Boats dance and glide over the crisscrossing wakes carved into Tampa Bay, each craft anxiously revving toward its respective dock to arrive before closing time. All the while, a handful of boats remain on the open water, swaying atop the undulating waves as its passengers continue to enjoy the fiery sunset reflecting off the bay's surface. These select aquatic vehicles carry Lotto Boat's boat club members, who have access to a slew of exclusive perks, such as extended marina hours. Stationed at Harborage Marina, Lotto Boat's 10 rental vessels include kayaks, WaveRunners, and power boats equipped with GPS navigation systems. After hopping aboard a vessel, landlubbers can go jet-skiing, drift over to nearby tiki bars for dinner and live music, or take in scenic views of downtown St. Petersburg. Once patrons make their way back to one of Lotto Boat's two docks, staffers thoroughly cleanse the boat of interior debris and exterior mermaid hitchhikers to prepare for the vessel's next excursion.
Speed Boat Adventures combines the excitement of piloting a speedboat with the ease of a guided tour. Slipping up to 10 guests into the cushioned seats of 13-foot F-13 mini speedboats, guides lead them on tours and communicate via two-way radio and fire beacons atop buoys. For those aged 18 and older, the business requires no experience or boating license to pilot the vessels, which can seat up to three and are equipped with a simple throttle-and-steer system. Swaddling each participant in US Coast Guard–approved life jackets, guides whisk them along 13 miles of the Big Bay while pointing out sites such as aircraft carriers, historic ships of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and Seaport Village, with the San Diego city skyline as their backdrop.
Fun Unlimited rents high-octane outdoor equipment to adventurers interested in waverunners, boats, and their own brand of standup paddleboards, among other items, and also leads jet-ski and paddleboard tours. Rental periods can last from one day to one week, so clients have enough time to whittle a whole family of mannequins out of balsa wood and take them on a cross-country road trip before returning the equipment to the stores conveniently located beach adjacent storefront.
The Electric Marina Boat Rental allows boaters to enjoy a smooth pleasure cruise atop an electric vessel, a clean, green floating machine to fulfill shimmering blue ocean dreams. Each 24-foot, easily navigable floating apparatus arrives liberated from the shackles of loud engine noises, pricey fuel costs, and diesel-guzzling first mates. Bring along some beverages to chill in the on-deck fridge, kick it in the shade using the remote-controlled conversion-top cockpit cover, then blast your favorite environmental yacht-rock hits on the four-speaker marine stereo system as you inhale charming snapshots of The Pier and downtown St. Petersburg. The safe, reliable nautical navigator gently ripples through the waters at about five miles per hour, permitting safe dives from its swim transom and stomach-friendly, splash-resistant visits to the onboard sink, shower, and private restroom. Though not included with today's Groupon, a propane grill is available for rental at $28 per rental. Call ahead to make a reservation.
SailLaser Miami adheres sea-legs to the terrain-based with sailing lessons and sailboat rentals. For beginner sailors, a two-hour, one-on-one sailing lesson with one of SailLaser's certified U.S. Sailing Level 1 instructors will provide the opportunity to hone your skills in a short period of time. Instructors will personalize lessons to students' skills in order to make each lesson as effective as possible. Learn basic navigational techniques, what a jib is and how to determine if you like its cut or not, and which sea-shanties are most effective for warding off telemarketer mermaids.
Charter one of Simple Sailing Charters, LLC's sailboats, and take a relaxing trip to Tampa Bay, Sarasota, or Egmont Key. You can gauge just how relaxing the trip will be by the boats' names—_The Simplicity_, The Miracle, and The Dream, to name a few—and their amenities. The Simplicity, for example, boasts three cozy cabins for downtime, and their fleet of wind-powered catamarans means there's not a noisy motor in sight. Even the company's three electric powerboats are unobtrusive, gliding through the water silently unless passengers choose to use the onboard iPod docks to play their favorite tunes or whale songs.
The fleet isn't just good for vacations, though. The company doubles as an ASA-certified sailing school, where sailors can hit the decks for lessons that introduce beginners to the sailing world. Other sessions cover specialized topics such as coastal cruising or navigating by the stars instead of just following the most confident-looking bird.