Because I’m an engineer, and because I’m a little OCD when it comes to consumables, I tracked our fuel and water usage during our trip. And while this post has no stories of visiting exotic islands or fighting off pirates or anything that would actually make it interesting, I assume that there are some folks out there who might be planning a cruise and who might just be interested in our use of the two most important consumables on a boat (after food and wine, of course).
So “regular” readers aren’t completely bored, I’ve thrown in some photos of the interior of Miss Adventure, as well as the below-decks layout from Gulfstar that was part of the original marketing package for the boat back in 1976.
The fuel is calculated from when we left Deltaville, mid-way down the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, cruised the ICW to Florida, crossed to the Bahamas and explored the Out Islands for several months, and returned the boat to Brunswick, Georgia for the summer. Since water is freely available on the mainland US, I only list water used during the Bahamas portion of our cruise, which was 127 days from when we left Grand Bahama until we arrived back in Lake Worth, Florida.
Regarding water consumption, we weren’t terribly strict with our usage; most days we took fresh water showers (albeit of the “Navy” variety, not the “Hollywood” kind), and we always gave the dishes a fresh water final rinse, although the bulk of the washing was done with salt water from our foot pump in the galley sink. We probably used 150 total gallons of drinking and cooking water, collected in separate jugs, so the final total below is just the tank water. Even at typical Bahamian prices of $0.40 to $0.50 per gallon, our water use was a relatively small part of our overall cruising budget.
Regarding the generator, the bulk of the usage was to charge our batteries. While we need 120 Volts of A/C power to cook, because of my error in designing our DC electrical system we needed to run the generator about twice as much as we had originally hoped. I hope to solve this for our next cruise through a combination of a different battery charger, augmented with a set of solar panels.
Our fuel burn was right about where the previous owner promised it would be, and ~2.5 gallons/hr total for the main engines is a terrific burn rate for a boat the size of Miss Adventure. The photo above shows why; the hull is a very round, efficient shape, perfect for slipping through the water, but not so good for resisting the rolling motion of a beam sea.
To put this all in perspective, we’ve cruised on our canal boat five seasons of about thirteen weeks each, totaling 1,135 hours on the engine. It’s a smaller boat (29 ft vs. 43 ft), and a smaller engine (a single 40hp diesel vs. twin 130hp diesels), and the cruising speed is less (4.5kts in the canals vs. 7kts for Miss Adventure), but it’s still interesting to see that we’ve used just under 600 gallons total in our five seasons on the French canals. And speaking of the French canals, by the time you read this we should be back in France and getting ready for our sixth summer (!) of European waterway cruising.
East Coast and Bahamas Cruise, 2015/16
- Engine Hours: 505
- Generator Hours: 449
- Miles Traveled: 3,212
- Total Fuel Purchased: 1,457 gallons
- Total Cost of Fuel: $4,297.64, average of $2.95 per gallon
- Main Engine Burn Rate (subtracting 0.5 gal/hr for the generator): 2.44 gal/hr
- Water: 722 gallons, approximately 5.7 gallons per day during our Bahamas cruise