By Alex Pertoski
A new business venture slated to open in Port Jefferson Village in spring 2018 will chart a course all the way to New England.
Lime Charters, a New York-based charter company, and Aeroyacht, a yacht dealer specializing in luxury sailing catamarans, have partnered with Danfords Hotel, Marina & Spa to establish a Port Jeff location where charter boats can be rented by interested patrons to be sailed through the Long Island Sound to the New England region for week-long trips. Sailors would have the option of setting off on their own, or the company can recommend a captain to bring on board the small vessels to handle the navigation.
According to Lime Charters’ website, most captains charge between $150 and $250 per day. Depending on the season and the size of the boat, prices range from around $4,000 to $5,000 for the seven-day use of a catamaran, which is large enough to take up to 10 people. The company requires proof of sailing experience for those declining to bring along a captain, and pre-charter checks allow the company to assess sailors and ensure they are comfortable with the boat. Though the company advertises the boats can be used to sail to Rhode Island, Connecticut, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, among others, charterers are permitted to take the vessel essentially wherever they would like.
Village Mayor Margot Garant said this is the first such business ever available in Port Jeff.
Bill Beasley, the founder of Lime Charters, said in an email at a recent international boat show he received a flood of interest in an offering like this in New York.
“Up until now, folks had to go further north or south to charter a catamaran sailboat,” he said.
Beasley shed some light on why Port Jeff is an “ideal location” to set up a launching area for Lime Charters. “It’s half way between New York City and the Hamptons — just an easy car or train ride out to us … Port Jefferson is a perfect sailing harbor town with its shops, diverse restaurants and, of course Danfords. It is a perfect partner considering their central waterfront location and opportunity for charter guests to stay at either before or after their charter. We hope to attract clients who like to be pampered and Danfords certainly supports that level of service.”
Christina Whitehurst, director of sales and marketing at the hotel, said Danfords is equally excited by the natural hospitality experience partnership.
“We’ve been doing a lot of upgrades to the marina and the area, and this is proof the word has gotten around,” she said in a phone interview. “It’s just going to expose another audience to Danfords.”
Garant expressed excitement over the possibilities the charter trips could present to residents and visitors in Port Jeff for those who want to add a one-night stay before or after their charter experience.
“I love it, I think it’s fantastic,” she said of the service and its base in the village she oversees. “I think it’s an excellent way to have more activities on our waterways.”
Garant also called Danfords a perfect anchor point.
Currently, Lime Charters has a fleet of three boats, though Beasley said their plan is to add more. Each vessel has a cooking area, and they offer the option of having groceries delivered to the boat.
Lime Charters is currently taking reservations for the 2018 boating season.