After spending over 20 years managing a shipyard in Providence, Narragansett resident Michael Cohen gave up his corporate career to become Cap’n Mike.
Last summer, Michael tricked out a pontoon boat with running hot and cold water, an ice chest, and electricity. After adding some South Pacific touches, he launched Cap’n Mike’s Tiki Boat. The vessel cruises around Point Judith Pond selling refreshments to hungry boaters who flag him down. He also serves the beach-goers who splash around at two of Jerusalem’s unofficial beaches – “Dog Beach” and “Baby Beach” – where he anchors just off-shore.
“I was a life-long boater and spent my childhood summers on the pond,” Michael says. “When I’d be out fishing, I’d want something cold and refreshing. I’d wish that there was a boat that could bring it to me. So, I created it.”
Selling ice cream, milkshakes, and bottled water as well as steamed Nathan’s hot dogs, chips, and pretzels, the floating snack shack was such a success that Michael decided to turn one boat into two. With the addition of a new pontoon party boat, Cap’n Mike now runs a tiki fleet. Modeled after the floating tiki bars in Florida, this party boat fits up to six for pleasure cruises along the pond.
After a test run, Michael says his first passengers were wildly enthusiastic. “They used the Bluetooth speakers and turned on Jimmy Buffet. We had Margaritaville on the boat.”
The party pontoon launches from Rams Marina in Wakefield. It comes equipped with a blender, ice, cocktail mixers, cups, and the aforementioned speakers. Passengers provide the alcohol and food. Michael takes them on a cruise around the pond for a two-and-a-half-hour tour.
“You can’t beat the setting,” he says.
You can find Cap’n Mike on the pond every day the sun is out, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with an extended season for the party boat. Even with a seasonal business, Michael doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on summer. “My days are spent on the water making people happy. There’s nothing better than that.”