Hiring a Captain
You are renting a recreational vessel which means that you, as the renter, must hire and pay a Captain directly. This procedure is not unique to Chicago Yachting. All recreational boat rental companies in Chicago require that renters hire their own captain directly since this is required by US Coast Guard laws.
Chicago Yachting provides a Captain contact list, but you have your choice of who to hire. We recommend budgeting $85-$100 per hour plus gratuity. Rate and payment method should be confirmed with your hired Captain, and rates may be higher for holidays and special events.
Captain Hiring Process
Captain Contact List
Once you have a confirmed booking with Chicago Yachting, you will receive an email with a captain contact list.
Chicago Yachting provides a contact list of captains that are qualified and familiar with our fleet.
New Captain Approval
You may hire a different USCG certified licensed captain, with owner approval. If you would like to hire a captain that is not on our pre-approved list, please reach out to us as soon as possible to ensure there is enough time to complete the approval process.
When you reach out to the captains let them know the date, time and boat name for your rental. Please coordinate rate and payment method with the captain. Rates may vary based on the day of the week, holidays, and special events. We recommend keeping in touch with your captain as your rental date approaches.
The captains who work on Recreational Vessels are independent contractors. All payment and tips must be paid directly to the captain. Gratuity is at your discretion. Industry standard is to tip based on the cost of the boat rental, not on the hourly rate.
What is the criteria for an approved captain?
Any operator of the boat must:
Be over 21 years old
Have no criminal convictions or pleas of no contest on their record
Have no marine insurance claims in the last 10 years
Have no violations / suspensions (including auto) in the last 5 years
Have at least 2 years of experience operating similar size (within 10 feet) boat
Be approved by Chicago Yachting to operate the boat. The approval process includes a screening of the operator's experience, a pre-charter orientation and on-water skills test with a member of Chicago Yachting staff.