Cycleboats come to New York Harbor

Driven by their passengers’ pedaling power, cycleboats have become a hit tourist attraction across the U.S., and are about to debut in New York Harbor.

NYC Cycleboats is set to launch May 3, carrying up to 16 passengers on 100-minute tours from Liberty Harbor Marina in Jersey City, N.J., around nearby Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Entrepreneur Christopher Coscia told the Hudson Reporter he has been working with the Coast Guard and has a licensed captain and crew ready to go.

“I was in Chicago on vacation and saw this going down the river so I booked a tour,” he told reporter Al Sullivan. “It was a blast and I couldn’t help but think we need this in New York City.”

Kraken CycleBoats operates in Tampa., Fla. Cascade Cycleboats photo

Kraken CycleBoats operates in Tampa., Fla. Cascade Cycleboats photo

On land, multirider pedal trolleys are novelties in cities like Savannah, Ga., where the local open-container alcohol rules allow BYOB rolling parties. Cascade Cycleboats, Bend, Ore., builds the Coast Guard-certified waterborne version and has delivered over 48 boats in operation at 38 locations since 2012.

The aluminum catamaran built for NYC Cycleboats is propelled by a stern paddlewheel driven by passengers on 10 seats, with space for an additional half-dozen passengers.

Cascade Cycleboats also builds 25-passenger vessels, and all are equipped with 30-hp outboard engines. The boats are certified for small passenger vessel operation and come with an initial Coast Guard certificate of inspection, according to the company. Cascade also offers help for its clients with a suite of booking and related services for starting their businesses.

NYC Cycleboats can carry 10 pedaling passengers. NYC Cycleboats photo

NYC Cycleboats can carry 10 pedaling passengers. NYC Cycleboats photo

The Liberty Island tours will cost $44 to $49 per person, and $490 to $550 to rent the entire vessel for a tour. Passengers can bring their own beer, wine and packaged cocktails but no liquor.

There are no stops on the route, and the NYC Cycleboats website advises customers to “please use the bathroom beforehand. In case of extreme emergencies we have a portable toilet onboard.”

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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