Depending on location, fuel type, and if you’re fueling up in a marina or gas station, the cost of fueling your boat will differ. So before I spew out the cost of fuel, make sure you know the fuel type required for your boat (this article will help).
At a marina, gasoline fuel will usually cost around $0.5 to $1.5 per gallon more than it costs at a gas station. Diesel fuel will usually cost the same or only be $0.5 more expensive. Otherwise, you can buy fuel at a gas station, but make sure the ethanol and octane rating is what’s needed for your boat motor.
It’s important to note that some boats require specific octane ratings and ethanal ratings that may differ from most cars. For example, you should never put gasoline with a higher ethanol rating than E10 (10% ethanol) in any boat, however, it’s usually recommended always to use no ethanol fuel, especially for older motors or performance motors.
Note that Some marinas may only have premium or mid-grade gasoline which will be more expensive.
All gas station prices differ depending on your location. However, if you don’t know the price in your location, use this website and put in your area to find out. Add this price to $1 for gasoline and $0.25 for diesel and that is your expected marina fuel cost.
So if gasoline in my area at a gas station costs $3 per gallon, expect $4 at a marina.
Finding fuel costs for your specific boat
Although $0.5-$1.5 per gallon more for marina gasoline may not seem like that much at first glance, it will start to add up significantly the more you use your boat. So, to give a better understanding of how much fuel costs for boats, find out how many gallons per hour (GPH) it consumes on average.
The dashboard on your boat may tell you this, or you can use this website to find it. Then multiply the price per gallon of fuel in your area to this number and it will give you the estimated cost of fuel per hour of boat use. Here are a few examples of some popular boats:
|Examples||Estimated cost of fuel per hour of use|
|Mastercraft NXT22 (wake boat)||$40 gas station $52 marina|
|Boston Whaler 270 Dauntless (center console)||$67 gas station $86 marina|
|Lund 1775 Adventure (fishing boat)||$25 gas station $32 marina|
|Sunseeker MANHATTAN 55 (yacht)||$300 gas station $319 marina|
Should you fuel up your boat at a gas station or a marina?
It’s usually recommended to fuel your boat up at a gas station instead of at a marina. This is because it’s cheaper and the fuel is generally much newer and better stored. Marinas are known for having low fuel quality because many times the fuel is very old.
Always make sure that you get the correct octane and ethanol rating for your motor when fueling up at a gas station. Many engines, especially older ones, will not run on ethanol, and you should never put anything more than 10% ethanol (E10) in a boat’s fuel tank. So, Check your owner’s manual or look up your motor online.
However, I know many boaters can’t easily get their boat to a gas station, so for them, marina fuel is the better choice. Although, if your fuel tank is small enough, you could fill up a big gas can (such as this one) at a gas station and then use it to fuel up your boat on the water.
Note that some marinas may not allow you to do this.
Why is fuel more expensive at marinas?
Marinas generally purchase much less fuel than gas stations do, so they usually get charged more, resulting in higher prices. Along with that, marinas know boat owners (especially ones with large boats that need to be fueled at marinas) are usually wealthy, so they charge more because they can.
Along with that, marinas usually have to pay their employees more money which also drives up the price of their fuel.
Is boat fuel expensive?
Boat fuel can be extremely expensive if you have your boat is not very fuel-efficient and you get your fuel at a marina. However, if you have a small boat with a low-medium horsepower engine and you fuel up at the gas station, boat fuel isn’t that expensive.
Some yachts can cost hundreds of dollars in fuel, every time you take them out. Not only is this expensive, but it’s also quite excessive and harms the environment. So if you plan on purchasing a boat, make sure you estimate how much fuel it burns before making the purchase.
Frequently asked questions about boat fuel costs
It’s around $0.5 to $1.5 per galling cheaper to fuel up with gasoline at a gas station than at a marina. Diesel is usually the same or only $0.5 per gallon more at a marina.
Marinas generally purchase much less fuel than gas stations do, so they usually get charged more resulting in higher prices. Along with that, marinas know boat owners are usually wealthy, so they charge more because they can.
Depending on the yacht, the size of its tank may greatly differ. However, an average yacht that’s around 50-70 feet long will have a fuel tank that holds around 1,000 gallons of fuel. So depending on the fuel cost in your area, this will cost around $4,000 to $5,000 to fully fuel up.