Boating in Boston drops anchor at seven area locations—including local lakes, ponds, and Boston Harbor—helping visitors to undertake watery adventures with a fleet of more than 200 canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pedal boats, and paddleboards. Whether navigating the gentle eddies of Stoneham's Spot Pond or searching for the feral water-polo team rumored to inhabit Wakefield's Lake Quannapowitt, visitors can hit the water untrained or gain new proficiency with solo or group lessons. The crew of instructors also instills a love of boating in the littlest buccaneers with youth summer camps that teach basic skills and safety.
Docked adjacent to the New England Aquarium, the Liberty Star and the Liberty Clipper look distinguished. The Liberty Star measures 67 feet long and can hold up to 39 passengers, and the Liberty Clipper measures 125 feet long with a capacity for up to 100 passengers. The massive schooner is an authentic replica of an 18th-century Baltimore clipper ship, thoroughly modernized to transport passengers on Boston Harbor sails and longer private charters. They sail daily throughout the harbor for public and group outings, along with private charters for special events, such as weddings or corporate proms. For a longer respite, they hoist the sails and steer southwards where the Liberty Clipper sails the Bahamas and the Liberty Star sails the Virgin Islands on adventure sailing vacations.
During tours with Massachusetts Bay Lines, passengers can watch the sun dip behind the city from the middle of the harbor. Lights flicker on across the skyline, poking holes in the setting darkness and pinpointing each building's location. All the while, the water laps against the side of the boat, providing a soothing soundtrack.
Massachusetts Bay Lines has specialized in stunning views such as these for nearly 50 years. The family-owned company operates out of Rowes Wharf in downtown Boston, and its fleet includes a total of five unique vessels, instead of just one boat with a different name painted on the side each week. Customers can rent these boats out as private charters, or they can climb aboard for music and group tours of the harbor, which cruise past the 200-year-old USS Constitution and many more of the city's historic sites.
With a history of nautical scholarship that dates back to the mid 1930s, Community Boating Inc. has graduated thousands of students from its hands-on sailing school and into the ranks of skipperdom. Seasoned instructors lead classes for all ages, with separate youth, adult, and universal-access programs to ensure that the sweeping vistas, invigorating mists, and albatross necklaces of seafaring can be enjoyed by all. Certified students and members can take jaunts across the Charles River atop a kayak or Mercury sailboat borrowed from Community Boating Inc.’s 100-strong fleet of windblown and man-powered vessels.
Hop aboard a high-speed, rigid inflatable boat to journey the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area with Flagship Adventures. Flagship's expert tour guides pepper the 90-minute adventure with interesting Boston Harbor factoids and their favorite porterhouse marinade recipes. Board ship at 200 Seaport Blvd. and venture through Boston Harbor, passing many national recreation area islands and peninsulas during your journey.
Abby E. Kidder and Captain Dwight L. Deckelmann began the nonprofit World Ocean School with an ambition to engage the public on community-building and environmental-ethics issues. They work toward this goal by providing weekly science, math, language-arts, and history programs to middle-school students in the region, as well as by teaching Boston youth maritime history and sailing skills aboard the historic Roseway schooner.
A National Historic Landmark built in 1925, the 112-foot Roseway is used today to ferry groups out to sea on day sails, corporate events, and private charters, with all proceeds being funneled back into World Ocean School’s programs. These aquatic ventures also sail up to 76 people on trips such as sunset cruises, where passengers sip beverages, lounge in the large galley, take in ocean views, and sketch caricatures of Poseidon from memory.