Bumpy Waters

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We all noticed it on Thursday when prices went to a whole new level the current national average for regular unleaded is $2.93 a gallon. But in our area we're right around $3.05. We took a look at why the Rock River is empty. Thomas Kelly has a Rock River cruising fund.

Thomas Kelly says, “We try to get out every Saturday and that's $150 to fill up the boat plus the truck. It gets pretty expensive on the weekends.”

He's just one of the many boaters burned by the cost of rolling down the river. Since the tide continues to climb at the pump more water-lovers are staying docked. Thomas says last summer he'd see three times as many boaters as he does now. And in order to stay on the waterways he saves.

Kelly states, “If I didn't set aside money it would be killing me and it's still killing me because I have to see it go away."

But in order to keep floating in luxury some are finding shortcuts. Rus Mayborne is also a boat owner and says, “I don't go on the water as often. I think I'm going to have to limit my number of travels."

Rus Mayborne says rising fuel costs are having a ripple effect on his family's leisure time. He's limited his river runs to only two times a week. Like many on dry land, boaters have had to come up with some creative ways to save. Some boaters say they drive slower others ditch extra weight such as coolers and skis.

Boating is pretty costly. An average boat costs about $20,000 plus the necessary gadgets and gizmos. Most tanks guzzle about fifty gallons of gas. Gas prices can make quite a dent in any boater's wallet on or off shore.