The hottest new charter boat in Newport Harbor is Tabasco, and you can be one of the first to book her for a small group charter starting May 14th.
The saucy vessel — a Wasque (pronounced way-squee) powerboat that was built on Martha’s Vineyard in the ‘70s — is owned and operated by local Curtis Adam, a licensed captain who graduated from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2019 and is no stranger to running charters in Newport Harbor.
“Last year I ran Temma, a 42’ 1928 wooden classic power yacht available for day charter,” he said. “I fell in love with that job so much that, this off-season, I purchased Tabasco, a 1973 32’ picnic-style powerboat.”
Adam grew up in Newport and has been an avid boater his entire life, starting with Little Guppies at Sail Newport and working all the way up to being a competitive sailboat racer. With Tabasco, Adam is combining his maritime expertise with entrepreneurialism.
“It is a grassroots small business where I am taking my passion for Newport and boating and turning it into a career,” he said. “I am very grateful to have amazing friends coming on to be fill-in captains and help crew.”
One of Tabasco’s fill-in captains is Peter Cronin, whom Adam worked at Sail Newport where they were both sailing instructors. “He is one of the best mariners I know, on top of being incredibly charismatic,” Adam said. “He is a great addition to the Tabasco team!”
Adam said Tabasco is primarily available for day charter, offering cruises of one and a half hours, three and a half hours, and up to six hours. “We tailor each cruise to our guests desires whether that be a harbor tour viewing the boats, mansions, yacht clubs and lighthouses, or heading to a nearby cove to anchor while sitting back and relaxing with a drink,” he said. “We do have a strict maximum of six guests, but this keeps group sizes small and the experience intimate.”
Adam said pricing is by the cruise, not per guest. “Our standard one and a half hour cruise is $400 on weekdays and $450 weekends,” he said. “We offer a special sunset cruise which has complimentary Prosecco provided. It is one and a half hours, $450 weekdays and $500 weekends.”
During a Tabasco charter, swimming is permitted when the boat is stopped and conditions are safe. The charter is BYOB, but Adam said they will offer full service with adult beverages for purchase and complimentary soft drinks and water. You can also BYOD — Tabasco is dog-friendly!
“We strive to be as flexible as possible and want to offer an experience like no other boat on the harbor, Adam said. “Visitors, locals, bachelorettes, etcetera can come aboard and feel as if this is their boat.”
Tabasco’s primary dock is located at the Lobster Bar on Bowen’s Wharf, but has flexible pick-ups. “If a party requests, we can also pick up from other docks in and around the Newport-Jamestown area,” Adam said.
As for the story behind the boat’s spicy name, it originated as a play on words of Sebasco Harbor in Maine. “I acquired her from a gentleman from Phippsburg, ME who owned the boat for over 25 years,” Adam said. When he bought the boat more than 25 years ago, it was already named Tabasco. Some mariners are superstitious and find renaming a boat bad luck. Personally, I think it is okay as long as there is a proper re-christening celebration. However, the legacy this boat has with this name cannot be touched – Tabasco is a great name!”
Adam is looking forward to honoring the legacy of the well-loved vessel by launching its inaugural season in Newport Harbor next month. “[The previous owner] spent countless summer days with family and friends cruising the Maine coast,” Adam said “It makes me incredibly happy to see how much joy this boat brought to him and his family, as now I can continue that legacy by sharing this amazing boat with so many here in Newport.”