News & Events

Captain's tip: Misbelief Fuel Consumption

It is a common misbelief among yacht owners that trawlers are far more fuel-efficient and therefore considerably inexpensive in comparison to other yachts. Indeed, it’s true that trawlers consume less fuel than many other yachts and are also very comfortable, particularly for long-distance Cruises. Nevertheless, there ist often a misunderstanding regarding the actual fuel consumption for the covered distance.

A trawler normally reaches a speed of 8 to 12 knots (approximately 18 km/h), with a consumption of 80 liters per hour, depending on its size and condition. Therefore, a distance of 25 nautical miles (47 km) would take about 2.5 hours and consume some 200 liters diesel. In comparison, a planning yacht reaches a respectable cruise speed of 25 knots (46 km/h) while consuming 200 liters per hour and therefore only needs 1 hour for the same distance. As a result, both yachts need the same amount for fuel for the same distance. However, the faster yacht yields the advantage of arriving in a timely manner, or reacting flexibly in case of bad weather conditions.

There’s an ideal hull and engine speed based on its construction (always mentioned in the manual), which always is the most economic speed for the specific yacht. Therefore, operating a planning or semi-planning yacht with 10 knots only doesn’t reduce the costs. Although the hourly consumption gets halved, it’s less economical than with the ideal planning.

One of our SmartYacht co-owners has demonstrated this on the basis of detailed notes during his stay on board his Azimut 62 (37 tons, planning speed 24 knots, max speed 33 knots) in summer 2013: He covered a distance of 140 nautical miles, while using 885 liters Diesel in 12.9 engine hours (incl. port handling). This corresponds to a fuel consumption of 68.64 liters/hour or 6.32 liters / nautical mile. To sum it up, these results are similar to those of a trawler yacht. During his unforgettable two-week stay and his broad trip he spent merely EUR 1,212.00 for fuel.