Local News

Boaters try to keep afloat with high gas prices

Posted March 23, 2008 10:47 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2011 9:28 a.m. EDT

— Rising gas prices are hitting boaters hard this spring. The national average price for gasoline rose 7 cents over the last two weeks, according to the Lundberg Survey.

"It's the price you pay. It's just the way it is,” boater Steve Dunlap said.

Dunlap was among those spending Sunday on Jordan Lake.

"It (his boat) doesn't get very good gas mileage. It's a gas guzzler,” he said.

It cost as much as $120 dollars to fill up Dunlap's boat.

"I was in paying for the sodas and the candy bars and he was paying for the gas, so I was OK with it,” boater Rob Wiggins said as he laughed about getting off easy at the checkout.

Wiggins was visiting Dunlap for a weekend of fishing.

"With these recent rains, I guess, it's almost normal now. So it's good to see it (Jordan Lake) back,” Dunlap said.

The lake has remained full throughout the ongoing drought. At 3 feet above normal, boaters didn't fear hitting stumps and rocks as they rode Jordan Lake Sunday.

"We don't do much riding. We mostly go out and park,” boater Larry McEachern said.

Being conservative with gas, McEachern says he can take three to four boat trips on a $50 tank.

"We try to ignore it (gas prices). It's kind of one them things like you know you've got to have it, so why make any noise about it,” he said.

“I think that's what this gas is doing. The people with pleasure boats that are up and down, up and down on a Saturday and Sunday that do it all weekend long, you may see them do it one day a week now,” Wiggins said.

The national average price of self-serve regular gasoline on Friday was $3.26 a gallon.

AAA officials said they expect the cost of gasoline to continue to rise in the coming months.

"We expect gasoline prices to continue their upward spiral between now and Memorial Day," David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas, said. "Refineries retool in the spring for burning cleaner summer-blend gasoline and regular maintenance at a time when driving usually increases."

Parsons, though, doubted that prices would reach $4 a gallon in North Carolina, saying drivers would likely spend less time behind the wheel as prices rise.