Boaters feel stuck at the pumps this bank holiday weekend

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Nearly 48 million Americans spent this holiday weekend away from home.

Most decided to face the high gas prices and drive to their destination. However, those who stayed home still faced an expensive weekend, especially on the water.

The Scheffers decided it would be summer for boating. On this fourth, the family of four worked as a team, loading their boat on the Intracoastal at Riviera Beach to set sail.

“We got the boat back in December and he was like, I don’t think he’s going anywhere. And I said, it’s okay. We got the boat back, we can do it every weekend,” said Stefanie Scheffer.

A weekly commitment to spend time on the water. But high gasoline prices have been difficult to manage.

“It’s a bit difficult but that’s how it is, we didn’t take a summer vacation. We got the boat so we had to balance things out somehow,” Scheffer said.

“I do what a lot of people do, shorter trips compared to Lauderdale or the Bahamas,” Rob Wolfe said.

Wolfe revved up his boat’s engine on Monday, but cut his time on the water to a minimum. Filling his canoe isn’t the problem, but he said it’s his biggest boat that’s draining his budget.

“I have two 100-gallon tanks. So right now it’s about $6 a gallon. On boats, it’s about $1 more than cars pay,” Wolfe said. “So $1,200 for a boat if I do that.”

Although the boat launch was busy, this year many boaters noticed a difference in the crowds.

“Last year at this time you couldn’t park on that ramp,” said boater John Dooley. “You could only pass and you had to find a place to park, hoping not to get towed.”

“Do you think high gas prices have anything to do with it? WPTV reporter Linnie Supall asked.

“I think it has a lot to do with it. I heard on the radio that nobody was doing anything today. They’re all staying home,” Dooley replied.

Although the crowds were much smaller at the Light Harbor Park boat launch in Riviera Beach, the Phil Foster Park boat launch was at capacity before noon.

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