High Gas Prices Aren’t Affecting the Boating Industry

Fuel Prices. Image Credit: Dear Harry via Flickr.

Despite climbing gas prices, there are ways to enjoy your boat without breaking the bank.  Keeping your boat well-maintained and equipped with top-of-the-line equipment are two ways to keep your boat operating at top fuel efficiency.  A recent article from the Chicago Sun Times has a few other fuel saving suggestions:

“There are little tips you can do to save on gas mileage,” said National Marine Manufacturers Association vice president and marketing director Carl Blackwell, himself an avid boater. “If you drive your boat right, you’re not plowing through the water. It’s a much more efficient way to drive. You can also reduce the idling time. When I get to the place I’m going to go, I shut the engine off.”

Despite the fact that the price of gas has risen more than “47 percent from a year ago” the Chicago Sun Times reports that the boating industry has been largely unaffected by the recent and ongoing spike in gas prices.  Boat tours and manufacturers alike are reporting sales consistent with the previous year.

NMMA communications director tells the Sun Times that the boating industry tends to remain untouched by tough economic times:

“Despite the recession, Americans still bought boats last year, both new and used,” Hopkins said. “The majority of the boats purchased were used, which signaled to us that they weren’t willing to forego boating but that they were looking for somewhere to cut costs.”

Part of this could be due to the fact that boats are becoming increasingly fuel efficient.  In recent years boat manufactures have taken great strides to improve the output of their boats.  Many of today’s outboard engines now improve 30-40 percent better than the engines of previous years.

Another reason the boating industry remains untouched by high gas prices:  According to the article, higher gas prices make boaters want to hit the water:

Craig Wenokur, vice president of Wendella Boats, said that, in a way, the higher gas prices are helping the boating industry by causing boaters to want to escape the roads.

“High gas prices drive people out of their cars and into their boats,” Wenokur said.


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