Flavor Wave

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The Burger Boat creates mouthwatering meals on the water

The Martins and their Burger Boat. Photo by Jason B. James

On your next boating adventure, leave the cooler at home: one clever Savannah business is ready to serve you right on the water.

For Burger Boat founders Steve and Margot Martin, creating a buoyant food truck was a dream years in the making. Steve, now “semi-retired,” is no stranger to waterside dining in Savannah — he was employed with since-closed Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House since its beginnings and has had a wealth of culinary experience in the community, educating students in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School system and teaching developmentally disabled Savannahians via nonprofit organization EmployAbility. 

An opportunity sailed into the picture when Steve’s sister discovered the perfect kitchen-equipped boat for sale online. The Martins had it shipped from New York, upgraded the commercial kitchen, added pontoons for stability and got cooking. 

The only seafaring dining experience in Georgia docks at local marinas to offer a full menu to hungry day-trippers, fishers, charter captains and water adventurists. Grass-fed beef burgers, eight-inch personal pan pizzas, hot dogs and sandwiches are made right on deck. “We like keeping the menu simple and geared toward things you want to eat when you’re out on the water,” says Margot. “We make pizza when the wind isn’t too bad, and Steve, whose stepmom is Jamaican, has added a jerk chicken sandwich to the menu that people really like.” 

During the week, the Burger Boat caters to the coast’s marine employees, dropping anchor at the Thunderbolt Marina, Hogan’s Marina and Isle of Hope, and even offers a discount for folks who work on the water. During the weekends, boaters pull up alongside the Burger Boat on the Back River at Tybee and other busy waterways for immediate service — but the Martins offer delivery, too. Boaters dial in their order, and the Slider, a small jon boat, cheerily pulls up to their location with a hot meal. 

Though still a relatively young business, the Burger Boat continues to expand, offering private dock parties and plenty of dining opportunities during the busy season throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Tune in via Instagram or Facebook to catch the wave — or scan the horizon for the only boat with an “Open” sign billowing in the breeze. (@theburgerboatsav, 315.406.0804)