connecticut marinas

Conn. Marinas Prepare for Busy Holiday Weekend Amid High Fuel Prices

While it will cost even more to fill up this summer, some boaters in Old Saybrook say it won't stop them from enjoying the holiday weekend on the water.

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"Between my house burning down and my boat burning down, I'd rather have the house burn down," said avid boater Dough Fairchild of Wallingford.

The retired Wallingford and Prospect police officer of nearly 50 years said his favorite hobby is boating.

"Every winter, I'm on a boat almost as much as I'm on it in the summertime," Fairchild said.

But according to AAA, with the price of diesel fuel is averaging $6.30 a gallon around the state, Memorial Day weekend activities might be more expensive for some families.

For Fairchild, it'll cost him well over $2,000 to fill up his boat.

"We're going to go out for a little bit. The price of fuel makes it pretty tough. But I retired last July, so this year we'll go out no matter what it costs," Fairchild said.

Nancy Mathews from Guilford is also willing to pay the price.

"We might think twice about it, but since the season is so short, we have to take advantage of the weather when we have it," Guilford said.

But this weekend will look a little different for another boater who has been a member of Harbor One Marina in Old Saybrook for nearly 20 years.

"This year will be the first year that I will stop [boating] because gas and oil and diesel fuel is too expensive," said Paul Sposato of Fairfield. Sposato said prices were less than half of what he pays now.

"We'll use it at the dock, but we won't be visiting places like Block Island, Montauk and Newport that we used to do," he said.

For motorists this weekend and beyond, prices could go also up another 15 cents, according to the Connecticut Energy Marketers' Association.

The reason for this increase is that gas stations are transitioning from a less expensive winter fuel to a government mandated summer-blend fuel in order to cut down on emissions and smog.

But with the unofficial start to summer just about underway, boaters are eager to get back out on the water and marinas are prepared for a busy season ahead.

"We've definitely seen the marina fill up a bit in the last three or four days," said Jason Rothman, dock attendant at Harbor One Marina. "It's a great family activity to do with your family and I think it's going to be a busy weekend."

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