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Get out on Peconic Bay in a pontoon boat through Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

When you want to explore the bays and harbors of the East End, swimming sometimes just doesn’t cut it.

If you don’t have a boat, you may feel your options are limited, but have no fear. When you get tired of floating around on one of those hipster swan floats, consider these fun and easy ways to get out on the water around the North Fork this summer.

Join a club

Grady-White from Port of Egypt Marina (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

“Renting, or joining a boat club, can be great options for getting on the water without the responsibilities of ownership,” says Joe Flotteron, owner of Peconic Water Sports in Southold. “These are great ways to get your feet wet with boating. With our rentals, you can pay for a day, a couple days, or a week or more. You can also try different types of boats throughout the year to see what you like best.”

The Peconic Water Sports boat club costs around $8,000 for the season and gives you access to its whole fleet. You’ll need to take a New York State-approved boating safety course. After that, saysFlotteron,“ just call ahead, reserve and go.”

Boat clubs have greatly gained in popularity over the past few years, said Rymer of Strong’s Marine, the only other North Fork marina with a boat club option. “Once you pay your membership fee ($7,200/season; $8,200/season for dual membership with their Southampton location) and complete your boating course, you have unlimited access to our entire club fleet, including new models from Cobalt, Regal and Pursuit. There’s no maintenance, cleaning up or getting gas, and you’ll receive five hours of free instruction. Our extended season allows for up to 180 days on the water, which spans the boating season here on the North Fork. It’s just super-convenient and some people really seem to enjoy that.”

Rent a Paddle Board

Paddle boarding instructor Evelyn O’Doherty gives the group some pointers during the Tuesday night community meet-up. (Credit: Krsten Massa)

If you’re thinking of joining the stand-up paddle movement, but aren’t quite ready to invest in your own setup, rent a board from One Love Beach in Greenport. Owners Chris and Blake Dowling will hook you up with a board that’s right for both your size and what you want to do. Whether it’s touring the East End or joining them for a Tuesday night meetup around the North Fork or Sunday morning yoga, there’s something for everyone. Not sure where to start? They offer private and group lessons, too.

Ride with Peconic Water Sports

Credit: Peconic Water Sports, courtesy

Skiing, wake boarding and kite boarding are the perfect water activities for the bold and daring. Offering captained charters on boats suited for these sports, the guys at Peconic Water Sports provide the equipment and lessons for all levels to ensure a safe and exciting adventure on Peconic Bay or Long Island Sound. Want to go on your own cruise? Take advantage of their jet ski rentals and tours.

Glory Going Green

Glory Going Green
Captain David Berson aboard the Glory Going Green. The solar-powered boat offers tours of Greenport Harbor all summer long. (Credit: Photo: Iri Greco / BrakeThrough Media)

The environmentally friendly Glory tours the harbors of Peconic Bay with Captain David Berson at the helm. He and his business partner Andrew Rowsom say they run Long Island’s only non-polluting electric-powered boat, a 1990 reproduction of a 30-foot Fantail launch. It’s a fun way to get on the water and respect a marine environment that is continually threatened by pollution. This calm and quiet summer ride is as relaxing as it sounds.

Lighthouse Cruise

A scene from an East End Seaport Museum lighthouse cruise. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Get a little history lesson with lighthouse excursions run by Greenport’s East End Seaport Museum. Experience the iconic Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse up close with a narrated tour aboard the Peconic Star Express, or visit other area lighthouses and islands and look for seals in the waters around the North Fork with the “Lighthouse Super Cruise.” As a bonus, you’ll be supporting the museum’s mission of preserving local maritime history.

Rent a Pontoon Boat

Credit: Courtesy photo

Essentially a super-cool version of Huckleberry Finn’s raft, these flattish boats float on pontoons, providing more deck space than traditional rental boats. Aquebogue’s Lighthouse Marina offers vessels that can accommodate six to 10 passengers either by the day or for the whole season. They’re great for tubing, skiing or just relaxing. There’s even an option to hire a captain if you don’t have boating experience.

Walk on the Shelter Island Ferry

It’s simple and gets you somewhere great. For $2, you can walk onto the North Ferry to Shelter Island and take a quick cruise across Peconic Bay. Hop on or off in either direction and you’ll be within walking distance of some of the best waterfront spots in Greenport and Shelter Island. For $1 more, you can bring your bicycle and go even farther.