Erieau fishing charter plans for losses as fuel prices rise

·2 min read
Boaters are looking at higher costs to fill up this season. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)
Boaters are looking at higher costs to fill up this season. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)

If you think the price of gas is high for those hitting the road, those on the water are in an even worse boat.

Boaters have to put premium fuel in their motors, and according to fishing charter Capt. Paul Powis, the price right now in the Erieau area is around $2.15 a litre.

Powis, who runs J & P Fishing Charters, said he expects to lose up to quarter of his business due to the higher costs.

He budgeted for $2 a litre this year and booked his clients according to that expense, so now he expects to lose money and customers. He had already raised his prices 10 per cent, but it won't be enough to cover the cost, and the business is dependent on weather as well.

"I've been doing this a long, long time and I'm retired...but some of the guys who are doing this as a full-time livelihood, they're in rough shape," he said.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

Inflation in Canada rose to 6.7 per cent in March, and fuel prices were a major driver. The cost of gasoline has risen nearly 40 per cent since March of last year, according to Statistics Canada.

And while it's unlikely anyone relies on their recreational boat as much as their vehicle, boaters are feeling a bit of a pinch.

Boater Tracie Berekoff, with the Windsor Power and Sail Squadron, said boaters won't stop boating because of the increased prices, but they will likely be a little more careful with how they do it.

She said she's already a frugal boater.

"We turn our motor off and float," she said. "We'll maybe just go for dinner at a restaurant. But if we go for the day, it'll be dropping our anchor and pretty much staying put for the day. So our boating won't change, but I'm sure a lot of other people will."

Faiez Shamoon, owner and mechanic of Lakefront Marine Inc., which sells and services boats, said the jump in gas prices shouldn't affect small watercraft all that much.

And in the meantime, demand for boats is high.

"We can't keep any boats in stock," he said.

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