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Energy Efficiency Handbook for Inshore Vessels A resource for inshore vessel operators

Vessel Name____________________________________

Produced by The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council in conjunction with EECA

Improve Your Energy Efficiency

EECA provides independent, authoritative advice to help New Zealand businesses boost productivity through energy efficiency, energy-saving technology and renewable energy. Successful businesses focus on improving productivity and reducing waste - in other words, they do more with fewer resources. Efficient use of energy is a key part of that process. Many New Zealand businesses, including those in the seafood industry, are now starting to see enrgy as a variable input cost they can control, rather than an overhead they are stuck with. EECA has a number of programmes than can help you improve the energy efficiency of your business and increase the use of renewable energy. We offer a range of services, tools and resources to help you examine your energy spend and manage your energy use as efficiently as possible.

For advice and ideas on managing your energy costs, whether at sea or on land, visit www.eecabusiness.govt.nz

Page Chapter

2 7 19 25 35 39 45 49

Introduction Operating speed Hull resistance and fouling Propellers Vessel maintenance Electricity Trip planning Record keeping

Rules and regulations are liable to change over time but were correct at the time of publication (2010). It is important that operators remain current with their understanding of their obligations. If you are unsure, please contact your CSO, the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Ltd or the Ministry of Fisheries.

Seafood harvesting is a fuel-intensive business and fuel is a major cost to vessel operators. Enormous volatility in the price of fuel, as witnessed in recent years, puts pressure on operators to remain profitable and continue fishing. This handbook has been compiled to help vessel operators to evaluate ways to reduce their fuel consumption.

Even if you read this guide no further, the following will save fuel: Slow down Invest in fuel monitoring equipment Keep your propeller in good condition and get an expert to check its suitability Keep the hull clean Turn off unused electrical and hydraulic equipment
Record your vessel details here:

Vessel Name:
Vessel Type: Length: Displacement/Semi-displacement/Planing/Other Displacement:

Hull Construction Material: Wood/Steel/Other: Engine Manufacturer/Model: Engine Power: Number of Crew: Main Fishing Method: Trawl/Seine/Dredge/Pot/Line/Other: Fishing Gear: Main Fishing Location: Propeller type:

Cold Storage: Ice only/Refrigerated Hold/Freezer/Other: Average Number of Trips/Year:


Average Trip Length:

How do I save?
This handbook looks at fuel efficiency options for existing inshore vessels with diesel engines. It suggests ways to reduce energy costs without major changes such as commissioning a new vessel or replacing expensive equipment. Although it does highlight some things you should consider when evaluating those changes. This handbook helps you identify different areas where fuel cost savings could be made. Each area has a tabbed section. The cost-saving suggestions are in no particular order. What will work for you will depend on the nature of your vessel, measures previously implemented, the level of capital investment chosen, and the extent of your records. This guide helps you improve your energy efficiency and bottom line by: Showing you where energy (and therefore fuel) is used Identifying changes which can reduce fuel consumption Two kinds of changes are discussed. These are operational changes (how things are done) and technical changes (what equipment is most appropriate to increase efficiency). The operational changes looked at are: Vessel operating speed Electricity use Frequency of maintenance and cleaning Trip planning A section on record keeping helps you evaluate changes and work out your energy efficiency. Simple calculation sheets, exercises, templates and checklists are included to help you estimate and measure cost benefits for your vessel and record and evaluate your progress. At the end of the handbook, space is provided so that you can add new information as it arises. Supporting templates and documents can be found at www.seafood.co.nz/energyresources. You will find that there are some relatively low-cost changes that can be made quickly and easily, which can result in significant cost saving. There are also some things that will take more time, effort and expense to net results. In every case there is some trade-off for energy efficiency, either in terms of higher operational costs or longer periods at sea. It is up to you to decide which measures apply and are suitable in your particular situation. The information in the handbook is taken from previously published reports and documentation, and has been updated where possible to include new technical developments. Different vessels may have different solutions and priorities. This handbook aims to help you find out what is best for you and your vessel. The technical changes looked at are: Propeller design, and its relationship with the engine and gearbox Hull condition and antifouling

Saving fuel improves your bottom line. The amount of fuel used is one of the largest costs fishers can control. Savings made on fuel = money in the bank.
Its a simple equation. Less money spent on fuel for the same catch of fish equals greater profit. Nonetheless, you have to use fuel in order to fish. The best engine for the propulsion of fishing boats to date has been the compression ignition engine powered by liquid (diesel) fuel. It suits fishing for a variety of reasons: The engine is relatively simple, robust and reliable, Diesel fuel is safe to use, has a high energy density and is of a consistently high standard, Engines and fuel are readily available, cheap to procure and backed up by good services. While alternative fuels and propulsions continue to be reviewed, it is likely that diesel engines will be here for some time. The cost of fuel is likely to remain high, be volatile and continue to be a significant proportion of turnover.

For fishing vessels, fuel is generally used to: supply the vessel with propulsion generate electricity generate hydraulic power At any time, finding ways to save energy is likely to be easier than catching more fish or increasing the value of the catch. If implemented correctly, energy savings will continue to save money for many years to come. Fuel is only one of the costs of your operation. The cost of an energy efficiency solution may or may not be greater than any potential savings. This handbook can help you work that out. However, even after you have worked out what is best for you and your vessel, remember that as fish prices, fuel costs, labour and other factors change, it is important to recalculate trade-offs regularly and review your energy saving decisions. Wages, boat ownership costs, and ACE costs are largely fixed costs. So reducing fuel costs is one of the easiest ways to improve profitability. A dollar saved on fuel is a dollar directly added to the bottom line. Think of how many dollars worth of fish you need to catch to make a dollar of profit. The operating costs of a fishing operation vary greatly depending on the: Average time at sea Type and size of vessel Target species Fishing method Distance to fishing grounds

Breakdown of costs for Anne-Louise a Danish seine vessel (Thomas et al. in press).

Where does your revenue go?

Can you build a breakdown of costs for your operation? To get an idea of how much difference saving fuel can make to your bottom line, work through the following table using figures from your last financial year.

Expenses Fuel Wages Bait Ice Repairs Maintenance Shore power Other Total expenses Revenue Landed catch Other Total revenue Gross profit (=revenue - expenses)
fuel expense total revenue


% revenue spent on fuel 5% of fuel expense

(fuel expense x 0.05)

Dividing the fuel amount by the revenue amount, tells you what percentage of your revenue goes on fuel. Work out what 5% of your current fuel cost is, and put it in the last row. Savings of this amount (and more) should be easily achievable. Compare this to your gross profit to see what kind of financial impact fuel savings can have.

Where does your energy go?

Just as operating costs of a fishing operation depend on the type of fishing done, so does energy use. An energy tree can show where the energy is used and help you concentrate on the biggest user first. An energy tree for the Anne-Louises diesel is shown here:

Energy tree for Danish seiner, Anne-Louise (Thomas et al. in press).

Do you know where your energy goes? Think about the equipment you have on board and the kind of fishing you do. Sections in this guide will help with this.

Getting help to identify savings

Independent energy surveys or audits of your fishing vessel can help to: more quickly identify where your fuel is used, identify opportunities to reduce fuel costs, identify which measures will be the most cost effective. The costs of energy audits may be subsidised through grants from EECA. For more information on energy audit grants contact the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Ltd or EECA. Website addresses are: www.seafood.co.nz/energyefficiency or www.eeca.govt.nz

Finding out more about reducing fuel use

It is difficult to keep pace with new changes in technology or the outcomes of energy efficiency trials in New Zealand and overseas. The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council has developed a web based resource centre on energy efficiency options: www.seafood.co.nz/energyresources for more information. A clear file has been included at the back of the guide so you can add new information you download.

References: Thomas G et al. in press Energy audit of fishing vessels. Proc. Inst. Mech. Engineers, Part M J. Eng for the Martime Environment.

Operating speed
Time is money skippers want to get to fishing grounds as quickly as possible, and once the catch is onboard its again tempting to go as fast as possible getting back to port. But greater boat speed comes at a cost and dramatically increases the fuel bill. The speed a vessel operates at has the largest impact on how much fuel it uses.

The bottom line is: to save fuel and money, slow down.

Why slow down?

It takes power to push a boat through the water. The engine provides the power, through the propeller, which overcomes the factors that slow down the boat. These are: Skin friction, the drag caused by water rubbing against the hull. Form drag, which is caused by water flowing around the hull, rudders and any appendages. Wave making resistance, which is the energy sapped from the vessel to make bow and stern waves as it moves through the water. All three kinds of drag increase with speed, but for displacement vessels the wave making resistance is the biggest problem as it increases exponentially with speed. Unfortunately, the wave making resistance at a given speed is essentially fixed, as it is determined by the vessel dimensions. Long thin hulls have a lower wave making resistance than short wide hulls, which is one of the main reasons why high-speed catamarans have long The Gweny-May, Picton, NZ. (Photo: T. Collins) thin hulls. A very steep increase in wave making resistance occurs when the vessel moves at the same speed as a wave its own length. This is often known as the hull speed. Exceeding the hull speed takes a huge amount of power for small speed increases. Planing vessels go faster than their hull speed by rising up out of the water and planing on the surface.

Fuel Consumption vs Speed

Fuel Consumption
Fuel Used to Cover Distance (L/nm)

4.00 3.50 3.00 2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0

Fuel use is often measured in litres per hour (L/h), but this is only half the story as the overall efficiency depends on how fast the vessel is going. A vessel using 20 L/h going 10 knots is much more efficient than the same sized vessel going 2 knots using 10 L/h. To take this into account, the measure for fuel efficiency in this guide is litres per nautical mile (L/nm), which is the amount of fuel used to cover one nautical mile. The relationship between speed and fuel efficiency is clearly illustrated by the following graphs. The left graph shows speed and fuel efficiency for a displacement vessel,

Vessel Speed (knots)

Fuel Consumption vs. Speed for a 15.6m

Displacement Vessel (Gilbert*).

Fuel Consumption vs Vessel Speed

Fuel Consumption
Fuel Used to Cover Distance (L/nm)

the 15.6m trawler Thomas Lovell (L. Gilbert). Increasing speed by just one knot from 6.5 knots to 7.5 knots has doubled the amount of fuel used to cover the same ground. The right hand graph shows speed and fuel efficiency for a semi-planing vessel, the 14m Gweny-May (T. Collins*). For both vessels, speed strongly affects fuel use, which keeps increasing as the vessels go faster. For the displacement vessel, Thomas Lovell, there is no obvious better speed to use, while the
Waterline Length (m)

10.00 8.00 6.00 4.00 2.00 0.00 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Vessel Speed (knots)

Fuel Consumption vs. Speed for a 14m Semi-Planing Vessel (Collins**).

Recommended Maximum Operating Speeds Maximum Operating Speed (knots) Long Thin Vessels (m) 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 7.5 7.8 8.2 8.5 8.8 9.1 9.4 9.7 10.0 10.3 10.6 Short Beamy Vessels (m) 6.3 6.6 6.9 7.1 7.4 7.7 7.9 8.2 8.4 8.6 8.9

semi-planing Gweny-May has a sharp increase in fuel consumption above 10 knots. As the vessel goes faster, it costs more to cover the same distance. For displacement vessels, the table to the left gives the typical maximum recommended operating speed. Operating a displacement vessel above these speeds incurs heavy fuel-consumption costs.

For more information about energy efficiency and business visit: www.eecabusiness.govt.nz

Recommended Maximum Operating Speeds (FAO)

*Gilbert L. 1983 Fishing vessels and Fuel Control. Fishing Industry Board. **Collins T. New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference presentation 2008.

How fast should I go?

Deciding how fast to go depends on how quickly you really need to get somewhere and how much fuel the vessel uses at different speeds. A fuel curve, as in the previous graphs, shows how much fuel is used at different speeds and can help make operating speed decisions. If your boat has an electronic engine management system or fuel meter, use Exercise 1 to build a fuel curve for your vessel. If the vessel does not have a fuel meter, consider buying one, getting a fuel curve built by a service provider or energy auditor, or use Exercise 2 to approximate how much you can save by slowing down. Fuel meters: If the engine management system does not include fuel metering, consider buying a standalone fuel meter. Meters for the diesel engines found on fishing boats, cost $1,800 to $2,500 for analogue models and $3,400 to $4,000 for models that have a speed input (from a GPS) and calculate fuel efficiency in L/nm automatically. Installation costs are typically an additional $1,000. As well as helping build a vessel fuel curve, fuel meters are an invaluable tool for measuring changes in vessel efficiency. For example, you might have bought new nets and any improvement or decline in fuel efficiency while trawling can be noted. Monitoring fuel use also helps detect problems affecting the vessels energy efficiency. Increased fuel use could indicate it is time to investigate cleaning the hull, replacing the antifouling or repairing the propeller.

Best operating speed

The best operating speed depends on more than just fuel use. The savings from slowing down are offset by: more time spent at sea, increased labour costs, delays in getting fish to market and increases in any other costs that accumulate with time. Some benefits and drawbacks of slowing down are listed below.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Slowing Down Benefits

Significant fuel savings Costs nothing to implement Easy to do

Owner and crew may have different motivations Requires discipline to carry out Can be inconvenient

Many crews are paid a percentage of the catch. As steaming slower means more time at sea, crews may have little incentive to save fuel by slowing down. Finding a way to reward fuel savings can help motivate crews to save fuel.

Align the crews and owners interests to reduce fuel costs with incentives and bonus schemes.
For bonus and reward schemes to work, the fuel-use for trips needs to be benchmarked. This may be litres of fuel used per hour of the trip or per kg of fish caught or per distance travelled, or a combination of all three. The section on Record Keeping has some sheets to help benchmark fuel use for trips. Once fuel use has been benchmarked, try to get everyone motivated and saving fuel by slowing down. You could do this by rewarding the crew with a share of the savings for subsequent trips.

To keep any bonus scheme fair, some complications need to be considered. For example, travelling greater distances to fishing grounds or going out in rough weather both lead to higher fuel consumption. If these, or any others factors the crew has no influence over, are not taken into account, crews may be reluctant to go out in poor weather or go on trips to fishing grounds further away than usual because they wont be able to make the fuel savings in those conditions.

Costs of slowing down

The cost per mile varies as fuel prices and other hourly costs change. Knowing the overall cost for an additional hour at sea can help you decide when to slow down. Some hourly costs might include: The price the skipper puts on his time Any wage costs (if appropriate) Generator hourly costs - fuel and maintenance Main engine hourly maintenance costs Any other costs that increment hourly The vessels fuel curve will give an idea of how much can be saved from slowing down over a given distance. The extra time taken can be used to see how much additional cost occurs due to arriving later and a decision can be made on the best speed. Sometimes the extra time taken caused by slowing down may not matter much. In these situations, slowing down may save lots of fuel without much inconvenience.

Save fuel by slowing down when the circumstances allow.

For example: If at 10.00 pm its decided to return 50nm to port, a 15.6m trawler could steam back at 9.0 knots, using 2.75 L/nm, travelling the distance in just over 5 hours - arriving back at 3.30 am and burning 138 litres of fuel. If there is no reason to be back until 6.00 am, (and most of the crew can sleep) then the trip could be done in 8 hours instead. This would allow the vessel to steam at 6.25 knots - using about 1.0 L/nm and burning 50 litres of fuel. The extra 2 hours of steaming at the lower speed has allowed fuel savings of 88 litres. Vessels are typically operated at a set engine speed for steaming, and the vessel will go the desired speed most of the time. But, depending on conditions, it will sometimes be faster and sometimes slower than the normal speed. When the vessel is going faster than normal due to beneficial conditions, for example due to tail winds, favourable currents and lower loadings than usual, gains in fuel efficiency can be made by throttling back a little until the vessel slows to normal operating speed. This making hay while the sun shines Your on board equipment can help you work out how much fuel you will reduce overall fuel use. use and at what rate. (Photo: T. Collins)


Case study: Semi-planing boat operating speed

Fuel Consumption vs Vessel Speed
Fuel Consumption
Fuel Used to Cover Distance (L/nm)

10.00 8.00 6.00 4.00 2.00 0.00 8 9 10 11 12

Gweny-May a 14m hard-chined semiplaning boat operating out of Picton mainly pots for rock lobster. It is powered by a 374kW diesel engine driving a three bladed propeller through a 2:1 reduction gearbox. With trips lasting up to six days, there are often long periods of steaming to and from fishing grounds. The boat had typically been operated at 1,800 RPM and the owners were happy with its performance, although rising fuel prices motivated them to re-evaluate the current operating speeds.
14 The freshly anti-fouled 15 tonne vessel was loaded with 2,000 litres of fuel, 2.5 tonnes of ice, and bait. Fuel Consumption and Speed vs Engine RPM A record of 13
Vessel Speed Fuel Consumption 4.00
Fuel Used to Cover Distance (L/nm)

Vessel Speed (knots)

Fuel Use to Cover Distance vs. Vessel Speed

speed and fuel use at different engine speeds was made using the engines electronic engine management system, which already recorded fuel use, and speed information from a GPS unit. The results of trials to determine its fuel use at different steaming speeds are in the table below and shown graphically in the two graphs above and right. The fuel efficiency is expressed as the number of litres of fuel used to travel one nautical mile (L/nm). This is a more useful figure than the more commonly used litres per hour (L/h) as the distance travelled depends on how fast the vessel is going.
Engine Speed (RPM) 1400 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 Speed (knots) 9.1 9.5 10.2 10.4 11.0 11.7 12.5 13.0 Fuel Use (L/hr) 33 45 52 64 79 94 109 118
Speed (knots)

12.0 10.0 8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800

3.50 3.00 2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00 2000

Engine Speed (RPM)

Fuel Consumption and Speed vs. Engine RPM

Fuel Use (L/nm) 3.63 4.74 5.10 6.15 7.18 8.03 8.72 9.08

The top graph shows the amount of fuel used to cover ground vs. the vessel speed. There is clearly a large increase in the amount of fuel burned per mile when steaming above 10.2 knots. The bottom graph shows the vessel speed and fuel consumption at different engine speeds; again, above 1,600 RPM there is a steep increase in the amount of fuel used to cover a set distance. Based on this information, the owners decided to operate Gweny-Mays engine at 1,600 RPM instead of 1,800 RPM as they previously had. This reduced their fuel use by about 20% and saved them $14,600 per year.

Summary of trial data (Collins T. New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference presentation 2008.)


Case study: Displacement vessel operating speed

Thomas Lovell is a 15.6m trawler powered by a 172kW diesel engine driving a four-bladed propeller fitted inside a nozzle through a 3.75:1 reduction gearbox. The results of trials to determine its fuel use at different steaming speeds are in the table above and shown in the graphs below and to right. The graph to the right (fuel consumption vs vessel speed) shows that the amount of fuel needed to go a mile increases as the vessel goes faster. It takes 20% more fuel to cover the same ground at 9 knots as at 8 knots, and almost double if only going 7 knots. The graph below shows the vessel speed and fuel consumption at different engine speeds.
Engine Speed (RPM) 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700 1800 Speed (knots) 6.5 6.8 7.1 7.5 8.0 8.5 8.9 9.8 10.3 6.5 7.5 10.5 14 18 21 24.5 30.5 37.5
Fuel Used to Cover Distance (L/nm)

Fuel Consumption vs Speed

Fuel Consumption 4.00 3.50 3.00 2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0

Vessel Speed (knots)

Fuel Use (L/hr) Fuel Use (L/nm) 1.00 1.10 1.48 1.87 2.25 2.47 2.75 3.11 3.64 The table at left is the summary of trial data. The two graphs show fuel use at different steaming speeds. (Gilbert L.

1983 Fishing vessels and Fuel Control. Fishing Industry Board.)

Fuel Consumption and Speed vs Engine RPM

Vessel Speed 12.0 10.0 8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 Fuel Consumption 4.00
Fuel Used to Cover Distance (L/nm)

3.50 3.00

Speed (knots)

2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00 2000

Using this information, if the owners decided to steam at 8 knots rather than 9 knots, a 40 nm round trip to fishing grounds would take 34 minutes longer but use 22 litres less fuel. Steaming at 7 knots rather than 9 knots would take an extra 1.25 hours but save 56 litres of fuel.

For forms and downloads to support this handbook, go to www.seafood.co.nz/ energyefficiency

Engine Speed (RPM)

Fuel Consumption and Speed vs. Engine RPM


Exercise: Building a fuel curve with a flow meter

If the vessel has a fuel flow meter or engine management system, building a fuel curve is straightforward. The speed is read off the navigation system, or a cheap GPS unit can be used. Remember speed from a GPS unit is the true speed over the distance and doesnt take into account different currents, wind and the tides. To gather the data, simply set the engine speed to an appropriate value in the table below, and then once the vessel speed has settled down, record the fuel use and speed. Do this for each applicable engine speed. This exercise may be repeated a few times to average out the effects of tides etc. When the table is filled out, calculate the fuel efficiency figure (L/nm) for each engine speed. Simply divide the fuel use by the vessel speed. Note: you can download extra exercise sheets from the website at www.seafood.co.nz/energyefficiency

Fuel use per nm =

( (

Fuel Use Vessel Speed

So if the vessel used 4.0 litres per hour to go 3.0 knots, the fuel efficiency would be: 4.0 L/h Fuel use per nm = 3.0 knots = 1.33 L/nm

Once the fuel efficiency has been calculated for each engine speed, the figures can be plotted on a graph to create a fuel curve. Two blank graphs have been provided: one to plot fuel efficiency vs. engine speed and one to plot fuel efficiency vs. vessel speed.

Engine Speed (RPM)

Vessel Speed (knots)

Fuel Use (L/hr)

Fuel Efficiency (L/nm)

600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 2200
Record Fuel Use and Speed


Fuel Consumption vs Engine Speed

15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00
Fuel Consumption (L/nm)

10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00

Engine Speed (RPM)

Fuel Consumption vs Vessel Speed

15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00

Fuel Consumption (L/nm)

10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0


Vessel Speed (Knots)

Engine operating speed and its efficiency

The combination of the propeller, gearbox and engine determine how efficiently the fuels energy is used to propel the vessel through the water. You will need to think about this combination carefully when you are choosing them. All three must be taken into account when they are chosen. When choosing the propeller and gearbox, ensure the engine operates near its best efficiency point. This is because: The vessels operating speed determines how much power is required to move the vessel through the water. The propeller choice (and efficiency) determines how much engine power is required to reach the A typical turbo-diesel engine. (Photo: Energy NZ) vessel operating speed. The engine speed affects how efficiently this power is made.

Most fishing vessels use diesel engines, which are generally the most efficient internal combustion engines available. However, even a diesel engine in good repair will only convert 25% to 40% of the fuels energy into work. The rest is lost as heat through the cooling and exhaust systems.

Both turbocharged and naturallyaspirated engines are generally most efficient when operated at about 80% of maximum rated speed, although this depends on the specific engine.

The engines actual efficiency depends on both the load and the engine speed. The load at a particular engine speed in turn depends on the propeller and gearbox combination. If the propeller has too much pitch (i.e. is over-propped) then the engine will be fully loaded and unable to reach maximum speed. If there is too little pitch (i.e. under-propped) then the engine will only be delivering a portion of its potential power once it reaches maximum speed. While a naturally-aspirated engine will only deliver full power at maximum engine speed, most turbocharged engines can deliver their maximum rated power from about 70% of maximum engine speed upwards. At the lower speeds this is achieved by higher turbocharger boost, but highly-loaded operation at lower engine speeds may not be a good idea as engine BSFC and Engine Eciency vs Engine Speed temperatures can rise, reducing (Naturally Aspirated Engine) engine life.
350 300 Engine BSFC (g/kWh) 250 200 35% 150 100 50 0 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 30% BSFC Eciency 25% 20% 2200 50% 45% 40% Engine Eciency (%)

The engines efficiency at different speeds and loads is measured by the manufacturer and is graphed as Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) vs. engine speed. The BSFC is the amount of fuel in grams required to produce one kW of power at the engines crankshaft, for one hour. The BSFC will be lower (better) when the engines efficiency is higher. The graphs (left and overleaf) are based on published performance curves from a major manufacturer.

Engine Speed (RPM)

Fuel Consumption and Engine Efficiency: 75kW Naturally-Aspirated Diesel Engine


BSFC and Engine Efficiency vs Engine Speed (Turbocharged Engine)

350 300
Engine BSFC (g/kWh)

50% 45% 40% 35%

Engine Efficiency (%)

250 200 150 100 BSFC 50 0 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Efficiency

Both are for naturally-aspirated and turbocharged versions of the same engine. The naturallyaspirated version is rated at 75kW @ 2200 RPM and the turbocharged version is rated at 123kW @ 2200 RPM. Note that the turbocharged version is more efficient overall than the naturally-aspirated version. This is normally true, as turbochargers extract otherwise-wasted energy from the exhaust gases. In this case, the efficiency of the turbocharged engine is worst at an intermediate engine speed and better faster and slower than this. This shows the importance of checking the specific curve for the vessels engine.

30% 25% 20% 2200

Engine Speed (RPM)

Fuel Consumption and Engine Efficiency: 123kW Turbocharged Diesel Engine

Unless you are changing the engine or gearbox, you are stuck with the gear you have got. To make the most of your existing engine, get a copy of the engines efficiency curve from the engine supplier. If the current normal operating speed of the engine is at a bad point of the curve, consider getting the propeller repitched or replaced.

Get the performance curve specific to the vessels engine and use it to help decide the best engine operating speed

Selecting a new engine or gearbox

When the engine, gearbox or propeller is changed, ensure that the engine is operating at the most efficient part of its curve at the most common high load it is expected to operate at. For a trawler fitted with the 123kW turbocharged engine, this would mean picking a propeller and gearbox so that the engine is at either 1,500 RPM or 2,000 RPM while trawling. The BSFC can vary by as much as 15% between different engines of similar power outputs. When replacing the engine, if choosing between two engines that are otherwise the same, pick the one with the lowest BSFC. Once the engine choice has been made, ensure the gearbox ratio and propeller pitch allow engine operation at its most efficient speed. An expert (marine architect or engineer) should be consulted when selecting new engines to ensure a good choice is made, taking into account the propeller, gearbox and An example of a diesel engine. vessel characteristics.


Exercise: Approximate fuel saving from slowing down

The relationship between fuel use and vessel speed can be used to estimate the saving from slowing down. This relationship works best for displacement vessels and is less relevant for planing vessels. An estimate is required of the current fuel use at the current normal steaming speed. This may be worked out by filling the tanks before and after a trip over which the speed is fairly constant. Then divide the fuel use by the number of hours steaming to give fuel use per hour. For example, if 720 L of fuel is used in 18 hours steaming, then the fuel use is 40 L/h. The hourly fuel use may also be worked out if the engine specification sheet is available showing fuel use for different loads and the engine loading is known from the governor position. The current fuel efficiency can then be estimated by dividing the present fuel use per hour by the steaming speed. So if the vessel uses about 40 L/hr when travelling at 8 knots, the current fuel efficiency is:

Fuel Efficiency = Fuel Use/Steaming Speed = 40 L/hr/8.0 knots = 5.0 L/nm To estimate the fuel efficiency at a slower speed, use the following formula: Fuel efficiency at slower speed = speed

New Speed Original Speed


x Fuel Use at original

For example if the vessel was originally using 5.0 L/nm when going 8.0 knots and it now steams at 7.0 knots, it is estimated to use: Fuel efficiency at slower speed = =

7 knots 8 knots


x 5.0 litres/nm

7.0 X 7.0 x 5.0 8.0 8.0 = 0.875 x 0.875 x 5.0

= 3.8 L/nm In this case the estimated saving from slowing down is 1.2 L/nm or 24%.

________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________


Action checklist
Whenever possible slow down. Get a fuel curve made for the vessel. Use the fuel curve to make decisions on when, and by how much, to slow down. If not already fitted, consider installing a fuel flow meter. If a fuel meter is fitted, monitor fuel use over time to detect changes in efficiency and allow action to be taken. Benchmark fuel use and set up a bonus scheme that rewards increased fuel efficiency. Get a copy of the engines efficiency curve. If the present normal operating speed is at a bad point of the curve, consider getting the propeller repitched.


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Hull resistance and fouling

Your vessels hull shape and condition directly affect how much fuel it uses. A rough or heavily fouled hull requires more power to push it through the water, which means higher fuel costs.

Steaming with a dirty hull is like driving a car with the hand brake on.
As mentioned previously, a vessels power is spent overcoming the various factors that slow it down. These are: Skin friction this is the friction between the roughness of the hull and the water. A smoother hull is better and has lower friction. Skin friction increases with speed. Form drag this is due to eddies made as water flows around the hull, rudder and any appendages. A clean design with the minimum of protrusions is best. Wave making resistance see the section on operating speed. The importance of these factors Rough paint finish increases skin friction and energy use. Photo courtesy depends on the vessel type. Having of Stark Brothers, Nelson, NZ. a clean hull is far more important for vessels that spend a lot of time at high speeds, perhaps steaming a long way to fishing grounds. Hull cleanliness is a little less important (but still a good idea that will save fuel) for slower boats like trawlers. The drag caused by skin roughness is higher at higher speed and so is more significant when steaming than trawling.

If a fuel meter is fitted to the vessel, use this to help determine how beneficial cleaning the hull is and to detect fouling buildup that indicates its time for another clean. 19

Skin friction and hull cleaning

Skin friction depends on the hulls roughness. Hulls get rougher, creating more friction, over time due to several factors including: Corrosion of steel surfaces causing flaking and bubbling. This can be caused by: Inadequate or failed cathodic systems Inadequate or aged anti-corrosion paints Rough paint finish, which can be caused by: Photo provided by Albwardy Diving Services Dubai. Improperly prepared hull prior to repainting Paint build up Poor application Mechanical damage to the hull from running aground, chafing on nets, berthing etc

Repair hull damage when the vessel is slipped and make good the surface.

To reduce these effects, keep the anodes in good condition and dont put off repainting too long. Weed and slime As well as the hulls surface condition, marine growths of weed and slime accumulate and roughen the hull. A vessel might only be slipped every few years, and over this time, fouling can increase skin friction dramatically, especially if the vessel is static for extended periods. Growth rates are higher in warmer water. Hull smoothness is helped by maintaining a clean hull. Having divers remove the slime between slippings will reduce hull friction and fuel use. The optimum time between hull Build up of weed and slime contribute to skin friction.


If cleaning reduced the fuel consumption of a vessel that normally uses 55 L/h by 5%, to 52.5 L/hr, then the cleaning would be paid for after 200 hours of steaming. Cleaning by divers will not be worthwhile for hulls encrusted with more stubborn marine life, such as barnacles, that cannot be removed by brushing alone. However, in this case the extra fuel consumption may be so significant up to 40% - that the vessel should be slipped for scraping or water-blasting.

cleanings is a balance between the cleaning cost and the amount saved. The cleaning cost is about $4 to $6 per foot of waterline length, so about $500 for a 22m (72 foot) trawler. A Food and Agriculture (FAO) paper reported the slime layer leads to increased fuel consumption of 8% to 12%.

Ensure the hull is properly prepared prior to repainting, excess old paint is removed and the surface sanded smooth. 20

Anti-foul paints
Fuel-thirsty fouling growth is inhibited by using either anti-foul paints containing biocides or foul releasing paints, which work by being very smooth and non-stick . Anti-foul paints are often self-polishing - meaning they slowly wear off and conseuqently maintain surface smoothness and continue to expose fresh biocide. Anti-foul paints need reapplying every year or two as fouling growth is rapid once the biocide is exhausted. The latest foul release paints are especially slippery. Any marine life that does attach to the hull is removed once the speed exceeds 10 knots. However, if the vessel never goes above 10 knots then the fouling isnt removed. This makes them

Photos (left and above) courtesy of Stark Brothers, Nelson, NZ.

better suited to faster vessels and less useful on trawlers. Modern foul release paints are very expensive, are not generally suitable for wooden boats, and the hull must be taken back to bare metal before the application of special base coats. Offsetting this is their longer life. They should last 5 years before reapplication and achieve fuel savings of up to 6% due to their smoothness and low friction. On a 22m vessel using 250,000 litres per year that spends 30% of its time steaming, a 6% saving is about $5,000 per year.

The next time the anti-foul paint is due to be renewed, consult with an expert to determine the best option for your vessel.

As vessel weight increases, a greater surface area is exposed to the moving water (leading to higher skin friction) and more water must be moved out of the way (increasing form drag and wave making resistance). The hull resistance and therefore amount of fuel used is almost directly proportional to displacement, so a 1% reduction in displacement will reduce fuel consumption by about 1%. Carriage of excess weight may increase over time as redundant equipment accumulates. Save fuel by not carrying unnecessary weight and lowering your vessels displacement. Weight can be reduced by: Pumping out bilges frequently Only carrying the fuel needed for the trip plus a safety margin Not carrying more ice than required Reducing rubbish and packaging, and removing any broken or redundant equipment For example, a 100 tonne trawler that carries an excess 2.0 tonnes of ice will increase its fuel use by 2%.


Remove redundant hull appendages

Protrusions from the hull reduce how easily water flows around it, increasing form drag and fuel consumption.

To reduce form drag, remove any protrusions or fair them if removal is not possible. Examples include old sonar domes and fish-finders that are no longer operational and old anode bolts.
External keel cooling pipes for engine cooling increase fuel consumption by 2% to 3% at steaming speeds. Consider replacement with a heat exchanger system.

Rudder and appendage form

The rudder is directly in the flow of fast water from the propeller, which increases the effect of its drag on efficiency. Water flows turbulently around flat plate rudders, causing high drag, but flows more smoothly around a profiled rudder.

Consider replacing flat plate rudders with profiled rudders.

Flat plate rudder (above). Rudder detail (right), Photo courtesy of Stark Brothers. Nelson, NZ.

An efficient rudder profile will save 3% to 4% of fuel use at free running speeds, or 1.5% to 2% overall. Any other hull appendages, such as stern posts, should be faired to allow water to flow smoothly over them.

You can find useful downloads and information at www.seafood.co.nz/ energyefficiency 22

Action checklist
When was the vessel last slipped? If more than a year ago, get a diver to check the hull condition. If lightly fouled, get a diver to clean it, if heavily fouled consider slipping the vessel for blasting and recoating of anti-foul. When last slipped, what was the extent and type of fouling?

What is the current anti-fouling system used?

When was the anti-foul last maintained? If more than two years ago and the vessel is not scheduled to be slipped soon, get a diver to check the hull condition. If lightly fouled get divers to clean it, if heavily fouled consider slipping the vessel to be blasted and anti-foul recoated. Does the vessel go above 10 knots on occasion? Yes/No If yes, get a quote for a foul release paint system. To assess if its worthwhile proceeding, factor in a 6% fuel reduction and reduced annual anti-foul costs. List any hull appendages (sonars etc)

Identify those appendages that can be removed or faired. Next time the vessel is slipped remove or fair identified appendages.

What is the size and type of rudder? If a flat plate rudder is installed then consider replacing it. Get a quote for a profiled rudder. For a two year payback, a profiled rudder should cost less than 4% of the annual fuel bill if the quote is lower than this figure, then its worth getting a new profiled rudder. Identify and remove any redundant equipment Is keel cooling used? Yes/No If yes, get a quote for a heat exchanger system. For a two year payback, consider replacing keel cooling with a heat exchanger if it costs less than 4% of steaming fuel use (typically about 30% of annual fuel use for a trawler).

How much excess ice/fuel is carried at the end of a trip? Try reducing the amount.


Notes.... ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________
Cleaning can be carried out by a diver if slipping is not an option. Photo ________________________________________________________________ courtesy of Sea Service Diving and Marine, Australia.


Propellers turn the power generated by your engine into movement through the water. The propeller type and condition greatly influences how well this happens and overall fuel efficiency. Propellers typically only convert 50% to 60% of the energy they absorb into useful thrust but they can be much worse.

Any improvement in propeller efficiency directly saves fuel and money.

An inappropriate, damaged, or dirty propeller will cost you money whenever the vessel is underway. The following diagram illustrates where the energy from the diesel supplied to the main engine goes. Note the energy loss from the propeller.


Increasing your propeller efficiency

Propellers are out of sight, out of mind. A lot of people think that if the vessel still moves then everything must be ok. Right? Wrong! Declining propeller efficiency and increasing fuel consumption can occur gradually and may not be noticed. Improving propeller efficiency increases how much energy from each litre of fuel becomes thrust that drives the vessel. To improve efficiency: Take action to make the most of the propeller youve got Get the propeller selection checked and investigate having it modified or replaced

Getting the most out of your current propeller

Improvements in propeller efficiency are rewarded whenever the vessel is moving, free running, or fishing, so benefits accumulate the whole time the vessel is underway. Keep the propeller in tip-top condition to maintain its efficiency. To do this:

Clean the propeller

A clean propeller saves 5% to 10% of fuel consumption compared to a propeller fouled after one year of immersion in water. Weed and slime can build up within months especially if the vessel has been idle. If the vessel hasnt been out of the water in a year, get a diver to give the propellers a scrub.

Before and after pictures of a propeller cleaned by Stark Brothers of Nelson.

Polish the propeller and apply a foul release coating

Polished propellers use up to 4% less fuel when compared to clean propellers after one year immersed in water. Polish propellers when they are next out of the water and have a foul release coating applied. Foul release coatings maintain smoothness similar to a newly polished condition and should only cost a few hundred dollars to have applied. Corrosion increases roughness on uncoated propeller surfaces keep anodes in good condition to slow the corrosion.


Underwater cleaning of propellers. Photo courtesy of Sea Service Diving and Marine, Australia.

Maintain and repair the propeller

Worn and damaged propellers eat fuel. Inspect them every time the vessel is out of the water and repair any fuel-hungry nicks, dings and dents. Blade tips can wear over time, reducing efficiency, and may need building up. Trailing edge damage is especially power-sapping and also alters the propeller pitch. The propeller should ideally be serviced at least every two years. Cavitation erosion may be visible as areas of pitting on the blade - the increased roughness lowers efficiency. As well as repairing the blade, consult an expert on how to prevent recurrence.

Clear hull upstream of the propeller

The hull upstream of the propeller should be faired smooth with no sharp corners or obstructions. If possible, move anodes, fish finders, sonar domes and other obstructions to be more than 1.3 propeller diameters away. Savings are hard to estimate but if it costs less than 2% of your annual fuel bill to implement then its probably worthwhile. Cleaning and polishing the propeller while the boat is in the water is a job for divers. How often it should be done depends on the cost and the rate at which fouling builds up.

Check the propeller selection

Routine measures for maintaining propeller efficiency are important, but significant further savings are possible by ensuring the current propeller is the right one for the job. When selecting a propeller, the following are important points to consider: The engines power output and shaft speed The gearbox ratio The size and operating speed of the vessel These factors, and more, are taken into account when the initial selection is made. This determines the propeller size (diameter), pitch, blade area and number of blades. Changes over time in how the Photos courtesy of Stark Brothers, Nelson, NZ vessel is used, increased displacement and engine or gearbox changes may mean the propeller is less suitable than it was. The complexity of propeller choice means you should consult an expert, either propeller specialist or naval architect, before making changes.


A 23m trawler powered by a 411kW engine typically uses 6,500 litres of diesel per five day trip. If cleaning and polishing the propeller has fuel savings of 5% (3% from the clean and 2% from the polish) then a $500 clean and polish will be paid for in less than two trips.


Get an expert to confirm correct propeller choice

Get the propeller inspected by an expert the next time the vessel is slipped if the vessels duty, engine or gearbox has been changed since the propeller was installed. The expert can help decide if it needs to be modified (re-pitched) or replaced.

Basic Propeller Characteristics

Maximise the propeller diameter

A propellers diameter has a big effect on how efficient it is. A big propeller turning slowly is more efficient than a small propeller turning quickly. As a rule of thumb, increasing the diameter by 1/3 will reduce the shaft speed by 1/2 and increase its efficiency by 1/4. Measure your propeller diameter and consider replacing it with a larger one if possible - use the worksheet in Exercise 3 to calculate the minimum recommended propeller diameter for a particular vessel. The maximum propeller size will be limited by the available aperture and cost.

Check for warning signs of incorrect propeller choice

Unsuitable propellers penalise both performance and fuel consumption. If suspected, an expert should evaluate the current propeller and assess available options. If the pitch is incorrect, it may be possible to have it re-pitched rather than replaced. Signs of an unsuitable propeller include: Engine overloading Engine overloading can cause engine damage and may happen if the propeller has too much pitch, (i.e. over-propped), or is too large. Symptoms include heavy black exhaust smoke, high exhaust temperatures and the engine being unable to reach maximum speed. Be especially suspicious if the propeller has just been changed. Excessive hull fouling and propeller damage can also cause overloading, so it may be worthwhile getting a diver to assess both if overloading is happening and the vessel hasnt been slipped in a while. Engine underloading Engine underloading occurs if the propeller has too little pitch, is too small or if cavitation is reducing the propellers ability to absorb power. The engine will not be able to achieve maximum power at its maximum speed and engine damage may occur if the engine is over-speeded.

Photo courtesy of Stark Brothers, Nelson NZ


On trawlers, consider fitting a nozzle if one is not already fitted

Nozzles are specially-designed ducts enclosing the propeller and can increase fuel efficiency by 15% to 20% especially at higher loads and lower speeds i.e. trawling. They can be relatively expensive to retro-fit but this must be weighed against the large potential fuel savings. If considering fitting a nozzle, consult with a naval architect to determine the overall costs and benefits. If a nozzle was previously considered but not implemented due to cost or reduced free running speeds, increased fuel prices and more efficient modern nozzle designs may now make it worthwhile. Get the advice of a propeller manufacturer or naval architect to help make this decision.
Photo courtesy of Stark Brothers, Nelson, NZ.


Depending on size, fitting a nozzle and new propeller could cost in the range of $25,000 to $50,000 with fuel savings of 15% to 20% expected at trawling speeds. Trawlers typically use about 70% of their fuel while trawling. This means a 23m trawler burning 250,000 litres annually would save around 26,000 litres each year after fitting a nozzle paying back the installation costs within a year or two.

Propeller nozzle case study

A trial comparing three 22m trawlers, each with 375 hp @1800 rpm engines and 6:1 reduction gearboxes, had the following results:
Nozzle Type Open Propeller Kort Nozzle Modern Nozzle Propeller Size (inches) 66 x 44 61 x 56 61.25 x 59 Bollard Pull (kg) 4,708 6,646 7,182 Fuel Maximum Use Speed (litres/ (knots) day) 9.3 9.0 10.0 1,512 1,265 1,175

Open propeller vs. nozzles (Olds & Sons Pty. Ltd)

The modern nozzle design used 7% less fuel than the vessel fitted with a kort nozzle and 22% less fuel than the open propeller.

Propeller Nozzle (Olds & Sons Pty. Ltd)


Case study: Propeller repitch

Cellina was a 14.8m trawler operating out of Tauranga. A 38 x 28 four-blade propeller was driven by a 132 kW engine through a 2.96:1 gearbox. A trial was done before and after the propeller was repitched, the results are shown in the graphs below. The first graph shows how much fuel is used to cover 1 nm at different steaming speeds. It clearly shows the maximum steaming speed has increased and fuel use per mile has decreased - after repitching the propeller Celline used 1/3 less fuel to cover the same distance at 10 knots than before repitching. The second graph shows how much fuel is used to cover 1 nm at different trawling speeds. After repitching trawling speeds were increased, increasing catching power, at the same time as reducing fuel use by over 20%.

Steaming Speed and Fuel Use Before and After Repitch (Gilbert 1983)

Trawling Speed and Fuel Use Before and After Repitch (Gilbert 1983)


Controllable pitch propellers

Fixed pitch propellers perform best for a set load and speed, so they are most efficient at towing speeds or steaming speeds but not both. A controllable pitch propeller (CPP) can be adjusted to improve propeller efficiency at different speeds; they also allow the engine to be at the optimum speed more often. If a vessel typically only goes one speed a CPP provides no benefit. Also, due to increased hub size, a CPP is a little less efficient than a fixed pitch propeller operating at its best point CPPs are expensive, especially if retrofitted. They should only be considered for new vessels or as part Photo courtesy of Stark Brothers, Nelson, NZ. of a major refit. This can be decided in conjunction with a naval architect.

Case study: Propeller choice

Gweny-May is a 15 tonne hard chined, semi-planing vessel. Powered by a 374kW engine driving a three-bladed propeller through a 2:1 gearbox, it generally cruises at 10 knots. A four-bladed propeller, kept as a spare, was trialled and found to worsen cruising fuel-consumption by 6 L/h, or 12%, for no improvement in performance. This shows the importance of confirming the correct propeller choice.

Photo: T. Collins.


Action Checklist
When was the propeller last inspected? If more than two years ago, and the vessel is not scheduled to be slipped soon, get a diver to check its condition. If it is in poor condition it may be worth replacing or repairing sooner rather than later. When was the propeller last serviced? If the propeller hasnt been serviced in two or more years, ensure this is done when the vessel is next slipped. Is a nozzle fitted? Yes/No If no, and the vessel is a trawler then consult with an expert to investigate getting one fitted. The next time the vessel is out of the water take the opportunity to inspect the propeller and do the following things. Is the propeller smooth and free of nicks and dings? Yes/No If no, have the propeller serviced or repaired. If not perfectly smooth, get the propeller polished. If uncoated, get a foul release coating applied. Are there any signs of cavitation (pitting and blade erosion)? If yes then repair and get a propeller expert to assess options Are there any obstructions within 1.3 diameters upstream of the propeller? If yes, then investigate removing or relocating the obstruction. Calculate the minimum recommended propeller diameter using Appendix II Yes/No


Recommended diameter

m m

Measure the vessels current propeller diameter? Measured diameter See if the current diameter is smaller than recommended measure the aperture clearance.

Aperture diameter__________________m Is the aperture clearance greater than 10% of the propeller diameter? Yes/No

If yes, consult with an expert to investigate replacing with a larger diameter propeller


________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________


Exercise: How to calculate your minimum propeller diameter

The minimum recommended propeller diameter, for useful thrust at all speeds, can be determined from the graph below. The minimum recommended may not be achievable if the available aperture is too small. This graph does not apply if a nozzle is fitted.

Minimum recommended propeller diameter

The above graph is based on the following formula. (Gerr) Dmin = 0.339 x (BWL x Hd)1/2 Where: Dmin = Minimum recommended propeller diameter in metres BWL = Beam on the waterline length in metres Hd = Draft of hull, waterline down (excl. keel, skeg or deadwood) in metres Dmin for twin screws = 0.8 x Dmin First determine the beam-on-the-waterline length in metres and multiply this by the depth of the hull in metres (excluding the keel, skeg or deadwood). Find this value on the horizontal axis of Graph 1 and move vertically up until the line for the single screw (or twin screw if appropriate) is reached. The minimum propeller diameter can then be read off the vertical axis.

Example: For a 15.0m trawler with a waterline beam of 5.1m and a hull draft of 1.2m,
the minimum acceptable propeller diameter can be calculated as follows: Waterline Beam x Hull Draft = 5.1 x 1.2 = 6.12 So for a single screw, the minimum recommended propeller diameter is about 0.85 metres or 33 inches.



________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

Vessel Maintenance
Engines provide the power for almost all activities while at sea from propelling the vessel to supplying hydraulic and electrical power. Regular maintenance not only reduces energy consumption but also minimises those profit-sapping unscheduled repairs.

Deferring vessel maintenance is the worst form of false economy.

Engine maintenance
Its best to stick to the engine manufacturers recommended service intervals. Routine maintenance between major overhauls and servicing includes: Checking water traps and fuel filters daily. Oil and fuel filters remove contaminants before they can harm the engine. Over time, contaminants build-up, clogging filters and obstructing the flow of oil or fuel to the engine. This impairs the engines performance and efficiency and increases fuel use. It can also cause engine damage. This daily check is necessary especially in humid weather when water can condense in fuel tanks. Change the filters at the manufacturers recommended service intervals. Changing the lubricating oils at the recommended intervals Engines require lubrication so that moving parts slide smoothly over each other. Insufficient or degraded lubrication can increase engine wear, causing higher friction and increasing fuel use. Change the oil at the recommended intervals typically every 350 hours unless an oil analysis recommends this period to be shortened or lengthened. Oil analysis can also give information on engine wear and condition . Servicing the injectors at the recommended intervals Fuel injectors are subject to demanding conditions and inevitably wear out. But they can still work a long time past their best, but this will lower fuel efficiency. An injectors condition governs how well fuel burns when sprayed into the engine. Ideally injectors produce a fine fog of fuel, but as they wear larger droplets also form. Droplets burn more slowly, reduce power output, and Soot is fuel that you have paid for, but produce visible soot as a result.

isnt doing any work. Service the injectors at the manufacturers recommended intervals - or more frequently if the fuel quality is low or excessive black exhaust smoke indicates the injectors are worn. 35

Gearbox maintenance
The gearbox efficiency affects the vessels overall efficiency because all the propulsive power goes through it. Gearboxes are typically more than 90% efficient, but you can make small gains by sticking to the proper maintenance procedures, including: Regularly checking oil levels Gearboxes use oil seals, internally and on the shafts, to keep oil in the gearbox and dirt and water out. A sudden drop in the gearbox oil level may indicate the seals are worn. The loss of oil or oil contamination can increase the gearboxs frictional losses and the vessels fuel consumption. If left unchecked the gearbox may fail. Changing the oil regularly As the gearbox oil breaks down, its lubricating properties diminish. Changing the gearbox oil at the recommended service intervals helps maintain maximum gearbox efficiency, life, and reliability. Using the correct grade of oil Not all oils are the same so use the grade of oil specified by the manufacturer. Using the wrong oil can increase churning and windage losses within the gearbox, lowering efficiency, and gobbling fuel. High quality synthetic oils are more expensive but may extend the service intervals and improve gearbox efficiency. Synthetic oils have several desirable properties over mineral oils, most notably is that they have better low and high temperature performance.

Exhaust and air flows

It is important to supply enough clean air to the engine room and engine. Oxygen from air is needed to burn the diesel. There needs to be enough air moving through the engine room to help cool the engine. This is especially important if the vessel has any air-cooled engines. As a guide, size the engine rooms air intake to have an area greater than 11 cm2 per kW of engine power. Ideally the air intake should supply cool fresh air down low into the engine room, and hot air ventilated from the top. Periodically check air filters and clean or replace them if they are clogged. Check and clean them more often if the engine rooms air supply is dirty.
An air filter. (Photo: Energy NZ)

Restricted exhaust flow can easily cost 10% or more in fuel consumption.
The exhaust system should let the exhaust fumes escape easily. The exhaust pipe should be as straight as possible and 90 bends avoided as each sharp bend can reduce the maximum airflow by 25 percent. If the exhaust pipe is too small, or contains too many sharp bends, backpressure will result in loss of power and increased fuel consumption. The engines manufacturer will stipulate the minimum exhaust pipe diameter.

Fuel additives and devices

Diesel engine technology has been developing for more than 100 years and small efficiency improvements are still being made. Unfortunately however, there are no silver bullets to drastically increase the efficiency of an existing engine. While there are many additives and gadgets on the market that claim huge improvements in fuel efficiency, the bottom line is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some reports on the performance of diesel additives and devices that have been trialled for the UK fishing fleet are available at www.seafood.co.nz/energyefficiency.


Engine smoke identification

Excessive exhaust smoke is normally an indication of engine trouble. The smokes colour can give some indication of the cause. (Gilbert 1983), (Simpson 2006)

Black exhaust smoke

Black exhaust smoke indicates that unburned fuel (soot) is leaving the engine. This robs power and profit. Common causes include:

Overloaded engine
An overloaded engine is operating at the limit of its capabilities. Consequently there is increased wear and it may operate inefficiently. Investigation is required to find the cause of the overloading. If the engine, gearbox and propeller are not correctly matched, peak propeller loads may occur at too low an engine speed and cause overloading. When changing the engine, gearbox or propeller, check the suitability of the retained equipment and ensure everything is well matched. Overloading that worsens over time may indicate that the vessels hull drag has increased due to fouling or that the propeller is fouled or damaged.

Shortage of air
Clogged inlet air filters or other inlet restrictions can impede airflows. Change or clean air filters at the recommended intervals and inspect them if clogging is suspected. Black smoke can also be a symptom of turbocharger problems it may need cleaning or replacing.

Excessive back pressure

Restrictions in the exhaust pipework, perhaps from being crushed or from debris entering the pipe, can impede exhaust flows. Check the exhaust pipe for kinks or obstructions and fix any problems found.

Worn injectors
Ensure the injectors are changed at the recommended intervals

Blue exhaust smoke

This can be from excessive oil in the cylinders or exhaust, usually from worn components such as valve guides, worn or broken piston rings or leaking turbocharger oil seals. It can also be caused by: an overfilled crankcase, blocked crankcase breather valve or excessive cooling (faulty thermostat) which prevents the engine from operating at normal temperature. After a long time idling a short period of blue smoke is normal, but if it is sustained engage a mechanic to diagnose the cause.

White exhaust smoke

White exhaust smoke that persists for more than a few seconds, especially if coupled with hard starting, is often a symptom of low compression - which results in unburned fuel. This can be caused by:

Worn or damaged engine components:

Leaking inlet or exhaust valves and damaged or worn piston rings allow gases to escape and lower compression. A compression test may confirm this.

Mis-timed injectors/valves:
Most likely if the engine has been incorrectly reassembled after repairs or maintenance. If the engine has just been repaired or serviced, check the timing.

Water in engine:
White smoke can also indicate that water is getting into the engine. This may be through poor quality fuel, normally accompanied by erratic running, or a cracked cylinder head/blown head gasket which allows water into the cylinders.
Gilbert, L. (1983). Fishing vessel fuel control. Fishing Industry Training Council. Simpson, A. (2006). Know your boats diesel engine. McGraw-Hill.


Maintenance checklist
Engine maintenance
1. What is the check-up frequency for water traps and filters _____________________? If greater than daily change the check-up frequency to ensure the engine is operating correctly.


When was the oil last changed_______________________________? If the oil changes havent been to the manufacturers specifications, change the oil and consider an oil analysis.


Recommended air intake to engine room:

Engine kW________ x 11 =________cm2

Actual intake to engine room:


height________cm x length_________cm =________cm2


diameter______cm x diameter______cm x 3.14 / 4 =________cm2 If the recommended intake to the engine room is smaller than the actual intake, consider more ventilation. For air-cooled engines, consult the manufacturers specifications.

When was the air filter last checked___________________________?

Was there significant buildup on the filter________________________?


When were the injectors last changed_______________________________? If the injectors have not been changed according to the engine manufacturers specifications, they should be replaced even if there is no visible sign of incomplete combustion (black smoke)

Gearbox maintenance
1. When was the last time the oil level was checked_______________________________? If the oil level has not been checked, ensure that there is an adequate level of oil within the gearbox


What is the manufacturers recommended grade of oil____________________________?

What grade of oil is being used_______________________________? If different, consider changing back to the manufacturers recommended oil grade

When was the oil last changed_______________________________? If the oil changes havent been to the manufacturers specifications, change the oil


Consider synthetic oils


Electricity use
Electricity use
A common misconception is that the electricity on a ship is essentially free because the generator is running anyway. Not only is this not true, electricity generated onboard by either the main engine or an auxiliary generator is actually quite expensive. Nearly all the energy used on board a fishing boat comes from diesel. The engines convert the diesels energy into power used to propel the boat, run hydraulics, or generate electricity. Diesel contains 10.58 kWh of energy per litre, so for diesel that costs $1.00 per litre, this equates to 9.4c/kWh. To power onboard electrical equipment, the diesels energy needs converting to electricity, first by an engine into rotational movement and then by the generator to electricity. The overall process is inefficient, and for a well-maintained 20kVA to 100kVA generator typical of the size used on trawlers, peak efficiencies in the range of 25% to 34% are usual. A generator of 30% efficiency, burning diesel costing $1.00/litre, will make electricity for 31.5c/kWh. These costs do not include the generator operating and maintenance costs.

This will cost about double what a commercial customer would expect to pay for electricity from the grid.

A fishing vessels electricity use can account for 5% to 30% of total diesel consumption. This can be minimised by not wasting electricity, using the most efficient devices available and generating electricity as efficiently as possible.

Save energy turn it off!

Expensive electricity can be easily saved by turning things off when theyre not needed. Sounds obvious, but sometimes its hard to appreciate just how much its costing. Things to look at are:

Turn lights off when not needed.

Lighting is needed to see what you are doing, but leaving deck lights on during the day is money down the drain. Turn them off during the day. For a well-utilised vessel at sea for 4,000 hours per year, leaving two 500-Watt deck lights on for the entire time at sea, instead of just at night, will cost an additional $630 per year in diesel. These are simple to switch off manually, or install a daylight switch to do it automatically.


Only turn on interior lighting when it is needed. Even if using efficient fluorescent lighting, turning off lights in unoccupied cabins, galleys, toilets and engine rooms could save hundreds of dollars per year for a typical vessel. If theres concern about engine room lights turning off while someones in there, install a low-wattage compact fluorescent lamp to be on permanently.

Manage PCs and electronic equipment

On, but unused, electronic devices like PCs and game consoles sit around quietly devouring electricity and money. The idle power consumption can be significant, even if the display is turned off. Two PCs and one modern games console left running unnecessarily at sea for 3,000 hours per year will chew through $340 of diesel more if they are still on when in port. PCs have a sleep or hibernate mode where power consumption is nearly zero, but can be resumed from almost instantly. This is the best way to leave them when not being used.

Manage space heating

Heating cabins electrically requires large amounts of energy since the heat simply disappears through the walls. The cost of running four small (1kW) heaters in unoccupied areas adds up to $1,260 per year if on unnecessarily for 1,000 hours per year. Make sure they are only on when needed, using thermostats and timers wherever possible. Better yet scavenge heat from the engines cooling system (explained later) for free space heating.

Manage hydraulic pumps

When a hydraulic device isnt in use, turn the hydraulic pump off. For example, if a hydraulic pump is needed to let the net out, but is not used for trimming, turn the hydraulic pump off until it is need to haul the net back. The load due to hydraulic pumps can be very large, as shown in the graph below.

This graph shows the net being let out, trimming of the net and then hauling the net back in. After hauling in, the hydraulic pumps are still running with a significant load of around 20kW. If your vessel does not use hydraulics for trimming, turn the hydraulics off when finished setting or hauling in.


Increase efficiency and re-use waste energy

The high cost of diesel-sourced electricity makes conserving energy by using energy-efficient devices especially important. Going green is worth more than just feel-good points when every litre of diesel going through the genset comes off the profit. To increase electricity energy efficiency, concentrate on the following:

Efficient lighting
Standard incandescent light bulbs are cheap, but are very inefficient - they produce mostly heat not much little light. A bulbs low cost is quickly offset by its energy use. Consider compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) as an alternative. CFLs produce the same amount of light using one-fifth the power, and also last much longer than a traditional bulb. Replacing a 100W incandescent lamp with a 20W CFL will pay for itself after 160 hours of use and can last for years, continually making savings. Likewise, inefficient deck lighting such as halogen lamps can also be replaced with compact fluorescent or metal halide fittings. They typically use 66-75% less power and last much longer before failure. Replacing a 500W halogen floodlight with a 120W CFL floodlight fitting will save $240 per year if used for 2,000 hours at sea.

Efficient devices

Energy efficient lightbulbs.

Appliances like refrigerators cost a lot to run. Factoring the operating costs into purchasing decisions is a good idea. A small extra investment can have significant ongoing savings. For example, using an appliances Energy Star rating and the electricity cost allows you to calculate how much youll save in the long run. This is demonstrated in the example at the end of this chapter. Anything without an efficiency rating should be avoided due to high ongoing costs.

Optimising refrigeration systems

To ensure the refrigeration system on your vessel is working as efficiently as possible, do these simple checks: Turn off lighting in refrigerated areas when it is not required.The lights cost money to run and they create heat which must be removed by the refrigeration system. Keep doors to refrigerated areas closed as much as possible. Keep door seals in good condition and periodically check for air gaps. Do not put anything in a refrigerated area that doesnt need to be there. Clean the condenser periodically as scale tends to form, especially if seawater is used for cooling. Check the evaporator is not iced up, if it is then the defrost system needs attention. Improving the performance of the refrigeration system requires specialist knowledge to ensure safety and best results. Use a refrigeration consultant to optimise the system for best efficiency.

Engine heat recovery

For every unit of fuel energy going into the engine, around 35% is removed by the cooling system and dumped straight into the sea. For a 185 kW engine, that is potentially up to 65 kW of heat, available for free to use heating water and cabins. Investigate installing a heat exchanger and hot water loop on the main engines cooling system. This could heat the hot water cylinder, reducing electricity use. The hot water loop and radiators could also be throughout the vessel, providing virtually unlimited free space heating. For a 23m vessel with four crew, at sea 4,000 hours per year this could potentially save $3,000 of diesel annually if all water and space heating were replaced this way.


Shower flow restriction

For electrically heated water, excessive shower flow rates means unnecessary costly energy use. Restricting the shower flow rate to a standard 9 litres per minute will save both fresh water and energy. It can be achieved by simply installing flow restrictors in the showerhead which cost as little as $20. Fitting a flow restrictor to a shower using 15 litres per minute, serving four crew who each have one sixminute shower per day, 180 days per year, would save 25,920 litres of fresh water and $228 in genset diesel annually. The easiest way to check shower flow rates is time how long it takes to fill a bucket of known volume. If it takes less than a minute to fill 9-litre bucket, your flow rate may be too high.

Get the most electricity from a litre of diesel

How much electricity one litre of diesel produces depends on how efficiently the genset operates. This varies with the genset size and loading. To ensure you get the most electricity from your fuel:

Size the genset correctly for the vessel

While the dangers of under-sizing a genset are clear, the dangers of over-sizing are a big risk to your finances. The following graph illustrates the efficiency for a typical genset at different loads. For most of the load range the efficiency remains fairly steady, but it decreases significantly at low loads. See the gearset efficiency curve in the graph below. For example, a 50kW genset that provides 15kW for 2 hours per day and 3kW the rest of the time spends most of its time chugging along at 15% efficiency, costing over 60c/kWh. For 4,000 hours at sea, the genset diesel bill would total about $8,500. If the genset had been sized at 20kW, the diesel bill would be 33% lower at $5,700 for the same amount of electricity. The trick is to size the genset so it just meets peak operating loads, which should keep the low load high enough to ensure good efficiency. Unfortunately, new gensets are expensive so re-sizing is only an option if the old genset needs replacing or an expensive overhaul. Its best to size it right from the beginning, or consider an inverter for times of low load.

Typical genset efficiency curve.


Case study
A trawler studied had a 100kW diesel engine coupled to a 50kVA (40kW) generator. This combination condemns the engine to run at low load, even if the generator is at maximum output. The vessels logged electrical load is shown in the graph below, as well as the generating efficiency. The efficiency is around 17-18% for almost the entire time, as compared to the maximum efficiency of around 35%. A smaller, more heavily loaded engine would have used significantly less fuel.

Case Study Vessel Load and Genset Efficiency (Energy NZ)

Use an inverter
Operating a genset at very low loads is inefficient. There may be extended periods of time when only a small amount of power is needed compared to the gensets rated output, for example overnight. If so, investigate installing an inverter on the main engines alternator if it keeps running - and switching the genset off at these times. An inverter changes 12V or 24V DC power from the engines battery and alternator into 230V AC electricity at high efficiency (>90%). Since the main engine is often running anyway, the overall efficiency will be much higher than using a genset at very low load. The gensets operating hours and maintenance costs will also be reduced.

Use shore power whenever possible

The typical cost of genset-electricity is from 30c/kWh to 60c/kWh at low loads. By comparison, the typical cost of electricity from shore power is around 15c/kWh. If in port for 5,000 hours per year, the difference in cost between a 2kW load from a genset at low loading or from shore power is around $4,500 annually, not including genset servicing costs.

Use shore power as much as possible, as soon as possible. 43

Example: Energy-efficient appliances

Energy-efficient appliances generally cost more upfront, but less to run. An appliance approved by Energy Star should have a rating of typical energy use per year, which for an average-size fridge/ freezer may be 400kWh. There may be one rated at 490kWh per year, while another one of the same size might use 280kWh per year. The better one uses about 210kWh per year less. If there is no rating on one device then its safe to assume it will use more than the worst Energy Star appliance. If the vessel is at sea for half the year and on shore power for the other half, the annual saving will be:

Annual Saving Electricity

= = =

Difference in Energy Use x (Proportion of Time at Sea x Genset Price + Proportion of Time in Port x Port Electricity Price) 210kWh x (0.5 x $0.315 + 0.5 x $0.15) $48.80

The better fridge will cost $49 less per year to run. This ongoing saving should be compared to the purchase price difference and factored into the decision. Its fairly safe to use a price of 31.5c/kWh for electricity from the genset, though it could actually be much higher if the gensets lightly loaded for much of the time.

Electricity use checklist

Are any deck lights or indoor lights left on unnecessarily? If yes, turn them off and let the crew know to turn them off as well. Are any PCs, games console or other electronic devices used on the vessel? If yes, make sure the crew turn them off when not being used Are electric heaters left on in vacant areas? Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No

Consider putting them on timers to turn them off at times when no one is around. Is incandescent or halogen lighting in use on the vessel? Yes/No

If yes, look at replacing these with fluorescent lighting. It will last a lot longer and use a fraction of the power. Is energy efficiency considered when purchasing appliances? Yes/No

If no, try looking at Energy Star-rated appliances. Appendix II shows you how to figure out how much you can save. Is the waste heat from the engine being used for anything at present? Yes/No

If no, look into using it for space and water heating. Youll probably need to employ the services of an engineering firm to install the required systems. Measure the flow rates of the shower(s) onboard using a bucket and stopwatch. Flow rate = Bucket size (litres)/Time to fill (minutes). If over 9 litres/minute, consider putting in flow restrictors. Is shore power used whenever possible? Yes/No

If no, shut the genset off when in port and make use of cheaper shore electricity.


Trip Planning
Remember when vessels used to depart on the tide? Later, big engines and cheap fuel made this unnecessary. Today, increasing fuel costs once again mean that taking advantage of tides and timing departures and returns from harbours can be a real money saver. There are many factors to take into consideration when trip planning. They can be highly variable which makes accurate planning difficult. You probably already trip plan, but check here to see if there are more things you could include in your planning: Distance to the fishing grounds Level of shelter offered Long term weather forecast Days at sea allowance Recent quality of fishing Supply of fish to the market Understanding the true cost of your operations is critical. This can only be determined through proper record keeping and taking the time to analyse the information. You can then assess the economics of the business for different situations, such as poor weather conditions or increased steaming distances to your destination.

Planning your trip carefully can save you fuel.

As well as timing trips with the tides, making the best use of currents also helps reduce fuel use. To get this boost from nature consult oceanographic charts and try gathering some local knowledge. The route out may not always be the best route back given the prevailing currents and predicted weather conditions. If the wind is expected to change in direction or strength before the return trip, and you have a choice of destination, you may choose the route most likely to have a tailwind there and a tailwind back. You will need good weather forecasting information. A UK recent study showed that some skippers were reducing fuel costs by minimising their steaming distances and working closer to shore or even not choosing to fish at all when the expected fish quality (and price) was not expected to be high enough to make it worthwhile.


Reduce steaming distances

The rise in fuel prices has forced fishermen to reconsider operating practices. Previously, it may have paid for fishermen to steam long distances to fishing grounds in order to catch the best fish and get the best prices. However increased fuel prices may make the economics of this less viable. The expected value of the catch and the distance covered to get it, can affect the choice of target species and fishing ground. It may be better to target a lower value species that is closer than higher value species that is further away. This may require swapping ACE with another operation. Keeping a true course saves fuel by both minimising the total distance travelled and the number of course corrections. Modern navigation equipment makes this easier. Record keeping that shows the amount of fuel used per dollar or kg of fish caught helps with making this decision, as it shows how profitable different areas are.

Increase trip lengths

Larger vessels may stay at sea for longer periods of time, returning to port only when the holds are full. This limits the time spent steaming to and from the fishing ground. Smaller vessels may be limited to trips of shorter durations, perhaps only a single day, by available crew accommodations, hold facilities and market fish-quality requirements, or the nature of the business, for example a daily mussel barge trip. This necessitates more time-and-fuel spent travelling to and from the fishing grounds. In some cases fuel could be saved by staying longer at the fishing grounds. For example, if trips were made over two days rather than one, the amount of fuel for the return journey would effectively be halved. To achieve this, some obstacles may need to be overcome:

Example: If trips could be made in two days instead

of one, the catch over those two days would be made at the cost of the fuel for one return journey rather than two. If 30% of fuel was normally spent steaming this would effectively cut the cost of the fuel expended on travelling to and from the fishing grounds, per kilogram of fish caught, by up to 50 %, reducing the vessels total fuel use by up to 15%.

The hold capacity must be sufficient to hold two days worth of fish The holds insulation effectiveness may need to be improved or refrigeration installed Fuel and bait capacity may need to be increased There must be suitable crew accommodation, cooking and cleaning and facilities The crew must be willing to stay out for longer

Consider staying in port during bad weather

In the days of cheap fuel, when contemplating a trip in bad weather the main consideration would have been the vessels ability to fish in the conditions. Now, high fuel prices mean the increased fuel use caused by adverse weather and rough sea conditions has diminished the profitability of fishing while it is rough. Keeping records that show how much extra fuel is used when conditions are bad can help decide on whether to go out or stay in port and wait for better weather.


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Record keeping
Record keeping and filling in forms is a daily part of operating a commercial fishing boat. It takes time to fill out the compulsory forms and records. Many inshore fishing vessel operators can be understandably reluctant to spend more time keeping records than absolutely necessary. However, monitoring your vessels performance can reap dividends by identifying inefficient practices and detecting problems. And it will be in your own best interest to find out what you can save by spending a little time on recording what is happening on your boat. Keeping good records is essential to getting a clear idea of how efficient your vessel is. Good daily records mean a vessel operator can track changes in performance over time, or compare the performance of different vessels. Collecting information also allows you to establish benchmarks to assess the effects of fuel saving measures. The main areas to cover are: Catch value Fuel used Speed and distance travelled Electricity use

Catch value

With accurate fuel-use records you can: Calculate your performance: value of catch per litre of fuel or, kg of catch per litre of fuel Assess the effects of operational changes Assess the effects of technical changes Identify problems early

The whole point of going fishing is to make a profit catching fish. Knowing the value of the catch allows you to work out how profitably you are doing this. The catch value information along with fuel use information lets you calculate your key performance indicator (KPI) of fuel used per dollar of fish landed.

Fuel used
The level of information recorded depends on the vessels size, fuel bill and operating characteristics. As a minimum, record the fuel use for each trip. Note the amount of fuel needed to refill the tanks, or if the tanks are not refilled each trip, take dipstick readings. Without recording fuel use for each trip, it is difficult to quantify changes in operating procedures. As discussed in the section on operating speed, if the engine management system does not include fuel metering, consider buying a stand-alone fuel meter flowmeter. A flowmeter makes direct assessment of operating speeds straightforward. A case study on fuel meter use is in the section on Operating Speed.


Calculate your performance

Key performance indicators (KPI) help assess different operating procedures. Without KPIs, optimising a vessels operation is like flying blind. For seafood industry fuel use, the key performance indicator is the number of litres of fuel used per dollar (or kg) of fish caught. The following table shows typical KPI figures found for Norwegian fisheries.

Method of Fishing Bottom trawling, middle water Bottom trawling, mechanised Long lining, mechanised Long lining, near water Coastal fishing, gill net lines Purse seining

Fuel ratio (kg fuel/ kg fish) 1.0 0.6 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.07

By assessing the amount of fuel used per dollar or kg of fish caught, you can assess options and effects of changes.

Assess effects of operational changes

Accurate record keeping allows comparison between different operating behaviours. For example, different steaming and trawling speeds, the distances to fishing grounds or mussel lines, and target species.

Assess the effect of technical changes

To assess the effects of technical changes, for example a new engine, propeller, or anti-foul system, it is essential to have a baseline to compare against. With a baseline, you can compare any new technologies trialled with the vessels old performance and then calculate the fuel savings. The baseline will be the known fuel use for a given set of operating parameters. Try not to change too many things at once if you want to judge the affect of changes. For example, to assess the effect of a new propeller, do not change the nets at the same time.

Identify problems early

With so many factors affecting fuel use such as weather and sea conditions, the amount of fish caught and operating procedures - fuel use per trip can vary a lot. However, keeping records of each trip allows you to identify trends in fuel use over time. A steady increase in fuel use for similar trips may indicate problems with the vessel, for example increased hull fouling, propeller wear or engine problems. Noticing changes means you can investigate the cause. A sudden increase in fuel use may mean something is wrong.


Speed and distance travelled

Many fishing vessels are equipped with relatively advanced navigational equipment, some of which can use GPS to log a vessels position and speed for a journey. Logging trip information can provide valuable feedback for the operator. This information can be compared to the amount of fuel used by the vessel for each trip if fuel use is not monitored by a flowmeter.

Example of GPS Plot in Google Earth Software

If your navigation system doesnt log position, distances, or average speeds, consider buying an inexpensive GPS logger. They can be bought for several hundred dollars and can upload data to Microsoft Excel for analysis or display the information on software such as Google Earth. An example of how this data displays on Google Earth is shown in the following figure. Data uploaded to Microsoft Excel can be used to make speed, distance and fuel economy graphs. The following graph shows the logged speed as a trawler goes from steaming to trawling.

Speed vs. Time


Electricity use
Electricity generation can account for up to 30% of a vessels fuel use, yet the cost of electricity is frequently overlooked because there is often no easy way to measure it. Measuring and monitoring electricity use will give you a better understanding of where the onboard electricity is going and allows targeting of specific areas for improvement. Making an energy footprint chart can help clarify where electricity is being used. If something goes wrong with one of the systems, for example refrigeration, theres a good chance it will show up in long-term tracking of energy use. Properly monitoring a vessel electricity use requires two key steps: Installing a kWh check meter on the genset Compiling an electricity use footprint

Installing a kWh check meter

Installing a kWh check meter on the genset shows exactly how much electricity it is producing. A basic kWh check meter costs about $500 to buy and install. This allows you to take regular readings, say for every day while at sea. The information can also help estimate the gensets average efficiency and fuel use see the section on electricity use. Keeping an eye on trends overtime will help you detect changes in electricity use and signify when investigation is required.

Compile an energy footprint

With a check meter installed, you know exactly how much electricity the vessel is using. The energy footprint helps show where the electricity is going. Make a list of the vessels electrical devices and their rated power. Use the following list to get the estimated energy use for each kind of equipment - unless there is reason to believe it is different. Electric Motors Cooking Devices Lighting Electronic Devices Rated Power x 0.8 x Operating Hours Rated Power x 0.75 x Operating Hours Rated Power x Operating Hours Rated Power x 0.5 x Operating Hours

Electrically Heated Hot Water Number of Showers x 2kWh For a trip, compare the total calculated consumption to what has been recorded by the kWh check meter. Hopefully, the two figures will be fairly close. If not, try rethinking the operating hours of the equipment or seeing if you have missed anything. Example electrical energy footprints are shown below. This will vary depending on vessel type and the equipment installed.

Large Trawler - Energy NZ

Purse Seiner Thomas G


Trip Record Sheet

$1.06/L $1.25/t $6,625 Tanks filled

Trip Date: Date Cost Item Cost Comment




650 litres

Record sheets



11 tonnes

Strart of Trip End of Trip

Net hours Comment

Main Engine Hours

Auxillary Engine Hours

Hydraulic Engine Hours

Time and Date


Trip start

Some example record sheets are shown below. You can download sheets to use at www.seafood.co.nz/ energyefficiency

Trip finish

Net length of trip


Trip Revenue Record Sheet

Trip Departure Date:





Total Trip kg Fish:

Total Trip Revenue

Crew Share
Crew Member Share

Total Crew Share:

Net Trip Revenue:

Fuel used for trip Kg Fish/litre of fuel $ Fish/litre of Fuel


Month: Quantity Price Cost Comment

Maintenance Cost Record Sheet


Cost Item

Monthly Total


Electricity Footprint Record Sheet

Equipment Rated Power (kW) Load Factor* (%) Operating Hours (hours) Power Used (kWh)

Example: Refrigeration unit






A Guide to Energy Efficiency on Board your Vessel

Acknowledgements The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council would like to thank those who assisted in the development of this handbook, and in particular, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and Andy Logue and Michael Henry from Energy New Zealand.

Copyright 2010 The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Ltd ISBN 978-0-473-17064-6