Hurricane Isaias was the Tropical Storm that no one expected to do so much damage. No one except Captain Robert Frankenfield. With his predictions and forethought we were able to remove all of our boats including the Water Tour Boat and all of our rental boats to save them from the storm. We also secured everything around our docks and even loaded up our tent, bench seats and anything else that was not permanently attached.
The morning after the storm Southport was a wreck. There was a giant dumpster sitting in our parking lot and our floating docks were missing. Other buildings around us were permanently damaged including Fishy Fishy, and American Fish Company. Our deck and seating area were pretty beat up as well.
We looked around for our docks and were able to locate them in the other side of the old yacht basin. After that we took and rental boat to the Oak Island boat ramp and launched the boat to try and recover our dock. With some help from some neighbors we were able to free our dock from the mud and tow it back to our boat slip with a rental boat.
The Southport Marina was completely destroyed and even over a week later they are still pulling boats out of the wreckage. Our Water Tours sometimes ride past the marina and it is a sad site to see.
It took us about a week to fix everything else and fully re-open. We also took the time to build a new ticket booth for our Water Tours.
Compared to others businesses I’d say we were pretty lucky. We also have Captain Robert to thank for the quick decisions that saved us a lot time and loss of property. The area is almost back to normal now and all the restaurants are open again. We look forward to seeing you next time you’re in Southport or Oak Island.
We are excited to announce that our Water Tours are up and running again!
The Tour Boat “Sally Ann” is back in the water and offering water tours. We are operating on a limited schedule and at a limited capacity for right now and will be running our full schedule soon.
To reserve a seat on the water tour you can call us, purchase tickets online, or in person. We are the only Tour Boat in Southport and Oak Island and would be happy to to take you and your group out for a tour.
If you have any questions please call us at 910-523-6021. We are located in downtown Southport beside Fishy Fishy and Provisions Company.
We are Open for Boat Rentals! Our Water Tours will be available soon at a limited capacity.
Safety always comes first on the water and we are extending that awareness to dry land by practicing safe distancing, cleaning all touched surfaces regularly, and wearing masks when in close contact with customers.
We also used this downtime to add benches to our docking area.
We hope to see y’all soon!
We have had a great year and are sad to be leaving for the season and not being at our dock in downtown Southport for the winter. We had a great first year with our new Tour Boat and we really want to thank everyone who came out and supported us this year. We also want to thank all the groups that rented our Carolina Skiffs this year and helped us for the past 3 years of renting boats and offering tours. We really appreciate the support!!!
We plan on opening Mid-March of 2020.
See you all then!
Come join us on the only Tour Boat in Southport! We have our new 28 passenger tour boat serving Southport, Oak Island, St. James, Bald Head Island, Boiling Spring Lakes, Wilmington, Carolina Beach and all surrounding areas. Our New Tour Boat has drink holders, a restroom, plenty of cushioned seating, a large hard top covering the whole boat, and surround sound speakers. We offer tours every hour starting at 11am. Here is a list of our schedule.
Our Boat is an addition to our Rental Fleet and is brand new to the area. There is nothing like this around and taking a tour or cruise with us is a unique way to enjoy the area and the beauty it has to offer. Some of the areas we tour include the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway, Battery Island, Bald Head Island, the Old Quarantine Station, the Bald Head Island Lighthouse, the Oak Island Lighthouse, Price’s Creek Lighthouse, the waterfront of Southport, and the Old Yacht Basin. All of our routes are weather dependent and we go where the conditions are the calmest for that day. You can purchase tickets online, over the phone, or in person.
Hurricane Florence was a very damaging storm but we have rebuilt and reopened. Our docks were completely destroyed and it was very disheartening to watch. Hurricanes are part of life here on the coast and our area is sometimes considered “hurricane ally”.
We are actually pretty lucky compared to some other places and everywhere has its hazards like California has wildfires and Hawaii has volcanoes. All we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. We pulled our boats out of the water and put them on trailers. Then we took them to a yard without trees. We stripped the boats of anything that might catch wind, tied them down, and kept a close eye on them during the storm and the days of rain that followed.
After the storm we helped the neighbors with there yards and houses. Robert, one of the owners of Southport boat rentals is an excellent at tree removal and we all got together for a week to help out the community. We got trees cut down off of people’s houses and garages, out of their driveways and off of fences. It was really sad to see all of the damages from hurricane Florence but it felt good to help and see other people helping also.
Then came the time to deal with our docks and problems of our own. It was pretty bad. Everything from our floating docks to our walkways and ramps, even our staircase and sign were all in such poor shape we had to start from scratch. Good thing Robert is also an expert carpenter! We built a new frame for our deck using pilings for support. Instead of stairs like last time, we engineered a handicap accessible ramp on the parking lot side. Mcphearson marine helped us reset our old pilings that hold our dock in place and Chris Lowell built our actual floating docks right there in our parking lot and pushed them in the water at high tide. With the docks in place we measured and built new gangways (the ramp that connects floating docks to a fixed dock or bulkhead). After the gangways were in place it was time to add cleats to the dock. Chris came back and added nice new rub rails for the sides of the dock. Then we started bringing everything back. Our tent, bar, bench, and last but not least, our large Southport Boat Rental sign that has our phone number on it.
The very next day we had 2 boat rentals and the day after we went on a fishing charter. I’m just getting back from a sand dollar safari as I’m writing this and it sure does feel good to get back to work! Thanks for reading.
Flounder fishing is in full swing this time of year and these are our top 3 best fishing tips on getting them on the hook and in the boat.
Tip 1 Location
Flounder and drum can be found around most inlets, in creeks (deeper water), main channels like the icw, and just off the beach.
Tip 2 Bait
Use smaller live bait like mud minnows, finger mullet, and menhaden (pogies). Carolina rigs with live bait rigged on number 1 and 1/0 circle hooks with a 20 pound floro leader will put dinner on the table. Artificial bait like a gulp swimming mullet with a 1/4 once jighead is a great way to find flounder and drum when the live bait is scarce.
Tip 3 Temperature
The flounder aren’t as picky but the red drum bite is usually best in the morning and evening when the water is not so hot. The occasional rain showers we get during this time of year are perfect for cooling he water off and starting the red drum bite. Deeper, cooler water is where these fish are hiding around Southport in July
Hey Everyone, we have been asked by many locals and visitors to do a daily weather report since we at Southport Boat Rentals are on our dock getting our rental boats ready every morning. We are located right in downtown Southport at the intersection of the Atlantic ICW and the Cape Fear River giving us a great vantage point to see the local weather.
Today 8/9/17 we have heavy cloud coverage and light to no wind 1-5 knots out if the NNE. The forecast for today is cloudy early with scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High of 79 and winds increasing to 5-10 mph. Tonight is variable clouds with scattered thunderstorms. Low of 72 with light winds and a 60 percent chance of rain.
We do have a few rental boats out today and might go out for a Sunset Tour if the rain holds off a little longer.
Please check back with us for daily weather reports and information about shipping boats in our area.
Thanks for reading
Renting a Boat in Southport is fun and you can make it even better if you know where to go so here are the Top 3 Boating Destinations.
Battery Island (bird Island)
Not far from the old Yacht Basin in southport NC there is a small Island that has attracted birds of all sorts to roost in the trees that cover the sandy Island. Over the years the Island has changed but the bird return year after year and can be observed from the comfortable seating of one of our Carolina Skiffs. The path is direct from Southport across the Cape Fear River to battery Island and the bird sanctuary. Make a left turn out of the Southport Old Yacht Basin and just before the southport fishing pier turn right and head for the the closest Island in sight.
Bald Head Island Creeks
Bald Head Island is an amazing place to visit. It’s also the furthest north that palm trees grow on the east coast. One of the best parts of bald head is its backwater creeks and endless marsh islands and wildlife. The only way to access this area is by small boat. We can provide a uscg licensed Captain to show you the waters and take you places most people don’t know exist.
Lockwoods Folly Inlet
Leaving our dock in the Southport old Yacht Basin between Fishy Fishy Cafe and the Provision Company Restaurant just Head south on the ICW towards Oak Island and Holden Beach. In between there are 13 miles of nature and you will see many different birds, dolphins, and fish. Arriving at the Inlet there are usually plenty of boats anchored and fishing. This area is a hotspot for the many varieties of fish we have in the the Cape Fear Region. Passing the fishing boats and the Oak Island side of the inlet you will see Holden Beach. Head straight for the closest sandbar and anchor your boat for a day at the beach.
We hope you enjoy our Top 3 Boating Destinations for our area and comment some of your own.
BALD HEAD ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE PARTY!
The Bald Head Island LightHouse is celebrating its 200th birthday on April 15th 2017. There will be birthday cake, ice cream, and FREE Tours of the “Old Baldy” Lighthouse.
We at Southport Boat Rentals want to help get you to the birthday party on Bald Head Island. We have a fleet of 21ft Carolina Skiffs available for rent that your family will be sure to enjoy. Rent the boat and be your own captain for a half day or full day. We also offer captains to take you to Bald Head Island for the party and even detour to see the creeks behind the Bald Head beaches.
The public is welcome and there will be a flag ceremony, US Coast Gaurd fly by, and free events and climbing for children.
The event will start at 2pm on Saturday april 15th and end at 4 but the free Tours of the Lighthouse will last all day. We suggest showing up early and staying late if you want to experience Bald Head Island and all it has to offer. Rent a bike and go for a ride! Bike rentals are available on site and is the perfect way to traverse the Island. Cars are not allowed on Bald Head and the mode of transportation is golf cart or bicycle. This makes the Island very peaceful and safe when walking or riding a bike.
We will have most of our boats rented for full days but we will try to offer Water taxi rides over if possible. If you have any questions or ideas for a special day on the Water let us know in advance to plan your trip. We are always available and interested in your ideas.
The Bald Head Island Lighthouse will be reopening and we hope you are there. Just contact Southport Boat Rentals at 910 523-6021 to book your boat for the day!