Posted For: Willie Wonka
Yes, filling up your car’s gas tank is expensive — but spare a tear for those who have yachts.
“It used to be $2,500 to take my boat out for lunch but this year it’s going to be $5,000,” one number-crunching yacht owner who docks in the Hamptons complained to The Post.
He noted that while his captain was the one who actually did the refueling, he still felt the pain when it came time to pay the bill.
“It cost 72% more to have the boat brought up to New York this year from Florida,” another kvetched, clarifying that his boat took the pricey trip from one exclusive marina in Miami to another in Montauk.
At issue is the price of diesel, which has surged significantly more than that of gasoline during this year’s energy crisis. A gallon of gasoline was up an average of $1.03 this week nationwide versus a year ago. But a gallon of diesel was up more than $1.77, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
The premium was even higher in the Central Atlantic region — surging by more than $2 to $5.52 a gallon, according to the agency — a region that includes the swanky marinas in the Hamptons.
Yacht owners are particularly irked by the premium they pay at the local docks. Since there are only a handful of places to refuel in the Hamptons, boat owners are at the mercy of the marina. One boat owner estimates they charge at least an extra dollar or two per gallon of diesel.
Needless to say, sympathy from dock owners is in short supply.
“Everyone whines but all the docks are still at capacity,” one dock owner told The Post, predicting that even as the 1% “bitch and moan,” they aren’t likely to change their behavior.
“Rich people can be very cheap with certain things. Spending a thousand dollars on a lunch is no problem, but paying an extra couple hundred dollars on fuel will annoy them,” the dock owner said.
“There are guys worth hundreds of millions that cut out coupons and give them to the crew for buying groceries,” the dock owner adds. “It sucks, but if you’re complaining about filling up a car, that’s a necessity. Boats are a luxury so it’s a little tone-deaf.”
A large boat around 70 feet will burn roughly 130 gallons per hour just to keep the engines running. When it’s actually sailing it will use even more.
A super yacht like the Eclipse — Roman Abramovich’s more than 500-foot vessel — holds around 1 million liters of fuel and costs an estimated $1.8 million to fill its tank, based on diesel prices in the Eastern Mediterranean where the boat is stationed. A full tank takes the Eclipse 6,000 nautical miles — the length of a round trip between New York and London.
Other owners add when they put the cost of diesel in perspective, it doesn’t seem too bad.
“Fuel is the least of my costs,” a yacht owner said. “Full time crew and maintenance is $750,000 a year… so yeah.”