First off let me say that I don't ever write reviews because usually I give people the benefit of the doubt most of the time, but this time I had to.
Back story: Myself and 14 others were celebrating our friends bachelor party by renting 2 house boats on the Illinois waterway. The best man did a hell of a job of planning and communicating with everyone about availability, cost, and capacity. Everyone shows up with the anticipation of a good time and a quality experience. It was far from that.
Lets start with Captain Bob:
This sloppy excuse for a human being and business owner, couldn't have been more unprofessional. From using foul language and treating a group of 30 year olds like children, to smoking on our boat, having a homeless appreance and stench, and just being down right creepy, he is a con artist and thief. Now I understand that a business owner has to have rules, contracts, and limitations, but Bob's were underhanded and unfair. The contract for the boats stated that damages to the boats would be charged to the customer upon return and checkout. What it doesn't state is that from years of poor maintenance and cheep parts and hardware it is now Bobs turn to pass his irresponsibility onto the customer.
The boats initially were perfect for what we were going to use them for. They all were clean (enough) for all intended purposes. (There is no way to keep spiders and other bugs off a boat, it's nature) But you would expect that if the boat has some amenities (such as refrigerator, A/C, generator power) that it would work and you would be shown ways to properly operate them. Not Bob. He tells you in a very condescending voice to just shut it off and turn it back on. The first night on the boat it was 91 degrees out with no generator power or A/C and no way to fix it. Ends up, the generator was out of oil (a simple maintenance procedure that should have been completed before our arrival). The problem wasn't fixed until the next day when a maintenance guy came out, opened the generator cabinet and added the oil from a can of oil, that was sitting in the cabinet for this exact situation. What a joke.
The boats are also powered by plastic props. Yes, plastic props. We were instructed to check the props before we left (which we did) for three blades. All props were in good working order when we left. When questioned about the plastic props and the ease of breaking them, Bob's reply was "That way when you kids (we are 30) break them, I only charge you $50 a blade". My reply of "If one blade breaks don't you have to replace the whole prop?" His reply of "If you don't like my rules don't rent my boats" was a real 2nd grade response.
Finally, the best surprise was the fact that Captain Bob forced us to rent shuttle crafts. These shuttle crafts were 15 horsepower Jonboats that each houseboat, unbenounced to anyone and nowhere in the contract, had to rent for $35 dollars a day.
We took the boats about 8-10 miles down the river, tied up on shore and had a blast for two days. Upon returning the boats, we cleaned, sweep, washed, and disguarded all trash and inventoried everything. Including the props. All blades were accounted for, but still was charged $150 dollars for some reason.
Bottom Line: Starved Rock State Park and the Illinois waterway were great and a beautiful place to visit, but Bob and Starved Rock Adventures are con artists, thiefs, and unprofessional. My only advice is if you are forced to deal with this disgusting excuse for a business owner, take pictures and document everything. Otherwise, be prepared to be charged for breaking things that were either not broken or didn't work to begin with. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.
Hope this helps someone.
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