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On the Water

2013 Summer Guide

May. 23, 2013
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Whether or not you own a boat, getting out on the water is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Lake Michigan. Touring, fishing and taking in the lake air are just a few reasons to consider chartering a boat. Take advantage of the opportunity on a sunny day for unforgettable views of the lakeshore.


Denis Sullivan



That’s no time-warp hallucination on Lake Michigan. This vessel is the world's only recreation of a 19th-century three-masted Great Lakes schooner. Take a deck tour or a ride (the season starts May 26) and experience how wind-powered vessels puffed towering sails to the natural rhythms of mighty waterways. No modern, fuel-burning ships equal the beauty and romance of these exquisitely designed creations. The schooner provides breathtaking views of our busy port and overhead, “‘The birds! The birds!’ cried [harpooner] Tashtego.” (Kevin Lynch)


Fishing Boat Charters

Hankering for the open water of Lake Michigan? Consider sport fishing with one of the many available chartering services in the greater Milwaukee area. Many are privately owned companies consisting of a single vessel operated by an experienced captain, and great deals abound (Reel Sensation and Jack’s, for instance, have “no fish, no charge” policies). The southern part of the lake is well stocked with Coho, King and Chinook salmon; walleye; and perch, to name just a few. Tips up and tight lines! (Selena Milewski)


■ A-1 Leisure Time Charters (Hartland), 262-781-1704

■ Barbie Doll Sports Fishing Charters (Cedarburg), 800-255-3345

■ Blue Max Charters (Milwaukee), 414-828-1094

Brew City Charters (Milwaukee), 414-899-5959

Capt Angelo’s Fishing Bug Charter (Racine), 262-633-8558

Captain Chip Porter’s Wound Up Sportfishing Charters (Kenosha), 847-774-7597

Crabby Charters (Milwaukee), 262-538-0056

Dumper Dan’s Charter Fishing Fleet (Sheboygan), 920-457-2940

Jack’s Charter Service (Milwaukee, Racine), 414-482-2336

Lucky Lyle Fishing Charters (Kenosha), 262-818-4541

Maritime Charters (Milwaukee), 414-247-1660

■ Reel Sensation Charters (Milwaukee), 414-384-8096

■ Silver King Charters (Milwaukee, Racine), 414-460-1467

■ Spaeth, Eugene E. (West Bend), 262-338-1035


Juneau Park Paddleboat Rental

1400 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive



For more than 15 years, Juneau Park’s immense lagoon has been dotted with paddleboats during the summer. If you’ve never ridden in one, summer 2013 is the perfect time to test the waters. For just $5 per person, per half hour, this scenic activity is a great value. Each of the 20-boat fleet seats two riders and the crafts are easy to operate and surprisingly maneuverable. Congratulations to owners Tim and Val Ritter for their many years of bringing joy and whimsy to Milwaukeeans and visitors alike! (S.M.)


Milwaukee Community Sailing Center

1450 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive



Whether you’re new to sailing or a salty seadog, the Milwaukee Sailing Center is a great place to get involved in Lake Michigan’s boating scene. For the price of a one-year membership ($225 for seniors, $305 for individual adults or $485 for couples), you can enjoy an immense array of sailing and enrichment classes both on and off the water. The center’s beautiful Windhover Community Room, outdoor Sullivan Deck, classroom space and lawn are also available for corporate and private rental. Want to get acquainted before making a commitment? See the facilities and meet staff members at the Lobster Boil fundraiser on August 23. (S.M.)


River and Harbor Cruises

Milwaukee River Cruise Line: 414-276-7447

Milwaukee Boat Line: 414-294-9450

Riverwalk Boat Tours & Rentals: 414-283-9999

For a unique perspective of Milwaukee’s skyline, take a boat cruise down the Milwaukee River and out into the harbor. Several companies offer opportunities to do just that. Milwaukee River Cruise Line has four cruise boats for public and private trips—the Edelweiss I & II, Lakeside Spirit and their new double-deck, high-end Harbor Lady. Milwaukee Boat Line sails with a pair of double-deck boats, the Vista King and Voyageur, and offers narrated tours about the history of Milwaukee's riverfront and harbor. Riverwalk Boat Tours & Rentals offers pontoon boat rentals, brewery tours and trips to the harbor that offer patrons the chance to see Milwaukee from the lake. (Susan Harpt Grimes)


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