Yesterday, we wished we were surfing. Today, we’d rather be sailing. (Can you blame us?) Pictured above is the catamaran Mon Tiki, which sets sail out of Montauk Harbor under the guidance of Captain David Ryan, a lifelong waterman who now resides on the East End.
Some interesting trivia about the Mon Tiki: It is the first Coast Guard-certified passenger sailing vessel built in the area, with construction started by local craftsmen (including Captain Ryan) in a potato barn in Bridgehampton and completed in 2012 at the Montauk Marine Basin. It can hold 49 passengers and their glasses of Champagne. (At least, that’s how we imagine one enjoys sunset cruises.)
Ryan is scheduling bookings for the 2015 sailing season, with trips starting in early May (as weather allows) and running through October. “We put a lot of emphasis on the shoulder season,” he says, especially now as restaurants, hotels, boutiques and other businesses in Montauk are extending hours beyond the traditional Fourth of July – Labor Day model. Plus, corporate event planners tend to schedule excursions in late spring or early fall, rather than peak summer season. Staffers at Google, Red Bull, Heineken and Sephora have all sailed the Mon Tiki in years past.
The good captain also has more plans under foot: He is building an even bigger boat, called the Mon Tiki Largo (with largo being the Spanish word for long). The new vessel could be completed by next season and hold as many as 100 passengers — i.e., more than the population of Montauk in January. Time will tell if business will be brisk. “I don’t mind falling on my face,” Ryan says. “If it fails, it will be just another failure. If it works, it will be a success.”
Private charters on the Mon Tiki start at $600, and public sailing trips are $60 for adults and $40 for children. Learn more about the options (day sails! sunset cruises! floating classrooms!) at the Mon Tiki’s website. Want to see an impressive moonrise, as you glide out of Montauk harbor? Schedule your sail for the following full moon dates: May 4, June 2, July 2, July 31, August 29, September 28, and October 27.
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