The truth is usually you have no excuse for running out of fuel, but this might happen even to the most experienced captains. Let’s see what techniques you should use to avoid this unpleasant experience:
1. The principle of thirds
This is very simple to apply: every time you plan to go to a certain destination you should calculate the amount of fuel you need and make sure it won’t be more than one-third of your tank’s capacity. The other 2 thirds left must be equally divided between the amount you need for the way back and for unforeseen situations that can appear anytime.
2. Always have a plan B
Sometimes, when you go on long trips by boat, it is possible to forget to fuel up. Don’t panic and don’t start looking for a culprit. You’d better take action fast. Even if you won’t follow the desired itinerary that you spent a lot of time planning and maybe you will lose some money on the already booked accommodations, you should find the closest marina to moor your boat. Wherever you go it’s always very prudent to give yourself options.
3. Beware of unpredictable weather
Many skippers never take this aspect into account when they calculate the fuel they need for their boat. The truth is that you need more fuel on windy weather than when the sea is calm. You might say that modern devices can help you be always updated with the weather forecast and that you won’t go sailing on rough weather. We would say that the force of nature is still unpredictable and you’d better be prepared in every moment.
Running out of fuel can sometimes be more than just an inconvenience so, you should take it very seriously. Consider these tips and sailing will never find you unprepared.