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Fuel Consumption

We recently hired a 27'x10' boat with a Kubota diesel on the Norfolk Broads. We were very surprised at the fuel bill we received at the end of the hire. Can you tell me approximately how many litres per hour/hours to the gallon we should have achieved?

Asked by: Jonathan Barker  | 1.19pm, Friday 13 July

WW says:

Most modern diesel engines found in inland craft consume about 1 litre an hour at canal cruising speeds. This does rise quite significantly with extended running at higher powers on lakes and rivers.
If the boat you hired had diesel fired heating, with the currently unseasonable weather it is likely that you consumed about half a litre per hour that the heater was running.
It does not sound much, but it is surprising how it all adds up.

Rupert Smedley  | 3.12PM, Friday 13 July

Also, it depends if the engine has hydraulic drive, or direct drive engine. The former are less efficient (especially on older boats). For, say a 27ft by 10ft, aft cockpit Elysian, with a BL1.5 or Perkins 4.107 engine, you would expect around 1.5 to 2.5 litres per hour consumption, when cruising around 1500RPM, which would probably give about 5mph.
Given that you will, at times, have gone against the tide and/or flow, this can increase. Often a fuel consumption of 100litres plus is not uncommon on such engine- plus, as Rupert says, if you have diesel heating, this will be more.
River cruisers tend to use more fuel than narrowboat, as they run faster (up to 6mph) and aren't spending time idling at locks, especially on the Broads. A narrowboat might spend almost a third of its time at or not much above tickover, where fuel consumption is very low.
Be interesting to know how much fuel you used - and how far you cruised! There is a big difference between cruising at 4 and cruising at 6 mph as well in terms of consumption.

Mark Langley  | 5.53PM, Friday 13 July

100 litres plus per week, I should add! it does very much depend on how the boat is cruised; lower speeds give far better MPG, as does planning journeys with the tide.

Mark Langley  | 5.55PM, Friday 13 July

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