(June 15, 2018) Tiki boat charters have arrived in Ocean City at Fish Tales and Bahia Marina on 22nd Street, bayside.
“My wife, Donna, saw it in Key West and called me up and said, ‘We should look into this,’ and that’s how it happened,” Shawn Harman, owner of Fish Tales, said.
Cruisin’ Tikis is a floating, motorized tiki bar franchise first started in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Fish Tales currently owns one tiki boat, with another undergoing construction. It takes about three weeks to construct a boat.
The boat is fully Coast Guard rated and has all the safety equipment, such as running lights, underwater lights, life jackets, a licensed Coast Guard captain, and is insured.
“This year it will be two, and we’ll see how it goes and go from there,” Harman said.
There are two-hour and three-hour cruises available. The two-hour cruise costs $75 per seat, or $400 for the full boat. The three-hour cruise is $90 per seat or $500 for the entire boat. A boat holds 12 people, but the captain’s license only permits six at this time.
“We are very excited and hope to book throughout the whole summer,” Capt. Todd Kennedy said. “[It’s] definitely a great time. You can play music, hang with friends and don’t have to worry about drinking and driving.”
Kennedy is a licensed Coast Guard captain employed by Bahia Marina to run the tiki boats. Another captain will be hired once the second boat arrives.
There are four different cruises available. The Morning Mimosa cruise starts at 9 a.m. and last for two hours. The Sandbar hopping cruise begins at noon, and is three hours long. The Isle of Wight Bay Cruise starts at 4 p.m. and is two hours long. The Sunset Tiki Cruise leaves at 7 p.m. and lasts two hours.
Customized cruises are available upon request as long as the schedule permits.
“Everybody’s very interested,” Harman said. “We’ve taken a few cruises [already]. We’ve booked some later in the year.”
Alcohol is not provided by the marina. Cruisers can bring their own food and drinks.
“Anything you want to bring, you are free to bring,” Harman said. “We have a hand sink, we supply ice, coolers and music.”
Children are allowed on the boat. The boat goes four to six miles per hour, but passengers are not permitted to leave the boat while the motor is running. Swimming and disembarking the boat is allowed when it stops at a sandbar.
“We’re really excited about it,” Harman said. “It’s a really cool thing. A lot of people point and look but the interest has been phenomenal.
“We look forward to having a very successful year. We’re just hoping for good weather,” he added. “The boat’s very seaworthy. It’s sister ships went through Irma in Key West, so we’re confident it’ll be around at the end.”