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Old 22-04-2008, 04:30   #1
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Fuel Cost Rising

How is the rising cost of fuel effecting your sailing? Do gen sets seem less appealing?

Are you expecting fewer power boat wakes? ... more slips available and pick up moorings?

I spoke with a power boat fella who told me he did a 35 mile round trip to Block Island in his fathers power boat (40+ feet) and the fuel costs were more than $500. That is an expensive little jaunt!

If we motored back and forth it would be maybe $30.

I expect to see a very different scene this coming summer in Southern New England.
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Old 22-04-2008, 04:44   #2
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Hi,

We have two 200 gallon tanks (Carver 42SS). We used 200 gallons of fuel coming from Naples to Miami about a month ago. Filled her up (added 200 gallons) and the bill came to about a grand.

Next week, we'll be going down to Key West. Projections are about $2,500 in fuel costs alone.

I started a thread in the Motor Boat 'room' called 'Alternative Fuels' as we're looking for ways to cut this price. So far, have received a couple of good inputs and would encourage others to add their thoughts as I think everyone can benifit.

We have a lot of 'Battlewagons' (charter fishing boats) down here. The increased fuel cost is just being added to the price of the charter. However, there are a lot of powerboats for sale down here and some pretty good deals can be had.

I think the days of diesel power is quickly ending and we'll start to see a shift to alternative fuels. The only stumbling block seems to be infrastructure issues. Conversion costs (for an automobile) is less than $500. But getting Veg Oil or some alternative down to the boat in 55 gallon drums is a much larger undertaking than driving the Jetta over to the local fast food joint and asking for their used oil.

Sounds like a business opportunity to me!

Lee and Terry
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Old 22-04-2008, 05:16   #3
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This weekend we went to Culebra expecting the usual power boat crowds during the Puerto Rico holidays and to our surprise very few were there. When I asked around most people blamed it on the fuel cost. Upon our return back to Fajardo PR we saw several big power boats (50ft +) going at 10 knots fishing during their Culebra to Fajardo trip. A close friend did the same to save on fuel.

I guess sailboats make more and more sense.

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Old 22-04-2008, 05:27   #4
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Having paid $4.86 per gallon near Charleston for diesel yesterday, I can safely say that this is getting a little insane.

Since I've always been a sailor (not of the Australian kind!! ha ha), the price isn't affecting me, other than to say that if I can go a min of 3 knots under sail in a given wind condition, I'm doing it. The diesels don't come on unless I'm in close quarters or can't get more than 3 knots under sail.

I expect sailboats will continue to outpace power boats in growing popularity for those retiring into the dream. Good news for us owners, as the values of the used boats won't be dropping muich.

Speaking directly to gensets:

I did all my calculations on genset vs. solar and wind at $5 per gallon diesel. It was still cheaper over the first 10 years to run a dedicated genset. Trouble is... solar and wind products for boats are overpriced for the amount of energy they deliver. The $ per kilowatt is high in that first 10 years.

That said, I now am relying heavily on solar and wind power since I didn't have to make that up-front investment in all the expensive stuff. It was already on the boat. I do have a backup generator (little cheap gas version) but I haven't had to use it much.
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Old 22-04-2008, 06:11   #5
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Hate to say it but the price of fuel will be going up further. Simply said: supply and demand in a free market are driving this and now China and India are in the market in a big way.

I look around here, the midwest, and the number of 40 foot power boats on the market is staggering. The problem is, no one wants the things. There is a big Viking at the marina where we haul, we were told that the fuel cost to run to the islands and back ~200 miles is $4k. That puts a damper on using the boat, go somewhere every other weekend and you'll spend $40 to $50k running the boat for a summer.

The price of used boats should also begin to rise since the resins used to make a boat are largely petroleum driven. New boat costs will continue to escalate, as an example, the new Etap 28 sells for $150k plus delivery, comisionioning, taxes. I remember as a kid the family racer cruiser sold for $15k, those days are gone.

We'll see a sea of changes here in the US now that we are catching up with those who have always paid big bucks for fuel. Go to Europe and walk the marinas, you will see very few powerboats owned by the average joe. Everyone that want to be on the water sails. Last month in the Caribbean I think I saw three ~35 foot powerboats out in 3 days of sailing, go figure, fuel was $8 per gallon.

The winds of change are blowing for sure: be glad you are a sailor, be very glad if you already own the boat you want.

Joli
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Old 22-04-2008, 06:25   #6
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Old 22-04-2008, 07:03   #7
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Yesterday in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas I bought 10 gals diesel and 5 gals of gas for $93.00!!!
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Old 22-04-2008, 11:30   #8
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I haven't noticed slips being all that much easier to come by (yet?). Maybe folks are still 'hoping'? Or maybe more are resigned to 'boating' at the dock?
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Old 22-04-2008, 11:36   #9
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For those of us that have sailboats. This extra cost will surely make us MUCH better sailors
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Old 22-04-2008, 11:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
For those of us that have sailboats. This extra cost will surely make us MUCH better sailors
Really have to agree there. We are just a few days from heading out on our next extended cruise and are making plans based on the best sailing conditions where we used to not worry about it and fire up the engine even though we only burn about 1/2 to 3/4 gallon per hour.
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Old 22-04-2008, 11:38   #11
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Fuel in Europe

the actual prices for diesel arround Europe is arround 1.88USD a liter.
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Old 22-04-2008, 11:42   #12
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Hi all

Have we actually designated a "grave yard" for all these, now defunct or shortly tobe, motor yachts yet. May be able to get a few cheap bits and pieces.
Steve
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Old 22-04-2008, 11:49   #13
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Chuck,

Where are you, and where are you headed? I am leaving June 1st for 3 weeks in the Bahamas. As I posted in another thread. I am going to maximize my spinnaker usage, and settle for 4-6 knots instead of firing up the iron to get there. I'll burn fuel during dead calms, and docking......LOL
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Old 22-04-2008, 11:59   #14
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Dear chuck

I'm in Prtugal in the west coast at Cascais marina, and also maximise my spinnaker (7 Knots) with 12Knots of wind. and I'm really felling a "PIMP OF THE WIND". lol
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Old 22-04-2008, 16:25   #15
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Higher fuel charges should not be a problem...All we have to do is go into our employer and ask that he triple our wages...Problem solved!
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