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Courtesy: Sailo

The 10 best boat rentals in NYC

Debating between a two-hour hire or a full-day trip along the Hudson? Choose a boat to start your adventures around NYC

Alex Floyd-Douglass
Written by
Alex Floyd-Douglass

Okay, so finding a boat rental may not be the first thing on your mind when planning your next trip to NYC. However, some would argue (us included) that one of the best ways to see the city at its best is on the water. From two-hour bareboat hires (yes, you’ll be the skipper) or a boat tour to full-day events fit for up to 600 people on a super yacht, there is a wide choice of boat rental options in New York City for you to choose from And we’re here to walk you through them and help you find the right one for you – and your socials, of course. Let’s get into it. 

Before sailing into our list of the best boat rentals in NYC, we’ve got to keep you in the know-how for renting boats. It may sound super simple, but there are certainly a few things you should know before booking your dream yacht. Thanks to us (no shame), we’ve put in the research so you don't have to. Take a look and get ready for one of the best things to do in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: The best tours and walks in NYC

How much does it cost to rent a boat in NYC?

Renting a boat in NYC can be a surprisingly cheap thing to do, especially when split between your pals or family members. Most of the offerings are centered around quarter- and half-day rentals, while the mega-party yachts occasionally deliver a full-day experience. Prices for quarter-day boat rentals begin around $500, while larger boats and half-day rentals can get into the lower thousands. With that in mind, we’d suggest finalizing your guestlist and budget before putting down a deposit. It's smarter in the long run, promise.

How much does it cost to charter a private yacht in NYC?

Chartering a private yacht in NYC varies from other parts of the country where you’ll often hear of $100,000 charters as standard procedure. Thankfully, in New York City, things are a little different. Full-day charters can range from $5,000 to $60,000 – although the higher price points typically cater to large groups of 300 guests plus. it's best to decide beforehand what kind of party you’re throwing and how many guests you’d like to accommodate to ensure you get the best deal.

What do you need to rent a boat in NYC?

To rent a boat in NYC, you’ll need to be over 18 years old, hold a valid driver’s license, and have a credit card (in most cases). In some circumstances, you’ll also need a Boating Safety Certificate, but it’s best to check in with your boat rental company in advance to find out exactly what they need from you. Alternatively, you won’t need any sailing qualifications if you charter a private yacht as the captain will be in charge – just have the cash ready.

Does a crew come with a boat rental in NYC?

No, a crew doesn’t come with a boat rental in NYC. If a boat is offered bareboat, this means that you’ll be the skipper for the duration of the trip and there will be no captain onboard. However, if you charter a private yacht, more often than not, there will be a crew onboard to heighten your experience. You will need to verify this in your package offering.

What's the difference between NYC rentals and charters?

Most boat rentals in NYC are typically quarter-day or half-day trips centered around the Hudson River and offer up a unique perspective of New York City. There’s also a large variety of boats available, ranging from speedy motorboats to soaring sailboats. A few boat rentals in NYC offer the bareboat option, while the majority will have a captain available to sail you around the Big Apple's coastline so you sit back, relax on charter and enjoy that glass of bubbly in peace.

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Best NYC boat rentals

The Azimut Express Cruiser
Courtesy: Sailo

1. The Azimut Express Cruiser

This 70ft luxury Italian yacht is one of the most incredible (and well-priced) super yachts in New York that we've ever seen. Catering to 12 guests with three bedrooms and three bathrooms a piece, this Azimut Express Cruiser is a brilliant yacht to charter for a group of friends or a large family looking for a memorable experience. Sail away, friends.

The Catalina Standard
Courtesy: Sailo

2. The Catalina Standard

There's nothing quite like hiring a private sailboat from Brooklyn Bridge Park and gliding across the Hudson River. Pack your own picnic beforehand and spend an afternoon soaking up the NYC sun while your captain takes you for a spin on this gorgeous Catalina. Yes, this one comes with a captain included.

The Sea Ray 270
Courtesy: Sailo

3. The Sea Ray 270

This luxury woman-owned motorboat in New York City is designed with a group of friends in mind. With plenty of seating for up to 12 guests, an onboard bathroom, a fantastic sound system, and coolers for all your spritzers, this is the ideal boat for a day out with the pals. What’s that? Oh nothing, we just see a bachelorette party on the horizon.

The United States Coast Guard Yard Lightship
Courtesy: Sailo

4. The United States Coast Guard Yard Lightship

If you’re searching for iconic, you've just found it. This US Lightship comes from the '50s before she was decommissioned in 1985. A unique charter offering, she caters to over 100 guests and is one of the few full-day event options aboard a ship in NYC. And if not for anything else, she's pretty Instagrammable.

The Atlantis Custom Super Yacht
Courtesy: Sailo

5. The Atlantis Custom Super Yacht

Some might just say that Atlantis is the go-to New York party yacht. With a capacity for 300 guests and 147ft of event space, this private charter yacht will be the party that's talked about for decades afterward. Whether it's corporate dinners, birthday parties, or a full-blown wedding, Atlantis and her crew will cater to yours – and your event's – every need.

The Cape Craft
Courtesy: Sailo

6. The Cape Craft

This one-of-a-kind boat rental in NYC offers guests a private fishing charter experience. Bask in the ambiance of Long Island's coastline while Captain Arthur shows you how to perfect your tackle – pun not intended. Simply cast your line and see what comes of it. Ay-ay, captain.

The Luxury Cruise
Courtesy: Sailo

7. The Luxury Cruise

Hop aboard this 200ft European-style party boat originally from the naughty ‘90s. Catering for 300, this cruise provides guests with epic views of the Manhattan coastline (and skyline) through its revolutionary glass windows. Hear that? Yep, it’s popping-bottle time. Grab your bestie and get dancing.

The Beneteau Sloop

8. The Beneteau Sloop

Cruise through New York City's harbor on the stunning Beneteau Sloop sailboat, courtesy of the captain. There’s a large table onboard ideal for food and drinks served by the professional and friendly crew. Ideal, right? Just don't forget to wave to the Statue of Liberty as the USA flag billows in the wind beside her. 

The Godfrey Sweetwater
Courtesy: Sailo

9. The Godfrey Sweetwater

This comfy pontoon is ideal fun for all the family. It's easy to drive (that's one for you, cap) and has a built-in GPS and Bluetooth radio. The finishes are super modern and with adjustable roofing, you’ll have prime viewing of New York City all around. Please note that you must be at least 25 years of age to hire this boat.

The Party Cruise
Courtesy: Sailo

10. The Party Cruise

Perhaps the largest NYC party yacht rental we’ve seen, this party cruise is a step back into the early 2000s – but with an interactive DJ from 2023, thank goodness. Or not? Either way, marvel at the breathtaking views of New York while you sip on something cold included in the food and drinks package. Don’t you just love a win-win? We certainly do.

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