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Mar 31, 2024

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

Barry Kaufman

Photography By

M.Kat & Rob Tipton
Say ‘aloha’ to the party pontoons that are making waves this summer

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When it comes to summertime fun, it can sometimes feel like there’s nothing new under the sun. There’s never a bad day when you’re out on the water, but for decades we’ve had the same few options – charter a boat and go fishing, climb aboard a dolphin tour, get piloted around while you ski. 

Sure, each one is a great adventure in its own right. But the thirst for adventure is also a thirst for something new. 

If your idea of adventure is a little more hands on, if you’d rather be the one with your hand on the rudder as you pursue that horizon, then Shelter Cove Marina has just the ticket. In March, they rolled out an opportunity for summertime fun on a brand-new, top-of-the-line party boat where you are the captain.

Whether it’s a relaxing trip up the May River, a sightseeing tour of area landmarks, or a day trip to Daufuskie Island, the navigation system creates a foolproof way to travel the Lowcountry’s waters.

“This will be our first year doing this in-house,” said Mason Lemon, Harbourmaster at Shelter Cove Marina, Hilton Head Island’s deep-water marina, owned by Greenwood Communities & Resorts. This is where the new Aloha Club Series pontoon boats are already taking families out on unforgettable adventures.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while, so we’re seizing the opportunity to bring in these eight amazing boats,” Lemon said.

Even seasoned salty dogs are jumping at the chance to get behind the wheel of a brand-new luxury pontoon boat. 

Long heralded as one of the finest pontoon boat manufacturers in the world, Aloha personally crafted each of this octet of opulent ships for Shelter Cove Marina, outfitting them with the latest equipment from crystal-clear Bluetooth sound systems to cutting-edge Garmin GPS. Boasting a triple pontoon design (technically they’re tritoons, but that’s just semantics), these party boats enjoy an even-keeled ride for up to 12 passengers that handles the infamous Calibogue Sound chop with ease, cruising over them on the strength of 150 horsepower.

“Aloha is a family-owned company out of Arkansas and they make really durable pontoon boats,” Lemon said. “They handle the waves really well, so passengers on the front end aren’t getting splashed and can just enjoy a comfortable ride.”

And that ride can take you anywhere you want to go. The Garmin GPS system allows the folks at Shelter Cove Marina to set your destination and create a cookie trail that guides you out of Broad Creek and away. Whether it’s a relaxing trip up the May River, a sightseeing tour of area landmarks, or a day trip to Daufuskie Island, the navigation system creates a foolproof way to travel the Lowcountry’s waters.

“It’s super simple, even if you’ve never driven a boat before,” Lemon said. “We actually had one person the other day who was piloting a boat for the first time. We walked them through everything – how to dock, navigating the marina … and they were good to go.”

The Shelter Cove Marina fleet awaits your next day of nautical adventures.

The response has been astounding, even in the first few weeks of operations, Lemon said. Not only are first-time captains enjoying a relatively easy introduction to enjoying the water, even seasoned salty dogs are jumping at the chance to get behind the wheel of a brand-new luxury pontoon boat. 

This new dynamic at Shelter Cove Marina is just part of Greenwood’s long-term goals of constant reinvention for the entire Palmetto Dunes Resort.

“We’ve been doing a lot of exciting things here,” said Brad Marra, COO for Palmetto Dunes. “We just completed renovations to the core parking lot between the Robert Trent Jones clubhouse and the Tennis & Pickleball Center. We’re adding new businesses, and now we’ve added these new boats…. It just adds to the portfolio of the experience.”

It’s an inspired addition to the vacation experience that Palmetto Dunes has to offer, one that gives families the blissful ease of one-stop shopping.

“When you get here and stay with us, you don’t even have to get back in the car again,” Marra said. “Everything we do is all-encompassing.”

That can mean spending a day playing 18 holes of championship golf, casting a line into one of the many secret fishing spots on the sprawling lagoon system (catch and release only), or simply lazing away on pristine beaches. Or, spend some time at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, where waterfront shopping, dining and seasonal entertainment takes place, in addition to many water activities and tours. 

Now, it can also mean putting 150 horses to work in pursuit of your next great summer adventure. 

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina offers year-round waterfront dining, shopping and entertainment, and water activities and tours. 

About Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina is located in the middle of Hilton Head Island, across from Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, just off the Intracoastal Waterway. Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina offers year-round waterfront dining, shopping and entertainment, and water activities and tours. All kinds of water activities may be enjoyed at our Hilton Head Island marina, from inshore and offshore fishing charters to sport crabbing, sailing and dolphin tours, sightseeing and nature excursions. Shelter Cove Marina is your No. 1 destination for Hilton Head Island water adventures. With 178 slip rentals, Shelter Cove Marina is the largest award-winning deep-water marina on Hilton Head Island. 

For information about activities and slip rentals, visit sheltercovehiltonhead.com.  

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