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Issue Date: July 2010 Issue

Where to ... Rent a Jet Ski

Erick Trickey
Climb aboard a Jet Ski, and Lake Erie can be your wide-open road. "It's like a motorcycle on water," says Kevin Meehan, owner of Great Lakes Watersports, the only personal watercraft rental spot in Cleveland. For $85 to $95 an hour, plus $10 per extra rider, you can rocket out of the Cuyahoga River, past the pierhead lighthouses and around the city's break wall at 35 to 45 miles per hour. With 10 or 15 minutes' advice on operating the throttle and navigating river traffic, you're good to go. A quirky state law lets anyone born before 1982 pilot a personal watercraft without a boating license. Younger riders with no license can still rent if they pass a 10-question safety test. Surprisingly, the same law applies to renting a boat. Anyone older than 28 this year can rent a 20-foot Sea-Ray or a 25-foot Wellcraft at Meehan's spot on the Flats West Bank's boardwalk for prices starting at $150 for two hours (plus gas). If you've never piloted a boat before, Meehan will go out in the river with you for hands-on instruction. He rents his boats to water skiers, sightseers curious about the west shore's mansions and ex-boat owners who miss the lake. Those Jet Skis? He rents those to people who hear the call. 1150 Main Ave., Cleveland, 216-771-4386, Open through Labor Day

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