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Fuel Prices Keep Boats Close to Shore
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Oyster Point Marina, New Haven: Photo by Diane OrsonOyster Point Marina, New Haven: Photo by Diane OrsonSoaring gas prices are not only keeping more vacationers closer to home this summer, they’re keeping more boat owners closer to shore. WNPR’s Diane Orson visited marinas along the coast to see how fuel prices are affecting Connecticut boaters.

"Gonna take around 60 or 70 gallons..around $4.75 a gallon."

Tony Cottiero is filling up the gas tank for his boat, The Mister Sea at the Oyster Point Marina in New Haven. Its a 26' Sea Swirl with twin outboard engines. Cottiero says its been a slow summer on the water especially on weekdays. Lots of folks are keeping their boats right in the slip, treating them like floating summer cottages because its just too expensive to cast off.

"New Haven to Mystic it could cost you round trip about $350, $400. Its amazing. Going over to Port Jeff is about $150 dollars and over to Mattatuck is about $200.

"Its changed the way they’ve used their boat."

Nancy Boddick is president of Milford Boat Works. She says many boaters at her marina are not traveling as far this summer.

Nancy Boddick, president Milford Boat Works: Photo by Diane OrsonNancy Boddick, president Milford Boat Works: Photo by Diane Orson
"They may not run to Huntington for the weekend. They may just go enjoy their boat on Charles Island which is just a mile off-shore from Milford."

Mike Anderson is president of the American Boating Association. He says gas prices are making it especially hard for middle class families to enjoy their boats.

"And to trailer it to the water probably towing it there with an SUV, and when you’re towing that boat you’re probably getting pretty bad gas mileage there too."

But he says boating is a lifestyle and people will find a way to make it work.

"What we’re hearing is that people are just kinda sticking to the same budget they’ve had for boating, and that’s just not going as far as it used to."

Boat sales are down and fuel on the water runs about 20% higher than the corner gas station..but even that can’t sink boating in Connecticut.