Chicago Electric Boat Company Begins Eco-friendly Boat Rentals on Chicago River


CHICAGO, IL, April 17, 2012 – On Thursday, April 19 the Chicago Electric Boat Company kicks off its inaugural season renting eco-friendly Duffy electric boats to Chicagoans along the city’s public waterways. The company is the local dealer and a factory recognized rental facility for the energy efficient boats, which can be rented by the hour and require no previous boating experience. All renters are trained on safe operation and rules of the road. The rental season commences Thursday and lasts through November, weather permitting.

The brainchild of Ron Silvia of Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales, the Chicago Electric Boat Company’s use of the California-based Duffy boats is right in line with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s stated goals for making Chicago one of the greenest cities in the world. With their nearly silent electric engines, the boats avoid noise pollution as well as environmental pollution, appealing to those who are concerned with the ecological impact of their choices. All boats are new models outfitted with Duffy’s patented Power RudderTM, which provides excellent tracking and maneuverability to allow the operator to turn the boat within its own length, a great safeguard for novice boat operators.

“I have looked out on the river every day for the past three and a half years and noticed this beautiful resource that was so underutilized,” says Silvia, president of Chicago Electric Boat Company. “I wanted to give people a better opportunity to enjoy the river in an intimate setting.” The Chicago Electric Boat Company’s boats can accommodate groups of up to ten people and can be rented from one to eight hours at $150/hour. Limited parking is available on off-peak days with preferred valet rates available during peak days, although the green company strongly encourages patrons to consider public transportation or carpooling.

As an optional added feature, Chicago Electric Boat Company has formed partnerships with many of Chicago’s iconic restaurants to offer catering packages aboard its Duffy boats, including Pizzeria Uno, House of Blues, Jason’s Deli, Dick’s Last Resort, Bar Louis, and Smith & Wollensky. Discounts and drink specials are also available at certain locations for boating patrons who wish to dine out following their rental.

USCG licensed captains are available for hire by the hour for groups who plan to drink alcohol aboard the boat, as well as for groups who don’t feel as comfortable personally navigating Chicago’s winding waterways. Likewise, tour guides may be commissioned hourly to provide boat passengers with in-depth information in a personal setting about Chicago and the buildings lining its riverbanks.

No novices to the boating industry, Silvia and vice-president Greg Krueger have both been in the boat business their entire lives. Silvia earned his Captain’s License at age 18 and continues to specialize in boat sales locally for Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales. Greg Krueger has been building, selling, and enjoying boats for the past 40 years and is currently president of Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales.

Additional information about the Chicago Electric Boat Company can be found online at and reservations can be made online, by phone at (312) 644-6411 or by sending an email to [email protected]. The docks are located at the Marina Level of 300 N State Street, Unit EE.

Ron Silvia, President
(312) 644-6411
[email protected]