An entrepreneur from Massachusetts has paired up with dozens of boat owners along the California coast to offer concierge charter service to Catalina Island.
Marc Andelman, a partner in OnBoat, said this week that the experiment that began three years ago has blossomed into a business now growing exponentially. OnBoat offers concierge service from three area ports to Catalina Island.
Granted, the private service will not anytime soon compete with existing pricing for the larger scale ferries, but Andelman says OnBoat is a tremendous option for private groups seeking flexibility or perhaps want to spend the night on a boat in Catalina for other business and personal needs. According to Andelman, all of the OnBoat captains are qualified and Coast Guard certified, adding that the boats range from powerboats, to catamarans all the way up to yachts. Thus far, he said, OnBoat has hosted groups seeking hiking, camping, fishing, underwater and a host of other activities that are available on Catalina.
Andelman said the company has developed a “fleet” of boats that depart from Marina del Ray, San Pedro and Newport Beach. Once the company certifies a request, they match the parties with a qualified boat in one of their three locations, he said. For instance, customers interested in a six place yacht for an overnight trip can simply call OnBoat and the company will make all the arrangements.
According to founder Kevin Wong, OnBoat customers prefer the flexibility and privacy of a private yacht or boat for their trips to Catalina. Another advantage of using a private fleet, said Andelman, is that customers can travel either to Avalon Bay or Two Harbors from any of the departing ports.