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The Journal News -- Sunset Sail

Karen Roberts

Sep 9, 2017

Charter offers cruises for a different view of the Hudson

Think of it as another way to see the sunset or an alternative to date night.

The Nyack Boat Charter launched in June offering public and private tours and charters to anyone who wants a different way to see the river towns and experience the Hudson River.

‘We’ve been going all summer,” said Doug Foster, co-owner of Nyack Boat Charter. “We’ve had over 100 charters this summer with roughly 1,000 people taking a trip.”

Located at the Nyack Municipal Marina, it is one of the very few waterfront options in the Lower Hudson Valley where the public can try sailing, or head out on a sunset cruise without owning a boat.

Groups of two, four or six can go out for two-hour sunset charters Thursdays through Sundays. The $85 per-person cost gets you on the Hudson River on a gorgeous sailboat with a captain and crew. Guests can get a closer look at the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Tappan Zee Bridge and Hook mountain.

“This is a passion of mine, said Foster. “People look at the water but they can’t get out unless they have a boat.”

Foster and a partner started last year with 10 private charters and business has exploded this year with passengers clamoring for a ride on their Al Vento sailboat.

The 54-foot boat is equipped with comfortable amenities including three bathrooms and four staterooms to fit 12 people onboard. The boat has a separate captain's suite to give guests privacy.

Other activities outside of sunset gazing from the deck include tubing or knee boarding for kids.

The charter runs in Nyack from early May until mid-October when they take it to St. Thomas during the off-season.

“September is the best month for sailing because you get these winds,” says Foster. “Then in October, you get the fall colors.”

Foster and partner Robert Bellanich met at a Nyack networking group and decided to buy a boat together.

“When we met we said, 'Let’s buy a small boat for weekends,' and it’s been going since then,” says Bellanich.

Bellanich and his wife started a boat charter in 1998 offering wedding and corporate events on the water and wanted to start a similar business in Nyack.

Nyack Boat Charter is also an alternative for corporate events and birthday celebrations. The private charter option costs $400 per hour for an extended period of time.

“The two-hour is an introduction in an affordable way,” said Lezlee Peterzell-Bellanich. “In four hours, you really get to explore.”

During the longer private trips, people can have the boat to themselves, although a captain, some drinks and snacks are included.

The owners say this business celebrates Nyack's past.

"It‘s been really wonderful to get Nyack re-connected to the Hudson River," said Foster. "It‘s been a long history of boating in Nyack and finally people can get out on the water if they don’t own their own boat."

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