Exploring NYC by Speedboat

We wanted to do something really special to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday last summer. My Dad can be tough to impress. Museums and shows aren’t his thing and even a nice dinner out in the city wasn’t going to cut it to celebrate this milestone.  But he does love being out on the water.  Loves it.  The only problem is that we don’t have a boat.  Or know anybody who has a boat. Determined not to let this stop us, we spent a few weeks researching and making phone calls. We finally found someone who was actually willing to rent us a boat for a half day AND let us take it out on our own.  This seemed unbelievable because we know absolutely nothing about boating.  But off we went to Port Washington to pick up our 26 foot, 320 horsepower Formula speedboat to explore NYC by speedboat. This experience was definitely going to be Style Hi.

Chandra and I at the helm as we depart Port Washington and head towards New York City

Chandra and I at the helm as we depart Port Washington and head towards New York City

Me and the family with the Throgs Neck Bridge in the background

Me and the family with the Throgs Neck Bridge in the background

With my brother and Dad near the Throgs Neck Bridge

With my brother and Dad near the Throgs Neck Bridge

There was a short instructional briefing on how to use the boat. None of us paid any attention. We had a few options on where to go.  We could go west out to the Throgs Neck Bridge, or east out towards Huntington. The bridge sounded like the way to go, so once out of the harbor we were speeding towards it. Crossing under the Throgs Neck Bridge was cool – but it just made us want to keep going. So it was then over to the Whitestone bridge. Soon we were right next to LaGuardia airport and Rikers Island. Planes were taking off right over us and we could see the beach at Rikers.

My brother Mike can't believe what he's seeing!

My brother Mike sees something up ahead!

Mike double checks up ahead using his binoculars

He goes in for closer inspection using his binoculars

Turns out everything is okay.  Time to kick back and relax

Turns out everything is okay. Time to kick back and relax

We continued, passing under the Triboro Bridge and entering the East River. Down the river, we went alongside Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. We were going right along the city now, passing the United Nations with views of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings. In the distance we could see the new Freedom Tower and we knew we had to go the distance.

My Dad celebrates his birthday in style

My Dad celebrates his birthday in style

Leaving New York's midtown in our wake

Leaving New York’s midtown in our wake

Under the Queensboro Bridge, over the Midtown Tunnel, under the Williamsburg Bridge, then the Manhattan Bridge and finally the Brooklyn Bridge. We could see the Statue of Liberty fast approaching and soon we were out of the river and into New York Harbor.

Chandra navigates us along midtown New York City

Chandra navigates us along midtown New York City

Passing under the Brooklyn Bridge and entering New York Harbor

Passing under the Brooklyn Bridge and entering New York Harbor

We stopped the boat just off the coast of Liberty Island with the Statue of Liberty looming above us. It was here we had lunch. The waters were pretty rough and ferries, sailboats and cruise ships were passing us by, but we had the most incredible view of lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, World Trade Center and the bridges up the East River. We ate sandwiches and listened to music on the boat’s bumpin’ sound system.  Unfortunately, since none of us were paying attention to the briefing before we left, we were afraid that if we shut off the engine we’d never get it started again.  So we idled the engine the entire time we ate lunch.  Later on we would find out that this was actually a smart move.

Lower Manhattan as we approach the Statue of Liberty

Lower Manhattan as we approach the Statue of Liberty

Lady Liberty - the perfect place for some lunch!

Lady Liberty – the perfect place for some lunch!

After lunch, I took the helm and piloted us back into the East River and up along Manhattan. While speeding past midtown, I got a text from from a good friend of mine saying that he actually just spotted us speeding by from where he was sitting in Gantry State Park! Amazing! In no time we navigated back up under the bridges to get back into Long Island Sound and Manhasset Bay.

The New York City skyline as we start to head back

The New York City skyline from the bottom of Manhattan

Dad enjoys a cold Coke Zero with the Statue of Liberty

Dad enjoys a cold Coke Zero with the Statue of Liberty

Back in the bay, we refueled the speed boat and in doing so turned off the engine.  We then couldn’t get the boat started again – not because anything was wrong, but because we just had no idea what we were doing.  You should have seen the guy’s face at the boat rental place when we told him we went all the way to the Statue of Liberty! It’s pretty amazing we all survived this little outing.  Happy Birthday, Dad!

The five of us back on Long Island after a successful day of 'Urban Boating'

The five of us back on Long Island after a successful day of ‘Urban Boating’

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4 Responses to “Exploring NYC by Speedboat”

  1. May 4, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Now this is how to see NYC!! Looks like great fun.

    Torsten @ http://www.mightytravels.com

    • David DiGregorio
      May 28, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

      Thanks! We definitely enjoyed it!

  2. KBlookinforaboat:)
    June 15, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Hi there! Do you think the owner would rent it out again? I’ve been looking for a way to do the same thing. Might as well say hello and see if we might get lucky!

    • David DiGregorio
      June 16, 2014 at 9:54 am #

      Absolutely! We’re actually doing it again in a couple months. Contact http://www.liboatrental.com/ to set it up.

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