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Boaters feel pinch at the pump this holiday weekend

A boat in Riviera Beach on July 4, 2022.jpg
Posted at 4:46 PM, Jul 04, 2022

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

Most decided to deal with high gas prices and drive to their destination. However, those who stayed at home still faced a pricey weekend, especially on the water.

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

"We got the boat back in December and he was like, I don’t think were going to go anywhere. And I said, that’s fine. We got the boat, we can do it every weekend," said Stefanie Scheffer.

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

"It’s a little rough but it is what it is, We didn’t do a summer vacation. We got the boat, so we had to balance it out somehow right," said Scheffer.

"I’m doing what a lot of people do, shorter trips versus down to Lauderdale or the Bahamas," said Rob Wolfe.

Wolfe revved up his boat engine Monday but kept his time on the water to a minimum. Filling up his dinghy isn’t the problem, but he said it’s his bigger boat that 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 what cars pay," Wolfe said. "So $1,200 for a boat if I do that."

Even though the boat ramp was bustling, this year many boaters noticed a difference in the crowds.

"Last year at this time you couldn’t park at this ramp," boater John Dooley said. "You could only drop in and you had to go and find a place to park, hoping you didn’t get towed."

"Do you think high gas prices has something to do with it?" WPTV reporter Linnie Supall asked.

"I think it had a lot to do with it. I heard on the radio no one is doing anything today. They’re all just staying at home," Dooley answered.

Even though the crowds were a lot smaller at the Light Harbor Park boat ramp in Riviera Beach, the boat ramp at Phil Foster Park was at full capacity before noon.