TOPIC: Fuel Prices (Updated: May 1, 2008)
Please contact NMMA’s Ellen Hopkins (312-946-6249) or Kelly Kaylor (312-946-6262) with questions.
NMMA Expert: Thom Dammrich, President
Media may be interested in speaking directly to dealers, marina operators and consumers in local markets about this issue. In addition, you may want to identify customers who can speak to the media about their boating habits.
In spite of rising gas prices, operating a boat is actually less expensive.
With today’s innovative boat and engine
technologies, new boats and engines are 50 percent more fuel
efficient than they were just a decade ago.
In 2007, boating participation increased nearly two percent to 59.1 million adults despite the high gas prices we experienced during the summer of 2007.
• Only three percent of boat owners did not take their boats on the water in 2007 because of gas prices.
• Just one percent of boat owners said they did not plan to use their boat in 2008 due to the cost of fuel.
• In fact, for most boaters good weather and favorable boating conditions overshadow fuel prices when it
comes to determining whether to hit the water. (Certified ValvTech Marinas, 2007)
• Most boating doesn’t involve running the engine and using fuel. Anchoring away from shore to enjoy swimming, fishing, and relaxing with friends and family provides all the benefits of boating without using gas (except to get to and from your favorite anchoring spot).
With rising gas prices and the environment top of mind for today’s consumer, boaters are using their boats in different ways than in years past.
• Boaters are considering ways to reduce fuel consumption while on the water, including reducing cruising speed, tuning the engine and taking shorter trips. They’ll throttle back, watch their gas consumption more closely and take their time getting to their destination.
• Unlike driving a car, a boat’s engine is often idling or turned off while anchoring, fishing, floating or at the dock (all of which are some of boaters’ favorite on-the-water activities).
• Over the past three years, boaters have been using their boats as often as ever (between 32-33 days—or 16 weekends—over the course of a year has been the average over the past three years).
• Boaters aren’t boating less. They’re running their engines less and are enjoying all the benefits of the boating lifestyle without using fuel.
• An average size powerboat uses about 20 gallons of gas over an entire weekend. A $1 increase in gas means they will spend just $20 more.
• Boating is more than a recreational activity, it’s a lifestyle. Rising gas prices are unlikely to put a stop to boating enthusiasts’ way of life.
The typical boater uses his or her vessel about 75 hours a season.
• Ninety-five percent of boats on the water today are under 26’ in length. These crafts do not require exorbitant amounts of gas. In fact, 64 percent of boaters say they purchase less than fifty gallons of gas per season—roughly two trips to the gas station to fill up an SUV or minivan.1
Fuel Saving Tips
Visit DiscoverBoating.com for additional tips on reducing fuel usage.
• Slower speeds on the water will reduce fuel use.
• The proper use of trim tabs reduce drag, especially while accelerating up to planning speeds.
• Minimize the amount of time that you idle at the dock.
• Minimize the use of onboard generators.
• Use dock-side electrical power in lieu of generators.
• Have a float plan so you know exactly where you’re going.
• Make sure the hull is clean.
• Don't under-power your boat. It's important you have enough motor to handle the load.
• Check your propeller. If your boat is slow "out of the hole" or lacks top-end speed, you might have the wrong propeller.
• A well-tuned engine uses less fuel.
• Use the grade of gasoline specified by the engine manufacturer.