Muskoka Marinas News & Events

Why Is The Marina Gas So Expensive?

The question you really should be asking: “Is marina fuel expensive or a good investment in my family’s time on the water?”

We often hear people complain about fuel prices and question why it is more expensive than prices at the gas station. This is a question that does not have one simple explanation; there are a few key differences between the highway gas station and a marina fuel service.

  • Muskoka Marinas has only “89 Octane non ethanol fuel” at its locations and is treated with fuel stabilizer
  • TSSA requires a trained competent attendant to dispense fuel (no self-serve)
  • Increased insurance costs due to environmental risk exposure
  • Increased Land Tax due to waterfront coverage
  • Increased Monitoring expenses due to increased environmental risk exposure
  • Voluntary 3rd party inspection programs for both electrical and environmental at all locations to keep our lakes, customers, and staff safe

For the most part boats and marine engine fuel systems are designed to handle and run on 87 octane with a MAXIMUM 10% ethanol content. There are a few things in the marine environment that in reality means running the minimum requirement will have a maximum impact on your wallet. In some cases, you and your family could be left without a boat for four weeks or more depending on damages caused by poor fuel quality!

Regarding Ethanol in fuel: Ethanol is naturally a solvent and absorbs water, both of which are not good for your marine fuel system if the boundaries of the fuel system design are exceeded. I want to point out that WATER CONTAMINATION IN FUEL IS NOT COVERED BY THE MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY. When you exceed the borders of what your marine fuel system can handle, the fuel system breaks down, not gradually, but starting immediately. This can vary from internals of fuel lines breaking down, fuel pumps prematurely wearing down, sensors exposed to fuel or fuel vapor breaking down, and in extreme cases catastrophic engine failure.  All of this plus the expense of disposing of the contaminated fuel from the tank and your time without a boat at the cottage usually far exceeds the extra cost of purchasing quality fuel at the marina.

The question is now, does the fuel at the marina cost more? Or is it simply a good investment in my boat’s care and family time on the water? Using a quality non ethanol fuel from the marina, limiting spills by fueling at the marina instead of at the cottage is an investment in the environment, time with your family and keeping your boat’s fuel system in reliable and safe condition that will keep everyone happy!

We do realize that refueling at a marina may not be an option, so we’ve included some tips for fueling up at your dock.

  • Use only approved containers for your fuel needs and store responsibly
  • Purchase premium fuel from a station that does a high volume to ensure you are getting quality fuel (fuel untreated starts to degrade in approximately 15 days, so from refinement, storage, transport, and storage at the station it is possible to purchase fuel that is already degrading if it is not a high-volume gas station)
  • REFUEL RESPONSIBLY! limit your spills and have a fuel spill kit ready and know how to use it. They are readily available at most marine retailers.
  • If you have fuel that needs to be disposed of, contact your local township as most have hazardous material days to dispose of, oil, fuel, paints, etc.

We wish everyone a sunny, hot and safe summer.  If you have any questions or would like to order a fuel spill kit to have at the cottage, please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

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