Discover Boating in Chicago

(News Release) 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. Not to mention, if you grab a group of friends or family you can split the cost and pack your own snacks and beverages, making it more affordable to enjoy Lake Michigan from the exclusive vantage point of a boat than a baseball game. Secret Tip: Visit for rental opportunities, as many Chicagoland boat owners privately rent out their boats throughout the summer and are willing to negotiate on pricing.

Join a Club. Local boating clubs and organizations allow inexperienced boaters and those who don't own boats a 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. Secret Tip: A vast majority of local yacht club members are non-boat owners, but as part of their membership are able to participate in the weekly Chicago 'Beer Can Races', on the water picnic and brunches, weekend excursions/races, etc. Not to mention, it can't hurt to mingle with hundreds of boat owners. The more friends you make, the more boats you can try!

Take a Class. With so many available boating classes and courses to choose from, you'll be out on the water before you know it. Whether you've always wanted to learn how to sail, or you're just interested in new ways to spend quality time with your family, a wealth of available boater education courses make boating easier to learn than ever. Secret Tip: There are a variety of Chicago social clubs, including Chicago Sport and Social, that provide opportunities to get involved in boating at an inexpensive cost and meet others that are just beginning and share the same interest of wanting to get on the water this summer.

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, it's typical to find dozens of boats tied up to one another in the Chicago Play Pen where hundreds of Chicagoans leisurely enjoying time in the sun with family and friends. Secret Tip: Visit nearby Chicagoland docks and harbor clubs and get to know the occupants. Boaters are a friendly group that are often eager to share their love of boating with those wanting to get involved.

Timeshare. Fractional boat ownership/sharing, similar to lodging timeshares, are cost effective ways to use well-appointed boats and distribute costs related to fueling, pump out, maintenance, and insurance among you and a group of friends or other local timeshare boaters. Secret Tip: Members can preschedule use of the boat online and often get the added benefit of lessons, flotillas and additional crew, if needed.

About DiscoverBoating is a national awareness campaign developed by the North American recreational boating industry and managed by the industry's trade group, the National Marine Manufacturers Association. 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.

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