years ahead of someone who tries to get management in the office to help you. I always watch the porters style for a few minutes, you will know who you want to tip. Fishing off the back of your houseboat will be a gas. Throw out some chum to get started. I've never been confronted about fuel on the top deck but we don't flaunt it. We use quality containers that seal well. This year we plan on hanging closer, probably Padre area.. Take one of your power boats with a vhs radioand a chair or something to leave on a beach of your choosing. You probably will be surprized how hard it can be to find a suitable beach and a powerboat will be much faster scouting with. Typically not to much available at the begiining of last chance but watch for houseboats leaving the area, they could have left you a great spot if you are nimble. We usually end up half way back of more. This low water limits good spots. The problem is you will burn two hours looking if you don't use the powerboat. Most good spots are on the south side of Last Chance. You would be in a great spot for fishing and sightseeing. Don't forget the toilet bowl and the large amphitheater on the south wall when you first enter the canyon. It can get windier than crap in there so anchor well. Good luck.
 
Top