Boating season begins in Chicago

June 7, 2011 5:06:32 AM PDT
We're starting off Chicago's boating season by showcasing a new 2011 Four Winns powerboat and the latest nautical accessories for on-the-water fun this summer.

FEATURED BOAT: This new V305 powerboat from Four Winns and brought to us by Skipper Buds is the perfect cabin cruiser for fun on the water this summer. The V305 has family-inspired features with plenty of room to entertain; a full kitchen with a grill, refrigerator and sink; sleeping room for six; and, a full-size bathroom with shower.

FOUR WINNS 2011 V305 ( )
Cost: Starting at $177,000
Chicagoland dealer: Skipper Bud's,
(; 888-334-6739)
Length: 30'5"
Power: Twin engines, max HP range 440-540


? Open cockpit, spacious interior design
Low-to-the-water swim platform
Queen mattress in mid-cabin providing the perfect sleeping area
Breakfast center housed in the cabin, with sink and refrigerator, optional microwave and coffee maker
Full galley, relocated from the cabin to the aft cockpit area
New cockpit table design turns into a full sun lounge
Additional details and specs can be found at

Boating in Chicago

Chicago is a true boating town with more than 5,000 boats docked at our 9 lakefront harbors and in addition we have a variety of lakes and rivers ideal for boating and close to home.

Boating season in Chicago runs May 1 through October 15.

Ways to Get on the Water this Summer

Rent or Charter. Rent a boat right on Lake Michigan. For an hour or an entire day. Boat rental companies will sometimes offer specials to encourage business.

Join a Club. Local boating clubs and organizations allow and non-boat owners the chance to test the waters through lessons, regattas and even exclusive boating events. Clubs provide members with access to a variety of boat types, interaction with fellow boaters and events for all skill levels for an annual or monthly fee.

Take a Class. With so many available boating classes and courses to choose from, you'll be out on the water in no time. Whether you've always wanted to learn how to sail, or just interested in new ways to spend quality time with your family, a wealth of available boater education courses makes boating easier to learn than ever.

Fractional Ownership - Fractional boating membership and ownership programs pair several "members" on one boat with an owner and professionally manage the entire process from stem to stern. The fractional ownership company typically provides new well-appointed boats and takes care of most of the work (such as fueling, pump-out, maintenance, insurance, etc.) which allows members to focus on learning the ropes and enjoying the boating lifestyle. Members pre-schedule use of the boat online and often get the added benefit of lessons, flotillas and additional crew if needed.

Jump Aboard With Family & Friends. Recreational family boating is a great way to spend time with your family and friends. On a warm, sunny Chicago afternoon, you'll find dozens of boats tied up to one another in the Chicago Playpen - hundreds of Chicagoans leisurely enjoying time in the sun with family and friends.

Boating Statistics

An estimated 75 million American adults go boating each year
There are an estimated 17 million boats in use in the United States
Three out of four boat owners have a household income under $100,000
Illinois ranked #15 nationally in new boat, engine, trailer and accessory sales;
Illinois increased 5.2 percent from $234 million in 2009 to $246 million in 2010

Source: National Marine Manufacturers Association

For more information, visit The latest boating news, fun summer boating playlists and more can also be found at

About Discover Boating: Discover Boating is a national awareness campaign developed by the North American recreational boating industry and managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA ). Discover Boating programs focus on improving the boating experience and building interest in recreational boating by providing a resource for Americans to explore the benefits, affordability and accessibility of the boating lifestyle. To find out more, visit

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