We'll help you get ready for your boat trip by answering commonly asked questions.

Is there parking available for the Chicago boat charters?

Yes.  Each harbor has a parking lot with metered parking.

What do we tip?

Suggested gratuity is 20% to the Captain and Crew.  The gratuity is based on the total boat cost. This is due to the fact that the vessels require effort to navigate, clean, maintain, and replenish for each charter.  The Captain and Crew pride themselves on providing the most accommodating and luxurious experience ensuring that the passengers leave with amazing memories.

Where are the Chicago boats located?

Depending on which boat you pick, they are located at Montrose Harbor, Belmont Harbor, Diversey Harbor, Burnham Harbor, and 31st Street Harbor.

Can we bring our own alcohol and food?

Absolutely.  We suggest bringing a cooler with ice, as well.

Do you offer catering?

Catering is available depending on which boat you choose.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellation policies are boat and location
specific.  Chitown Boating has no authority overall cancellation
policies.  During the booking process,
you will have an opportunity to acknowledge/accept the cancellation policy for
that specific boat or pick another boat.  Processing fees are

What happens if there is bad weather?

Cancellations attributed to weather conditions will be
assessed on the day of the reservation by the local boat personnel in charge,
considering the unpredictable nature of weather changes

Does the boat have Bluetooth so I can play my own music?


What happens if I’m late?

Kindly ensure punctuality, as there are usually charters scheduled before and after your reservation. Unfortunately, tardiness does NOT result in an extension of the boat charter time. Thank you for your understanding.

What time should I arrive?

Suggested arrival at the boat is at least 30 minutes before the start of the charter.

How much is the Captain and his crew?

If the Captain and Crew are not included in the price, the average rates vary from $90/hour to $150/ hour.

How much does gas cost?

If the gas is not included in the price, the cost will vary depending on if you anchor at the Chicago Playpen, do a Chicago skyline cruise, and/or a Chicago river cruise. A good starting point is $50/hour. River cruises would cost more.

Where do I find a Captain?

You will be supplied a list of Captains to choose from. Captains will supply their own crew.

Do the Captain and Crew count toward the number of passengers?

No. The Captain and crew under the charterer are not considered passengers.

Can we go swimming?

Yes. However, only in designated locations. Also, swimming after sunset or in bad water conditions, may be prohibited.

Can we tie-up with other boats?

Per the latest Coast Guard regulations and recent enforcement actions, tie-ups with other boats will not be allowed with U.S. bareboat charters.

Can I sell individual tickets if I rent a boat?

Absolutely not.  The boats are rented as bareboat charters.   This is not allowed per U.S. Coast Guard regulations.

What are examples of Special Event Days?

Chicago Boat Scene Party 

Chicago Air n Water Show 

San Diego Christmas Boat Parade 

Does the boat charter time start when we leave the dock and end when we come back to the dock?

No.  The boat charter time starts and ends at the time you booked it for.  Everyone must be off the boat at the time the boat charter ends. 

Get in touch

If you have any additional questions about your next boat trip please don't hesitate to ask.