Many of us get a new boat and are perfectly happy with its performance, but a few years later, notice that it seems a bit lackluster. Can a boat lose power in that short a time period? Nope—but a combination of factors can conspire to slow you down over time.
- Gaining Weight – One weekend you brought out a kneeboard to entertain the kids, and you left it stowed inside the console compartment. Another time you added a Jerry can of freshwater for a long trip, and figured it would be a good idea to keep it aboard And maybe one day you went a little crazy and bought so much fishing tackle you figured you’d better stow it on the boat so Sweetie didn’t spot it. For whatever reasons, we naturally tend to put more and more stuff aboard out boats as time goes on. And naturally, all that stuff adds weight—which slows your boat down.
- Growing Pains – Growth (barnacles, weeds, or whatever) is another speed-sapper, and no matter what precautions and preparations you take, it seems like any boat that remains in the water for any significant amount of time is likely to loose some speed to growth, to one degree or another.
- Gol’ Ding It – Propeller nicks and dings are another issue that rarely has a dramatic effect all at once, but over time, can really slow you down. Even if none of the nicks and dings in your prop are significant enough to cause obvious vibrations (if they are, you need to have your prop reconditioned or replaced before you start shaking the boat apart) taken cumulatively, they could be causing you to lose anywhere from a fraction of an MPH to a couple of MPH.
- Forgetfuel – When someone first gets a brand new boat, they tend to use it quite often. After a few years when the newness wears off, the frequency of use commonly drops back a bit, too. And over time, gasoline loses some of its punch. Add a fuel stabilizer, to prevent that power loss.
- Get in Tune – It may be that your engine simply needs a tune-up. Old plugs, cloggey filters, and the like can all conspire to rob you of performance.