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Boaters feeling the pinch

High gas prices aren’t just affecting drivers, they’ve also kept many boaters off the lake.
“It was slower over Labor Day than usual,” said Allan Hobbs, dock manger at Westport Marina. “I think the high gas prices had something to do with it.”
And even with the boat traffic the marina did experience, Hobbs said he could only offer gas in limited supply.
“We were scared we would run out of gas,” he said.
Patrons were restricted to 30 to 50 gallons a pop.
When the gas scare occurred, boaters saw prices jump. Westport Marina, which charged $2.99 per gallon, was forced to raise the price to $3.89. Now it’s dropped down to $3.69.
Eb Pyle, owner of Long Island Marina, said he has also noticed a decline in the number of boaters on the lake.
“That seems pretty normal though because the kids are back in school and football has started,” Pyle said.
Long Island Marina is charging $3.56 a gallon for plus gasoline.
Pyle said during his 20 years of service at the marina, he has never seen gas this high.
“A year ago it was $1 a gallon,” he said.
Gas prices have gone up so fast, in fact, that Pyle said he has found it hard to keep track of the changes.
The gas pumps that the marina has don’t even go up to $3, he said.
“I have to tell people that what they see is only half of what they will pay,” Pyle said.
With the boating season winding down, boaters will gradually come off the lake. But there are still those who enjoy the trip on the weekends.
“Everybody feels like this can’t go on,” Pyle said. “We hope the gas will come down. I have my fingers crossed.”
by Amy Wadsworth

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