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Boat Bed and Breakfast

Boat Bed and Breakfast is a fleet of eight boats docked at Shelter Cove Marina at San Diego Bay, located in San Diego, California. The boats range in size and number of rooms, offering anywhere from one to two bedrooms and either one bathroom or two. Each boat remains docked at the marina throughout the guests' stay. However, charters can be arranged with some of the boats for an extra fee, which includes a minimum two-hour tour of San Diego Bay with a licensed captain. Additionally, a continental breakfast is provided on board for each guest's stay. Nearby attractions to Boat Bed and Breakfast include SeaWorld, San Diego Bay, San Diego Zoo, the Hotel del Coronado, Gaslamp District, and Balboa Park.


Docked at Shelter Cove Marina, which is located in San Diego Bay, San Diego, California, is the Boat Bed and Breakfast. This dock overlooks Point Loma, and some boats even provide panoramic views of downtown San Diego. The business consists of eight boats with distinct names, accommodations, and models. They are as follows: Minnow, a 39-foot Carver; Dauntless, a 43-foot Hampton "classic" sailboat; General Bayacht, a 48-foot Sea Ray; Ohana, a 42-foot Carver; Why Knot, a 37-foot Carver; Sun Fox, a 44-foot Regal Commodore; Dances With Waves, a 56-foot Prestige; and No Hurry, a 48-foot Ocean Alexander. All in all, these are seven power boats and one sailboat. Each vessel is privately rented, giving guests entire access to the boat, as well as providing privacy. All boats provide a functional galley (also known as kitchen). Additionally, all the boats range in size, offering anywhere from one bedroom to three, a galley, a salon, and either one or two bathrooms. Shaun notes that Dances With Waves—the luxury yacht—is the most popular unit.

For the most part, the boats at Boat Bed and Breakfast remain docked at Shelter Cove Marina. Visitors are not allowed to pilot them. However, Dauntless, Dances With Waves, No Hurry, and General Bayacht allow guests to arrange charters with licensed captains to tour San Diego Bay for an additional fee. These charters last a minimum of two hours but can be extended for a longer period of time. Shaun also says occupants can see distinct views of the San Diego skyline and San Diego Bay from their boats, depending on where they are docked.

Continental breakfast is on board the boat when the patron checks in. Shaun says visitors may expect a fresh fruit basket, orange juice, yogurt, and oatmeal. She and the staff do their best to accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies. Additionally, Shaun offers her guests discounts of up to 20% off at several local restaurants to encourage them to explore the area.

Visitors can access several local attractions while staying at Boat Bed and Breakfast, such as SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, and Balboa Park. Shaun also mentions the Hotel del Coronado and Gaslamp District or Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego. Some restaurants she recommends to her guests are Bali Hai, Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano, and Mitch's Seafood. These three restaurants are among those that Shaun recommends at a discount.


Shaun, Boat Bed and Breakfast owner, wants her guests to feel like they are part of the boating community, and hopes they can enjoy their stay and participate in marina activities and barbecues. Furthermore, she wants her occupants to feel comfortable, safe, and at home. To promote this visitor culture, occupants are given a personal check-in upon arrival and a walkthrough of the boat they will stay in. Staff members stop by each unit to fill water tanks and check on the patrons. Shaun further explains that bookings are personalized so people can be recommended a specific accommodation based on their mobility needs.

One of Shaun's main priorities is providing an experience where people can see what it's like to live on a boat; guest reviews seem to reflect this. One visitor commented, "This was such a fun, new experience for our family. We took our three kids, ages 11, 9, and 7, for one week to the Boat [Bed and Breakfast] for the 4th of July, and it did not disappoint. Shaun was a great host and had everything perfectly set up and stocked for when we arrived. It was fun to go out and visit SeaWorld as well as a couple [of] other tourist attractions, but our favorite part was returning to Dauntless and watching the sun set over the water."

Another guest wrote, "Just stayed for the [third] time on the Slipaway. Shaun always makes sure it is perfectly set up, and all our needs are taken care of. It is always so relaxing to end your evenings with a nice glass of wine on the top side of the boat and enjoy everything around you. Waking up to all the sounds of the water around you and the gentle rock of the water is wonderful too. My favorite memories are always sitting topside in the morning with a cup of coffee and talking to my loved one." According to Shaun, Boat Bed and Breakfast is best known for "running a great ship." Boat Bed and Breakfast operates year-round, with its business peaking from June to September due to warmer weather. Shaun also notes that most of her guests consist of couples in their forties, and she receives many repeat visitors yearly.


According to Shaun, the Boat Bed and Breakfast owner, Shelter Cove Marina has been around since 1956, and the island upon which it sits is manmade. She is the original and current business owner, which began in 2011. She currently manages Shelter Cove Marina. During her time there, she acquired a sailboat that had been essentially abandoned by its previous owner (regulations state that a boat can be repossessed if its owner leaves it and does not pay dock rent). Shaun proceeded to fix the vessel with the intention of selling it later, but a friend asked her if she would permit her to stay on it before it was sold. Consequently, Shaun turned this idea into a business, bringing in several other boats over the next few years to build the bed and breakfast. The newest boat came into the fleet in 2018. Shaun plans to bring the ninth boat in soon, and it will be a four-bedroom vessel named Pelican Perch.

In addition to Boat Bed and Breakfast, Shaun is also a yacht broker. Some of her clients are previous bed and breakfast guests, and Shaun explains that she implements a "try before you buy" service in her yacht-selling business.

The movie "Slipaway" was produced on one of Shaun's boats and was named after the same boat it was filmed on. Shaun sold Slipaway in 2022, but she recounts how the film crew chartered it for fourteen days to place props and film. Partway through the process, the screenwriter contacted Shaun and mentioned that the movie had been changed from the story of a woman wanting to live on a boat to a story about the boat itself. As such, the screenplay and title were altered accordingly. "Slipaway" can be seen on Boat Bed and Breakfast's website.

Shaun enjoys seeing her guests' excitement after they stay on one of her boats. She likes to share the experience of living on a boat while on water, and she hopes such an experience will help them feel like part of the boating community.

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2240 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego, California 92106
United States


Bed and Breakfast


Shaun McMahon

Owned Since
4.6 (30 Reviews)
4.6/5 30 Reviews
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