City Spotlight: Daytona Beach Yachting Lifestyle
Perhaps the best way to experience Daytona Beach’s natural beauty and all the precious wildlife that call it home is to venture out on its serene waters. Perfectly positioned between the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, the city serves as a divine haven for some of the East Coast’s most renowned boating and sailing activity. Whether it’s for sport, adventure, or relaxation, people come from far and wide to climb aboard various vessels en route to paradise. It’s those experiences that make them fall in love with Daytona Beach and never want to leave.
Among the most anticipated boating events in Daytona Beach is the Christmas Boat Parade. Every year, the Halifax River Yacht Club (HRYC) hosts the parade, allowing any and all boats to participate in the festive contest. Boats start out just north of MG on the Halifax and proceed south under Main Street Bridge, International Speedway Boulevard, past City Island Park, and under Silver Beach (Tom Staed Veterans Memorial) bridge. The intricately decorated vessels are judged at the HRYC’s south dock and end at the Daytona Marina and Boat Works/Chart House.
Local Tip: The best seats are up on either the north side of the HRYC channel, the fishing pier on the channel leading to the Halifax River Marina, or dockside of Chart House at the entrance to the Daytona Marina and Boat Works.
The Halifax River Yacht Club also has the great honor of hosting the 10th bi-ennial “Gulfstreamer” Offshore Sail Boat Challenge this Memorial Day Weekend. Hailed as the race too intense to be held every year and the most prestigious offshore sailing event in Central Florida and the Southeastern Atlantic Coast, the Gulfstreamer covers 226 miles from Daytona Beach to Charleston, South Carolina. Participants enjoy the challenge of navigating long-range tactical difficulties and the race-within-a-race concept. They’re also treated to a rum party, buffet dinner, and Bloody Mary welcome party and awards banquet upon arrival in Charleston.
For marine outings on all other days of the year, sailing enthusiasts have plenty of other equally glamorous options to choose from in Daytona Beach. Some of the best scenic river cruises and sailing tours can be had aboard the 50’ by 28’ Arabella with Fun Cat Sailing. The family-friendly catamaran carries up to 48 passengers and offers a full moon cruise, swim and sail trip, and sunset sail, all with breathtaking views and encounters with dolphins, manatees, seabirds, and more.
Sailing Winsome invites voyagers to board the 36 ½ foot Pearson sailboat Winsome with Captain Hendricks for full day or half day sailing charters and sightseeing on the Intracoastal. Accommodating eight passengers, Winsome offers sunset cruises and swimming or beach stops, as well as participation in vessel operation and sailing lessons. Eagle Yachts and Sailing Charters also offers captained sailing and meteor shower watching trips on the 36 foot Morgan Nelson/Mrek designed sloop Eagle. Captain Eric West guarantees that by the end of the trip, the six passengers will have sailed the boat, and he even offers new boaters lessons on their own vessels.
MG on the Halifax has recently finished a 28-boat slip private marina for the disposal of MG residents, with the option of designing your own slip. The marina will provide water and power hook-ups, ice, cleaning, pump out, and other convenient services. Not to mention, nearby channel access to the Atlantic, a connection to the emerging Daytona-Ormond Marina District, and an entryway to the community’s finest amenities.
Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, a boat owner or simply an enthusiast, experiencing the sailing and yachting lifestyle of Daytona Beach is a must. The city’s countless marinas, harbors, and charters provide everything from thrill to serenity on the water, as well as a whole new perspective of the community, whose beauty speaks for its self.