Boat Gas Prices

No matter how big or how small your boat is, high gas prices can have an affect on your boating, or at least make you think twice before you “open-er-up” and see how fast you can run the lake. Here’s a little piece that puts boat gas prices in perspective.

Boat Gas Prices

Following my previous post about vehicle fuel consumption, I started thinking about what fuel cost and gas prices in terms of inboards and outboards and boating this summer.

Well, gas prices are not getting any cheaper, trust me. Boat gas prices are rising, just like all gas prices. There are projections and rumors that fuel costs will rise to $1.50 litre when the warm weather arrives and demand increases, so be prepared when you head to the marina to fill up the outboard motor gas tank.

Not that it really matters, because those of us who boat, boat with a passion, and we aren’t going to let high boat gas prices influence our boating, but it’s worth considering just how much it costs to put gas in a boat.

Being cognizant of gas prices becomes particularly important if you are considering a new boat purchase, because much like motor vehicles, when it comes to boats and fuel consumption, size matters…

What Boat Gas Prices Are

Using my own little adhoc fuel cost calculator, along with some fuel consumption statistics and information I found on the net, I was able to project some fuel costs for the upcoming summer.

That said, here is what it currently costs to fill up your five gallon (Imperial measure) boat gas tank at today’s prices, in Nova Scotia, Canada.

5 Gallon(22.7304594 litres)Gas Tank @ 1.351/litre = $30.70 (By July $34.09)

20 Gallon(90.9218376 litres) Gas Tank @ 1.351/litre = $122.83 (By July $136.38)

Ethanol and Boat Gas

It’s important to note that in the above example I used the price for regular unleaded gasoline. Those of us who operate boats and are concerned about the negative affects of ethanol in regular gas on our outboards have switched to the higher grades of gasoline.

Using higher grade gasoline makes gas prices a bit worse, for example:

5 Gallon (22.7304594 litres)Gas Tank @ 1.455/litre = $33.07

20 Gallon (90.9218376 litres) Gas Tank @ 1.455/litre = $132.29

Adding It Up

So, if you burn through a 20 gallon tank of boat gas each weekend, towing water skiers, float tubes, or just crusin’ the lake, it’s gonna add up.

Let’s say for example, you start your summer boating season in July and go hot-n-heavy every weekend until Labour Day, that is a minimum of 8 weekends, or 8 tanks of fuel at projected 2012 summer prices ($1.60/litre/Hi Grade) will set you back $1280.00.

American Gas Prices Vs Canadian Gas Prices

Americans are also complaining about the high cost of gasoline. However, for all intents and purposes, they haven’t gotten as high as Canadian gas prices. Typically we Canadians are quite accepting of this, as we usually sum up the gas price difference by saying, “Yeah but the American gallon is smaller”

That is true, but how much smaller? And is the price pro-rated to the smaller size?

A Gas Conspiracy

As Canadians we also get thrown off a bit because of the metric system, which, although probably not an intended conspiracy, allows gas prices to look cheaper by pricing them by the litre. In fact, it could very well be a well thought out, planned conspiracy to stick it to the people.
Look at what the metric system did for vehicle manufacturers who have to post their vehicles fuel consumption figures. Which sounds better, 13 litres/100 or 21mpg. The smaller number sounds less expensive.

By pricing a commodity like gasoline in smaller units of measure, the sellers can post an advertising sign that doesn’t look quite as dreadful. For example:

Which billboard sign looks better?



Yup, $6.13 per imperial gallon, that is what you are paying in Nova Scotia at $1.35 per litre.

Ending The Litre-Gallon-Confusion Conspiracy

I stripped out the confusion between US gallons and Imperial Gallons and Litres and here is what I found…

…Americans are paying considerably less for gas than Canadians.

Now I know what you are thinking, you are thinking,

“Nothing new there Rob, I already knew that.”

Yes, but do you know how much less our American neighbors pay?

For example, the current retail price of 1 US gallon of gas in Bangor Maine is $3.69. That same US gallon, at Canadian prices in Nova Scotia, would cost $5.11. Although gas prices vary somewhat across the United States, they remain lower than Canadian prices.

Here are 3 examples based on todays gas prices:
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, = $3.72 per US Gallon compared to $5.11 per US Gallon in Nova Scotia
Santa Barbara, California, $4.15/US Gallon vs $5.11/US Gallon in Nova Scotia
Anchorage, Alaska $3.99/US Gallon vs $5.11/US Gallon in Nova Scotia.

Free Gas

The difference in prices is probably attributed to higher fuel taxes in Canada, but nonetheless, the difference in prices is substantial.

In fact, the old Canadian retiree-snowbird-couple toodling over to the all-you-can-eat buffet in Fort Lauderdale, Florida are getting one free litre of gas for every gallon they buy, compared to what they would be paying home in Nova Scotia. Yup, they are saving $1.39 with every US gallon they buy compared to what they would pay at home.

What I Learned From This

It pays to go south for the winter.



20 Imperial Gallons = 90.9218376 litres
5 Imperial Gallons = 22.7304594 litres
5 US Gallons = 18.92705 litres

Boat Gas

Nova Scotia $1.351 – 5 gallons = $30.70 / 20 gallons = $122.83
Ottawa $1.216 – 5 Gallons = $27.64 / 20 gallons = $110.56
Central Winnipeg, $1.079- 5 gallons = $24.52 / 20 gallons = $98.10
Vancouver $1.319 – 5 gallons = $29.98 / 20 gallons = $119.92

United States Gas Prices Vs Canadian Gas Prices
Bangor Maine = $3.69 per US gallon compared to $5.11 per US Gallon in Nova Scotia
Fort Lauderdale = $3.72 per US Gallon compared to $5.11 per US Gallon in Nova Scotia
Santa Barbara, California $4.15/US Gallon vs $5.11/US Gallon in Nova Scotia

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