Maritime Day marks beginning of Chicago boating season

By Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

Chicagoans celebrated the Merchant Marines as well as the start of summer with a blessing of ships and recreational boats on Wednesday at Navy Pier.

With its long stretch of lakefront property, Chicago has many docks and slips for boat owners. And some of those owners are joining a rental market that has developed over the past few years, beyond the usual charter companies offering planned excursions. Services like Boatsetter — a company that works like Airbnb or Uber for boats —are offering residents and visitors new ways to enjoy Lake Michigan.

Photo at top: Merchant Marines at Navy Pier. (Shannon Longworth/MEDILL)