Frequently Asked Questions

After years of avoiding this we finally decided to give in and add the ubiquitous “Frequently Asked Questions” page. But we decided to break it down into sub categories. Questions we hear a lot, questions that only a boater would ask and some really dumb questions.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?

A: Cancellation Policy

  • Your credit card will not be charged at the time of booking and full payment will be taken by the Captain or First Mate in charge of the tour.
  • However, 50% of the total tour charge will be billed to your card if you do not cancel inside the cancellation period.
  • The total tour charge will be billed to your card if you do not cancel your reservation and are “no show” on the day.
  • Cancellations must be made 5 days before the scheduled tour.
  • For group tours of less than 6 people the reservation must be cancelled 5 days in advance.
  • For groups larger than 7 the reservation must be canceled 7 days in advance.
  • If you cancel inside the cancellation policy time, your credit card will not be charged.

Q: Do I need to make a reservation?

A: Yes, reservations are necessary for all tours.This insures we have the right boat for your needs as well as the proper captain and crew to take you out. We are a private tour company so we only run when booked, and do not have a set departure time.

Q: Why can't I just show up?

A: Well, you can just “show up.” but, we may be out on tours or doing service on one of the boats. Its alas best to book in advance so we have a Captain and Crew ready for you.

Q: Do I have to pay in advance?

A: No, however credit card details are required to reserve or “hold” your seat. This will not be charged at the time and full payment will be made at the boat at the end of your trip. This way you can pay with cash or credit card, individually or as a group.Please remember that we do require an 18% gratuity on some boats. This is how the crew get paid.

Q: How do I make a reservation?

A: Easy! Just call Captain Dave direct or fill out the online reservation form and someone will get back to you by email or phone. If you want to book for the same day or next day please make your booking by telephone by calling Captain Dave at 843-779-5711 he loves to talk to his clients!

Q: What methods of payment are accepted?

A: We accept Cash, Venmo and Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover and Amex).

Q: When do we need to be there?

A: Please be at the top of the Central Walkway dock at, 17 Lockwood Dr. Charleston City Marina 15 minutes before the tour departure time.

Q: Where can we park?

A: We have a large gated parking lot for our clients that chooses to drive. Parking is very secure and only costs a few dollars. They accept cash and card. take a ticket at the guard booth and drive straight past the large 4 story brick building. This is the old Rice Mill, past there it will open to a large parking lot with the Charleston Yacht Club in front of you and a 10 story brick building called Ashley Place directly across the street. During your attention to the left if looking at Ashley Place you will find the top of the central walk way dock. it will say Welcome to the Megadock.

Q: Are we allowed to bring food and drinks on-board?

A: Yes, you can we actually encourage it. Charleston is a great town with a drinking problem. lol We do have bottled water, ice and a large cooler on-board. You are more than welcome to bring your food on board as well. Glass bottles are allowed on the boat, however please bring a plastic glass to drink from.

Q: How easy is it to get on the boat with a walker or wheelchair?

A: Our boats do require some steps to get in and out of. They are not wheelchair accessible. There is always Captain and Crew to lend a hand to passengers with a walker onto the boat. We always leave the decision up to the guests if they will be able to board the boat. It is our goal that we provide the best experience for our clients and we take their dignity very seriously. So please be honest with your groups difficulties and mobility. We want this to be a fun experience not one that causes frustration.We cannot get scooters or power wheelchairs onto the boats. We do however have golf carts to get a guest to and from the boat.

Q: Do the boats have toilets?

A: Yes, all of our boats have toilets or heads on board. They do operate somewhat differently than land based toilets and the operation of them will be explained in the safety briefing.

Q: What happens if it rains?

A: Over the last 5 years we have cancelled only one trip due to rain. We do not cancel our tours for a localized rain shower; we will cancel a tour if it is unsafe to be on the water or if it is going to rain for the whole trip. Charleston weather can be peculiar and it may be raining where you are but just on the other side of town it can be sunny. Most time we can operate around the weather and the isolated rain. It’s actually pretty fun to see!

Q: What happens if it's cold?

A: We always suggest you dress appropriately for the conditions; it is often a few degrees cooler out on the boat. Blankets are made available for the cooler months. We do operate 12 months out of the year. January and February are our cooler months but many days can be in the 70’s.

Q: Are we allowed to bring dogs on board?

A: We do not allow dogs on board, although we love dogs it is just a liability and one our insurance will not cover. So leave your pet and home and enjoy the day! Service dogs are always permitted on-board.

Q: How big are the boats / how many people do they hold?

A: We have 3 boats in our fleet each one is described in detail on the site. Hatterass can hold up to 6 passengers. Southern Comfort usually is used for your over night guests and stays at the dock. Ship of Fools is our inspected vessel and can hold up to 18 guests.

Q: What hours do you answer the phone?

A: 9 am to 5 pm daily and later if we have a sunset or evening cruise that day. If we do not answer I am usually docking a boat getting tour aboard or fixing something. I will get back to you usually within 10 min. so stick around your phone. It will be coming from an 860 number. I also try and answer the phone even in off hours unless its 3 am. then you can leave a message.

Q: Can we swim off the boat?

A: NO! The City Marina dates to the early 1940’s and there are electrical cables, some as old as the marina, that are often in the water under the docks. Stray electrical current in the water can be fatal.

Q: Do you allow smoking?

A: NO!

Q: Do you allow children?

A: Well behaved children are always appreciated and considered.

Q: Can we smoke cigars?

A: NO!

Q: Will I get seasick?

A: Generally No, even people who are prone to seasickness normally don’t have a problem dockside. That said some of our yachts are outside of the seawall and occasionally the Ashely River can get a little “bouncey” it normally subsides within an hour when the tide changes or the wind eases.

Q: Can we use a jet ski or Boston whaler?

A: No – Sadly insurance companies have seen fit to make it impossible to allow our guests to enjoy our water toys while in the states.

Q: Do you allow parties and events aboard?

A: No – In the past we have hosted dozens of “yacht hop” charity events having 20 or more guests aboard. The coast guard has made it clear this is not permitted.

Q: Can we fish off or clean fish while aboard?

A: No

Q: Can we cook aboard?

A: Yes – Most of our yachts have fully stocked galleys. We only ask that our clean leave the galley just as they found it.

Q: Can we bring our own alcohol?

A: Yes – But please don’t bring your hard sided cooler aboard.

Q: Is there a charcoal grill aboard?

A: No – And No you can’t bring a charcoal grill aboard. Fire is the greatest risk to a marina. Boats with thousands of gallons of fuel and open flames are not a good combo.

Q: Can we take the boat out?

A: Yes, our crew is always happy to get our yachts underway. But keep in mind it is not cheap and the crew is not always available at a moments notice.

Q: Can we have more than six passengers on a charter?

A: Yes and No. Many of our boats are “inspected” by the USCG and therefore can take more than six passengers. Most of our smaller boats are not inspected and therefore they are limited to no more than six passengers.

Q: Why are charter prices so high?

A: Sadly boating is not cheap. Consider that an afternoon of racing around Charleston Harbor in a small 18 foot Boston Whaler will burn about 60 gallons of fuel.  That’s $250.00 up in smoke with about 4 hours of run time. Then imagine pushing your house around the harbor. Burning 50 gallons of fuel an hour isn’t the only cost. For every hour of run time we send 3 hours of labor dockside. While your charter may run from 6-9 our crew arrives hours before and often won’t get home until well past midnight.

Q: What type of engines does the Southern Comfort have?

A: Detroit 12-71 Diesels. Twelve cylinders with 710 horsepower.

Q: How much water does the Southern Comfort draw?

A: Normally 5 feet 3 inches A little more with full tanks and eight passengers.

Q: How many gallons of fuel does the Southern Comfort hold?

A: About 1,265 gallons in two tanks. All but 100 gallons usable.

Q: How much does it cost to run a big yacht per hour?

A: More than you would think. Beyond fuel and crew costs there are maintenance costs, insurance, dockage and wear and tear. In short our fixed costs average out to just under $600.00 per hour.

Q: Is the Southern Comfort hard to drive?

A: Surprisingly once you get past the size, she’s really easy to drive. Docking is actually easier than with a small boat because she is not blown about by the winds or pushed by the current like a small boat. Unfortunately, none of our guest are able to operate her.  She is only operated by The Captain of Southern Comfort for Insurance reasons.

Q: What is the range of Southern Comfort?

A: About 700 Miles, Just shy of reaching Bermuda when the weather is nice.

Q: I see you don't allow dogs, is it ok if we just tie our dog to the dock or up on deck?

A: No – Yes, a guest did this.

Q: Does Southern Comfort have bow thrusters?

A: No. We are old school but with 32″ props and 710 horse power a side, she’s pretty easy to spin around.

Q: How much is dockage?

A: Southern Comfort pays over $1,000.00 per month in dockage fees.

Q: Can we take the boat out without the crew?

A: No – The USCG requires a licensed Captain and so does our insurance company.

Q: Is it ok if we shoot off fireworks from the boat?

A: NO! – All the boats have large amounts of fuel on board. We like media coverage but not the kind that comes with stupid.

Q: Can we dive off the top of the boat into the water?

A: NO! – If you do the marina staff will force you to leave the property.

Q: I see your boat sleeps 8, but how many can it really sleep? Can't people sleep on the floor or out on the deck?

A:  Sorry we just aren’t that kind of property. Plus the Coast Guard has limits as to the number of guests that are permitted.

Q: Can we play beer pong or corn hole on the deck?

A: NO! – Your best bet to rent a nice beach house and have a great time.

Q: Can we feed pelicans and seagulls?

A: Yes – But do so at your own risk. There is a Pelican who has become rather aggressive and he likes Doritos. Please don’t confuse the seagulls with pigeons. If you feed the pigeons you won’t be able to walk off the boat without getting pooped on.

Q: We've been bare boating the BVI's for years and never use a captain. Why do we need a crew?

A: Bare boating in the BVI’s is a great and very safe way to build on your knowledge about boating. But the breezy open waters of the BVI’s are no comparison to the busy port of Charleston. Besides the complex piloting skills involved with the operation of the yacht there are rapidly changing currents and tides, and countless shoals and underwater hazards that your hired crew have knowledge of.

Q: I have a friend and he always takes out at least a dozen people and we all chip-in to pay for the fuel. Why can't we do that aboard your yachts?

A: Because that’s illegal.

Q: Your pricing says one price per night, but I see you charge extra for more than one couple. Isn't that misleading?

A: There is no real way to price the boat affordably for just one couple any other way. So we charge one price for 2 adults staying aboard as a couple, known as double occupancy. Plus an additional fee for each extra guest or stateroom again based on “double occupancy”.

Q: We are from Colorado and smoke weed, hope that's ok?

A: No. Its not ok! First you can’t smoke on board. Second its not legal in South Carolina and finally the US Coast Guard has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to boating.

As far as we are concerned smoke all the pot, weed, grass, marijuana you like, just don’t bring it on the boat.