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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Milwaukee Kayak Company located?

Milwaukee Kayak Company
– located in Jerry’s Docks
318 SOUTH Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204

We are located on the south side of the river, in the Harbor District, across from the Historic Third Ward.

Directions to our main location:
On the corner of 1st Street & Pittsburg (Colectivo Coffee is on that corner) turn east onto East Pittsburg. Continue a couple blocks east and curve to the right, which is SOUTH Water Street (do not go over the Broadway Street bridge into the Third Ward). Proceed on SOUTH Water Street a bit to our location which will be on your left (river side). We are located inside of the boatyard (Jerry’s Docks) and a MKC banner is attached to the fence. We are located in the middle of the boatyard on the river.

During the summer months, we have two locations – our MAIN location at 318 SOUTH Water Street and our “POP-UP” location at Schlitz Park.

Our Schlitz Park location is closed for the season and will re-open in Spring 2020.

What are the days and hours of Milwaukee Kayak Company?

Milwaukee Kayak Company
MAIN LOCATION
==== opens for the season Friday, May 22nd ====

318 SOUTH Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
* We are located in Harbor Yards (and inside a boatyard called Jerry’s Docks)

Milwaukee Kayak Company
SCHLITZ PARK WEEKEND LOCATION
==== opens for the season mid-June ====

1555 N. River Center Drive #100
Milwaukee, WI 53212
* We are located on the west side of the river in the Schlitz Park parking lot between the Pleasant and Cherry Street bridges. Look for our picnic table and umbrella along the Riverwalk.

Do I need reservations?

We encourage reservations to ensure boat availability.

To make a reservation, please call us at (414) 301-2240 and provide this information:
1) First and last name
2) Date of reservation
3) Time of arrival
4) How many kayaks (and what kind – singles, tandems, canoes, paddle boards, etc).
5) Contact phone #
6) Payment – credit card over the phone or Contactless credit card at time of arrival/check-in

How much does it cost to rent a kayak?

Our fleet of boats includes mostly single person kayaks that fit one person (age 12+). We also carry tandem kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards.

Our tandem kayaks fit two adults OR one adult and one child. Our canoes fit two adults OR one adult and one small child. All paddlers need to be 12+ to paddle their own kayaks.

There must be an adult in a tandem kayak or canoe with a child present (child = under the age of 18).

Boat Rental Rates:
Single kayak: $35 / 0-4 hours
Tandem kayak: $65 / 0-4 hours
Canoe: $65 / 0-4 hours
Paddleboard (SUP): $35 / 0-4 hours

The cost to rent a single person kayak or paddleboard is $35 for up to 4 hours. The cost to rent a tandem kayak or canoe is $65 for up to 4 hours. When you make your reservation, we will block off 4 hours for you. You can return your boats whenever you’d like during those 4 hours – some paddlers stay out for an hour, some stay out for 4 hours – it’s all up to you!

We encourage reservations, especially on the weekends. When you call to make your reservation, please have this information ready:

1) First and last name
2) Date of reservation
3) Time of arrival
4) How many kayaks (and what kind – singles, tandems, canoes, paddle boards, etc).
5) Contact phone #
6) Payment – credit card over the phone or Contactless credit card at time of arrival/check-in

We typically create our schedule based on your schedule and when you want to arrive. This season, we will be accepting a limited amount of people/reservations per every half hour. We have the best customers and appreciate your patience and understanding during this sensitive time.

Do I need experience?

Beginner and experienced paddlers welcome!

Our rental fleet consists of recreational kayaks which are ideal for slow moving rivers. We advocate for our rivers and recommend that paddlers renting from MKC stay on our rivers and do not venture out past the Hoan Bridge to Lake Michigan (we do not carry sea kayaks).

Experienced paddlers equipped with sea kayaks and proper safety equipment are more suited for large bodies of water, such as Lake Michigan.

All kayakers must launch and return to our dock and need to enter and exit their kayak from our dock. We are not located on a beach where you can push off from land or sand.

All of our paddlers must know how to swim and be able to pull themselves up onto a dock if their boat capsizes.

Our kayaks do not fit everyone. The maximum weight capacity for our most stable recreational kayak is 325 lbs. – depending on river and weather conditions.

If you have any questions or concerns about weight limits for our kayaks, please give us a call or stop over to talk about kayak options that may work best for you.

We are not able to fit all paddlers so if you have any concerns, please call or visit before making your reservation. Thank you.

Are gift certificates available?

Thanks for asking.

Gift certificates are available along with MKC t-shirts, caps, winter hats and more. Please find our gift certificates online or stop over anytime during business hours.

You can pick up a gift certificate at our main location or give us a call. We will mail the gift certificate to you or the recipient.

Is parking available?

Parking is available on the street or within the gravel area located directly outside of the main entrance gate. We may have parking inside the boatyard too.

Please look for our directional signage outside of the boatyard.

Please keep all goods locked in your trunk. We have a limited supply of dry bags that you can borrow. Dry bags protect your items when on the water and fit a small purse, bag or clothing.

What should I bring and what should I wear?

What should you bring:
• You!
• Water bottle filled with water
• Small coolers okay
• Snacks okay
• Dress for the weather – consider bringing a windbreaker (do not wear jeans or heavy cotton)
• Camera
• ID
• Towel(s) to sit on

What should you wear:
You will be paddling, so you may get a little wet while enjoying a great day in the sun.

You should dress for the water temperature (not weather). We recommend wearing lightweight, synthetic, quick dry clothing. Do not wear jeans or heavy cotton clothing. Wear thin-soled shoes or sports sandals. Do not wear boots or thick-soled shoes.

Consider bringing a rain jacket to protect you from wind and other elements. You can always store it in the boat with you.

Please be sure to bring a water bottle filled with water.

What are the weight restrictions?

All of our paddlers must know how to swim and be able to pull themselves up onto a dock if their boat capsizes.

Our kayaks do not fit everyone. The maximum weight capacity for our most stable recreational kayak is 325 lbs. – depending on river and weather conditions.

If you have any questions or concerns about weight limits for our kayaks, please give us a call or stop over to talk about kayak options that may work best for you.

We are not able to fit all paddlers so if you have any concerns, please call or visit before making your reservation. Thank you.

What's the age requirement?

All paddlers need to be 12+ to paddle their own kayaks.

Paddlers under the age of 12 can share a tandem kayak or canoe with someone age 18 or older.

All paddlers under the age of 18 need to have their parent/guardian approval, and must have their parents/guardian sign the waiver.

Please call Beth with questions (414) 301-2240.

Online Waiver: review, sign and submit (coming soon!

This season, all waivers will be submitted online. Once you submit, we will receive and will look up your waiver upon arrival/check-in. LINK COMING SOON!

Are life jackets included in rentals?

All of our boat rentals include a life jacket and paddle. All renters must wear a life jacket when near or on the water. We will outfit you when you arrive and have jackets to fit children, youth and adults.

Can we take boat rentals off-site?

All of our kayaks, canoes and paddleboards must launch and return to our dock. We are located Downtown Milwaukee, in the Harbor District, on the Milwaukee River with easy access to the Menomonee (going west) and KK River (going south). You will be paddling on our rivers.

I have my own kayak - can I launch it at Milwaukee Kayak Company's docks?

Our main location in Harbor Yards/Jerry’s Docks is located on private property and unfortunately, we cannot launch personal watercraft from this location, only MKC boats. We are all about safety, however, and would never separate one person from another or one person from a group of people renting kayaks/boats from us. Please call to chat and when making a reservation, we will make a note that someone may be bringing their own kayak(s) to launch… it’s very helpful for us to know. Thanks!

Please note that our Schlitz Park weekend location is a public launch and you can launch from there.

Below is list of many great public launches. The first four listed are close to our main location in Harbor Yards/Jerry’s Docks. Our Schlitz Park weekend location is a public launch and you can launch your personal watercraft from that location when we are open. For a complete list, please visit the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail Map on the Milwaukee Riverkeeper website.

__________

Marine Terminal Lofts – Milwaukee River across from our main location
Directly across from our main location dock on the corner of Erie and the Broadway Street Bridge. Park on the street, walk to the river and look down. You’ll see a dock and a small black kayak launch. Sometimes the gate is locked and sometimes the kayak launch has been removed so please don’t count on this launch but know that it’s there. You can always give us a call to see if we know the status.

Between Hansen’s Landing & Harbor Point Condos – Milwaukee River across and just downriver from MKC
This is a good and close option. It’s located just downriver and across from our main location. This public dock is between Hansen’s Landing and Harbor Point Condos in the Third Ward on Erie Street. Parking is available on the street. This dock is very convenient and is a nice low dock with public access. The closest intersection is E. Polk Street and E. Erie Street – walk down to the river, between the buildings and you’ll see the public launch.

Riverfront Boat Launch – Milwaukee River/Milwaukee Harbor
Another close public launch is the Riverfront Boat Launch at the end of Bruce Street a few blocks down river from MKC directly in line with the Hoan Bridge. There may be a fee to launch from this spot. Please note that this launch can get busy with motorized boats, especially on the weekends. Closest intersection is Bruce Street and South Water Street. Address: 600 S. Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

Harbor View Plaza – Milwaukee Harbor
Located at the east end of Greenfield Avenue in front of the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences. Very kayak friendly dock, just make sure you’re prepared for the weather as it is located in the inner harbor which can be very windy at times.

Emmber Lane – Menomonee River
The Emmber Lane kayak launch on the Menomonee River is a great place to launch your kayak or canoe. The launch is very close to Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful‘s office. Closest intersection is Emmber Lane and Mt. Vernon Avenue on the Menomonee River – launch is on the northwest corner of the bridge.

Kiwanis Landing Boat Launch – Milwaukee River
One of the best places to launch your kayak or canoe is the new Kiwanis Landing Boat Launch near the River Revitalization Foundation offices located on the Milwaukee River near the Humboldt Street bridge. This is very close to the old North Avenue dam. Closest intersection is Humboldt Avenue and Riverboat Road.

Pere Marquette Park – Milwaukee River
Pere Marquette has a nice public dock located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. You may have to park, unload your kayak and then find a parking spot on the street. There are parking structures close by too. This launch is located off N. Old World 3rd Street between W. Kilbourn Avenue and W. State Street. Address: 900 N. Plankinton Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Please call us if you have any questions. – Beth @ MKC

What's the policy with weather and general cancellations?

Weather:
Weather is hard to predict, so please come prepared to paddle or give us a call to check in on conditions. We will be in contact with you if we think weather will be an issue as well. Rain, stormy weather, wind and river conditions are all factors when it comes to safe paddling conditions.

Refunds & Cancellations:
We understand that life happens and things come up. We also know that this is a sensitive time for everyone due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. If you need to cancel your reservation for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible and we will provide you a full refund. You can also reschedule for a different date and time – it’s up to you.

If we are closed due to weather (or any other issue), and cannot send you out on our rivers at your scheduled date/time, you will receive a full refund.

If you do not show up for your reservation, you may not receive a refund. We are cool and typically do not have issues with cancellations so give us a call and chat, thanks!

Questions? Please give us a call at (414) 301-2240

We reserve the right to refuse rentals to anyone who may be under the influence of alcohol or for any other reason. Safety is our top priority.

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Our main location in Harbor Yards/Jerry's Docks is located on private property and unfortunately, we cannot launch personal watercraft from this location, only MKC boats. We are all about safety, however, and would never separate one person from another or one person...

read more

Gift Certificates and Merchandise Available!

Download and Print
Your Waiver!

Don’t worry, you can also fill out
the waiver when you arrive.

Say Hello!

For Reservations or Rental Availability
Call: (414) 301-2240