The Chicago Electric Boat Company is one of my oldest clients, I started working with them when they launched in 2012. Initially I began working with them because the company is owned by my brother-in-law and I wanted to help out where I could, but I’ve continued to work with them because I think that what they offer their customers is really special. In a nutshell, the company rents picnic-style boats on the Chicago River that guests are able to drive themselves. As someone who was fortunate enough to grow up in a boating family, I know how special time spent together on the water can be and the Chicago Electric Boat Company offers this experience to newbie boaters with self-chartered rentals by the hour. Not only are the cruises BYOB, but all of the boats are 100% electric and certified zero emissions.
On St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago (celebrated the Saturday before March 17) all eyes are on the Chicago River as it is ceremoniously dyed green. Each time I witness this iconic Chicago moment, I am surprised by how GREEN it really gets! The Plumbers Union is responsible for this transformation and they drop the environmentally-friendly dye on the main branch of the Chicago River. As the dye is dropped in, several boats criss cross from bank to bank in order to spread the color throughout the river. It’s almost eerie as you see the electric green water creep toward you but, before long, the entire main branch of the Chicago River is this festive hue. It’s pretty remarkable.
For the first time ever, the Chicago Electric Boat Company offered private captained cruises so customers could witness the dyeing of the Chicago River. Despite the cold (it hardly reached 30 degrees all day!) the sun was out and customers stayed nice and toasty with portable heaters aboard. The company’s Operations Manager, Doug, was kind enough to drive me around on the Miss Amy so that I could get some photos of the electric boats on the electric green river. The boats were all festively decorated and ready to go as the first rental of the 2017 season set out on Mighty Marie at 8am.
The Chicago Electric Boat Company is currently accepting 2017 reservations through their website. This is a great outing for an afterwork happy hour, a celebration, a family boat ride or a tourist visit to the great city of Chicago. These boats also make for great corporate outings, make sure to recommend them to your HR department!