Local boat rental shops grapple with rising fuel prices amid holiday weekend rush

DELMARVA – Boat rental shops Shark’s Cove Marina in Selbyville and Odyssea WaterSports in Ocean City are welcoming locals and tourists to set sail this Fourth of July weekend despite a barrier that could stop boats from leaving the dock.

“As we know across the board fuel prices are up. It’s crazy. It’s nothing we can do to control that right now,” Shark’s Cove Marina Owner Mark Jurist said.

“So at the pump lets say its $4.50 right now, we might be paying $4.75 or $5.00,” Odyssea Watersports Manager Justin Clemens said.

Clemens says that price to fill their 1500 gallon tank is higher due to things like shipment fees.

He adds luckily their jets skis and boats aren’t big fuel burners. “Our guides are out there for sometimes four hours and they might burn the whole tank up,” Clemens said.

“In a hour they might burn 5 gallons. The full tank’s about 20.”

On the other hand, Shark’s has slightly raised their pricing to offset fuel costs but management say that hasn’t slowed reservations down. “I think people just want to be out. They want to be at the beach, enjoy the water, and be out there with their families just having a great time for the fourth,” Jurist said.

Yet gas may not be the biggest challenges these shops are facing. “We ordered brand new boats this year and they’re trickling in one by one,” Jurist said.

“We have usually our full fleet of jet skis here by May and right now we still don’t have the full fleet,” Clemens said.

Even with obstacles in the water,  we’re told business is making a big splash this holiday weekend and will set the tone for the rest of the summer. “They want to be out on the water and creating those memories everyday,” Jurist said.

Both rental shops also tell 47ABC they’re still being impacted by supply chain issues that include getting their hands on parts when they need them.

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