Summer means time on the water, but not everyone has access to a boat -- or wants to cruise on a large vessel with dozens of other people.

Chartering a private boat with your own captain may be the answer. While not cheap, you don't need to have a rock-star budget, either, to arrange a private cruise with a custom itinerary.

Options range from a luxury catamaran that sails by Shelter Island to a power boat that motors up to six people around Peconic Bay for swimming and clamming. All have licensed captains who can personalize the experience for your group, whether by arranging for catered meals onboard or water toys such as paddleboards.

LITTLE DUTCH SAILING CHARTERSHelp hoist the sails and take a trip around the waters of Coecles Harbor in Shelter Island and Fishers Island aboard a 42-foot, double-sail Witby. Groups of up to six people can be ferried by dinghies to secluded beaches or jump off the ship into the cool waters. The boat makes day and sunset sails, as well as weekend charters.

Departs from: Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton

Rate: $125 a person for morning sails to $1,250 a person for a Friday-Sunday overnight trip

Info: 917-513-5724,

littledutchsailing.com

H2O HOSPITALITY

Capt. Libby Koch's 27-foot Tiara power boat, Category I, has a stateroom and a stern deck with chairs for up to six. Koch tailors charter trips to the client. Would you rather spend your time on a small, secluded beach or cannonball off the boat into the cool water on a hot day?

Departs from: Mitchell Park Marina, Greenport

Rate: $350 for 2 hours; $700 for 4 hours, $1,400 for a full day

Info: 631-553-0293,

h2ospitality.com

HERON YACHT CHARTERS

This 63-foot catamaran is adorned with a luxurious teak and white decor. Bring your own food or let the McLellans cater. Get access to activities like tubing or paddleboarding, too.

Departs from: Sag Harbor or Montauk

Rate: From $1,400 for 2½ hours and up to 12 guests to $4,400 for 20 guests all day

Info: 631-875-3611,

heronyachtcharters.com

This story first appeared in Newsday