Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gas Prices Going Up - But Not Like Last Year

As we quickly approach the Memorial Day Weekend, gas prices began to shoot up over this past few days, but does that mean we are in for a summer of high fuel costs? I had just noticed today on our web page's real-time Nationwide Gas Price widget that it had just gone over $3.00 a gallon, which I question. Prices are not that high yet where I am (Ohio) and frankly, I am checking with the widget creator to see where they get their data - which shows prices being significantly higher than either the AAA site or even the U.S. Energy Dept. sites. As a result, we have temporarily removed the widget, which isn't useful if it isn't accurate.

For the past six months or more, we've been enjoying lower prices at the pump. But according to reports, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in the U.S. climbed $0.14 last week. The national average is now between $2.24 - $2.40 a gallon. The cost has been rising steadily over the last week and a half; one reason is that oil is now up to $54 a barrel and refineries are switching to a more expensive summer blend, for the summer driving season.
Most boaters don't think things are too bad - especially when compared to last year. And it's no secret that - at least for performance boaters, - gas is just a "lifestyle cost" that they are simply willing to absorb. Last year, it cost more than $4.75 a gallon to gas up a boat, but even that didn't keep most people out of the water. Sure, I swallowed hard when I pulled up to the pump with a 100 gallon tank to fill, but that's not the story now, even if prices at the marina are a little higher than at the corner station.
In Cincinnati, for example, the price on Monday for 89 octane gasoline at the marina was $2.90 a gallon; and diesel fuel a dime more. There, the lower prices are fueling optimism among boaters and city officials, so marinas and could see an uptick in business this summer. In fact, the biggest factor affecting boating right now is the economy, which has forced some people to sell their boats, or at least cut back on planned vacations. Many boaters will be staying closer to home - so for diffferent reasons, this summer may look very much like last year after all. Drop us a line and let us know how the economy is affecting your summer boating plans.

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