Rent a boat for an afternoon at sea
By Stephen Levine
With summer just around the corner, there’s no better warm-weather activity than boating on Long Island. Whether it’s learning how to sail, competitive rowing or just renting a boat to relax, several businesses on Long Island offer a variety of options.
Sagamore Rowing Association
With a rich history on the Island, Sagamore Rowing Association in Oyster Bay is the perfect place to learn how to row in a community environment. The club is for rowers of all ages and all experience levels, but offers competitive rowing for those with a more advanced skill-set.
“We attract rowers from all backgrounds and experience levels,” says Dana Pagliara, treasurer for Sagamore Rowing Association. “We also encourage people who are interested in rowing to come out and try this great sport.”
The club has been around for more than 40 years and offers a variety of boats, including singles (for one person), doubles (for two), quads (for four) and eight-person boats, according to Manny Delgado, head coach of and program director for Sagamore Rowing Association.
A variety of themed programs for all ages and experience levels can be taken at Sagamore, including learning how to row, rowing for technique, technical aspect for rowing, fitness aspect for rowing and rowing for competition. According to Delgado, the club also features a great teacher to student ratio of 1:10, so people really learn how to row and gain proper technique.
“Rowing is unlike any other sport,” says Delgado. “You can improve fitness while being outside and it is a lifelong sport. Whether you’re a seventh grader or in your nineties, you can row for the duration of your life.”
Summer programs start at $250 for new junior rowers. Sagamore Rowing Association is located at Building H on 3 West End Avenue in Oyster Bay; www.sagamorerowing.org; 516-714-3247.
Port Sailing School
For those interested in renting a boat or learning to sail, Port Sailing School in Port Washington rents sonar sailboats up to 23 feet and Beneteau sailboats up to 36 feet. Smaller boats cost $150 for a four-hour rental, while the larger boats cost $425 for a 24-hour period.
Prior to renting a boat, a sailing résumé must be completed online at www.portsailing.com/online_reservations.htm, though it’s also possible to qualify for a boat rental over the phone by calling 516-767-SAIL. Depending on prior sailing experience, renters may need to go out with a sailor before renting the boat solo, but ideally, experienced sailors can rent with just a short boat briefing, according to Chris Nihill, owner of Port Sailing School.
The school also offers lessons for those interested in learning to sail, as well as a Wednesday night racing program,where guests can race the school’s sailboats from 6 p.m. until dark. During the summer, it offers half-day and full-day sailing camp for children at 8 years and older from Monday through Friday, starting at $545 for a two-week session.
Port Sailing School is located at 86 Orchard Beach Boulevard in Port Washington; www.portsailing.com; 516-767-SAIL.
The WaterFront Center
The mission of Oyster Bay’s WaterFront Center is to educate people of all ages and backgrounds about the marine environment, empowering them to promote community sailing and enjoy the Oyster Bay waters in environmentally friendly ways.
The WaterFront Center features a variety of vessels, including Sonars (five people for $39 an hour), Rhodes 19 (four people $28 an hour), Sunfish (one adult and one child for $23 an hour), Mariner 36: Ambiance (six people for $62 an hour), Islander 30: Fortunato (six people for $50 per hour) and O’Day 280: Sea Mare (five people for $45 an hour).
First-time renters must pass a WaterFront Center check-out sail for one hour and $10 and returning members must complete a 2015 orientation for $10.
The Waterfront Center is located at 1 West End Avenue in Oyster Bay; www.thewaterfrontcenter.org; 516-922-SAIL.