"I just got word that the long-rumored and oft-denied fuel price increase here in French Polynesia will happen either today or on July 1," reports Wayne Meretsky of the Alameda-based S&S 47 Moonduster. "I’m not certain what the effect on essence (gasoline) will be, but the price of diesel will be going up 40 CFP to 185 CPF per liter. That’s a 27.6% increase and raises the at-the-pump price to $9.32 per gallon. Ouch! There’s no news on the what the price increase will do to the discounted price of diesel that’s available to transient yachts."
In next issue of Latitude, which hits the streets on July 1, George Backhus of the Sausalito-based Deerfoot 62-2 Moonshadow reports that diesel is now selling for $9 a gallon in Turkey also. It makes him happy he doesn’t own a "floating gin palace."
While the price of diesel hasn’t hit $9 yet in Southern California, the effect on powerboats is easy to see out at Catalina. Specifically, fewer powerboats are coming over than before, and those that do come over tend to stay longer. In some cases, wives are staying with the boat on the mooring all week while the husband commutes back and forth by ferry on the weekends. In any event, the changing ratio of sailboats to powerboats is obvious at first glance. There are still more powerboats than sailboats, but the gap seems to be narrowing.