Establishing the principles at work in the previous two parts of this discussion were necessary before we tackled the one that directly impacts our collective wallets.
The last common issue that consumers like to bring up, especially with rising gas prices, is how much more fuel will be burnt by your PWC when it’s docked with a Waveboat. Obviously, we are concerned about the bottom line, but we do have to keep some things in perspective. For one, this is a boat. There is no concept of miles per gallon, and we rarely compute or pay attention to the gallons per hour that we burn. It would be very difficult to calculate m.p.g. for a boat in most situations, since we’re not usually traveling from point A to point B. We’re just tooling around on the water, enjoying the sun and the breeze. Efficiency isn’t really part of our mindset when recreation is the goal.
Nonetheless, the cost of owning and operating our toys does come into the picture. Let’s recall parts 1 and 2 of this discussion to see how to estimate costs. Say we have a family of 4 that we take out in our Waveboat. Mom likes to water ski, the kids like to ride in the tube, and Dad just wants to go Mach 5 with his hair on fire (thanks Kelly M.). The optimum speed for water skiing is usually in the 20’s or so, which should be well within the band of most efficient fuel burn on a modern PWC engine. Granted, the additional drag of the Waveboat and the skier will require increased RPM’s out of the PWC to maintain that 25mph, but it shouldn’t be too much more. Most engines will burn more than double the fuel per hour of operation at WOT as they do at cruise. Plotting a curve between the cruise and WOT fuel burn statistics for your ski would give you a more accurate estimate of fuel burn when pushing a Waveboat and pulling a skier. Overall, I’d plan for 30-50% higher fuel burn in this mode than you’d burn covering the same distance on the PWC solo.
Pulling a tube is a different story, though, as you usually try to go as fast as possible to fling the kids off! That coupled with the much higher hydrodynamic drag of a tube than a skier, and you’d have to estimate 100% higher fuel burn than covering the same distance on a PWC solo. Obviously, you have to pay to play. The last scenario involves Dad trying to kill bugs with his face, so there is where the Waveboat is a perfect design. Separate the PWC from the Waveboat while on the water, and hold the throttle down. Fuel burn isn’t going to be any different than a solo PWC, because you are a solo PWC. Don’t you love it when a = a?
Sure, you’re probably going to burn more fuel when you take the Waveboat out as opposed to just taking out your PWC. Physics just doesn’t allow us to coupon out of that one. With all the storage on the Waveboat, though, you can bring extra fuel, so at least your time spent on the water won’t be limited in any way.
Feel free to leave a comment below if we’re way off base.