Marine fuel prices, why so hard?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher since 4/12/2005, and now excited to have Ben Stein as a very able colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2018 and beyond.

15 Responses

  1. Herb Stark says:

    This is a great resource for the Pacific Northwest.
    http://www.fineedge.com/fuelsurvey.html
    Seems to be updated regularly. We will certainly use it when we return there next week.
    Herb

  2. For a short time as we continue to roll out enhanced features, all registered members of MarineFuel.com (free or premium subscribers) are able to use their login credentials from the website to access the mobile app premium data (without purchasing the app subscription) which includes fuel prices and vital contact information for marinas and fuel docks.  One of the ‘differences’ about MarineFuel.com and the mobile app developed by Fugawi, is the ability for boaters to contact MarineFuel.com Data Integrity Agents directly, and request updates for a specific region if the displayed pricing is older than desired.  See here:  http://marinefuel.com/update-request

    The app will ask for a one-time fee of $4.99 for the update request, but this particular service is included in any of the website’s Premium Subscriptions. Also note, MarineFuel.com released a new membership menu this week, which significantly reduced the cost of accessing Premium Data and Customer Services, allowing boaters to only pay for Premium Data & Support when they need it most.  We also offer the ability to filter the database and search for fuel prices by region.

    Lastly, MarineFuel.com displays icons which indicate whether or not a marina/fuel dock is only open seasonally (it is a blue box with a snow flake in the center).  Many of the Northern facilities closed down in August of last year, but we have begun working our way through these areas and are updating pricing / information on a daily basis.  Our core service is fuel pricing and a comprehensive marinas directory, and we are dedicated to supporting the boater’s need for up-to-date information on-demand, or when trip planning.

    Please take advantage of the Data Integrity Support that is available to you… simply alert us if you are unhappy with price dates in your area, and we’ll promptly do the work so you won’t have to!  Thanks for the write-up and providing us this opportunity to help the market be aware of our services!  We encourage all users to contact us directly as we are here to serve, and happy to help explain how to make the most of our services and technology.

  3. Hendrik says:

    Wow, that cheep?
    We pay that price twice

  4. Capn. Chuck says:

    Ben, We just returned from 3 months in the Bahamas and the first thing we need is fuel. Fortunately we filled up before leaving and made it all the way back to Stuart without buying that expensive Bahamian diesel. I have found the most current prices on cruisersnet but there is still a lack of coverage from any one source. We were heading to a marina in Manatee Pocket that showed the lowest price in the area and finally stopped at another marina that was cheaper still, just by seeing the price sign. Having worked for Waterway Guide, I have an understanding of the difficulty in getting marinas to report prices on a regular basis as well as the enormous amount of time it takes to gather and post the information.

  5. MarineFuel.com Data Integrity Department has contacted all marinas listed as offering fuel from Maine to Rhode Island. Many are not offering fuel until next week, or closer to Memorial Day weekend. We have pulled nearly 70 listings from the database that we will reinsert as facilities open up, and we are able to capture current fuel pricing. All the pricing shown in this area is now current, and we will keep following up, as well as working our way down the coast… it’s simply “what we do, in your service”! Please always feel free to contact us and let us know when you would like to see more current pricing in a specific area.

  6. Rick R says:

    MarineFuel is an interesting concept, but it remains to be seen how many boaters are willing to pay for data that is available for free from ActiveCaptain, Waterway Guide, and CruisersNet.
    My concern is that fuel price reporting, marina rating, and navigation alerts is becoming too fragmented, and that nobody is doing a really good job. It would be nice if the three free services could get together and reduce the duplication.

  7. Hi, Christine. I can see the changes your data department made and they make the MarineFuel app a lot more useful. I also appreciate it when a developer is willing to discuss their product on a blog like this. Thanks!
    I must add, though, that I still see old data in some places I recently passed through, like Cape May, NJ, and New Bedford, MA. Fuel docks are definitely open in those ports, especially since both are home to numerous year-round commercial fishing vessels. I’m pretty sure that those fuel docks and many others with August 2012 prices in MF actually kept their pumps running much later and are pumping again now.
    At any rate, I’m sure you’re working hard to get your database current, and I imagine it’s not easy. But the recent updates show why your service has value. There is more fuel price disparity right here in midcoast Maine than I had realized, so knowledge can equal significant savings.
    I’m not sure that my entry was very articulate (after too much driving in thick fog), but a feature I’d like to see is the ability to search and sort prices over a fairly large geographic area as I have enough range to strategize fuel stops and amounts. I think there might also be value in historical pricing since it’s so hard to get all the current data, but I’d like it segregated somehow, or filterable. Is MarineFuel.com working in these directions?

  8. Tom Clements says:

    In terms of good pricing, my rule of thumb is to find a place where a local heating oil truck can deliver diesel directly to the boat. I have almost never seen marina/fuel dock prices undercut these.

  9. Hello Ben and followers of this panbo.com blog!
    Thank you for your continued outreach – to answer your questions Ben, yes we do collect and store historical data, as well as offer the ability to sort the database (on the web) via various options, such as one state at a time, ICW MM or Lat/Long. Using the search feature via the Lat/long tab will allow you broaden your search results. http://marinefuel.com/dock-prices
    As for other comments regarding ‘free’ sites offering fuel pricing information, it has been known to us for several years that some of these alternate resources rely on our website to enter prices into their websites, despite the specific notice in the Terms and Conditions stating this is not allowed. We know this because we have received calls from employees who identified themselves as working for these other sites, and stating that they are trying to find current pricing for specific marinas / fuel docks, thusly calling to ask for our help. In the interest of ‘fair play’ and professional courtesy, I shall refrain from naming names.
    Our core business is maintaining a comprehensive directory, and supporting active users who are ready to make buying decisions. The ‘fuel price update request’ feature helps us identify which areas to focus on, as data collection is very labor intensive, but our response is prompt (as you hopefully noticed over the weekend). My Data Team is ‘on top of’ collecting current pricing along the east coast this week… once again, I appreciate your feedback, and always welcome you to contact me directly for further discussion.
    Please keep an eye on things as we ramp up for the Season, as priority number one is to keep our members and visitors happy by providing quick and easy access to the vital information they seek.
    Thank you again for your comments.
    Christine

  10. Writing that “CruisersNet only covers the ICW” fuel prices was shortsighted of me!
    “Please be advised that we report many fuel prices for marinas and other fuel retailers from southern Virginia to the Western Florida coastline which are not directly on any of the Southeaster USA Waterways. We also report fuel prices for marinas in the Florida Keys, on both the inside and Hawk Channel passages, as well as extensive fuel price reporting on the Western Florida coastline. As I’m sure you know, this latter coastline is only partially serviced by the Western Florida ICW, but we cover fuel prices everywhere from Marco Island to Tarpon Springs.”

  11. Captain Ben:
    Many, many thanks for your excellent review of the fuel price reporting services of the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net (http://www.CruisersNet.net). And, yes, we DO INDEED actually telephone all the fuel outlets each week (usually on Wednesdays), to gather our price data. We learned early on that by relying on marinas and other fuel retailers to send us their pricing, resulted in a 33% (or so) response. That was unacceptable, so we have a long suffering fuel price editor, Captain Kaye Adams, who makes dozens and dozens of phone calls each week.
    Also, be advised that when, even after several attempts, we are not able to reach a fuel dealer, we do NOT just leave last week’s price in place. Rather, we report, “Could Not Obtain Data.” We feel that is a far more useful approach for the cruising community, rather than just leave the old pricing in place.
    Finally, many thanks for your above correction on the areas for which we provide fuel price coverage. Yes, indeed, we have fuel prices for many Southeastern USA marina and fuel price retailers which are not located on any of the official southeastern “Waterways,” including both sides of the Florida Keys and Western Florida.
    Keep up the GREAT work Ben, and, once again, from the entire Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net bunch, THANKS!
    Claiborne Young
    Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net
    http://www.CruisersNet.net
    [email protected]

  12. Captain Jeff says:

    I find active captain fuel prices to be all over the place, similar to waterway guide.
    Cruisers Net seems to have the most reliable info.

  13. Excellent! ActiveCaptain has vastly improved its fuel price services. You can now look at price sorted lists by state (and some foreign countries) if you are registered member:
    https://activecaptain.com/fuelLists/fuelIndex.php
    There are still plenty of missing marinas, but we users can fix that. I’m particularly tickled because it looks like one of the best deals on the East Coast is right down the coast from me at the Port Clyde General Store. If “3.41 USD per gallon including all taxes” is close to true, Port Clyde will be first stop on the way south on about 9/7.

  14. Doh! Port Clyde fuel price seems to have changed radically. Just quoted $4.15 over the phone. But AC’s data for Journey’s End in Rockland — $3.75 including taxes — is correct. Plus I was able to buy a Fuel Key — $25 for life, fill yourself any time, $.20 off per gallon — over the phone.

  15. captain Jeff says:

    Looks like GIGO still applies.
    I begged Claiborne to expand SSECN further north!

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