Thursday, June 15, 2000

Want a boat? Wide wake of choices

Buyers go for size; renters have lots to choose from

By Mike Pulfer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Garon Wuest and friends Ryan Everman, Mark Byrd and Doug Stafford cool off at Brookville Lake.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
        On water, as on land, bigger seems always to be better.

        Whether it's a sport cruiser, runabout or personal watercraft, Tristate consumers looking for more fun on the H2O are, in most cases, looking for larger sizes, more power and better appointments. They want sport-utility vehicles that float.

        “We see a lot of people starting out in (cabin) cruisers” for their first boats, said Andrea Chase, marketing director at Flerlage Marine, East End and Fairfield. “They want more space.” Price ballpark: $50,000.

        “Everyone's different, but they (buyers) all like performance,” said Cesar Menendez, sales rep at Lodder's Marine, Fairfield. Powerful engines, particularly V-6 and V-8 models, have been favorites this boating season. Plenty of speed, sometimes up to 75 mph, for $15,000 to $25,000.

  This week, we present a summer survival series. Each day we complete this sentence, “I could keep my cool this summer if only . . .”   • Monday: “. . . My backyard were cool.”
  • Tuesday: “. . . I had a pool.”
  • Wednesday: “. . . I had water toys.”
  • Today: “. . . I had a boat.”
  • Friday: “. . . I could be “cool.”
        Even the ever-so-popular personal watercraft, originally designed for one or two people straddling a long vinyl seat, have grown longer and more powerful. Retailers now offer speeding seats for as many as four, some of them for as much as $10,000.

        But you don't have to own a boat to have fun on one.

        Businesses on Tristate lakes offer a variety of water vehicles for rent. If you like to ski, you can rent a runabout for as little as $65 an hour. If fishing's your thing, grab a john boat for as little as $8 an hour. If you just want to be on the water, try a pedal boat in Hamilton County parks for $5.18 per half-hour. If you're willing to float with strangers, pay $2 for a ticket on a tour boat.

        And, yes, there is a place to get personal. Jet skis are available in Warren County for as little as $65 an hour.

        Here's a sampling of what you can do on nearby bodies of water and what it will cost.

        • Caesar Creek Watercraft, Waynesville (937) 478-9283

        Six-passenger ski boat: $65 an hour; $230 for four hours; $398 for eight hours.

        10-passenger pontoon: $65 an hour; $230 for four hours; $398 for 8 hours.

        Jet ski: $65 an hour (one person); $75 an hour (two)

        • Miami Whitewater Forest, Sharon Woods, Winton Woods parks (not all equipment available at all parks), 521-7275:

        Rowboats: $5.18 per half-hour; $7.07 per hour; $8.95 per six hours; $10.84 per day.

        Canoes: $5.18 per half-hour; $7.07 per hour.

        Rowboats: $5.18 per half-hour; $7.07 per hour; $8.95 per six hours; $10.84 per day.

        Pedal boats: $5.18 per half hour; $7.07 per hour.

        Hydrobike $5.18 per half-hour; $7.07 per hour.

        • Lake Isabella (521-7275):

        Rowboats: $7.07 per six hours; $8.95 per 12 hours.

        • Morgan Canoe Livery, Fort Ancient, Warren County (513) 932-7658

        Canoes: $17 per canoe for 3-mile trip; $24 per canoe for 6 miles; $29 per canoe for 12 miles; $34.50 per canoe for 18 miles. Add $6 for trips with no reservation.

        Rafts: $13 per person per two-hour float.

        • Quakertown Marina, Brookville Lake (765) 458-6490

        Fishing boats: $35 for four hours; $50 for eight hours

        Pontoons: $60 for four hours, weekdays; $110 for eight hours; $90 for four hours, weekends and holidays, $135 for eight hours. Longer boats are slightly more.

        • Kent's Harbor and Sagamore Resort, Brookville Lake (765) 458-7431

        Ski boats: $165-$199 for three hours, depending on size. $250-$299 for six hours.

        Fishing boats: $59 and $79 for four and eight hours respectively

        Pontoon boats: $125-$175 for four hours, depending on size; $179-$219 for eight hours.

        • Rocky Fork Marina, Rocky Fork Lake, Hillsboro (937) 393-4250

        Pontoons: Weekdays — $20 an hour; $60 for four hours; $110 for eight hours. Weekends — $35 an hour; $75 for four hours; $135 for eight hours; $190 for 24 hours; $260 per weekend.

        Fishing boats: Weekdays — $8 an hour; four hours for $30; eight hours for $50. Weekends — $10 an hour; $35 for four hours; $60 for eight hours; $75 for 24 hours; $135 for weekend.

        • Paint Creek Marina, Highland County (937) 365-1485.

        Pontoons: $15 an hour weekdays ($50 for four hours; $90 for eight hours; $250 for 24 hours)

        Weekends and holidays: $18 an hour ($65 for four hours; $120 daily)

        Fishing boats: $10 an hour ($20 for four hours; $40 for eight hours; $95 for 24 hours)

        Weekends and holidays: $15 an hour ($25 for four hours; $45 for eight hours)

        Houseboats: $750 per week; $400 Monday to Friday; $400 per weekend (No reservations taken for less than eight hours).

        • Cincinnati Kayaks Downtown, two-hour guided instruction includes equipment leaving from Public landing and other locations downtown. On Ohio and Licking rivers. $20-$40 per person. By appointment. 421-3671.

        • RiverCity Charter offers day, evening and overnight cruises for up to six guests on a private River Yacht on the Ohio River, available for 21/2 hours to three days, catering available. Departs from Villa Hills through October. Prices vary. 341-8221;

        Most rental agencies recommend reservations at least two weeks in advance, especially on larger boats.


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