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Boat Owners Intend To Sail On Despite Gas Prices

Boat owners say high gas prices won't sink their plans this summer. However, according to a new survey, higher prices will have them easing off the throttle more often. Like other motorists, boat enthusiasts are caught in the wake of high fuel prices-especially those who pay a premium to gas up at marinas. But many boat owners indicate they are willing to "pay to play," saying gas prices would have to nearly double before they change their lifestyle. The survey, conducted by The Brandware Group, Inc. for Nationwide Mutual Insurance, indicated that two-thirds of boat owners reported high fuel prices would not cause them to use their boats less often.

In fact, boat owners are willing to pay about $2.70 more per gallon for fuel before they will consider docking their boats. "When talking with our customers about boating we learned that while they're concerned about rising fuel prices, the passion they have for their boats overrides those concerns," said Greg Blanchard, Nationwide's vice president of Specialty Products. The survey also showed boat owners intended to be on the water just as often as last summer-about 20 times-but expect to run their engines about 25 minutes less per trip. The sailors surveyed said they spend 28 percent of their total leisure time on the water.

Experts say that with high fuel costs putting a strain on boat owners' wallets, boat owners should make sure they have the right protection against the unexpected so they don't get hit with burdensome repair or replacement costs. "Protecting your investments by making sure they are insured to value is an important step in protecting your lifestyle," said Blanchard. "The money crunch really hits home if something happens and you don't have adequate insurance to repair or replace your baby." According to the survey, one in five power boat owners and one in three bass boat owners do not have insurance on their boat. Of those with insurance, about 35 percent don't have liability coverage. About 40 percent of power boat owners and 53 percent of bass boat owners don't have collision coverage. About one in five power boat owners and a quarter of all bass boat owners would rather take their chances than pay to fully insure their boats.


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