Retro Boat Mke, a new company in Milwaukee, plans to offer classic restored runabouts that people can rent to cruise the Milwaukee River through the downtown area.
The boats are restored fiberglass runabouts from Glastron and other manufacturers, capable of carrying 5 passengers. They appear to be powered by vintage motors, but only the shell is retro. Inside is an electric outboard that makes about 5 hp and pushes the boats to a speed of about 5 mph.
“The Glastrons are super cool,” said Redmond Tuttle, the owner of Retro Boat MKE. “People love taking them out.”
The boats are booked for a two-hour minimum for $200. Tuttle said that starting May 1, he will have two available for rental. “We will add them as the year goes on,” he added.
Retro Boat Mke leases the boats from a similar company, retroboatrentals.com , out of Saugatuck, Mich., which restores and repowers them. If all goes well, Tuttle hopes to expand to other parts of the country. “We are looking for calm rivers, anywhere that people want to rent them out,” he said.