How to rent an electric boat on the Chicago River
👋 Hi, it's Justin. Summer fun is winding down, but there's still time to head to the river and charge up … a boat.
- Renting boats by the hour has become all the rage, letting you experience the Chicago River's renaissance while working on your tan.
What's happening: Chicago Electric Boat Co. offers use of its fleet, from pontoons to Duffy boats.
- With just a driver's license and a basic understanding of water safety rules, you can fulfill your dream of piloting a boat.
- You could hire a captain instead, and even a tour guide.
How it works: They rent by the hour, so I chose the Duffy boat — closer to a gondola than a speedboat — for a two-hour family trip to enjoy both the South and North branches of the river, as well as downtown.
- You can't go into Lake Michigan.
- The boats are not fast.
The experience: Nothing beats looking up at the majestic buildings along Wacker Drive.
Yes, but: It's busy. If you aren't already stressed by the huge boats conducting architecture tours, the kayakers will positively freak you out.
The bottom line: $179 an hour is totally worth it for the memories, people-watching and Instagram stories.
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