Will high Gasoline prices KILL Power Boating?

I ask because prices for boat fuel were always $1.50-$2.00 MORE pergallon, at the gas dock. So, that means the boaters will be paying close to $6.00/gallon. Is this the point of resistance?
Another ominous clue-for years (in the Boston area) marina slips were simply unobtainable-you had to wait YEARS to get one. Now, the papaers are advertising them!

What percentage does the price of fuel constitute compared to the purchase, maintenance, and goodies for power boats?

What exactly do you mean by “the point of resistance”?

Hey ralph124c

FINALLY! Something I really care about.

I was thinking about trading up my Four Winns 328 to a 348, but unless it comes with IPS drives, because of gas prices, it’s really hard to justify the change.

You’re right about slip availability. My marina is getting ready to put my boat in the water for the season and was told they have a 30% slip availability rate. Last year they had no available slips all season. My finger pier mate won’t be back this year, and the marina asked if I know anyone looking for a slip…of course I don’t see them lowering their slip prices, but at some point that writing will be on the wall for them as well.

I haven’t gassed-up yet, as I ended last season with three-quarters in both tanks. I was just at the Marina Saturday. I don’t know why I didn’t look over at the gas dock to see what the current prices are, but I’m sure they’re not good.

A lot of my acquaintences at the marina say they’re not going to be taking any long trips this summer and may restrict themselves to sitting at the dock. When it costs $800-$900 to fill your tanks you priorities do tend to change.

My marina is on the Jersey side of the Delaware River. Last year I went through the C&D a couple of times into the Chesapeake. We may be a dying breed if gas prices don’t stabilize.

By the way, If you don’t already have one, get an account at TheBoaters.com. There are boaters from all over the US on that site. It’s a great site with a lot of informed folks. Hope to see you there.

My question too. A boat owner is presumably paying a decent amount of money for owning a boat even if it never leaves the dock. Presumably, an owner is going to use the boat enough to make that expenditure worthwhile by his/her standards, or sell the boat.

Probably a ripple effect of a bad economy. If you can afford the boat, the fuel would seem to be an incremental cost.

That depends on a lot of factors, Santo Rugger. For example, if you trailer your boat to and from the dock, you’re paying a lot more for gas than someone who slips. MSRP on boats now means almost nothing. You can get a new boat for approximately 45% of MSRP if your negotiate-fu is strong. Goodies on a new boat can (and should) be part of the negotiation. Goodies on used boats will cost you an arm and a leg because you’re stuck with either going with the dealer, who rapes you, or with a retailer, who has high overhead. But you can forego the goodies and still enjoy the boating experience. Maintenance, on the other hand, is a must, expensive, and there’s no way to get away from it, other than to neglect the boat. And if your marina closes for the winter like mine does, you’re talking an extra few thousand to haul out, block, winterize, wrap, and store for six months.

The bottom line for me is my seasonal costs break down to approximately 50% for gas and 50% for everything else.

And don’t forget about insurance costs, licenses, coast guard certifications, etc…

You’re correct, RTFirefly. When the cost of the boat is factored in, I’d say approximately 65% to 75% of your total costs are incurred even if you never take the boat out.

I presume he means the point at which boat owners decide not to buy gas. You don’t need much gas at all if you stay at the dock, or none at all if you have shore line power. The end of last season I began to notice lots of folks coming to the marina but not taking the boat out at all. They still had fun. After all, they’re on their boat, on the water, a nice breeze wafting by, with lots of sites to see. You’re in FLorida, aren’t you, BrainGlutton? You guys have marinas up the wazzoo, and nice ones. Surely you’ve been to a marina or two and can attest to the pure joy of just being there. :slight_smile:

Ah. I thought he might mean the point at which they get mad and make some kind of political protest over the price of gas, as commercial truck drivers have recently done in D.C. Which, in the case of recreational boaters, at least, would make for rather a ridiculous spectacle.

Around here, it’s the point where a whole bunch of boats go up on Craigslist. Lots of em up there now. I think (based on fairly limited observations) that boats have been going through the same kind of “SUV” inflation that cars have gone through in recent years. You’d see boats with dual 250+ HP engines pulling up to the boat ramps. Those aren’t exactly gas sippers. Like car owners, a lot of people are going to be looking to downsize. And there are going to be some sweet bargains in some very expensive bath toys for the next few years.

And the “if they can afford the boat, they can afford the gas” argument doesn’t really hold – a lot of boat owners are lower/middle income folk who splurged.
$100 for a day of fishing and screwing around on the water is do-able. Multiply that by three or four and you’re talking some real money.

Yep. Yachtworld has over 120,000 boats listed for sale now. I don’t know if that’s a record, but I’m sure it’s going to be higher by Summer.

Most of those folks aren’t slip renters anyway, at least not at my marina, but yeah, I expect to see many fewer folks at the ramps this season.

As the old joke goes, a boat is a hole in the water you pour your money into.

I know firsthand, however, that fuel efficiency is something the boat engine manufacturers are concerned about. They’ll respond to fuel prices with more efficient engines.

If there’s a current excess of slippage and used boats for sale, that isn’t necessarily (directly) connected to gasoline prices. Recreational boating is a luxury item with a high elasticity of demand. Ominous economic news and hard times always tend to be associated with a dropoff in the boat industry.

[arrogant sailing hat]
I will run rings around you while you sit there lacking precious fuel!!!
[arrogant sailing hat]

One thing I always loved about sailing - the fuel cost was nothing - just needed enough to get out of the harbor / marina.

That would be my view as well. A year or two ago there was a local article about all the $1 million luxury boat owners on the St. Croix whining about the high cost ($4 a gallon) of fuel and how, at ONE MPG, they couldn’t afford to take their boats out anymore.

My thoughts were;

1> Break out the nanoviolins for the filthy rich boat owners*.
2> If you can afford a $1,000,000 boat, $4 a gallon isn’t that much.
3> 1 mpg. Muahaha!

  • These are the people who spend thousands of dollars, TENS of thousands of dollars, to buy luxury boxes at sporting events, and they’re whining about having to spend a couple hundred to cruise up and down the river???
    But the point per the OP is that this was already an issue a while back and will only get worse with higher fuel costs.

You said it, man. There is absolutely nothing practical about this hobby. I still love it :smiley:

I like the direction Volvo is headed.

True, but indications are this year gas prices will have a significant impact as well. It doesn’t help that the economy is in a slump. I predict many amazing deals suddenly presenting themselves within the next few months for those who’ve been waiting for boat prices to drop.

What are the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life?

The day he buys the boat; and the day he sells the boat

True. You guys have it great. Minimal fuel expenditure, no worries about running out of gas, and some of your boats are absolutely beautiful. We had a guy last year take ownership of a brand spanking new Beneteau Oceanis 43. I was drooling so much I had a puddle at my feet. He let some of us into the cabin. I knew right then that heaven couldn’t possibly be better than this boat. It was amazing.

I chartered a Beneteau a decade or so ago. Picked it up in Ft. Lauderdale, motored down to Miami, hit Miami at dawn then ran a beatiful line all the way to Bahamas customs. Spent 2 weeks sailing around the islands and then sailed back. I would like to think that it was my lovely physique that had people snapping shots avery time they grew near - but in my heart-of-hearts I know it was the boat. Best run was a cruise ship that passed us out of Nasau where I swear the entire Starboard side was covered in retirees with cameras.

I would KILL for another of those. I spend my time on J boats (for racing) and Catalinas (for cruising) or Hunters (for diving). I find it to be a lot cheaper to rent from the yacht club than to own.

Can’t believe I didn’t see this thread. I’ve got a big Grady Marlin and I bitch about the pricing every summer. This summer will be no different. I keep 50 gallons in the hold at all times, as that’s enough to get out to Fisher’s Island and back…or if we go to Montauk I can refuel at Fisher’s without having to break out the trolling motor to save us [which we just had to do a couple weekends ago :frowning: ]

I fish a lot in the summer, and I pretty much stay in little narragansett bay and fisher’s lsland sound - which if you google any of those you’ll see it’s not exactly a huge place but if we go out to Block Island then we’re looking at a $1000 weekend easy. The Vinyard or Nantucket forget it - if you want to go up there with me you’ve got to meet me half way with fuel… :smiley: