Skip to comments.Working class boating crunch is here.
Posted on 04/09/2006 5:58:02 PM PDT by Capt. Tom
Another working man's boating disaster is on the way.
The economy is good; but the high prices of marina fuel, marina slips, boat insurance, maintenance, is going to kill boating for a lot of working people starting this coming season.
I see a repeat of the early 1990s, when I moved from the Boston area to Boston's south shore. I went to a local marina and asked to get on a waiting list for a boat slip, I knew it would take years to get in. I was laughed at, the marina operator told me he had a waiting list for slips equal to all the boats in the marina and I was wasting my time-two years later in a bad economy, they had several empty slips for the entire season.
I see this happening again. When the people in the marinas bail out for economic reasons, as I expect will start this season, many people on the waiting lists will find out they can't afford the slips,and the fuel prices either.
Non-boat owners can't relate to filling up a boat fuel tank and spending between $100 and in the case of big twin diesels in a sportfisherman a thousand dollars a fillup.
I brought a 45 Cabo, twin 800 hp diesels up from the Bahamas last spring with the owner onboard. He put $8,700 of diesel into the tanks. Now most working men don't have boats that big, and with that much horsepower,or that kind of money for fuel. I am talking about working class boaters who don't have a lot of money left over each week to pay those really high fuel bills that started last season.
Boats use a lot of fuel (1-3 mpg). If you have $3.00/gallon to deal with ashore, the boat owner has $3.30 - $3.80 to deal with in the marina.
It's not just the fuel, the rising slip fees are another factor. In my area now, they are from $100/foot to $175/foot for a boat in a slip for the season. Usually May thru Mid October.
Last season was the economic handwriting on the wall, but most boaters toughed it out. The reality of economics will take its toll this season.
I see ancedotes indicating the boating problem right now. The boat I use on charter has been in the water since the end of March; at a year round, ice free marina, that usually has 30 or so boats there this time of year. I counted 13 today. We will move out of this marina to our regular marina in mid May when it opens for the season.
I just don't see fuel prices going down. China and India need more fuel. The mideast is shaky. Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) is a lose cannon. - tom
Any Freeper boaters care to comment? Any anecdotes? How are my fellow Freepers coping with this problem. - tom
Sure am glad I have a sailboat. I might use 10 gallons at most for the whole year going out just about every weekend.
I have an 18 foot bow rider with a 120 hp merc on it. The boat is very good on gas. We use it for fishing, tubing, and for cruising. We use it on the Hudson river up in the Catskill area.
As far as the marina goes, we wouldnt touch one. We trailer it to the public launch ramp abotu 20 mins away from the house- as do most people in this area. The lauch can get crowded on weekends, but most people are patient and wait in line. My family has thought abotu gettig a larger boat, but with gas prices and the expense of docking it for the summer, we are happy with the 18 foot for now.
I boat on the allegheny river in pittsburgh. We have a Mastercraft, ski boat. I lost my Malibu in the flood of 2004 and replaced it immediately. This is a heavily boated area. While the price of gas is up, I have not noticed any appreciable decline in usage.Interestingly to me is that what I see in boat sales is that the bigger ones are selling better. The exact opposite of what you have suggested and what I would expect. I fill mine up for $60-75, they fill those tubs up for $1,000+++. I would suggest that the problem or question is different than you suggest. There use to be 200 million people in the U. S. now there are 340 million. Everyone loves the water. Some can pay.
NC coast is seeing private boating access disappear as marinas sellout to developers who upscale the property with condos.
Same with the fishing piers They're being torn down in favor of condos.
Time to go sailing
Destin and Panama City Florida will never be the same. Developers have bought marinas, boat yards, and waterfront property like crackheads looking for some cash.
Rent a private slip with elec and water for $900.00season from 4/1 to 11/30 in South Jersey. have a Johnson 88 special and always take two 6 gal. tanks with me . I can shop around because of that, and store fuel I buy at the lowest price in extra tanks.
Whoa, one of these? Had no idea what it was, so I had to look it up. Nice boat. Have always loved that style. But...sigh...I can see I'm gonna remain a landlubber for the foreseeable future! Thanks for the update.
I can assure you that this crisis has nothing to do with working class boating issues. Our Lund and Alumacraft 17 footers with Evinrude and Johnson outboards sip gas. In fact, it takes more fuel to haul them up north on the back of the truck than it does to spend a day slaughtering walleyes and northerns.
Sailboats, inboards and marina slips...pshaw!
The single most annoying thing about Lake Michigan during the summer is the "personal watercraft." And I don't mind the noise as much as the smell. When I was growing up everyone sailed Hobies. Now I can count them on one hand on a two mile walk along the beach.
Neither of my boats use a drop of gasoline. All I have to do is make sure the Marine battery is charged and I can run the trolling motor all day long.
Bass and walleyes fear me, which is at it should be.
Remember I specifically am talking about the working class boater, being affected. and that is why I made it the title of the thread.
People who are buying big boats for a million dollars or more, are not my idea of working class people,they are in another category. I have two friends who have unlimited money; higher fuel prices would not bother them - it would get more people off the roads and and off the water. More room for them. They are in a different class and lifestyle. - tom
Snook and reds are almost as good as grouper.
Happening everywhere. The unfortunate outcome, and one that city leadership is ignoring, is that once public access becomes next to impossible, whether due to lack of dining at waterfront restaurants that no longer exist, walking public piers that no longer exist, enjoying waterfront scenic views while road-tripping that no longer exist, or whatever - tourism will dollars will drop and the primary source of revenue will fall.
What once was a good thing for everyone will be just a memory as residential properties gobble up real estate. Sad ...
Take out a $75,000 loan in cash and dump the cash into the nearest body of water.
Then, when you want to actually go out on a boat ride, charter a boat and consider yourself lucky you don't actually own one of these moneypits.
The day he buys a boat, and
The day he sells it!
Do what a lot of power boaters do ... park your boat in a slip and use it as a summer cottage. Sailed in the Med a few years back ... large power yachts would travel up to 300 miles to fuel in Gibraltar ... and save enough to make it worthwhile.