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Spouting Boat Facts

Everyone wants the ability to spout off facts; be it about baseball, football, and even boating facts.  Here are some interesting boat facts from a guy who has been boating and collecting trivia since he was a kid:

Telling guests that using too much toilet paper will clog the plumbing is not enough. Be specific. Tests show that six squares at a time is the maximum.

You use approximately a gallon of gasoline per hour at wide-open throttle for every 10 horsepower. Not super accurate, but surprisingly close.

Avoid “round” food, ones that roll around on the plate. Choose hamburgers over hot dogs, niblets over corn on the cob and mashed over baked potatoes. And always square off your meatballs.

You know the weight of your passengers, and maybe the gear. What about the sloshy stuff in the boat? It adds up fast.

1 gallon of fresh water = 8.3 pounds
1 gallon of diesel fuel = 7.1 pounds
1 gallon of gasoline = 6.6 pounds

2’4″ The absolute minimum berth width that any normal human will be comfortable with. The length should be 4 inches longer than your height.

Approximate fuel consumption at cruising speed can be estimated as follows:

Diesel – 5.3 gallons per hour per 100 hp
Gasoline – 7.8 gallons per hour per 100 hp

To calculate how much it will cost to keep a boat going, figure to pay from 2 percent to 5 percent of the original cost (new) per year in maintenance.

For small, lightweight runabouts of 24 feet and less, use the 1:25 rule. For every 25 pounds of weight (including engine, gear, fuel and crew) you’ll need approximately one horsepower to get on plane and cruise at a reasonable speed.

Thunder, and the storm that comes with it, is nearby if it crashes and bangs. It is far off if it rumbles like timpani, and very far away if you see only the lightning but hear nothing.

When barometric pressure starts falling, foul weather is approaching. The barometer falling 0.1 inch or more per hour says that a major storm is close.

Avoid a storm’s center by tracking its movements in relation to your course by putting your back to the wind and pointing to the left; that’s where the center of the storm lies.
In a crossing situation with another boat at night, note the other vessel’s position relative to a low star. If the boat and star don’t separate, take evasive action.

The “three-finger rule” says that when an object, such as a lighthouse or tower, appears as tall as three fingers held sideways at arm’s length, it’s about 10 times as far away as it is tall. If the chart says the lighthouse you see is 150 feet tall, when it appears “three fingers” tall you’re about 1,500 feet or a quarter of a nautical mile away from it.

White navigational lights appear first when approaching a shore at night. Red and green lights have about three-quarters of the range of white ones.

On most planing boats, stow heavy gear to maintain a center of gravity on plane that’s about 60 percent of the boat’s waterline length aft of the bow.

12 seconds – Discharge time for the average fire extinguisher. So aim at the base of the fire and get as close in as you can before discharging. Better yet, carry two or three.

Bow and stern lines should be as long as the boat, spring lines 1.25 times the length. This will accommodate even the most extreme tidal ranges.

The eye splices in your dock lines should be at least two feet long to make them easier to place over a piling and to put less strain on the splice.

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