Duffy Electric Boats Now Available for Rent in Cleveland on Lake Erie

BrewBoat Cleveland, which launched in 2016 with pedal-powered boats, added the self-captioned electric boats this summer.

Drew Johnson wants it to be easy for people to get on the water in Cleveland.

“We just saw an opportunity and wanted to get more people out,” he says. “Cleveland really didn’t have many options for people to get on the water in small groups.”

That’s why, in 2016, he launched BrewBoat Cleveland and, just this year, took his concept a step further by adding two Duffy Electric Boats to his fleet.

Unlike his original four boats, which come with a captain, the Duffy Electric Boats are available for rent.

“We like how easy they are to drive,” Johnson says. “They’re as easy to drive as a golf cart.”

While traditional power boats can easily go up to 50 mph, Duffy boats have a top speed of about 5 mph. The controls are simple: forward, backward and a steering wheel. Because of their simplicity, only a brief training session is needed, and it’s not required to pass a more complicated test mandated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for higher-powered rental boats.

“We’ve had some novice boaters and they pick it up quickly,” Johnson says. “My main goal here is to introduce people to boating.”

The Duffy boats hold up to 12 passengers and, like the other boats in the fleet, come with a cooler and a Bluetooth sound system. Guests are welcome — note the name of the company — to bring drinks like beer and wine, though liquor is not allowed. It should also be noted there is no bathroom on board.

To the best of Johnson’s knowledge, his are the only Duffy Electric Boats available for rent on Lake Erie, though he notes there are quite a few available in Lake Michigan, especially in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Prices for the electric boats start at $200 for two hours and are doubled during prime weekend hours. They launch from Oasis Marinas at North Coast Harbor in downtown Cleveland.

For those who don’t want to captain their own boat, Johnson points to the other four boats offered by BrewBoat Cleveland: two pedal-powered cycle boats that hold up to 16 people and two pontoon-style boats that hold up to 12 guests (no cycling required). Prices are available here.

“Cleveland’s got great water,” Johnson says. “It’s come a long way and is very clean. We want to promote it.”

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