A former commercial fishing boat captain has launched a new business in local waters, ferrying people from one location to the next in an inflatable pontoon boat.
Captain Sidney Smith of Greenport calls Daytripper Boats a “water taxi for the East End.” The service can be used for bringing groups of six people or fewer from their boats to a beach, from one beach to another or to travel between the North Fork and Shelter Island, he said. Divers and kayakers can also utilize the service.
Smith said his new inflatable 20-foot Nautica boat can travel in as little as six inches of water, making it possible to navigate through any creek and close to beaches — and it has a landing ramp that makes it easy for passengers to step off directly onto the sand at a beach.
“There’s a need for taking people off their boats when they’re anchored to the beach if they don’t want to deploy their own ramps,” Smith said.
He also said the service can be used by house hunters hoping for a closer look at waterfront properties on the market.
“They can inspect the property from the water,” he added.
For the summer season, Smith is keeping his boat at Sunset Beach on Shelter Island on weekends. When boaters would like to use his service, all they have to do is call him at 516-459-9603 or with the V.H.F. channel 69. They can also email email@example.com to book the service in advance.
Smith said if the demand is there, he will also take guests to Shelter Island on Wednesday nights for the weekly cookouts at the Pridwin Hotel.
The boat can carry up to six passengers at a time and he said the cost is based on one-way trips. It costs $10 per person to travel from a boat to the beach. If there are over three passengers, Mr. Smith said he will charge $10 for the first three and $5 for the remaining passengers. On Wednesday nights, the service will cost $15 per person from Greenport to the Pridwin Hotel. Hourly and day rates are also available.
In addition to his new Daytripper Boats service, Mr. Smith said he is also available to be hired for the day as a captain for individuals who own boats.
“As a 200 ton license captain I can also be hired as a captain on your own boats,” he said. “So let me drive if you drink.”