Charges on your DEBIT or CREDIT card:
Chicago Sailboat Charters (CSC) will charge the deposit on your card at the time you make a booking, and then the balance due will be charged to the same card 30 days prior to the charter. Charterer agrees to allow card to be charged for all balances and any scheduled or incurred fees. The charterer will be required to present the credit card used for payment, along with matching government issued ID, at the time of the charter. Should that card used not be available at the time of the charter, cash or a chip credit card with matching ID must be used to make payment in full for the entire charter in person at the time of the charter.
Rescheduling / Cancellation Policy and Change Fees:
If CSC cancels your charter due to conditions
(not if you cancel, but if CSC cancels), your deposit is refunded and there is no future obligation. There are fees (listed below) for all cancellations made by guests. Additionally, since changes made by guests often result in additional costs or underutilized capacity, there are change fees for changing (rescheduling, changing date/time/reducing length of charter of group size, etc.) a charter less than 30 full days in advance. There is no charge for changes made at least 30 days in advance. Reductions in group size that may reduce rates may be done free of charge up to 48 hours in advance if available (please note that the rate cannot decrease below the minimum booking size at the time the change is requested for that charter time/day). Change fees are listed below as a percentage of the full cost of your scheduled charter with a 15% minimum on standard charters, and 30% minimum on special events charters:
Change/Cancel fees for Standard Charters vary depending how many days in advance of your existing reservation the change/cancel is made by you:
15% – 30 full days or more in advance
30% – 10 full days or more in advance
50% – 7 full days or more in advance
75% – 72 hours or more in advance
100% – less than 72 hours in advance, or no-show
If CSC cancels your charter due to conditions
(not if you cancel or no show), your payments will be refunded and there is no future obligation. You will not be required to use any funds paid to reschedule, but we would welcome it if you did.
Change/Cancel fees are double (up to 100% maximum obviously) those of standard charters and are subject to a minimum
of 30% Change/Cancel fee. Special Events for 2018 are July 3-7: all charters, July 28: charters between 11am and 5pm, Aug 18-20: all charters starting before 4pm.
CSC will decide if your charter will be cancelled or delayed due to current conditions and approaching systems using the current and predictive radar, as well as the marine forecast and actual observations for the intended/probable area of charter. We do cruise in some scattered showers (feel free to take cover during showers), but not persistent rain. We will not begin a charter during an electrical storm, moderate rain, or if we believe that such approaching conditions will be unavoidable during a charter by altering course or returning to harbor. We ask you to think of it like a ballgame, a little rain during a couple innings, or a delay or early end, doesn’t ruin the whole game. If we are delayed by conditions (1 hour maximum before cancelling), we ask you to come aboard and start the party (at no charge while at dock), while we watch conditions and radar to see when/if it will clear. This decision will be made by CSC as early as we are certain, and you will be notified immediately if we determine that the charter should be delayed or cancelled. In general, charters are not cancelled in advance of charter time unless we are certain that we will not charter based on the above criteria. While the weather forecast (advance or even hourly) may say there is a high chance of rain, this is very broad and may not affect the time of your charter or the area where your captain may navigate or could only result in a delay of your charter. If you do not show and conditions do allow for a charter, this will be considered a no-show and the full fee will apply (sorry, we just don’t want to be left standing on the dock with an empty boat that could be out on the water for a good time).
Special Events and reservations longer than 3 hours may have some time on the water during longer inclement conditions if it is believed that the conditions will not persist. Charters on Fri-Sun of Air Show weekend will not be cancelled for showers if planes are still flying (but will be delayed for electrical storms).
For all charters, CSC reserves the right to cancel charters if CSC believes that the conditions are not suitable, even if you and the captain believe they are. If CSC cancels your charter (not if you cancel or no show), your payments will be refunded and there is no future obligation.
Charterer Responsibility to report concerns:
CSC staff does absolutely everything we can to make sure you have the best charter possible, and staff is continually observing ongoing charters to look for any possible issues that need to be corrected. It is the charterer’s responsibility to immediately let the staff on board know of any issue they consider to be sub-standard so that it can be addressed. Nothing can be done after a charter to address an issue that occurred earlier, but we will make every effort to correct any issue brought to our attention. No matter what the concern, it must be presented to the Captain or a crew member promptly upon discover for it to be addressed.
The normal pickup/dropoff location is the North end of Belmont Harbor. This is the standard location. In the event that there are waves which CSC believes will make guests uncomfortable to travel from Belmont Harbor to the breakwall protected area around downtown, pickup and dropoff may be changed to an laternate location in the Monroe Harbor area, or a location on the main branch of the river. Charters are not cancelled for large waves since the river and the entire area from Oak Street all the way down to the planetarium are almost entirely unaffected by such large waves, and an laternate pickup/dropoff location solves the issue. To arrange the alternate pickup location, we will begin contacting you at least 3 hours in advance of the charter by text and email. If we do not get a response we will call you (no earlier than 8am). CSC will provide a map and directions to the alternate location, and it will be the charterer’s responsibility to forward all details to their group. We suggest at the time you are making your guest list, that you inform all guests of the possibility that the pickup location may be changed 3 hours prior to the charter, and that they should look for communication from you 2-3 hours in advance an alternate location is to be used.
In the rare case that conditions change unexpectedly during your charter, CSC may decide it is prudent to drop your group at an alternate location other than the start point.
Partial charters are charters which are shortened due to current or expected inclement conditions, or circumstances beyond our control. Our goal is for every charter to be perfect, but sometimes safety and comfort force us to shorten a charter. Partial charters are charged a prorated fee.
Waves and strong wind are sometimes a part of boating. The captain will take into consideration current conditions, trends, and forecasts in order to decide if it is safe and reasonable to cruise. Though it is not common, if you are prone to or are worried about motion sickness or sea sickness, please do not book a charter, as it is often logistically impossible for charters to return early due to seasickness discomfort or illness, due to the distance from the harbor you may be at any given time.
In some cases, it may be advantageous to cruise in only wave protected areas. Charters will not be cancelled if such protected boating is reasonably comfortable. In the case of larger waves, CSC may decide that it is wise to begin and end the cruise at a different harbor (Monroe Harbor, or a location on the river if possible). Such a change will be indicated at least 3 hours in advance via email and phone and will not cause the cancellation of the charter.
You may bring alcoholic beverages (please avoid glass), or have alcoholic beverages arranged to be on board for you. All alcohol will be served by CSC staff. Any passenger consuming alcohol must be at least 21, and passengers assume legal consequences due to illegal drinking of alcohol. All passengers under 35 must present government ID proving age. Should anyone in your group become intoxicated, or show up intoxicated, the captain reserves the right to deny service, return the offending individual(s) to shore at the nearest harbor, or turn the individual(s) over to the authorities while still underway. No rescheduling will be available, and no refunds will be issued for charters shortened or cancelled due to intoxicated guests. It’s nice to enjoy a few drinks while out for your cruise, but intoxicated individuals create unsafe and uncomfortable conditions for all. We want everyone to have a fun, enjoyable, and memorable cruise.
Should an optional beverage package be chosen, all beverage packages are sold by and arranged through Chicago Big Boat Rentals LLC (CBBR). CBBR will provide an agreement for signature, and payment for the number of passengers reserved on the charter is due 10 days in advance of the charter. Alcohol package pricing applies to all adults 21 and over on board, and soft drink package pricing applies to all passengers under the age of 21.
We must know the number and ages of children that will be on your cruise, so we can be prepared to have the required safety equipment in the required space, as it is often necessary to change safety equipment inventory and placement depending on the number of children. Failure to let CSC know the number and ages of children in advance may preclude children from boarding. We also need to make sure that there is a reasonable number of adults for the number of children on board. In general, there should at least 1 adult for every 2 children under 12, and an additional adult for every 6 children between 12 and 17. For these purposes, an adult is defined as anyone 18 and over. if you think your group may not fit the guidelines, please contact us so we can examine the overall situation.
On very rare occasions, unforeseen events (e.g. changing weather, unexpected maintenance needs, etc.) may cause us to delay your charter for up to 1 hour. If your charter is delayed more than 1 hour, it will be considered cancelled. We will only delay your charter if we believe conditions will clear and allow us to cruise within that hour. Since charters may be delayed up to 1 hour, depending on the situation, you may return up to 1 hour later than the scheduled return time. If you choose not to wait for the possible start of a delayed charter and conditions do allow a cruise within 1 hour, this will be considered a no-show and the corresponding fee will be charged.
Glass (except for bottles kept at the bar and handled only by the bartender/server) is not allowed on deck. We have boat safe cups for bottled beer and champagne/white wine. Dark liquids and sauces are not permitted (e.g. red wine, tomato sauces, grape juice, etc.). Illegal substances are not allowed.
Under NO circumstances are illegal substances permitted on board. Any passenger bringing illegal substances on board will be held responsible for all damages that may be caused by such action, including but not limited to: all logistical and property costs of vessel confiscation by authorities, loss of income due to vessel down time, liability for injuries, legal fees incurred by all parties, etc… Our captains are bound by U.S. Coast Guard rules to immediately report all possession of illegal substances to authorities, who will meet us at the harbor or even board us on the water to take further action.
Swimming is at your own risk. Everyone on board (regardless if they will swim or not) will sign a separate swimming waiver if there is to be any swimming at all by anyone in your group. Please tell us when you book your charter if you think you may want to swim. The captain reserves the right to not allow swimming based on conditions and the situation, and swimming is only permitted during full daylight hours. Should you decide to go swimming, you acknowledge that you assume all risks. Any adult that gives a minor in his/her care permission to swim is solely responsible for the safety of said minor. At least one adult guest must be in the water per child in the water. Strict adherence to the captain’s guidelines must be followed or your charter may be ended early with no refund. We don’t mess around when it comes to safety.
Should passenger actions or behavior make the crew feel that safety is compromised, other guests are made to feel uncomfortable, or that they are unable to focus on piloting the boat and maintaining safe conditions, the captain reserves the right to deny service and/or return the offending individual(s) to the nearest harbor or to the authorities while underway. No refunds will be issued.
We make every effort to assure that our website is clear and accurate, but we are only human. CSC will correct (as they are found or reported), but is not bound to any rates, pricing, or scheduling, that is a result of errors, omissions, or software problems on this or any other website used to determine pricing, rates, or scheduling. Emailed confirmations are also subject to review for errors within 24 hours.