Tall Ships research...
Best things I've been finding are small fishing boats who might do a non-fishing Tall Ships festival. Even if we could pack 6 people in one of these boats, it would be at least $125 per person - probably closer to $200 if we did an 8-hour cruise, which means that we could tour the harbor a little and be early enough to get a good spot.
This is just about the same as some of the regular cruise companies that work out of Boston, like Baystate Cruise Company. They are charging $150 for a 6-hour tour (9AM-3PM), which includes breakfast, lunch, cash bar, real bathrooms, a 3-story very stable boat for good viewing and pics.
There will also be 700 other people on board and that big boat probably lacks mobility.
Boston Harbor Cruises is charging $200 or $275, depending on how much food you want. Their tour is 2 hours longer - 7:30 to 3:30 - which is a hell of a lot more worthwhile in my opinion. 9 to 3 cuts off the start and end of the tour. BHC's boats are a bit smaller than Baystate's, but they're still pretty big compared to a 6-person fishing boat.
A small fishing boat might a little more expensive, it certainly won't have any creature comforts, but we would be mobile and have the freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted. Last year in Newport our little sailboat was agile enough to go *exactly* where we wanted, which meant that we were right out front with clear viewing almost all of the time. No boats between us and the ships. We were able to tell the captain where to place us to get great backgrounds, and we were able to *change* the background by moving around. I seriously doubt that one of these big charter boats will be able to be mobile like that.
Mai_lin - You do NOT need a big camera. Last time I shot many of the ships with a 10-20 Sigma. 8 of the 10 shots I linked above where with the 10-20. I'd seriously be more concerned if you don't have a wide lens.
So, what do people think? $200 each for our own tiny boat, or should we just join the unwashed masses on a charter for $150??