A Bed & Breakfast Afloat Offers Unique Accommodations in the Heart of Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts is notoriously expensive – almost ludicrously so in peak season. Sure, deals can be had at your typical (*ahem*) “budget” motels. But who wants to stay “on island” (in local speak) in the Sketchy View Motel?

On a recent trip, I decided to get creative in my search for accommodations. Enter
A Bed and Breakfast Afloat – a (wait for it …) floating bed and breakfast in the heart of the Vineyard’s Oak Bluffs Marina.

A Bed and Breakfast Afloat (exterior), Martha's Vineyard

The Skinny

A Bed & Breakfast Afloat’s MS Resolute is a classic 40-foot island cutter sailboat featuring:

  • The Galley (kitchen) has a refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven and coffee maker. Continental Breakfast is provided daily.
  • The Salon (living room) has a TV/VHS player; a couch on the port side (left) which pulls out to be a double bed and a single bed on the starboard side (right).
  • There is a private head (bathroom) with shower capabilities.
  • The cockpit (outer area in the back of the boat) is spacious for outdoor dining, relaxing, socializing or simply enjoying the water views.
  • The V-berth (bedroom) has is a queen size bed and plenty of room to store your belongings.

In Detail

Location

Centrally located in the Oak Bluffs Harbor in Martha’s Vineyard. Bars, restaurants, shops, charter boats, mainland ferries to New Bedford and Quonset – they’re all within a ½ mile walk. Quite simply, there is no better location.

What’s more, the marina is within a protected harbor, meaning the weather on the open sea has little bearing on the MS Resolute’s environment. The soft lapping of the waves at the hull (plus a Corona or six) helped us sleep astonishingly well both nights.

A Bed and Breakfast Afloat (Interior), Martha's Vineyard

Amenities

We verified all of the amenities listed above and then some. In total, it’s nicer than some apartments I’ve lived in. College size fridge, comfortable seating for 6 up front, queen sized bed (V-berth), plenty of extra bedding and towels.

A substantial continental breakfast is provided as well. Susan will supply just about anything you ask for – juice, coffee, muffins, snack bars, you name it. It was all waiting for us when we arrived.

Size / Space

Keep in mind, this is a modestly sized sailboat. It’s not a cruise liner, so expect fairly tight quarters. That said, for two people, we found the Resolute perfectly livable for a weekend.

(To be honest, I enjoyed it so much, I spent the better part of the following day researching live aboard vessels. But that’s another topic for another day ”¦)

The bathroom (“head” in marine speak) was tight. If you’ve spent anytime in an RV, you’ll understand. There’s something very intriguing about such minimalism; it’s only as big as it needs to be and more. I had no real issue with it. The Mrs found it fine for the weekend, but guessed it to be a bit trying for longer stays.

Proprietors

Proprietors John and Susan Stephenson are a laid back, take-it-as-it-comes couple who’ve clearly spent (and continue to spend) their lives on the water. They were warm, inviting, and extremely accommodating. Our initial ferry was cancelled, making us almost four hours late for our meetup with them. They stuck around until almost 11 o’clock at night, patiently waiting for us.

Incidentally, they live on a larger sailboat (which they also charter) within the same harbor – just a hundred yards away. So they’re readily available to help out with any questions or issues you may have.

Pricing

From $295 per night (2 people), low season. From $325 per night (2 people), high season.

Bottom Line

The location can’t be beat; laid-back, friendly and knowledgeable proprietors; and pricing that’s inline with every mid-range hotel on the island all make A Bed & Breakfast Afloat an absolute winner. Recommended.

About The Author

Mike Richard
Founding Editor
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Mike Richard has traveled the world extensively since 2008. He's camped in the Jordanian desert with Bedouins, tracked African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss shark attack in Mexico. He loves the great outdoors, good bourbon, and he (usually) calls Massachusetts home. He also enjoys speaking in the third person.

2 Responses

    • Aquarius

      I stayed at this floating bed and breakfast the summer of 2015. When my friend suggested the idea I thought it was a wonderful idea, different from staying in a traditional house. When I arrived at the boat I began to grow concerned. Getting on to and off of the boat was very tricky. To get on the boat one had to go down a couple of steps and then step over into the boat, for a novice this was quite tricky, the boat was not secure so the boat is moving around on you. We were there from Thursday to Sunday (the weekend). The owner left 4 muffins, 4 yogurts, 4 bagels and a gallon of orange juice for the 4 of us and we never saw her again.
      The boat was old and mildewed, you couldn’t flush the toilet paper down the toilet and you had to move the faucet to a holder to make a shower. You couldn’t bring your clothes into the bathroom with you unless you wanted them to get wet. It was a very interesting stay.
      I very much liked the concept of the floating bed and breakfast but would not consider using this location again.

      Reply

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