Boating bane: higher gas & mooring prices

Stories presage problems at the pumps for boaters this summer

As every boater knows, the gas prices at marinas are always much higher than at your local gas station. That's why you see so many five gallon gas cans in the backs of local pick-ups. This summer the difference may be astronomical with prices already running 50 cents a gallon above last summer. We can't lower prices, but we can show you where to find the lowest one at this web site.

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Maybe it's time to switch to a sailboat?

And as if that were not enough, higher gas prices affect the costs of running most businesses, so your local town and private marina may be rising mooring fees as well with many towns adopting a two-tier system, one for residents and another for flatlanders, while on Nantucket gas prices at the service station are already above $3 a gallon. Below are synopsises of the three stories. Click on the headlines to read the complete story;

Rising fuel prices spur predictions of change in habits 

There's no question that record-high fuel prices, already the bane of commuters, will be an unwelcome fact of life for boaters this summer, too. The question is, what will they do about it? The high cost of fuel has been the hot topic of conversation among marina owners, harbormasters, and other seafaring folk. Most say they believe the cost won't deter boaters from taking to the water. But many say it may change their maritime habits - perhaps reducing the amount of boat traffic New Englanders will see this summer.

''We're expecting the boats will be used as summer cottages instead of what they're intended for," said Lauren Leduc Lemieux, the accounts manager at Barden's Boat Yard in Marion... "I'm sure it's going to make a difference in how much they run their boats," said Charlie Hale, the dockmaster at Brewer Plymouth Marine, where gasoline costs $3 a gallon, and diesel is $2.48. (You can click on the headline to read the entire Globe story.)

Law ordering single rate could boost fee for some boaters

Say the words ''mooring fee" to Marion Harbormaster Charles Bradley, and he laughs long and hard. To boaters who have to pay them, there is nothing funny about the seasonal fee - especially this year, when substantially higher fuel prices are already sinking the enthusiasm of many boat owners.

The Cape & Islands Harbormasters Association has not taken a position on the issue

Like several other area communities, Marion has a two-tier fee system, with nonresidents paying $75 more than local property owners... But in nearby Hingham, officials say they have no intention of changing their two-tiered rate. And if Senator Robert O'Leary, a Democrat from Barnstable, is successful in his efforts to repeal the amendment, they won't have to.... O'Leary said that's one reason he wants to repeal the change...  O'Leary owns a kayak and a Boston Whaler, but does not have a mooring, according to an aide. (You can click on the headline to read the entire Globe story.)

And things are even worse on Nantucket

In a related story in the current edition of the Nantucket Independent, that island's gas prices just zoomed to over $3. a gallon;

Gasoline prices at island pumps exceed $3 gallon

On Monday morning the cost of most grades of gas rose by several cents a gallon, especially painful on Nantucket where at On Island Gas, the cheapest local station, super edged up to $3.02, mid-grade went to $2.95 and regular sold for $2.88, nearly the highest prices in the country.

According to AAA reports updated yesterday, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas stood at $2.22 compared with $2.17 a month ago and $1.82 a year ago. In Massachusetts, drivers in the Barnstable area yesterday were paying $2.24 per gallon of regular, up two cents from Monday.... (Click the headline to read the entire story in Nantucket Independent.)

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