Virtual events are helping most of us stay sane amid this pandemic. But, Zoom happy hours, travel videos, and online museum tours will never replace in-person get-togethers. If you’re itching for real-world socializing that feels almost normal, Seattle’s hot tub boats are an intimate, social-distance-friendly escape unlike any other.
Situated on Lake Union, the Hot Tub Boats experience is exactly what it sounds like: A floating hot tub on the water. The purpose-built pleasure craft boasts a full-sized hot tub with room for six and just enough decking around the edge to stand up. That’s it. The water is heated to a constant 104 degrees Fahrenheit, courtesy of an onboard diesel heater. Passengers maneuver the boat at a blistering five miles per hour by using a basic joystick. Bluetooth speakers allow for dialing in just the right atmosphere. A small storage hatch also provides enough watertight space for stowing snacks, booze, and smartphones.
Finding unique, social-distancing-friendly group activities is harder now than ever. What’s great about renting through Hot Tub Boats is that everything — from arrival to the changing rooms to “check-in” to boarding — is done outside. Passengers interact only with their own friends and family throughout the entire experience. The company also promises that the water is changed out and the boats thoroughly cleaned between every rental.
The idea for Hot Tub Boats came to company owner Adam Karpenske after living on a houseboat without a hot tub. With a background in wooden boat building, it occurred to him to just build a dedicated “hot tub boat.” His design meets the strict guidelines set forth by the U.S. Federal Regulations for Boat Builders. Karpenske has so perfected his one-of-a-kind boats that his company also sells them. Every detail from the paint job to how the boat is filled is customizable.
Sadly, Hot Tub Boats is only available in Seattle — for now. The year-round rentals start at $350 for two hours and each additional hour costs $100. Just bring a valid driver’s license, a swimsuit, and a towel, and you’re good to go.
If you like your social-distancing with a few more amenities and a lot more open water, GetMyBoat offers more than 130,000 rental boats in almost every country on Earth.