That’s right. One Airbnb lister has put a four-bedroom, one-bathroom houseboat up for rental in Jamaica Bay, blog Queens Crap reports.
Renter Benjamin Sargent, touts the “artsy, surfer, houseboat, fisherman community” that will make this “staycation” amazing. He even provides surfboards and wetsuits for all his guests.
Just one catch: at a whopping $850 per night, this rental far exceeds the neighborhood’s market and is far from the type of property a laid-back surfer could afford. What’s more, the $1,000 security deposit is more than the actual nightly rental fee, and there is an additional $200 cleaning fee.
This houseboat is not the first of its kind on Airbnb. As housing becomes scarce, scrappy entrepreneurs have started using their boats as real estate to get into the sharing economy. But this is the only houseboat at this price in the area; a number of other houseboats in Rockaway Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Marine Park go anywhere from $75 to $200 a night.
Despite the fact that this listing accommodates 10 people and is located in Marina 59, a site infamous for party-hard hipsters after the 2012 Boatel installation, Sargent is clear this is “not a party boat” and that the boat must be left in better condition than you found it.
Sargent is far from an Airbnb newbie: he regularly rents out his Vermont cabin, Bent Apple Farm, with great reviews from visitors. He is an attentive and meticulous host, providing a number of personal amenities, often taking visitors fishing, dog sledding or back country skiing and even cooking for them.
But what’s even more interesting than this rental is the man himself.
Sargent is an Airbnb renter only on the side. By day, the 33-year-old Cape Cod native and French Culinary Institute dropout is an underground food movement spokesperson and the host of cooking show “Hook, Line & Dinner” on the Cooking Channel and radio show Catch IT, Cook IT & Eat IT on The Heritage Radio Network.
In 2009, Sargent founded the Brooklyn Fishing Derby, a competitive fishing derby in Brooklyn that runs every October for a month and a half. He hosts a number of food events such as the National Chowder Cook-Off in Newport, Rhode Island.
But most odd is the underground food campaigning. Among unconventional methods such as fishing in the East River, Sargent was rumored to be running an illegal lobster shanty out of his house under his alternate personality Dr. Klaw, as part of his belief that selling food from your home should not be illegal. Eventually the New York City health department cracked down and served Sargent a cease-and-desist letter.
QNS contacted Sargent but he didn’t immediately respond to the request.
Whether or not you have $850 to shell out, you can check out the beautiful photos below!