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Boat Helm

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

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. 

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