Cruisin' Tiki Review

Cruisin’ Tiki

Cruisin’ Tiki

Two parts tequila, one part lime juice, and one part Cointreau is the recipe for a margarita, in a nutshell, and it’s an important one to keep in mind if you do your boating on a Cruisin’ Tiki. Our guess is you’ll be learning all sorts of drink recipes if you find yourself on one of these boats, a nearly 16’ octagon of floating fun replete with a full-sized Tiki bar and four-stroke outboard power. You supply the libations and partygoers. Now, before we get to dissecting this floating party patio piece-by-piece, we’d be slipshod if we didn’t highlight the importance of having a sober skipper and also note that over-indulgence as a passenger is never a good idea either. Okay, ‘nuff said—let’s talk about how this floating pub is put together.

 

Under the Cruisin’ Tiki’s deck are 20 strategically placed 55-gallon drums. They don’t form the most hydrodynamic and efficient hull, but do provide enough flotation to support 2,500 pounds of people, fuel, luau food, and rum. Breaking the math down—and relying on the official U.S. Coast Guard certification—that means you can invite as many as 12 guests along on your next sundowner cruise. Our guess is eight people is a good compromise between overcrowding and having enough personal space to relax and appreciate the citrusy notes of a good India Pale Ale. Despite the hull’s crude shape, the Cruisin’ Tiki is remarkably capable when the wind pipes up; it’s able to run in up to a two- to three- foot chop, according to Greg Darby, owner of Cruisin’ Tikis. We’re not sure how dry you and your fellow Tiki Barbarians will be while you’re punching to windward in those conditions, but we’re speculating most folks won’t take the Cruisin’ Tiki out when things are that dicey anyway.

Back above the waterline, the roof of the Cruisin’ Tiki is pure, handcrafted artwork. We’re not exaggerating. To get the job done, Darby retains folks from the Seminole Indian tribe who painstakingly hand-weave natural palm fronds into the Cruisin’ Tiki’s unique and sturdy roof. It’s so well-crafted, in fact, that Darby offers a 20-year warranty on it. To give you an idea of how crazy that seems, most asphalt/fiberglass shingle roofs on modern-day homes normally last 15 to 20 years. Our guess is the Cruisin’ Tiki’s roof will outlast much of the rest of the structure, keeping you dry and shaded while you sip on those Mojitos. The deck is fashioned from standard pressure-treated decking lumber and is surrounded by a heavy-duty black rubber rubrail. The actual Tiki bar’s structure utilizes bamboo, pine, and mahogany ply on a bar top that’s varnished to a high gloss. Tying up is plenty easy thanks to eight cleats situated at the corners of the octagon-shaped deck.

Cruisin’ Tiki

The Cruisin’ Tiki gets around with a 30 HP four-stroke Suzuki outboard that’s got enough oomph to power this beast up to around a comfortable five-knot cruise. There’s cable steering that terminates at a huge, Captain Ahab-style ship’s wheel inside the Tiki hut, and the engine controls are side-mounted right next to the optional wet bar/sink. Be careful not to spill Mai Tais on the throttle while you’re serving your guests. A 6.6-gallon fuel tank is standard and is good for about a six- to eight-hour day of casual motoring around. An optional 12-gallon tank is available for longer-range celebrations of National Margarita Day. That’s February 22, in case you’re looking for an excuse to break out your blender.