STUART, Fla. – With the price of gasoline already higher than many Americans can remember, the damage done by Hurricane Katrina, and the shortages that have resulted are causing concern about the potential impact of further price increases on the boating industry.
However, National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich says he believes the higher prices at the pump caused by Katrina will not be as significant as some believe.
In a telephone interview this morning, Dammrich said the fact that the storm struck late in the boating season should lessen its impact on the industry.
“We are at the end of the boating season for most of the U.S., so the gasoline price spurt should not have much impact and it should be short term,” Dammrich said. “I am betting gas prices will be back in the $2.50-$3.00 range before Thanksgiving, and gasoline will not be a major news topic going into the prime selling season—winter boat shows.”
With the Labor Day Weekend at hand, boaters in Florida are feeling the crunch at the pump Katrina has caused. Damage to refineries and pipelines has some fuel industry analysts predicting prices could reach $4 a gallon, according to a story on www.tcpalm.com this morning.
David Rubiak, an employee at Finest Kind Marina in Sewall’s Point, Fla. said the price has hovered at about $2.90 a gallon for most of the summer but is now on the rise again. Last week, prices reached $3.259 per gallon for gas and $2.499 for diesel, according to the story.
Those prices were expected to increase again after a fuel shipment arrived at the marina on Thursday afternoon. Kubitschek said the Fort Pierce marina hasn’t been able to get a fuel shipment for the last two days, although a diesel shipment is expected today, according to the story.
In Indian River County, the Vero Beach Municipal Marina received fuel Thursday. Gas at the marina was $3.28 and diesel was $2.68. Those prices will be adjusted today after the invoice for the shipment arrives, according to the story.
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