Michael was an excellent host, friendly and he truly wants you to enjoy your time aboard his boat After your visit with him you’ ll learn about his genuine love of sharing & making sure you have a beautiful time on the river … he truly cares. In todays world meeting people like Michael is a great experience & you’ll feel like you’ll have a new friend Be sure to share your stories with him, not only does he love to hear them but he likes to share them for others peoples trip Now for the trip, I needed a few days off to rewind & find myself. A little break from work and the pressures of life … and i found it aboard Talisa … 100% a amazing i just wished i could post pictures here but you’ll see a part of Florida and the beauty it has to offers You’ll meet great people on the river, see wild life and you’re cruise in a unique boat that will have everyone waving & taking pictures I honestly don’t know what i enjoyed most, the cruising or a nice peaceful nights sleep with the sound of nature. Of coarse a cup of coffee in the morning on the deck was great too I over packed but soon found out Michael made sure you had what you needed, led lights, 2 burner stove, sink, porta potty, french press coffee maker, a few pots & pans, plates, silver ware he really went out of the way to make sure you were taking care of and while this is truly a shanty boat i felt very comfortable and can’t wait to go again. It’s really a Florida experience that you don’t want to miss out on And while i went out alone both beds were great, i slept so good in each & i found the boat was easy to handle My advice if you go … take extra memory for your camera as you’ll need it & i had cell & internet service the full time and Michael would check in just to make sure i was having a good time I am now looking forward to booking my next trip and i really want to thank Michael for sharing Talisa with me and giving everyone the chance to enjoy her, your hard work building her is well appreciated.
Bob San Jose, CA – July 2015 This is one man’s dream, built by his own hands and shared with those that want to harken back to a simpler time. Talisa is all it is said to be. It is rustic but endearing. A two burner propane stove, queen and single size sleeping quarters, a small card table with comfortable cushions and a porta potty are all you are equipped with but anything more would tarnish the adventure. Lighting is by LED miner’s lanterns so bring a flashlight or two on top of the ones Michael provides. 6 gallons of water, 6 gallons of gas to start. We used about 10 gallons but that went an incredibly long distance. Now about the host which is the most outstanding part of this trip. I can honestly say we have never been accommodated by a more kinder and thoughtful person than Michael. He answered every question, provided for our needs and then took us out on the river. There he showed us how to operate his craft but also how to enjoy and appreciate the St. John’s River. We also met up with him in Astor quite by accident and we met up with him and a couple of his friends at Silver Glen. It was an exceptional day. Thanks to Michael’s fondness for the river as well as his generosity, we find ourselves wanting for more.
Brian Talisa is a real treasure. Michael is a most gracious host, incredibly kind, and helpful all along the way. My wife and I spent a bit of a short honeymoon on the St. John’s on Talisa and it was perfect. The boat has everything you could need literally within reach. It’s easy to pilot and one of the best ways to see the St. John’s River and some of Florida’s springs. There are many options and things to do and Michael knows them all and is so willing to guide or stand back and let you doing the exploring on your own. The accomodations are simple but you shall want for nothing on board the Talisa. Michael has outfitted her with everything you could need. It is truly an experience you will not forget.
Julia If your goal is exploring the real Florida, then nothing beats staying on the Talisa and navigating the St. John’s River. The boat is very comfortable with a double bed, one single bed, and a kitchenette. We cooked each night and were able to make fresh coffee in the morning using the on board french press. Tailsa is a very stable boat and extremely easy to handle, Jim and I have little experience with boats but soon picked up the basics from Michael during the lesson. Michael was fabulous and very generous with his time. We are looking forward to returning for a longer trip in the near future.
Luis I love absolutely love Talisa!
Shea Edgewater, FL – July 2015 Never in my life have I experienced a vacation like this. One that is full of adventure, wonder and beauty without structure. You are free to roam the beautiful St johns river on your floating cabin. I have never felt so in touch with nature as I have during our stay. This truly was a vacation unlike anything we had ever experienced. From the first moment you step on the Talisa we felt at home. It was much more roomy then you would think with a boat this size. Once we hit the water, we where in love. Cruising down the St Johns brought back childhood memories, except instead of being on a fishing boat, you where steps away from your kitchen, your dining room table, and your bed. You could move from cooking a delicious meal to being surrounded by nature in a matter of steps and seconds. It truly is a magical experience. The first day we rode south on the river, pretty much as slow as the boat could go, because this speed let us see everything in great detail. We went south on the river till we reached a logging canal, as we rode this canal we where blown away once again. It looked like nothing I had ever seen, better then any nature documentary or pictures. After passing through the canal we ended up on the dead river. Here we went north and explored this absolutely beautiful landscape. We went maybe an hour up the river before we started to find a place to park for the night. We never saw another person until we left the dead river the next morning. You couldn’t have asked for more seclusion and beauty. We parked the boat and just enjoyed the wild life, saw an amazingly large gator cruise past with his body out of the water, obviously enjoying his natural habitat. Everything about the trip was absolutely incredible, Michael was an excellent host in every sense of the word. The boat was amazing, spacious, beautiful, and it felt like home. We brought much more than we needed because the kitchen was already stocked with pots, pans, utensals, plates, spices, and even coffee. Here is my wife’s review…. My husband and myself spent hours online looking for a place to spend my birthday weekend and we could find anything unique and down to earth. Almost at the point of giving up we came across The Shanty boat Talisa. We were very excited to go on our adventure from the moment we saw her. We spoke to the owner Michael which is a most gracious and charming man with charisma that leaves you enchanted and as he explained the boat and the River we immediately booked our trip. Right before we were about to go to our adventure death struck in the family and we ended up inviting my mother in law. It was a time for healing and we were sure that a weekend aboard this great…
Pete This is truly a mini vacation with a difference that you will not find anywhere else! As soon as you start cruising on the river you can feel the stress drifting away. The boat surprisingly has everything you need except your own food, so no need to overpack and bring too much with you. Michael the host is an exceptionally nice person who was willing to provide any help needed before the trip and even during the trip. It was a pleasure to meet Michael, it was a pleasure to experience Talisa on the St. Johns River and especially the off shoots and lakes off the main river. We will definitely do this trip again in the future, Thank you Michael!
Souad Redland, CA – August 2015 Michael made us feel very welcome, OMG what a great host he is!! Thumbs up for your hospitality and your generosity! We had a great time and lots of fun, everything in the boat works just great, no complaint at all, St Johns River is very beautiful, Blue Springs is so breathtaking, I would rent Michael’s boat in a heart beat.
Harold Atlanta, GA – June 2015 Michael was a great host and made sure we were comfortable with every aspect of using the boat before we launched and sent us a text occasionally to make sure we were doing well. The river was peaceful and beautiful plus we enjoyed a dinner at the Shady Oak restaurant beside the highway 41 bridge and hiking the Hontoon Island park trails.
Nathaniel Screven, GA – May 2015 Michael was very friendly and a great host. Easy to reach at anytime, and offered to assist before, during, and after our trip. The listing was more incredible than the reviews and information given. The Talisa handled like a dream. If you love nature, water, and tranquility, this is definitely the trip for you. Awesome does not come close to describing this trip.
Elisa Crawford Edgewater, FL – May 2015 My husband and myself spent hours online looking for a place to spend my birthday weekend and we could not find anything unique and down to earth. Almost at the point of giving up we came across The Shanty boat Talisa. We were very excited to go on our adventure from the moment we saw her. We spoke to the owner Michael which is a most gracious and charming man with charisma that leaves you enchanted and as he explained the boat and the River we immediately booked our trip. Right before we were about to go to our adventure death struck in the family and we ended up inviting my mother in law. It was a time for healing and we were sure that a weekend aboard this great boat would be a soothing experience. Michael made sure he went over every detail on how to sail the boat which was very much appreciated. The Talisa is like a home away from home and we felt very comfortable during our stay. I love to cook and made many meals for the three of us. Cooking on the river was an incredible experience as the aromatic spices filled the air. Navigating at our own pace up and down the river and it’s various secret passageways we felt one with nature. From the boat we saw plenty of fish jumping, alligators sunbathing, an array of birds, turtles, alligator gar, and a plethora of wildlife. It felt like we were in a National Geographic episode. There is so much to see and do that two days simply isn’t enough. The best moment was waking up with the warmth of the sun rising on the boat and the mist covering the river. The perfect sound of nature all around us as dew drops glistened all over Talisa. Of course we don’t want to spoil it for you guys but everything was absolutely perfect.We traveled for 2 days and only used up half a tank of fuel. Kitchen had everything we needed and the boat ride was smooth.We can guarantee future bookings with The Talisa very soon, as we just couldn’t get enough. We want to thank Michael for being an exceptional host and for giving people the opportunity to explore nature with his beautiful and graceful Talisa.
Saulo Coral Spring, FL – May 2015 What a great experience. Like going camping but floating on the river! My wife, our 17 year old son and myself had the boat for 3 days and had a great time. I recommend for anyone else that hadn’t had an experience driving a boat by him/herself as this is a very easy boat to handle and Michael gives you a great intro at the beginning of the trip, with steering instructions, maps and some great tips to enjoy the area. Even my wife that does not do boats well had a great time – she did complain about the lack of facilities like a shower or AC. But she did have a portapotty all for herself as we boys ho-hum, we know how to hold it in for a looooong time lol. We cooked in the boat’s kitchen, had Starbucks Coffee, and wined at night. The accommodations are spartan but very clean and comfortable. I am 6ft 4 and was able to sleep in the double bed comfortably. In the summer the evenings were Florida hot and sticky, which was uncomfortable, I must admit. If you don’t mind camping in the summer months, you should be OK. You can plan your trip a d stay over at the state parks like the Hortoon Island that offers docking and showers and was a great help. No actual flushing toilet so girls, beware. Michael is very easy to deal with and gave us great support over text messages and phone during the trip – we did have an engine problem near DeLeon Springs and had to be towed by the nice Captain Frank from the Fountain of Youth Tours – people are so nice on this side of Florida! It turned out that I must have hit the bottom of the lake and tilted the engine up, not a big deal. After a couple of texts and a phone call, Michael showed up at the park in a jiffy with a full tank of gas on hand and untitled the engine in no time – apparently an easy fix but how would I know? This was my first time, right? Michael was pleased to come to our rescue and even this part of the trip contributed to all the fun: we arrived at the park in style, being towed at 3 times the normal speed and modeling for countless pictures from everyone who saw us. Talisa, the boat, is so cute and well built that turns heads wherever you go. Just wanted to finalize with my son’s comments: ” Our time on the house boat was a great experience, we had made many memories that will last a life time. the boat itself is very basic and a bit small, but it has basic plumbing ( a sink, portapotty toilet ). it also comes with a small kitchen for cooking on the boat. the owner, Micheal, is also a great guy, he is very knowledgeable and made our experience a lot…
Sarah Hands down, one of our favorite trips EVER. We LOVED it!! We just returned from a three-day trip on Talisa and I am already looking at our calendars to see how quickly we can return. Michael is such a warm and accommodating host–we had absolutely everything we needed on the boat and even things we had not thought to bring. As the captain for the weekend, with my limited boating experience, I found Talisa very easy to handle and she was easy to learn how to operate. Michael was incredibly generous with his time making sure I was ready to handle her on my own. We were able to reach out to him with any questions before and during our trip and he suggested a few places to go which we loved. While moving along the river, we enjoyed seeing the gators, manatees, turkeys, turtles, eagle and truly awe-inspiring scenery along the way. If you are considering booking, I bet you will fall in love as we did. The shanty boat is like camping but I might call it more “glamping” as the two beds for very comfortable for the three adults on our trip. There was cell phone service almost everywhere (which I assumed wouldn’t be the case but there was) and we were even able to charge our phone on the boat. The double cabin had such wonderfully placed windows and portholes, it was so enjoyable to just watch the water flow by as you move along from inside, too. I loved sitting out on the sun deck and reading or soaking up the sun. Also, we were shocked at how little gas she used for our trip–I think it was probably just a 1/4 of a tank. We kept telling each other how lucky we felt to be enjoying such a trip on such a unique boat. Thank you so much, Michael!
Suzanne Excellent host. Excellent back to nature experience. I’ll be back! Suzanne
Robert Berlin, Germany– August 2015 Bei unseren Trip entlang der Ostküste war dieses auf jeden Fall die ausgewöhnlichste Unterkunft und die einzige welche wir drei Tage nicht verlassen haben. Die Natur entlang des Johns River ist atemberaubend schön und noch herrlich wild. Wir haben dutzenden von Vogelarten gesehen, Kaimane und Alligatoren und sogar Seekühe. Das Boot war groß genug, dass zwei Erwachsene und ein Kind bequem und gemütliche ein paar Tage darauf verbringen können und hat die notwendigsten Dinge an Board. Michael und seine Frau waren sehr aufmerksam und freundlich und haben uns alles in Ruhe gezeigt. Michael war immer telefonisch erreichbar und hat sich nach wohlbefinden erkundig und vor starken Gewittern gewarnt. Ich würde es immer wieder machen. This Boat was cozy and convinent. We don´t miss anthing. The nature of the river John is beatiful and amzaing. Michael and his wife was very mindful and friendly and show us everthing. He was every time available on telephone and alert us before heavy rain. I would do it again.
Carrie Winter Springs, FL – August 2015 Michael was fantastic and so easy going! It was so nice to meet someone with such a great appreciation for nature and a desire to share it with others. We rented the Talisa for a weekend. It was a rainy weekend but we didn’t care (FYI she is water tight) lol. The pictures don’t really do her justice, she is adorable and comfortable. Michael did quality work here. We had a wonderful experience and I developed an entirely new appreciation for Florida beauty! We will certainly be return customers! Thanks Michael.