SailTime Chicago is the local franchise of SailTime, a fast growing worldwide boating company. We provide our members access to cruising class sail and power boats. The best way to say it: we have fun.
Size is no object at SkipperBud's, where all forms of aquatic fun line their shelves, from water-wings on up to yachts. Though the shop doesn't actually line the walls with multi-ton vessels, it does store smaller recreational vehicles in dry stack, pulling entire boats off high shelves with an enormous, specially outfitted forklift. Inside the store proper, staff keeps neat displays of more conventionally-sized gear, including watersporting apparel such as skis and life vests to boating accessories, such as anchors and bumper stickers to slap on the bottom of a ship's hull that say, "If you can read this, you are a really smart fish."
To keep boaters covered in the office, SkipperBud's deals in a variety of storage and maintenance packages. They shield private vessels from the elements during winter months in vast warehouses, and perform tune-ups and major repairs to engines and fiberglass hulls.
With about a decade's experience in starting up rowing clubs across the country, Row America is well versed in bringing the sport to a new audience. Its introductory Learn to Row classes teach sculling and other techniques to beginners whose only watercraft knowledge may have come from watching old Love Boat reruns. But Row America also serves more experienced athletes, who may dream of competing in the Olympics like founder Howard Winklevoss's sons did in 2008, with clubs for high schoolers and adults.
The die-hard paddlers of Geneva Kayak Center stay on the move throughout the year?both in their watercraft and across the globe. From May to September, they are headquartered in and around Chicago, where they teach kayaking during courses, workshops, and quick orientations, and dole out kayaks, canoes, and tubes for those who want to explore the Fox River's whitewater on their own.
When cold breezes start to blow through the Windy City, they head to Saint Marys, Georgia, to lead kayak camps and sea adventures on the Cumberland Island National Seashore. They also lead curated adventures off the costs of Alaska and Maine and in Wisconsin's idyllic Door County, where kayakers might spot deer grazing on grass or nibbling on cheese curds.
Refreshing zephyrs glide off freshwater lochs and onto SkipperBud's, an all-purpose marina on the shores of Lake Mendota. New and used boats from high-end brands such as Starcraft and Sea Ray bob beside the sprawling facilities, where savvy salespeople bring decades of know-how to the 40-year-old company. Engine parts, safety tackle, and watersports equipment are also on hand, as are adept boat mechanics trained to tinker on most boat models and engine types. Indoor storage facilities fend off the icy barks of Old Man Winter, and, in the summer, make for easy access to Lake Mendota's launch points.