Boating in Chicago: Rent, Don’t Buy
Boatbound can help you get on the water
A Chicagoan’s biggest source of summer anxiety: Will you get invited out on someone’s boat at least once this season?
Now you can take matters into your own hands by renting a boat with Boatbound, a new-to-Chicago website that treats boats like the privately owned homes on VRBO and Airbnb.
On the site, boat owners post photos and details about their vessels, which can be rented from harbors around Chicago by the half day or full day. This beautifully restored cruiser docked just south of Navy Pier, for instance, can be yours for $475 a day ($700 with a captain).
There are powerboats, fishing boats and sailboats available, and to keep everything safe, renters are pre-screened, boats older than ten years have to pass an inspection and each rental includes $3 million in insurance. (Amazingly, you don't need a boating license to rent.)
If you find yourself stuck out there on the lake--dead battery, dang it!--the 10 percent rental fee you pay to Boatbound covers 24/7 assistance.
Now all you need is some sunblock and a few sea-worthy friends.