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Boat rentals picking up for the summer

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Being out on the water Saturday was a great way to beat the heat as temperatures soared into the 90s across Wisconsin.

"Honestly fantastic, it was pretty breezy, even though it was also warm, so very comfortable," Max Mao, one of many boaters out on Madison lakes, said.

At Brittingham Boats in Madison, it made for a very busy day, especially because of the wind.

"Today's been a little bit of a challenge because it's windy, so everybody's looking to come down and unfortunately we have had to limit some of our watercraft due to the high winds," Owner Tyler Leeper said.

Leeper said they've just had to have people use kayaks instead.

They've been open on weekends since mid-May but the recent warm weather and loosened restrictions have made people much more eager to come out.

Despite that, it's not completely back to pre-pandemic norms just yet.

"We're still having to sanitize every single piece of equipment and we're going to continue doing so to make sure that we're available for anybody who still is at high risk or high concern," Leeper said. "We're going to still be there for them in the same way that we're there for anybody who is fully vaccinated."

Even with some restrictions in place, the increased safety of being outside and active gives them hope that they'll be able to provide the increased services that they weren't able to last year.

"Last year our programs were closed down, so that was a major loss for our organization, but our rentals were up and we were really pleased for that," Leeper said. "This year we're hoping that they will continue being a popular option for people looking to get out and enjoy Madison's summer."

Good too, since many people out Saturday felt that it was the start of a good summer.

"This is like one of the first nice weekends this year, it's great to see everyone coming out and with COVID restrictions sort of laxing up a bit as well," Jonathan Chen, another boater, said. "It's been really great just to be out here."

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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