Electric Duffy Boats find smooth sailing amid gas prices

MILWAUKEE—High prices are still a problem for many businesses that rely on gas to run their business, especially boats.

The owners of the Milwaukee Duffy boats have a unique perspective on high gas prices. They have a fleet of electric boats and others that run on gas, so they feel both sides when it comes to their business.

Milwaukee Duffy boats are all electric, which means their company won’t have to fluctuate prices based on high gas costs.

“It’s a great way to experience the river without using fuel,” said Derek Collins, co-owner of Milwaukee Duffy and Paddle Tavern. “They charge at night and don’t use a lot of power. We definitely save gas that way.”

For the captain of the Duffy boat, Joey Flores, it’s crazy to see how much the price of gas has gone up.

“It’s certainly very absurd how much gas prices are going up right now, but luckily being with the Duffy boat company, said Joey Flores, captain of the Duffy boat. “I haven’t no need to look at these prices all the time, so that’s fine.”

However, the group also owns the paddle tavern boats on the Milwaukee River that use gas. And with just three boats, they’re looking at a five-figure increase for just one season.

“What we’ve found is that we’ll be spending tens of thousands of dollars in fuel costs compared to two years ago. So it’s definitely increased,” Collins said.

High gas prices are forcing them and many other businesses to add a small fuel load to their boats. Paddle Tavern boats will have an additional $15. However, they said that didn’t stop customers from getting out on the water and enjoying the sights and sounds of Milwaukee.

“Come see Duffy, and I’m sure everyone will want to join us on this journey,” Flores said.

They go through the journey of navigating rough waters with gas-powered boats, but still find smooth sailing with their fleet of electric boats.

Earnest A. Martinez