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Thread: Dock Gas Price in Lower 48

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default Dock Gas Price in Lower 48

    Can you believe the prices? I'm in Ft. Lauderdale Florida and gas is $1.63 regular and at the boat dock it's $2.60.

    1. How we are a dollar more is puzzling to me.

    2. Even down here I wonder why at the docks gas is about a $1 more
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    Gary Keller
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    Seems to me that the price at the fuel dock usually runs about a buck more per gallon. I saw $5.17 per gallon in Whittier this season at the peak for unleaded. Crazy! A friend that runs a sight seeing and transporter business there spent about $15K in July on unleaded. He said that this was his busy season to date. Don't forget your sun screen, Gary!
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    I think it has a bit to do with the fact that the dock fuel stations have to carry extra insurance based on their higher risk for accidents (spills, rogue boats, etc.). Plus, they have to meet all those extra EPA guidelines so they don't upset the dirty hippies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsenvega View Post
    I think it has a bit to do with the fact that the dock fuel stations have to carry extra insurance based on their higher risk for accidents (spills, rogue boats, etc.). Plus, they have to meet all those extra EPA guidelines so they don't upset the dirty hippies.

    Maybe true, but dont ignore the fact the dock fuel stations may enjoy gouging people as much as the people who own Alaska refinery's.
    I love this state, but whoever owns the refinery's must have every politican stuffed into there pockets
    Tennessee

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    Oh, believe me, I'm sure there's a little "convenience fee" involved in the higher prices as well. Tack that with the insurance/EPA stuff, and you've got a simplified reason for why we pay 20% more at the dock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsenvega View Post
    Oh, believe me, I'm sure there's a little "convenience fee" involved in the higher prices as well. Tack that with the insurance/EPA stuff, and you've got a simplified reason for why we pay 20% more at the dock.
    I think you nailed it with the "convenience fee".

    I am curious as to what Homer and Seward harbor fuel prices were at the peak last summer. Unleaded at the fuel dock in Schwittier was at least $5.17. Shoreside petroleum is the only game in town there. How about Homer and Seward?
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    Default Prices...

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Maybe true, but dont ignore the fact the dock fuel stations may enjoy gouging people as much as the people who own Alaska refinery's.
    I love this state, but whoever owns the refinery's must have every politican stuffed into there pockets
    Funny how we had the lowest fuel prices in the nation 2 years ago and now with Sarah's tax increase against the oil companies, "our fair share" we have the highest in the nation. I think someone had to pay for the additional taxes that were levied against the oil folks but they didn't want it to be them. Coincidence? Who knows, it's just my conspiricy theory.
    I do agree that there is higher risk with dock-side fuel and that there is a convience fee but not everyone has the option of trailering in and out. There is a captive audience there as well that have no other option.

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    You guys that all think they are making so much money at the fuel docks in Whittier should all team up and buy it, then you could have even a bigger boat with all the money you make off of it! I am more of a free market person, and feel that if there was so much money in this, then someone else would start one and split the profits with them. Without looking into it, my guess is that the volume of sales is much less at a fuel dock than there is at local gas station. Sure, yo buy a lot of volume on a few weekends in the summertime, but I am betting that they don't see very much fuel this time of the year, and they have to have a bigger margin per gallon to make up for the lower overall volume and either similar or greater overall costs than your local gas station.

    I run a business, and personally I hate raising prices. It upsets customers (like you guys are) and encourages others to start competing with you. Sometimes someone is inefficient at running a busines and needs higher prices to make money, but when they all have similar markups like the fuel docks do, I assume that is just what is needed to make a living.

    The fuel prices that the refiners are charging in AK, now there is a good place to cry consperacy / collusion...

    Jim

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    Like Jim, I too subscribe to the theory that a vacuum in business is usually filled - if there can be money made. Unfortunately in some cases, the barriers to entry into a business can solidify the monopoly held, in this case, by the refineries. It's simple - they'll charge whatever the market will bear. And we've seen from this past summer that the consumer will pay more than $5 per gallon for gas - so as a distributor/reseller, why would I sell it for any less (and no, I'm not in the petro industry )?

    Competition is what will drive the price down, unless the industry is regulated for certain commodities (i.e. fuel, electricity, natural gas). Once you start regulating, where does it end (who gets to determine what is regulated - beer for example!)? It's the slippery-slope argument used for years . . .

    I was in North Dakota pheasant hunting at the beginning of the month, $1.57 in Fargo was the best price I saw, when we were paying about $1 more . . .

    Just like the power generation industry, here in Alaska our market is too small to produce economical quantities of either gas/diesel/electricity, so the cost goes up. I still don't understand why diesel has spiked up to more than $1 over the price of unleaded, other than the fact is that the producers can charge more, so they do.

    ****, I'm starting to sound like I'm in front of a class again . . . sorry . . .

    Cheers,

    SH

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBrown767 View Post
    Funny how we had the lowest fuel prices in the nation 2 years ago and now with Sarah's tax increase against the oil companies, "our fair share" we have the highest in the nation. I think someone had to pay for the additional taxes that were levied against the oil folks but they didn't want it to be them. Coincidence? Who knows, it's just my conspiricy theory.
    I do agree that there is higher risk with dock-side fuel and that there is a convience fee but not everyone has the option of trailering in and out. There is a captive audience there as well that have no other option.
    Actually the tax is against the oil producers who pull the crude out of the ground. The crude sells for market prices everyday.
    It is the refinery who sets the price to sell the gasoline to the local stations and they are not connected to the oil producers.
    The refinerys are using any excuse they can to gouge gouge and gouge somemore and either our elected officials are powerless or useless to do anything about it.
    Tennessee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra Hotel View Post
    I still don't understand why diesel has spiked up to more than $1 over the price of unleaded, other than the fact is that the producers can charge more, so they do.

    ****, I'm starting to sound like I'm in front of a class again . . . sorry . . .

    Cheers,

    SH
    I agree with both you and Jim that competition/volume sold most certainly brings the prices down. Whittier has only one game in town: shoreside petroleum. I believe that both Seward and Homer have more than one distributor and I am nearly certain that the price per gallon is less at both of these ports.( a quick phone call would confirm this ). Whittier is by far the smallest harbor, but there are an awful lot of boats parked at the "lot" that also fuel up in the harbor. As far as the cost of diesel, it seems the price started to climb once all of these high horsepower diesels came out. When I purchased my 2003 duramax, I was paying $.30 less a gallon at least and also got better mileage than with a gasser of comparable size. It was a no brainer, even if I didn't need it to tow. Now we pay $1 more per gallon. The diesel bug has bitten me. I just love that sound.

    I work another job during the summer months. All of its revenue goes towards "Patience" and the tackle boxes. We do not even figure it into our yearly budget, so even though I cringed spending $700 bucks on a weekend of fun with the family, it did not slow me down much last summer. How much longer until we can start eating fresh shrimp?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    I figure I would rather pull a boat out of the water at Seward and fill up in town vice the dock. If a person is taking on 50+ gallons (I've only rented boats) it does not take much to pay for another launch fee.

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    I don't know about Seward, but Homer's fuel docks are both owned and operated by Petro Marine. At the peak last summer the price for gasoline was right around $4.98/gal. as I recall. That included all taxes including the city tax.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homertime View Post
    I don't know about Seward, but Homer's fuel docks are both owned and operated by Petro Marine. At the peak last summer the price for gasoline was right around $4.98/gal. as I recall. That included all taxes including the city tax.
    Thanks Homertime. Not much of a difference.
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    Default prices?

    Used to be able get marine fuel for less than highway because of all the road tax that goes into the price at the pump for your vehicle. It was not as convenient as pulling up to the dock and filling up. I would go to the tank farm with 55 gal. drums in the back of my truck and ask for marine fuel. Used this method to get fuel for extended trips. It was enough of a price difference to make it worthwhile or maybe because I'm Dutch. I think if it goes through their pump on the dock is where the price jumps. The insurance and EPA excuse is crap because gas stations on land are held to almost the same standards. Supply and demand, I'll buy that one. Just like Alaska Scarelines gouging S.E. on fares to pay for empty seats, because of no competition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homertime View Post
    I don't know about Seward, but Homer's fuel docks are both owned and operated by Petro Marine. At the peak last summer the price for gasoline was right around $4.98/gal. as I recall. That included all taxes including the city tax.
    I am pretty sure that at one point I paid 5.15 for unleaded at the dock in Seward. It motivated me to pull my boat out and fill it up at Three Bears as it was about 50 cents or more a gallon cheaper there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray View Post
    Can you believe the prices? I'm in Ft. Lauderdale Florida and gas is $1.63 regular and at the boat dock it's $2.60.

    1. How we are a dollar more is puzzling to me.

    2. Even down here I wonder why at the docks gas is about a $1 more
    Most of the big boys down there run diesel. I bet that still hurts!

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    Default Hauling your own

    I found that storing my boat out of water (instead of a slip) paid off. I have a 110 gl tank in the back of my truck(boat cap 96 gl). I went to the bulk plant and filled it before I'd head out, usually Thursday afternoon. When we got to the boat (usually late evening) I'd hook up to the trailer (grounding boat to truck) and pump fuel into the boat while the wife put bait, food, clothes etc on the swim platform. When done fueling loading etc we headed for the ramp which was late evening and much easier to launch without a big crowd. I saved amost $2.00 a gallon and over the summer it made sense. Might be a way to go for those who don't find launching/retrieving too tough.
    Just my $2.00 worth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tealer View Post
    I found that storing my boat out of water (instead of a slip) paid off. I have a 110 gl tank in the back of my truck(boat cap 96 gl). I went to the bulk plant and filled it before I'd head out, usually Thursday afternoon. When we got to the boat (usually late evening) I'd hook up to the trailer (grounding boat to truck) and pump fuel into the boat while the wife put bait, food, clothes etc on the swim platform. When done fueling loading etc we headed for the ramp which was late evening and much easier to launch without a big crowd. I saved amost $2.00 a gallon and over the summer it made sense. Might be a way to go for those who don't find launching/retrieving too tough.
    Just my $2.00 worth
    I have thought about this, but you cannot transport (legally) more than 12 gallons of unleaded through the tunnel to Whittier in a non-permanent tank. If it is plumbed to your truck, that is another story. Diesel is not an issue, if you have the proper paper work. Great idea for those that frequent ports other than Whitter.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Whne looking at the climb in the price of diesel when compared to the price of gasoline, remember that we recently moved to low sulfer diesel. I recall this was an expensive addition for the refineries, on the order of $100M in investment. Maybe someone in the industry can comment on if this was the sole cause in the cost increase in diesel when compared with gasoline, or if there were other factors.

    Jim

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