Pedal-powered party boats expand to The Wharf, Navy Yard

Potomac Paddle Club launches from Navy Yard and The Wharf this month, with its boats powered by passenger pedal power. (Courtesy Sea Suite Cruises)

Potomac Paddle Club launches from Navy Yard and The Wharf in March, with its boats powered by passenger pedal power.

Parent company Sea Suite Cruises started with one boat in 2018, departing from Georgetown Harbor. It has grown to a total of 10 boats.

Those new boats also include launches from Ego Alley in Annapolis and Harborview Marine in Baltimore. They also cruise from Rocketts Landing in Richmond.

Founders Jack Walten and Jack Maher were both born and raised in Arlington, Virginia, and have been best friends since they were 2 years old. After starting Potomac Paddle club with their first boat in 2018, both quit their full-time jobs in 2021 to dedicate themselves to their boating business, forming Sea Suite Cruises.

The 30-foot catamaran pedal boats, known as cycleboats, have room for 16 to 20 passengers, only 10 of which have to do the pedaling. The boats are also motorized, so pedal power is optional.

Sea Suites Cruises also operates Potomac Tiki Club, which runs tiki boat bars with thatched roofs that depart from Georgetown Harbor. The six-passenger boats are two-hour cruises, along with a captain.

Potomac Paddle Club boat rides from Georgetown and The Wharf are one hour and 45 minutes per booking and cost $45 to $55 per passenger. BYOB is permitted, but the boat’s bar also serves beer, seltzers and canned cocktails.

The Navy Yard cruises are two hours and cost $50 to $60 per passenger.

Georgetown and The Wharf bookings are now available. Navy Yard bookings begin April 7.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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