The American summer road trip: Iconic. Scenic. And easily made miserable by dint of heat, traffic or bickering children.
The summer boat trip, on the other hand, will keep all three of those evils at bay. And affordably — provided you use a peer-to-pier charter service like Boatsetter.
The “Airbnb of boating” (which recently bought competitor Boatbound) offers thousands of luxury vessels at ports around the country, and will even conscript you a captain. It’s a simple process: sign up, search for a boat and contact the owner to schedule. Insurance from bow to stern is already worked into the package, as well as 24-hour on-water customer service/emergency support.
Using Boatsetter, we found nine exceptional watercraft worthy of your lake, ocean or seafaring adventures this summer, as divvied up by activity and location.
One rule: If you yell “I’m on a boat!” at any point, you’ll be man overboard.
You’ll be fishing and whale watching with five of your buddies on the Hatteras Yachts 70 Motor Yacht — docked in Seattle, this 72 ft. yacht is fully crewed as it makes its way toward Alaska. Includes a 27’ Tiara Sport Boat and four sea kayaks. Wanna try your luck reeling in some red snapper or giant trevally? Head to the deep waters around Panama on the 60’ Bertram — the crew here will provide all the rods, reels and tackle.
WATER SPORTS (America edition)
Based in Miami, the 38’ Sea Ray 380 Sundancer IB comes equipped with a photographer (and a drone), along with all the watersport tubes, toys and paddleboards a man could want. Anchor for a boat party, stop for a snorkel/scuba break or race along the port “Miami Vice” style — but only if you air drum the iconic Jan Hammer theme song.
WATER SPORTS (Mexico edition)
The Amanecer is a 105’ luxury motor yacht that comes with its own “yacht toy garage,” complete with a 2016 SeaDoo WaveRunner, four motorized SEABOBS and a separate 32’ sport boat, along with paddle boards and snorkeling/diving equipment.
Head south of the border to enjoy the Benetti, a 120’ megayacht that holds up to 30 people. Docked in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, your luxury vessel has four fully-furnished cabins (with AC), satellite TV, a huge reception room and an outdoor bar/lounge. You can enjoy the surrounding waters in the water — there’s an on-board jacuzzi (and at $14,600 per day, that’s the least they could provide).
EASE OF USE
Relax — there’s no work to do here. Originally designed to cruise the Mediterranean and island hop the Caribbean, the Miami Beach-based Cruiser is your emission-free, solar-powered, soundless water joyride.
SAILING (Old school)
Does your startup need an afternoon break? Tour San Francisco’s South Beach Harbor aboard the post-Gold Rush era scow schooner Gas Light — fitting up to 49 passengers, the boat offers an old-timey experience with modern amenities.
SAILING (New school)
Phuket, you’re headed to Thailand. The Shangani Catamaran is a seventy-foot beauty, and the best way to view the limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay. A chef and masseuse keep things comfy onboard — for water adventures, test out the inflatable slide or take out a paddleboard (or floating jacuzzi).
You do the math: The 92’ Lazzara LSX dubbed “Algorythm” was built for speed. The charter yacht is equipped with four 700 hp Volvo IPS drives, which nets you a 31-knot maximum speed. Zip along the Miami coastline and enjoy the views from your extended flybridge sun deck.