Betting On The Pumps! Oh, It’s A Thing. Okay, At Least Is For Me!


Kenny at the pump!

Yesterday fellow Woody Boater Rabbit made a wonderful comment regarding judging.. Well, Here is the comment. I would butcher it. ” I judge the quality of my weekends by how much I spend at the gas dock. Use it and use it more.” Which reminded me of a fun thing I like to do to make fueling up more fun. Other than sniffing fuel and looking around. Here is how it goes.

Jimmy fueling up back in the day. We always play this game.

When you pull up to the dock, you call out the amount of fuel needed. Seems simple right? Well, it is. But knowing our fuel gauges are anything but accurate. And knowing that its a but of an art, in lies the drama. So. YOU CALL OUT THE AMOUNT. In the case below, I called out BOLDLY..35 gallons.

Getting gas on Torch lake can be wonderful!

OK, now, it has to click off on its self. That’s the other part. Of course if it clicks off too early you can play it. Now, I bet a bunch of us, you… Know roughly what you’re going to need. We all have internal fuel gauges based on our regular use.

I still use a fuel stick for sure, but its an approximation.

Now in this specific case, which is why there is even a story on this dumb thing, is that I normally take around 20 gallons, and I felt like I had used it a couple trips more. I hold 60 Gallons. And well… 34, 34.5, 34.8   And BAM! Right on Que! No..1 or point 4 Right on the money! BTW, its all non ethanol!


Right on the money. marine gas is 3.10 per gallon here.

14 replies
  1. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    My 25 Sportsman “River Rat” had an 80 gallon tank. I never filled it because I never went that far. 80 gallons would last several days. One time I got distracted at the pump and topped her off. I parked her and went home. That week I got several calls my boat was sinking. Seems with a full tank the waterline was under water.

  2. Bob from Mazeepa
    Bob from Mazeepa says:

    An hour meter really takes the guess work out of the issue. We have been recording RPM’s and GPS speed looking for economical cruise when we are planning fuel stops and trips.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    When you are burning twin 502’s you look for the Marina that offers a 10% discount for pumping over 100 gallons.

  4. Dennis J Mykols
    Dennis J Mykols says:

    Funny, when I saw the “Clam Shack” picture, I said, I know that place, I was just there on Monday with 12 other Classics, doing a Torch, Elk Lake Cruise. And yea, Christine has some of the prettiest gas dock attendants on the Great Lakes !!! lol

  5. Ranger
    Ranger says:

    Our two 24 gal tanks are round and we were told that when our gauges read 1/4 we’d better get gas. We were told the round tanks are more about volume vs gallons. During the last work done to the boat they moved the tanks back and redid the piping so we no longer have straightforward access to the tank so our stick is no longer an option. The rework also means we can’t fill up at gas stations with their high pressure pumps, we have to put the gas in cans and fill up that way. We haven’t filled up at a marina yet so don’t know if their hoses flow slower. Pain in the arse! We keep our tanks full of non-ethanol gas, replacing what we used after each outing.

  6. Sean
    Sean says:

    When I built the fuel tank for Sea-J I measured the fuel in and the corresponding levels. I then made a handy card that I laminated and keep in the boat. I have a fuel gauge that is wildly inaccurate but, the dipstick and this chart make everything easy. There are plenty of references to help you decide how much fuel you want.

  7. David De Horn
    David De Horn says:

    I would also like to suggest that you be very diligent about insuring that the fuel you use in your boat is ethanol free. Most marine fuel is, but there are exceptions, so take note and read the pump before fueling. For those of us with boats on trailers, the following website is a great tool for finding ethanol free gas at local fueling stations by state and city.

    Ethanol in fuel creates phase separation from fuel and will absorb water within a few weeks, and for most of us driving a car, this is no issue because we usually fuel up at least once every other week, if not more. However, boaters may go a whole summer with the same tank of gas, especially if your boat is large and you carry lots of it. West Marine had a very succinct article on ethanol in fuel here:

    Avoid ethanol at all costs in your boat especially for our older engines, and check your fuel/water separator frequently if equipped.

  8. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Just to be clear, I don’t enjoy paying for gas, but I do enjoy using the boat. Thankfully my Chrysler Crown doesn’t drink as quickly as some. And somehow, just by feel and experience, I’ve learned how to always fill to 3/4’s of a tank, yet no longer run out.

    And does anyone else notice that no matter how many $125k wake boats are at the marina, all eyes turn toward the mahogany?

  9. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    On a totally off subject issue I sure would like to know where Kenny got those small wicker chairs. I’ve been looking all over with little success. Can anyone help me out?

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Those are the wicker sisters! We have done a series of stories on them and yes. Impossible to find. Just search wicker sisters in the search bar below in the blue area.

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