Nashville boaters pay $6 per gallon at marinas

Boat owners tell News4 they are paying more than they ever have in terms of gas prices.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 7:18 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - We all know gas prices are high, but you could spend even more if you have a boat in Nashville. Some boaters on Percy Priest say they pay expenses they’ve never seen before.

The average gas price in Tennesse is $4.29 a gallon. To fill up a boat at the Nashville Shores Marina will cost you $5.99 a gallon.

When Eric Elliott and his dog Ace hop on the pontoon, there are usually more people.

“We are chartered boats essentially,” says Elliott.

He rents his boat on an app called “Getmyboat.” Unfortunately, his customers can expect to pay more as gas prices soar this year.

“I don’t know what they think this thing runs on – hopes and dreams?” Elliott says. “But I’ll drive them all day, and they’ll be very shocked when I tell them how much I spend on gas.”

Elliott’s pontoon takes anywhere from 20 to 40 gallons a trip. He won’t buy the liquid gold in the water; he goes to a gas station.

“I pay $1 or $1.50 less than the marinas charge for gas,” says Elliott. “Marina’s kind of know that people who have their boats in the water and don’t pull them out and trailer them are at their mercy as far as gas prices.”

“This is the highest I’ve seen at the marina here,” admits Daniel Strobel, Director of Marketing with Nashville Shores Marina. He’s been in his position for 15 years, and these are the steepest prices he’s seen.

He says gas stations buy big bulks of fuel. But unfortunately, marinas don’t get that same supply, so they miss out on that discount. Strobel says that could become a problem.

“We are a little concerned about the gas prices and how it might affect our overall property of business,” Strobel says. “But right now, we haven’t seen any fall off.”

He says boat rentals are doing well so far, but it’s early in the season. The big test will be Memorial Day weekend.

“People who haven’t been on the lake in a while, and maybe get a little sticker shock from some of the gas prices they weren’t aware of when they came out here, might change some of their leisure habits,” Strobel predicts.

Elliott says more people might anchor down or dock their boat on the water this summer.

“I don’t think people are going out hunting for boats this year,” he says.

Last year, Nashville Shores said it cost $4.99 a gallon. They expect the $5.99 price to last all summer long.

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