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Old 01-02-2020, 23:17   #1
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How much gas to bring?

Planning a 3 week trip this Summer on my Macgregor 26S. I know I can go two full days on one tank of gas using the motor full time, and I have two tanks, so that is 4 days of gas. It is a 9.9cc outboard.

Should I have one or two more cans for the trip as extra?

I am hoping to sail as much as possible, but there may be days with no wind at all, or it may go a week with no wind. No idea really.

I don't want to spend the entire trip going from gas station to gas station.

How many days of gas is good to shoot for? assuming there is no wind.
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Old 01-02-2020, 23:52   #2
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Re: How much gas to bring?

You are in an area with traditionally light summer winds plus currents. So everyone does a fair amount of motoring. I'd plot out the fuel docks on your route and then keep a days fuel for spare. No point in turning your boat into floating gasoline tank.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:28   #3
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Re: How much gas to bring?

Paul speaks with wisdom. Maybe add in the estimated time between dockings for food and showers. As long as you were planning to come in anyway, you can pick up gas.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:56   #4
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Re: How much gas to bring?

At 9.9cc, a gallon ought to last the whole trip...
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:03   #5
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Re: How much gas to bring?

Cans are primarily needed when dockside fuel isn’t available and you have no other option but to walk always to the car gas station.
Depending on your level of fitness I’d say two cans is max, in truth I can only carry one, but can see others carrying two at a time.
If there is plenty of dockside gas available then maybe as an abundance of caution carry an outboard fuel can that you can hook to the motor just in case water or something gets into the built in tank, but that’s likely not really needed.

Always plan on motoring when it’s a limited time vacation, of course don’t when you don’t have to, but if you planned on having to, then at least you can.

Sailing is for people without a schedule. Then you can wait for however long as is necessary to sail, but if you have to be back at work on Mon., better plan on motoring.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:22   #6
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Re: How much gas to bring?

Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
At 9.9cc, a gallon ought to last the whole trip...
Good catch!
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:25   #7

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Re: How much gas to bring?


There is gasoline to be had EVERYWHERE in the Salish Sea. There are few marinas that don't have a fuel dock, and the marinas are only a few miles apart. Once you are into the Broughtons, that is NOT the case, and you definitely don't want to be caught there without the ability to motor your way out of trouble. But for an McG26 the Broughtons are a long way from English Bay and Howe Sound. Let alone from Shelter Island.

As a budding seafarer you need to get a few essential statistics under your belt, e.g. what is the hourly consumption of your particular engine when at full operating power? "Full operating power" is not quite the same as "full throttle". You say you have a 9.9 "cc" engine. That wouldn't fly a decent model aeroplane! You mean a 9.9 HP (horsepower) engine. "9.9" implies that it might be something like a Johnson or a Mercury. You should be able to find the specific fuel consumption for your particular engine by googling for it. Else call a dealer for that type of engine. This is the sort of knowledge that all skippers carry around in their noggins! No doubt your engine has the standard "bayonet" snap-fitting to connect the fuel hose to the tank. If so, don't mess with plastic jugs for spare fuel. Just buy an extra "standard" tank so that all you have to do is shift the snap-fitting from one tank to the other.

What is your STW (Speed Through the Water) at 3/4 throttle? That is another bit of knowledge you need to carry in your noggin. How far is it from Point Atkinson to the anchorage off Newcastle Island by Nanaimo? And from there to, say, Stones' Yard where you can get fuel? Where is the nearest fuel dock to Pirate's Cove? To Madeira Park? All those kinds of things are things that you learn before you go sailing.

Learn to make a voyage plan. Given the short duration of slack water in many of our passes, you'll need to time yourself to arrive at critical passes a half hour before slack so you can make good use of it. Use the Tide and Current Tables to learn when the slacks occur, and work your plan backwards from there using the standard STD formula. Commit it all to a written plan, not so much because you need to carry such a written plan with you, but because writing it out fixes the knowledge in your memory. In the plan, make note of where there is fuel available so you don't have to guess at it. e.g is the fuel dock at Chemainus operational again after the fire two years ago?

For determining distances on the coast for planning purposes, I find GoogleEarth handy. What you get off there is not accurate, of course, but it's good enuff for planning purposes. But for Pilotage (Coastal Navigation) you are required by law to carry PAPER CHARTS! A "chart plotter", however good, does NOT satisfy MOT requirements. So since you HAVE to carry charts, learn to use them before you set out.

The Salish Sea is pretty benign water. Nevertheless, we hear an astounding number of PAN-PANs from people who haven't done their homework!

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