• Ana

2017 & 2018 Fuel, engine hours & nautical miles summary

Something no one seems to talk about is how much everyone motors in their adventures. Having now completed two seasons (Season 0 - Shakedown and Season 1 - Sailing in the Western Mediterranean) we can start comparing our fuel consumption.

Unfortunately, the data I collected will never be 100% accurate because we don’t track the miles done under engine and the miles motor-sailing, neither account for all the times we need to start the engine to drop and lift anchor or because there’s a storm while at anchor, etc.

But we think it still gives a good idea of how much we end up motoring especially if read in conjunction with our logbook transcriptions where some that information is expressed in more detail.

So the 2017 season, was the Shakedown Season and we travelled 2424 nautical miles, all the way from Lisbon, Portugal to Gibraltar, the Morocco Atlantic coast, Madeira Islands and back to Cascais in Portugal while testing and installing upgrades and systems.

Since this was our first season ever on the boat and with our inexperience we probably motored more than we wanted. We also had quite a few problems caused by fuel bug, an inheritance from the previous owner. And because of that we ran the engine quite often testing and troubleshooting.

2017 is our base of comparison for the 2018 season, the first season of real sailing aboard The Dream. In the Shakedown Season, we did 2424 nautical miles, by the time we had returned to Portugal and topped up the tanks before winterising the boat we had purchased 1132.5 litres of diesel and ran the engine for 202.5 hours.


How was 2018 compared to 2017?

Well, in 2018 we sailed from Cascais in Portugal to Gibraltar, then part of southern Spain before crossing to the Balearic Islands, later we crossed Sardinia, Corsica and sailed almost to all the Italian islands from Elba to Sicily from where we crossed to Tunisia. This totalled 2406 nautical miles, a reasonably similar distance to the previous year.

Unfortunately, contrary to our expectations, due to storms we ended up motoring or firing up the engine more than we wanted, 96 hours more than the previous year. A total of 298.2 engine hours and 1253 litres of diesel accounted for by the end of the season when we finally topped up the tanks.

The reason is that the Mediterranean is a difficult area when it comes to wind, it seems like there’s no middle ground and the wind either blows too strong to sail comfortably or doesn’t have enough strength to power the sails. Something we need to work on for the 2019 season so we can cut down our fuel costs and enjoy the breeze more.


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