Sailboat Shop proprietor Tom Errickson first learned to sail at age 11, sparking a love for boating that turned into his life's work. After years of repairing sailboats and plying the waves of sometimes frigid Lake Michigan, Errickson returned to Arizona and assembled a crew of seasoned instructors to teach clients useful sailing skills through ASA-certified classes. By spending three relaxing hours on a 30-foot sloop during a sunset cruise, or learning the ropes during a keelboating class, Arizonans can experience the rare pleasure of sailing in the middle of the desert. Aspiring mariners can purchase craft ranging from an inflatable dinghy to a brand-new Catalina swing-keel boat, or charter a craft and experienced skipper for a memorable party on the water.
Take your family on a high-seas adventure for the afternoon! Rent one of the many ship-shape vessels available at Outdrive Exchange and Performance Marine in Peoria.
Parking is plentiful, so patrons can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Scorpion Bay Marina is nestled into the spot where brown hills roll right up to sandy beaches blending into the blue expanse of Lake Pleasant. From the marina, boaters sail over glassy surfaces reflecting mountain landscapes to fish, water-ski, and tube. To make those aquatic adventures possible, the marina's attentive crew rents boats such as pontoons that ferry up to 10 passengers, as well as sport and fishing vessels, and kayaks. They also man a convenience store and deli where recreational mariners can stock up on supplies for on-the-water picnics. At day's end, boaters pull into reserved covered or uncovered boat slips and head to the marina's dockside eatery, Dillon's, to refuel with Kansas City–style barbecue brisket, fish tacos, and half-pound burgers.
Setting sail from Pleasant Harbor Marina, Lake Pleasant Cruises's sightseeing tours offer a unique waterborne view of the picturesque surroundings. Onboard the brand-new 65-foot boat named The Phoenix, up to 150 passengers can relax on the open-air, shaded top deck for sunny, breezy cruises or head to the climate-controlled main deck to enjoy music, beverages, and snacks. The boat is also available for private charters, which provide a full-service bar and bartender for corporate events, birthday parties, and weddings.
In the Phoenix area, budding mariners needn't look any further than Go Sail Arizona, a sailing school affiliated with the American Sailing Association. Owner Clint Sutter and his team offer a host of introductory courses, plus clinics on topics such as docking and spinnakers. Once students are comfortable out on their own, they're invited to rent a sailboat from Pleasant Harbor Boat Rentals and take it out on the water at a discounted rate.
Arizona Outdoor Fun lets riders whip around winding lakes, trails, and tight canyons the way nature intended—atop landscape-chewing wheels. When not busy peddling a cache of extreme all-terrain Honda vehicles and dirt bikes, Rhino UTVs, and agile sport quads, their expert guides lead fun, scenic ATV tours around the Verde River and Bradshaw Mountains, sharing tidbits about local Native American culture, plants, fossilized cowboy hats, and wildlife. They also deal in aquatic sports with boat rentals including wakeboard boats, pontoon boats, and fishing boats, small vessels such as jet skis, and kayaks and canoes that run on man power. Master mechanics at the shop’s garage keep all vehicles ready for adventure, drawing on more than 25 years of experience to repair personal ATVs and other recreational crafts, including scooters and go-karts.