Rent A Boat In Charleston, South Carolina - Updated 2021

rent a boat in charleston sc
Philip
Philip
Updated

Dating back to the 1670s, Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina and boasts a deep history to match – from the dark days of the slave trade (which are remembered at nearby plantation museums) to its fascinating and colourful links to the so-called Golden Age of Piracy. Its harbour is also home to Fort Sumter - where the first shots of the US Civil War of the 1860s were fired. The city’s age means there are plenty of historic architectural charms to enchant visitors, from the aforementioned Fort Sumter National Monument and Charleston’s famed cobblestone streets to the pastel shades of the historic houses in the Battery and French Quarter. Other top attractions include the Patriots Point naval museum, which is home to retired World War II aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown, among other vessels. And, speaking of water-based attractions, the city’s coastal location makes it a great place to find houseboat and yacht accommodation. So, if you’re a fan of the water and you’re looking for a non-touristy thing to do, book a party boat or a simple houstboat. Enjoy a picturesque coastal or river view, and find a unique place to stay during your visit. Read on for some of the top ways to rent a boat in Charleston, South Carolina.

1. City Marina sailboat for up to six people with handy shuttle service (from USD 398)

Set on a 31-ft (9.5-m) sailboat, this 2-bedroom accommodation option is another that will appeal to families – as it can sleep up to 6 people, but would also serve as a great base for a romantic retreat. Located in the award-winning Charleston City Marina, it is handily-placed and close to a nearby rooftop restaurant and bar, as well as convenience stores for stocking the kitchen, should you wish to whip up your own meals.

It also enjoys unrestricted views out across the Ashley River. And, speaking of location, its position on the west side of the city’s peninsula means you’re only a 15-minute walk from downtown attractions. There’s even a free shuttle service, should you wish to save your legs.

Sleep on a Boat / Historic Downtown Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
246 reviews Superhost  Wifi Available
Boat 2 Beds 6 Guests 2 Bedrooms 1 Bathroom

Accommodates: 6

Top guest reviews
Amenities & Room:
the tv and wi-fi worked great
very nice sailboat with heat and air conditioning well stocked with snacks and coffee
we used ac heat just fan and nothing at all during our stay
the boat has incredible amenities that made it very comfortable
biloxi was so comfortable the bed and kitchen were great
Cleanliness:
clean comfortable and very thoughtful touches better than advertised thanks again christian
the marina area is clean and feels very safe
very comfortable and clean
biloxi is impressively clean roomy great craftsmanship with updates of the boat
it was a great stay the boat was incredibly clean and while cozy had great space
Host:
christian was an amazing host and ms
great host great boat
christian was an amazing host
our host was very easy to reach and accommodating
the absolute best christian is truly a super host
Location:
a fantastic location for a 2 night stay
definitely a must stay location
close to downtown with a shuttle and bikes to make it easy to get around
first of all the location is great
i would recommend this location as a fun place to visit
Read more reviews

2. Restored vintage yacht in City Marina (from USD 414)

This restored vintage yacht has a charming teak-panelled interior for that added nautical flavour. Capable of sleeping up to 4 people between its 2 bedrooms, it would appeal to romantic couples or small families seeking a unique holiday on the water. Those who love their home comforts will likely find plenty to enjoy – with the yacht featuring everything from 2 flat-screen TVs and a full galley kitchen to Wi-Fi access for keeping up to date on your travels. Enjoying a near-perfect location, the yacht is located in the City Marina on the Ashley River and is handy to downtown attractions and Charleston’s amazing seafood restaurants.

Restored Vintage Hatteras Yacht
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
137 reviews Superhost  Wifi Available
Boat 5 Beds 4 Guests 2 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms

Accommodates: 4

Top guest reviews
Amenities & Room:
wonderful boat all necessary amenities great marina super comfortable bed & pillows
the a/c worked good and gave us a break from the weather
it was comfortable convenient to downtown with views
beautiful master state room with an extremely comfortable and roomy bed
we chose to sleep on the couch/futons instead of the bunks and they were very comfortable
Cleanliness:
our floating home was just as advertised; it was neat tidy clean and spacious
it yacht was clean and the master bed was so comfortable
it was clean comfortable and very convenient to exploring charleston
marina was clean and conveniently located
the legacy is spacious and gorgeous shower on board and a very nice bath house nearby
Host:
dan was a great host
excellent stay the yacht was amazing and dan was a great host
dan was a great host and the boat was exactly as described
dan is a great host
thank you dan for being an outstanding host
Location:
great place and close to everything
location is also convenient - only a short drive or a nice walk from the heart of charleston
great location and a unique charleston experience
great place to stay fantastic location beautiful setting marina shuttle makes getting around town easy loved it
nice relaxing quiet marina location
Read more reviews

3. Enjoy southern comfort on the 4-bed Southern Comfort (from USD 364)

Southern Comfort by name – southern comfort by nature. Vacationers seeking real comfort on the water will likely find much to enjoy about this spacious motor yacht. Capable of sleeping up to 8 people between its 4 bedrooms, this accommodation option features a spacious salon - complete with formal dining area - for relaxing with the family when not out exploring the city.

Boasting all-new furniture, it also comes with a fully-equipped galley, Wi-Fi and cable TV. Its Charleston City Marina location also places it just 3 blocks from the historic Battery area. Guests may also wish to opt for a sunset cruise around the harbour aboard the host’s sister Hatteras ship.

Motoryacht Southern Comfort
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
59 reviews  Wifi Available
Boat 4 Beds 8 Guests 4 Bedrooms 4 Bathrooms

Accommodates: 8

Top guest reviews
Amenities & Room:
huge yacht with plenty of room and everything you will need on board
Cleanliness:
everything was clean and the linens were noticably soft
clean and lage boat
the yacht was very clean and well kept
Host:
very nice boat and great host
kudos to the owner and crew for making this a unique experience for us
the boat was clean and comfortable but the host was always very responsive
Location:
great location and unique experience
great location in the marina
location for getting around charleston was great
good location with a short walk (or uber) to downtown
beautiful location private peaceful environment
Read more reviews

4. Vintage 60s houseboat for up to 4 people

If it’s nautical vintage charm you crave, this half-century-old houseboat is sure to appeal to you. Dating back to 1968, the Grand Banks is a grand old vessel by nature, complete with classic wooden floor interior and light decor. Despite its age, this 1-bedroom vessel comes with plenty of mod cons, including Wi-Fi, a well-equipped galley and cable TV. The main deck, which includes a sun awning for added shade in the summer sun, will also make for a charming spot to unwind with family while enjoying views of Charleston Harbour and Ravenel Bridge.

Located in a marina on the Cooper River, it is just 1.5-2 miles (2.4-3.2 km) from the attractions of downtown Charleston and, as well as free on-site parking, the host also throws in free use of bikes, for added ease of getting about.

The Grand Banks: ‘VINTAGE’ Houseboat Downtown.
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
172 reviews
Boat 2 Beds 1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom
Top guest reviews
Amenities & Room:
the cushions on the deck dried quickly so we were able to enjoy breakfast outside on top
this authentic yacht is very comfortable and quaint
ac and fans felt so good very clean and comfortable
Cleanliness:
the boat was clean spacious and the bed was really comfortable
the boat was very clean and comfortable
what a neat idea i stayed on the sapphire hemingway and loved it
the boat was clean stocked with necessary essentials and was ready for check -in as promised
Host:
justin was a fantastic host
justin is a great host
justin was a great host
justin was a great host
justin was a great host responded quickly and worked with me on requests
Location:
perfect location for being super close to everything
the location is perfect
great experience and a convenient location
its in a great location and feels very private
the location is perfect for getting to the beach or downtown which we did
Read more reviews

5. A 2-bedroom yacht with leather and teak panel interior

Another option that boasts a memorably-stylish interior, this 2-bedroom yacht features a galley boasting leather seating and teak panelled walls for that added touch of luxury. Suitable for up to 4 people, but ideal as a romantic bolt-hole, this stationary vessel’s main cabin boasts a spacious bed and its own climate controls for added comfort.

The yacht’s location, on the western shore of the Ashley River, also places it close to a seafood eatery and bar - just 600.4 ft (183 m) away. It is also not far from the delights of downtown Charleston by road, which is just a 3 to 4 USD Uber journey away. There is also free parking, should you plan on using your own transport.

Private 2 bedroom Yacht on the water in Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
27 reviews
Boat 2 Beds 2 Bedrooms 1 Bathroom
Top guest reviews
Cleanliness:
very clean and great proximity to downtown as well as shem creek and folly beach
shaun’s boat was clean as a whistle
very clean boat and everything was just as detailed in pictures
we had no issues finding the boat and it was very fun and clean
Host:
great host with excellent accommodations
host is responsive with sharp attention to detail
he was a great host and we would certainly book this again
shaun was an amazing host
Location:
a great alternative to a hotel in an amazing location
this is a great place to stay if you like being on the water
great place to stay when spending a weekend in charleston
Read more reviews

6. One-bedroom boat on the Ashley River

Relive your inner Miami Vice with a stay on a vessel that is the same as Crockett and Tubbs’ in the classic 80s show. One of the smaller options on the list, this stationary 1-bedroom vessel will nevertheless make a suitable choice for couples on a romantic getaway. What’s more, it can sleep up to 4 people and comes with plenty of amenities. These include a full galley – complete with range and microwave – as well as air conditioning for added comfort.

Those wanting to take to the water will also find a range of charter boat options just steps away – so even though your boat won’t be going anywhere during your stay, you won’t be restricted. The location, on the western flanks of the Ashley River, places it close to popular eateries like BBQ joints and kayaking and fishing spots.

"Sleep On The Water In The Holy City"
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
11 reviews
Boat 3 Beds 2 Bedrooms 1 Bathroom
Top guest reviews
Cleanliness:
a clean sleek miami vice yacht
Host:
alan was a nice host
alan was a great host
alan was an amazing host he was very easy to communicate with and very accommodating
we had an awesome stay here alan was easy to communicate with and very accommodating
Read more reviews

7. Highly-rated houseboat in downtown Charleston

Enjoying a glowing reputation, this one-bedroom houseboat suits everyone from couples on a romantic getaway to small families, thanks to its second berth. Boasting blue and white interior decor, which apes its nautical setting, this houseboat comes equipped with plenty of amenities, despite its cosy size. These include Wi-Fi access, an indoor fireplace and a kitchen for whipping up foodie delights before tucking into them inside or on the inviting deck.

What’s more, it is only 1.5 to 2 miles (2.4 to 3.2 km) from Charleston’s historic district, making it easy to reach either via road or using the houseboat’s free-to-use bicycles. The marina is also close to a range of popular eateries - should you wish to eschew the kitchen.

A Pirates Life For Me: Private Houseboat Downtown!
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
335 reviews
Boat 2 Beds 1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom
Top guest reviews
Amenities & Room:
the bed was fantastic though as was the air conditioning
amazing views of the water and a cozy space once in a lifetime experience
the houseboat has everything you need to feel comfortable and nothing more- keeping things simple
Cleanliness:
very clean and well appointed
clean quiet and so unique
the space was very clean and well organized
the boat was clean and very nicely decorated
the houseboat was more spacious than expected squeaky clean and comfortable
Host:
justin is a great host
justin is a great host and very attentive
justin is friendly and welcoming
justin was a great host responded to all the details
and justin the host is friendly and lightning-fast with replying to any questions
Location:
good location to down town
local eats are close by and delicious
the location worked out great for us
the location was great the marina was nice
great location fun stay very peaceful on the water
Read more reviews

8. Fully-renovated houseboat for up to five people

Ideal for families, but also suitable for couples or friends, this two-bedroom houseboat has been fully renovated and boasts an array of home comforts - from Wi-Fi access to a kitchen. There’s also a TV and air conditioning, for added comfort at night. The houseboat comes with free on-site parking at the marina, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty exploring the wider Charleston area by road. What’s more, it is one of just six boat rentals offered by the host in the area – should you plan on bringing a larger group and need multiple options, or seek something a little different. Past guests were hugely impressed, giving the site very high marks for location, cleanliness and value.

Last Toy - Houseboat Heaven Downtown. Sleeps 5.
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
289 reviews
Boat 4 Beds 2 Bedrooms 1 Bathroom
Top guest reviews
Amenities & Room:
fantastic views and comfortable accommodations
ac is really good and the master bed is super cozy right at the water’s edge
the last toy was a great alternative to a hotel room
very comfortable to sleep in
Cleanliness:
very clean and room for several people
plenty of hot water clean linen clean boat and safe isolated area at a marina
a wonderful place to spend some time plenty of space very clean extremely welcoming host and a unique experience
the last toy was a beautiful houseboat that was very nicely decorated and clean
boat was very clean and just as stated
Host:
justin was a fantastic host
justin was an excellent host
justin was an excellent host
and justin was a great host
justin was very responsive to questions & minor issues
Location:
great stay in a unique location
cool house boat really close to downtown
the location is great a peaceful environment just close enough to the downtown scene
close by shopping area and nice restaurants
great accommodations and fantastic location
Read more reviews

9. Marina houseboat, suitable for larger groups or families

Another of the options owned by the previous host, this 2-bedroom houseboat would suit larger families or groups – comfortably sleeping 6 adults in its 3 beds and up to 8 guests at a push, thanks to additional sofa beds. It also comes with plenty of mod-cons to make you feel at home – from the kitchen and indoor fireplace to bicycles and Wi-Fi access.

Its light and bright interior, which boasts decor influenced by its nautical location, would also make a charming base for a couple’s retreat. Other notable additions include a large awning on the bow for lounging in the Carolina summer sun. Guests loved the downtown marina setting and its cleanliness.

MASCOTA 53’ Yacht DOWNTOWN! Sleeps 6—HGTV Featured
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
139 reviews
Boat 3 Beds 2 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms
Top guest reviews
Amenities & Room:
the boat was incredible the views were awesome the beds were comfortable and the location was convenient
Cleanliness:
it was very clean and open
everything was clean and functioned well
stylish very clean comfortable
it was clean modern and had ample relaxation opportunities
the boat was as expected very clean nice touches very comfortable slept great
Host:
justin was a great host
justin was a great host
justin was a great host/communicator
justin was amazing and a pleasure as our host
justin was a great host and very accessible when needed
Location:
the location is great
the location is super convenient
great place to stay and very close to downtown
the location is amazing and so close to anything you could want to do
far away enough to enjoy peace and quiet
Read more reviews

10. Newly-remodelled and spacious yacht with mod cons

One of the most spacious options to date, this stationary 5-ft (15.5-m) yacht features 3 bedrooms and can sleep up to 7 people – making it an ideal option for families or friends. What’s more, it was remodelled in 2019. Speaking of the interior - it features high ceilings, granite counters and a large kitchen for cooking up family meals.

Amenities include Wi-Fi, TV and free parking. There’s also an inviting sundeck and patio area with a grill – ideal for a lazy summer evening in good company. Guests should note, however, that there is a 1 to 2-ft step to get on board, which makes the site unsuitable for infants or those with trouble swimming. Past guests loved the boat, which is located on the west side of the city peninsula.

Spacious 51' Yacht Downtown! Remodeled in 2019!
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
180 reviews
Boat 4 Beds 3 Bedrooms 1 Bathrooms
Top guest reviews
Amenities & Room:
we also really loved having wifi and access to smart tvs to stream music and shows
the beds were comfortable the ac worked well and it was fairly easy to get to
the inside of this yacht is immaculate and the beds are so comfortable
it's clean comfortable and well-furnished with good amenities and plenty of room
Cleanliness:
it was super clean and much more comfortable than i expected
the yacht was clean and our group had a great time
the yacht was super cool clean comfy and local to charleston
Host:
david was an awesome host
david is an awesome host and does everything he can to accommodate his guests
the yacht was amazing and david was very responsive and helpful
very nice host fun place to host out of town guests well stocked with all the essentials
living area & galley are spacious and having two bathrooms is helpful too
Location:
what a great location and value
great place good location great stay
it’s a perfect close to a hot charleston afternoon
this was a fun place to stay and a great location
great location outstanding sunset from comfortable deck
Read more reviews

Time to hit the waterfront

Charleston’s waterfront setting means there are plenty of popular houseboat accommodation options available – from vintage classics to modern vessels with plenty of space for larger families. Whatever your needs, there’s a rental boat accommodation option to suit you on our list. Choose one and explore the top things to do at night and romantic activities in Charleston.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I'm a writer and photographer based in the heart of the beautiful Scottish Highlands. A professional journalist by trade, I have written for and edited several newspapers, magazines and websites....Read more

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