Of all the factors that impact boating costs, one of the most disheartening in recent years has been the higher fuel costs. Fortunately boat insurance rates have not risen at the same staggering rates. In fact with today’s boat insurance rates many boat owners burn more in fuel than they spend on insurance in a few tanks. Analysts predict that this year fuel costs will continue to rise just as they have the last few years, which can really impact boaters.
There are several websites and a couple of apps that share updated fuel prices in various areas of the United States, but the problem is that often the information is not current or is limited to mainly for coastal areas leaving inland lake boaters out of the loop. This unfulfilled promise of great information is frustrating because it would be so useful to get current information. Unlike gas stations for cars, marine fuel docks don’t often post their prices so you can easily check before you pull over.
If you have a cruising boat that can travel a substantial distance between filling the tank you’re lucky; others have to do a little pre-planning to get the best prices. Most boaters commenting online recommend calling ahead to marinas to check their marine fuel costs rather than sifting through website information that hasn’t been updated within the last week – especially given that marine gas prices sometimes fluctuate daily. With marine gas priced at up to a dollar a gallon more than automobile gasoline, it pays to check ahead to see where you can get the best deal.
Don’t forget to ask whether the price you are quoted includes sales tax. Also check to see if the marina offers any other incentives that might take the sting out of the increased cost for fuel because some offer a free night dockage if you eat in their restaurant.
Is there anything you can do to enjoy boating and save on fuel costs other than shop around? Yes. Refer to your owner’s manual or boat specifications to figure out the most economical cruising speed, which will also be the most fuel-efficient. Many powerboats have a top speed, which, if exceeded, will require significantly more power from the engine. When you push the throttle and use more power that means you’re burning more fuel. Another strategy is to enjoy more time on your boat at anchor, rather than cruising although this is a disheartening thought for many captains.
Whatever you do, don’t skip out on your boat insurance or allow your boat to go underinsured. You can however shop boat insurance rates by working with a specialized boat insurance company like Global Marine Insurance, we will do the hunting for you. Taking a qualified boating course will often earn you a discount on your boat insurance rates while helping you become a better captain. Maintaining a good driving record, sticking to inland lakes can also lower your boat insurance rates without compromising the value of your policy.
In addition to fuel and boat insurance rates there are other prices to consider. You’ll have decisions to make regarding storage, docking fees, maintenance, water sports and safety equipment. You might not be looking forward to these other expenses but they do provide additional opportunities for cutting costs. Perhaps store your boat trailered in your yard or a storage unit rather than pay for marina storage. Learn to do basic boat maintenance yourself or opt for a less expensive boat so there is more money left in your budget for fuel and other expenses.
Interested in getting a boat insurance quote or comparing boat insurance rates? Contact Global Marine Insurance for information about all types of boat insurance.