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  #1  
Old 11-22-2007
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Powerboat to sailboat

I read somewhere that back in the 70s sailboats saw a big increase in sales because of the cost of Fuel? The costs of running a power boat are astromical now. Will it become a mad rush to buy sailboats as the PBers find it harder and harder to afford fuel? Imagine all those bayliners, wellcraft, donzis, etc on blocks in driveways Well at least they sold the trailers!!!

Other then my love of sailboats, fuel cost was my single most important reason to have a diesel inboard sailboat.

Will a new breed of sailors start plying the waters? Will there be an increase of boating accidents? Will there be renewed interest in Power Sailers?

just something to think about as you munch down on that drumstick today
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Old 11-22-2007
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By and large, those who can afford large powerboats, can afford the fuel. Walking down the dock in Charleston by the fuel pumps, I saw dollar amounts equal to my yearly budget, and they probably won't get a whole lot farther than I will with my 28 gal tank.
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If you typically put $1200 on your credit card with every fillup, another $200 is trivial. Likely the only consequence of rising fuel prices will be felt by those with financial consequences related to the real estate or financial markets to whom boating is an affordable escape therefore becoming more enjoyable.
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Old 11-22-2007
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Most of my frends with 40+ foot PB simply decided that day trips were out but still did the vacation thing. One of my buddies with a Pace 46 said that his fuel cost last summer was roughly $5.00 per mile.
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Old 11-22-2007
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The big power boats in my marina still go out, day trips and all. It's the mid-sized ones that are popping up with "For Sale" signs all over the place.
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Old 11-22-2007
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Sailors & Powerboaters are different

Keep in mind that sailing is a sport, a skill, a hobby, and for many, a lifestyle. The compartive complexity between the two is what seems to drive purchase choices; not gas. Powerboating is for playing on the water or taking care of commercial business -- insert key, start motor, go. The remark of a powerboater sums it up. "I couldn't switch to sail, there are all those ropes, and sails, and things, the heeling, slowness, need for lessons -- it's all too much. I just get in my boat and go."
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Old 11-22-2007
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I guess I should have said "joe average" not the upper middle class. I was talking with a transport captain one day last week and he was telling me they just moved a boat up the coast. $19,000! in fuel!

I guess PBers could argue that us sailboaters have all the fuel problems and engine problems because we don't use our engines enough

I still think there are going to be thousands of PBs owned by average working for a living type people for sale or stuck in the backyard or left to the elements.
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Old 11-22-2007
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Funny, I do not see a drop in sales for SUV's and trucks in my area nor do I see a waning interest in high performance cars, some people just don't think green.
According to data from NMMA sailboats are only a fraction or small percentage of boat sales. Most boat sales are those that have outboards on them, likely trailerable, after that the inboard/outboard and on up the scale. I did see a big surge in the kyack/canoe sector relative to the original small market share they occupied. See links below:
http://www.nmma.org/facts/boatingsta...tionstats2.asp
http://www.nmma.org/facts/boatingsta...s/Abstract.pdf

I realize this data is a few years old but it does indicate a trend. Powerboats are still the boat of choice despite the fuel costs.
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According to a sailboat broker The Admiral and I talked to earlier this year: No, power-boaters are not switching to sailing craft.

I think most power-boaters aren't in it for anything close to the same reasons sailors are.

Jim
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Well, I am. But my main reason is that I want a bigger boat. And fuel on my smaller PB was bad enough so going up in size to a trawler wasn't acceptable.

At marinas near me, the big slips are full but the medium & especially the small slips are thinning out quite a bit. Those were for 25' to 35' boats. They aren't getting re-filled with sailboats. I think the average PB is just going out less or not going as far or downsizing to smaller boats.
I was talking to a fuel dock guy up in Northern Lake Huron. I asked if his business was suffering. He said his volume was the same but he was seeing fewer boats. Meaning the big boats were buying more fuel than ever. Boats like my 26' were becoming scarce.
I was very happy to get above BUC price for mine!

Gobble Gobble
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