High gas prices impacting charter businesses, boaters

Published: March 17, 2022 5:58 PM EDT
Updated: March 17, 2022 6:18 PM EDT

The surge at the pump is hitting more than just drivers on the roads. Charter boat captains are struggling to get out on the water as prices to fill up for them have doubled since last summer.

“It’s gone up 150 to 200 dollars per boat,” said Boat Captain Wes Bedell.

Boaters fueling up at the dock saw prices double over the past few weeks. “We’re running every day, and this is how we put food on the table. We, me, I’m a one man show so the impact is really intensive,” said Boat Captain Anthony J. Vernieri.

Vernieri runs the Blue Dahlia Private Charters. He said his boat carries 220 gallons of fuel, costing him more than $1,3000 to fill up the tank.

He says another financial hit the cost to service the boat is products like petroleum and oil are also pricey. “We are doing what we can to try to minimize impact to our clients coming out in the water. Because we want them to have a great day out in the water and not worry about a fuel surge charge,” said Vernieri.

Vernieri said he had to tweak prices, but it doesn’t match the fuel rate soar. He said earlier this year it cost a little over $3, last week $5.19, on Thursday, more than $6 a gallon. “Obviously, it’s not ideal, you know. It hurts the pockets,” said Boat Captain Stanley Bryant.

Boaters hope the prices can return to somewhat normal to go back to enjoying a beautiful day at sea without leaving a hole in their pocket.