New England has a short but gorgeous summer season. Our family spent decades enjoying the coast of Massachusetts on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, where my grandmother Essie bought a hilltop cottage in 1951. Even back then, one of the funnest things to do was to walk downtown to the Edgartown Yacht Club and gawk at the big yachts that would anchor for a few nights in this former whaling village.
Yachts are one of those things that you probably don’t really want to own. The taxes, the painting, and the storage can add up to a big nut, and when it’s February, the last bill you’ll feel good about paying is from the boatyard storing your little beauty. That’s why even the rich often prefer to charter their big impressive water-rides, instead of actually owning them.
As a kid, one of my fondest memories was to go down to the yacht club and take the harbor launch at night that took boaters out to their moored yachts. Some would be located in the far reaches of the harbor, the launch would silently glide in and around the sleek yachts when the yachtsmen would signal with their air horns. Three blasts was all it took to summon the launch, and I’d be riding up front, with no yacht to get on, just a thirst for adventure and thoughts of someday taking one out myself.
Yacht chartering makes a whole lot of sense–and you can find many yacht owners who will gladly rent you their yachts for a week, a month or even a whole season.