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Jul 2, 2019 12:21 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

On Montauk Harbor: It's A Bike, It's A Bar, It's A Boat

People were aboard the Montauk Cycle Boat on Saturday afternoon, docked outside of Salivars restaurant . KYRIL BROMLEY
Jul 2, 2019 1:33 PM

It’s a boat, but it’s also a bar, and passengers pedal as if they’re riding a bike while the boat glides throughout Montauk Harbor.

It’s hard to explain the concept, but Hali Devlin and Phil Baigent, owners of the Montauk Cycle Boat, are excited to finally start taking the unique-looking vessel out on the harbor.

“Sip, Cycle, Cruise, Repeat” is the motto of the cycle boat, “Holden It Down,” named after Ms. Devlin and Mr. Baigent’s bright blue-eyed 7-month-old son, Holden.

“He grew up out here fishing, and my parents have owned the restaurant for over 25 years,” Ms. Devlin said on a recent Friday afternoon while standing on the teal-colored cycle boat, holding Holden in her arms.

“We both grew up around the harbor area and felt that there wasn’t a lot to do in the harbor,” she explained.

“We wanted to have something in the harbor. We love the harbor. We really do,” said Mr. Baigent, Ms. Devlin’s boyfriend, business partner, and a commercial fisherman and bayman who has boats docked at Liar’s Saloon.

Ms. Devlin’s parents, Rob and Eileen, own and run Salivar’s Clam and Chowder House, where the Montauk Cycle Boat will be docked.

The cycle boat can accommodate up to 16 people per charter and tickets sell for $40 per person, for a two-hour ride of the harbor. Ms. Devlin and Mr. Baigent will play music via Bluetooth speaker, and guests are able to bring their own beer and wine to put into a mini-bar cooling area that sits in the middle of the boat.

“Holden it Down” will make stops along Montauk Harbor, allowing passengers to exit the boat and grab a drink at places like Liar’s Saloon or the Star Island Yacht Club.

The boat is human-powered, with 10 cycle seats and room for additional guests. Mr. Baigent will steer the ship, and if the crew gets tired of pedaling, he can put the motor on for a smooth cruise.

The idea for the cycle boat popped up when Ms. Devlin attended a bachelorette party in Nashville last summer. “They had these big bikes all over the place,” she said of the bar/cycle bike combination she and her friends rode on in Nashville, explaining that the cycling bars were the road version of the Montauk Cycle Boat. “In Nashville, they had them all over the main streets. It was so much fun.”

Ms. Devlin and her friends, all in their mid-20s, were paired with a group of women in their 60s celebrating a divorce, she remembered.

“I thought they’d hate us,” she said of the unlikely pairing and age difference. “But we had a blast together,” she said. She added that small groups can also book on the cycle boat, and possibly get paired with other people.

When Ms. Devlin arrived back to Montauk, she told Mr. Baigent all about it. He responded that going out to sea for long periods of time while having a young son would be a good time to take on the new business.

Mr. Baigent scoured the internet to find exactly what they were looking for. He found a person who builds cycle boats in Oregon, ordered one, went with Ms. Devlin to check it out, and then had a truck deliver it to Montauk.

The boat has solar panels on top, in addition to a big paddlewheel that is lowered into the water that connects to the gears. As people are cycling, the wheel turns, pushing the boat through the water.

Although it looks like a workout, it’s built so passengers can relax and have fun.

“We’ve been taking out the staff, friends and family,” Ms. Devlin said, adding that they’ve just opened bookings to the public. Already, they have a handful of passengers booked for July and August. Before taking reservations, they had to get approval from the Town of East Hampton, in addition to passing Coast Guard inspections.

“It’ll make stops at Liar’s Saloon, pull into the Hideaway or Star Island. People can get off and grab a drink there,” Mr. Baigent said, adding that the Montauk Cycle Boat won’t be serving drinks.

“If you’ve never been to Montauk, you can see all of the local places,” he added.

Ms. Devlin, an East Hampton High School graduate, said the boat is great for team building, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, family reunions and birthday parties in addition to people just looking to have a fun time.

They’ll host three cruises a day, at noon, 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for a sunset cruise. The boat won’t go past the jetties; Gosman’s is as far as it will travel.

Ms. Devlin will also cater food from Salivar’s to the cycle boat.

“You can go into the restaurant, grab your sushi, and get ready to do a little bar hopping,” Mr. Baigent said while stepping off the boat and heading inside Salivar’s to check on Holden as Ms. Devlin readied for her shift at her family’s restaurant.

“We think this’ll be a good way to bring business to the harbor.”

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Sounds like a great idea .
By afj (24), East Quogue on Jul 6, 19 9:31 AM