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Gas Prices Soar for Boaters

Posted May 28, 2007

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— If you are heading to the beach this summer, you are probably already planning to spend more on gas to get you there. Once you are there, prepare to get hit again at the pumps.

Every year, for more than half a decade, Andrea Kephart and Ron Walker have chartered the same fishing boat, the Native Son, for a fishing adventure.

“The fishing’s been excellent, no doubt, we wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Kephart said.

But this year, they’ll need to fish a little deeper in their bank account to pay for it. The cost of fuel keeps going up -- a lesson charter boat Capt. D.M. Gray knows all too well.

“I bought this boat about 10 years ago. When I bought this boat we were paying 99 cents a gallon for fuel,” Gray said.

Now, the price of Gray's diesel fuel has nearly tripled.

“Well, our business is definitely been hurt in the last two or three years since the prices have really gone up. People just can’t drive here … everything is just more expensive. It’s definitely affected us,” Gray said.

“This is our seventh year coming out with D.M.,” Kephart said. “We’ve seen the prices go up in that timeframe about $200.

“We’ve had to budget additional dollars just for our gasoline to drive up here,” Kephart said.

Recreational boaters are feeling the pitch at the pump as well. But with tens of thousands of dollars tied up in their boat, they said it doesn’t make sense not to put it in the water.

Davis Compton trailered his boat to Hatteras from the western part of the state.

“I can’t afford not to put it in. I enjoy it too much.” Compton said. “Regardless of the price of gas, I’m still gonna pay, but it may limit the amount of trips I take.“

Scott Caldwell, who runs a small charter service, said the biggest expense to run his boat is fuel. He said his profit depends on one thing.

“The less I spend on fuel, the more I get to put in my pocket,” he said.

Gray said he’ll use 85 to 100 gallons of fuel a day to run his boat. That fuel adds up quickly to a lot of money -- money he knows will be tough to reel in from some customers.

23 Comments

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  • Deep thoughts May 29, 2007

    Oil Company $$$ + Federal Tax $$$ + State Tax $$$ = POVERTY!

  • houndsforme May 29, 2007

    While it is true that gas prices in general are obviously on the rise, gas prices at marinas are rising more sharply. This is simply an affect of supply and demand. The primary problem is access to fuel. Standards for fuel containment at marinas is higher than that of a typical gas station. As such, the cost is much higher. The result is fewer marinas are selling gas now as compared to the past. In the Wrightsville Beach area I know of two marinas that have stopped selling fuel in the past year. The cost of maintaining there facilities became cost prohibitive relevant to the proffits made. So, demand remains the same or increases while the supply decreases. What happens then? Prices increase significantly. So, if you are towing your boat to the beach, fuel it before you hit the water. My understanding is that marinas were charging ~$4 per gallon this past weekend.

  • Sidekick May 29, 2007

    Quite frankly, I haven't seen the price of gas slow anyone down, for any reason: boating, SUVs going 80+, and if they have the money or a credit card to purchse, most people will still do what they want, regardless of the price of gas.

  • batcave May 29, 2007

    I agree with soldier medic, thats a dumb observation. I mean you can compile a huge list of things we dont really need. art cable satellite sports media golf booze smokes parks bikes.

  • daMoFo May 29, 2007

    And BTW, the oil companies were deregulated under President Reagan. Refineries are not being built because state and federal regulators will not allow them to be due to pressure from environmental groups.

  • daMoFo May 29, 2007

    Oil companies are not preventing new refineries from being built in the US. Environmentalists are. The last refinery built in the US was at Garyville, La in 1976. Our refineries are at full capacity which means higher prices.

    The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents/gallon. North Carolina makes another 30.2 cents/gallon approximately. Plus, the NC gas tax is on a sliding scale so as the price goes up, so does the NC gas tax. Oil companies make about 10 cents/gallon.

    Consumers are not being "gouged" by the oil companies. The government, state and federal, have investigated the oil companies many times and never found price fixing.

  • shine May 29, 2007

    My guess is the state and federal tax was pretty much the same when gas was around $2 six months ago. The oil companies first need to be DEREGULATED and let some of these new investment groups build some new refineries and create some competition. Don't think the "big" four or five in the oil cartel aren't communicating on a daily basis. Its called price fixing. Dont beleive these guys are making any money? Look at their last year P & L or last quarter for that measure.

  • Humungous May 29, 2007

    Proof reading is good. Please excuse the typos. I went to grammar school in Texas.

  • Humungous May 29, 2007

    IIt sounds a lot like childfree_in_rdu -at- hotmail -dot- com has a bad taste in his/her mouth. Did someone entertaining your spouse that likes to fish?

    The old-school way of complaining is (was) a simple process; if you have a problem with the way something is done, then respond with a solution instead of a myth. Now days you don't even have to be smart to be a king. The U.S. does it every day.

  • batcave May 29, 2007

    Some guy from western nc hauling his boat to the coast and his" additude," has nothing to do with the price of gas. Thats the worst comment I have heard yet. its called china, india.

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