Electric Boat Rental Puts You In This Orange County Top Social Scene
They cruise along in Newport Harbor, more numerous and noticeable than even the giant yachts that surround them.
They are the small cute-looking electrically-powered vessels covered with a distinctive awning and filled with people eating snacks and drinking wine while spending a casual day on the water. On any given weekend day there are seemingly hundreds of them, outnumbering even the seagulls, or so it seems.
The boats are kind of like large dingys with roofs on them with a tray table in the center for filling up with – what else – food and drinks. And they are perfect for partying on the water in a harbor.
In Newport Beach, they are the aquatic equivalent to what bicycles are in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach up the California coast – a way to get around and a key tool of a bustling social scene. Going no place in particular, people are having a blast eating and drinking their way around the harbor. I have always been jealous of people on those boats.
I had long assumed you had to own one of these boats or, better yet, know someone who owns one to take part in this on-going ritual. As it turns out that’s not the case. People can rent them and they are not nearly as expensive as you might imagine.
Electric Boat Rental in Lido Marina Village has a small fleet of boats which go for $95/hour with a two-hour minimum. Considering they hold up to 10 people and you can bring aboard your own food and drinks, this is a deal. Frankly, it can beat the pants off sitting in a bar all day running up a huge tab.
You don’t even need to hire a captain. Tho you do need to stay out of the way of those yachts – the last thing you want is to find yourself in one of those Rodney Dangerfield moments like that scene in Caddyshack – as well as other boats.
Except don’t call them Duffys! I learned this from talking to the proprietor of Electric Boat Rental, Scott Tiernan. Duffys are a local brand while his boats are manufactured by Bombardier. His boats are brand-spanking new, by the way, and are multi-colored, like rainbows. The electric motor also lasts long past the time you’re off the water and in the bar.
I was one of Tiernan’s boats with seven or eight others, eating cheese and crackers and drinking champagne and I can tell you that it’s an awesome experience. It’s so relaxing but also so invigorating at the same time because you’re sharing laughs and stories with others in the boat. And then you refill your champagne/wine/beer/cocktail glass.
After years of coming to Newport and even having close friends who live there, it was the first time I really felt like I belonged. Hey, I was one of them!
Regarding the food and drinks, that’s up to you. It’s all bring your own. You can bring them from home, the grocery store or from one of the restaurants in Lido Village, for example.
Or if you want to crank it up a notch, dock at Lighthouse Bayview Cafe and they will bring the food out to you on the boat. Then you can either stay at their at their dock or continue cruising around the harbor. (Tip: Get the grilled cheese sandwich; it’s awesome!)
It’s good to know this integral part of Newport Beach lifestyle is open to anyone.
See you on the water and be sure to wave!
Electric Boat Rental Information
Address & Location: 3424 Via Oporto, Suite 101, Newport Beach, CA
Boating License: Not required. The boats go just 5 mph and a rundown of operations is provided prior to leaving the dock.
Music On Board: Yes, just plug in your smartphone
Reservations Requried: Not necessary but recommended
Dogs: Yes, under 25 pounds
Parking: Valet or garage ($6/hr., first hour free), street metered parkingPhone: (949) 612-8248