When looking for new, pre-owned, and used yachts for sale in Illinois, the amount of time it takes to narrow down exactly what you want can some times be intimidating. With so many manufacturers, models, and boat types, how do you begin to find the right yacht that meets your budget and your needs?
United Yacht Sales is the one-stop professional yacht brokerage that can navigate you through the frustrations and help you make the best decision possible when it comes to the purchase of your next boat. We can help you find the yacht for sale, set up the showings, help negotiate pricing, handle the yacht closing and everything else involved, and we do all of this so you are able simply sit back and to enjoy the process. Buying a yacht requires a significant investment and it is our goal to provide you with detailed information and professional guidance.
When searching for a yacht for sale, there are a plethora of options. The yachts on our website number over 7,000 listings, including yachts built by top brands such as Hatteras, Viking, Bertram, Sea Ray, Azimut, Sunseeker, Ferretti, and more. United can also help you find the best used center-console boat in Illinois from brands like Yellowfin, Contender, and more.
To view a yacht for sale in Illinois, browse below and click the photo for more information.
YACHTS LOCATED IN Illinois
It’s hard to imagine the Midwestern state of Illinois was once 60% covered in prairie grass that today is vast areas of farmland. Efforts to restore and conserve the endangered prairieland ecosystem is underway. Illinois became the 21st state of the union in 1818 and rapidly developed into an agricultural state over the following decades with the aid of industrialization’s machinery and innovation that increased yields and markets.
Illinois is named for the Illiniwek (Illiwek, Illinois) Native American people that once inhabited the territory among other Native groups. It was explored by French fur traders and explorers looking for water passages to the west from the St Lawrence and Great Lakes and were guided to the ancient Chicago Portage connecting the Great Lakes waterway system to the Mississippi River waterway system. This 6-mile link had been used by Native Americans for millennia for travel and trade as it provided access from the St Lawrence River on the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains and Gulf of Mexico. Illinois is bordered by Indiana to the east, the Mississippi River (Iowa and Missouri) to west; Kentucky is south, Wisconsin is north, and 63 miles of Lake Michigan coastline is northeast.
Illinois’ largest city and metro area is Chicago, “The Windy City” located directly on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Chicago is also the third largest city in the nation, after New York City and Los Angeles. In 1848, the Illinois and Michigan canal linked the Chicago River to the Illinois River and the Mississippi Valley across the Chicago Portage (“Mud Lake”) to become the furthest west canal and provided the only water route from New York City to New Orleans through Chicago and the country’s interior, which led to the development of Chicago as transportation hub of the United States linking East and West. The Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of 156 miles running through the city’s center—The Chicago Loop. It was hailed as a feat of engineering in 1900 when the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal project (that replaced the Illinois & Michigan Canal) reversed the flow of two segments of the Chicago River to flow in from Lake Michigan instead of out into the Lake. This served to accommodate increased commercial (barge) navigation needs from the Great Lakes to Des Plaines River, the Mississippi River, and Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans. Today the Chicago River has 38 movable bridges (4 different types) and a few fixed bridges with low (17-19ft) clearance, notably the DuSable Bridge, requiring masts to be stepped or folded down.
America’s Eastern Great Loop is the safest long-distance voyage in the world at 5,600 miles, or 6,100 if passing through Canada via the Trent-Severn Locks, according to GreatLoop.org, a website dedicated to cruising the Great Loop. The Great Loop is comprised of many US waterways including the US Inland Waterway, Great Lakes, Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal (one of the largest manmade canal systems ever), Mississippi River, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Okeechobee Inland Waterway, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Hudson River, Erie Canal, and many more river and coastal systems, allowing cruisers to remain within sight of land. Cruising the Great Loop can be done on an affordable budget and is a fabulous way to see and experience America uniquely from the water. For many, cruising the Great Loop is a “bucket list” item, like visiting America’s great National Parks.
Cruising through the city of Chicago’s downtown is an incredible experience as the Chicago River is lined with spectacular skyscrapers such as the 1,451ft Willis Tower, but a vessel must clear the DuSable fixed bridge’s 18.7ft height, otherwise must take the Cal-Sag Canal located south of Chicago on the Illinois River. But every Looper has to pass under the 19.6ft railroad bridge at mile 300.6, including those who take the Calumet-Sag Canal. Sailboats will have to unstep the mast in the Chicago area, and power boats may need to fold down antennas and other superstructure. When purchasing a boat for the Loop, bridge clearance and draft depth are important considerations. Cruising from Chicago to Mobile, Alabama is a 1,000-mile segment on inland rivers through America’s heartland. Or one can continue on the Mississippi River south to New Orleans but expect to encounter heavy commercial traffic and strong currents. Chicago is the last big city on that route, other than Peoria in central Illinois, until New Orleans at the Gulf of Mexico.
Cruising southern Lake Michigan, the Illinois River and the Chicago Harbor are wonderful opportunities for boating and exploring the downtown Loop of Chicago with its world-class museums, restaurants, activities, entertainment, and attractions. The Chicago Yacht Club in Monroe Harbor organizes the annual Race to Mackinac Island, Michigan which is the oldest and longest (289.4 NM) freshwater race in the world. The race starts at the Chicago Lighthouse just off Navy Pier. Monroe and DuSable Harbors on Lake Michigan are home to the Chicago Yacht Club and Columbia Yacht Club where over 1000 boats dock every year.
Navy Pier’s South Dock stretches a mile east to Lake Michigan and lighthouses. The pier opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, and as a freight dock. Today Navy Pier offers its 8 million annual visitors unparalleled attractions and experiences—180 million visitors have enjoyed Navy Pier since it reopened in 1995. It is the most visited tourist attraction in the state, with more than 6 city blocks of restaurants, shopping, events, culture, and incredible panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline from the Centennial Wheel, a 200ft Ferris wheel. There is also a carousel and swing chair ride in Pier Park. Added in 2021 were the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Sable Hotel. The new Wave Wall reflecting the Lake’s wave action connects to a staircase from South Dock to Pier Park. The 100ft Pier People mural is by local artist, Pete Nawara.
Some favorite eateries are Billy Goat Tavern, America’s Dog & Burger, Big City Chicken, and the Chicago classic, Original Rainbow Cone (since 1926) with layers of chocolate, strawberry, pistachio ice-cream, orange sherbet and Palmer House cherry-nut blend.
The Chicago River is famous for its six decades of river dyeing for St Patrick’s Day, when 45lbs of an environmentally safe vegetable dye is distributed in the section of river between Columbus and Wacker Drives to turn the river bright green. The tradition began in 1962 when the Plumbers Local Union used 100lbs of green plumbers’ dye to turn the river green for St Pat’s Day—it lasted a whole week! Today, the right amount is used to last a few hours while thousands of green costumed spectators crowd the bridges and river walkways for a view of the river and parades featuring floats, Irish step dancers, marching bands, bagpipers and more. Bar crawls along Chicago Riverwalk and downtown are a popular St Patrick’s Day activity.
The Chicago Riverwalk is a 1.25-mile-long path with 6 distinct coves on the south side of the Chicago River main branch, from Lake Street to lakefront of Lake Michigan. The Chicago Riverwalk has come to express the Chicago lifestyle as a public space to enjoy the magnificent skyscraper canyon along the Chicago River and its many amenities, such as Art on the Mart—public art featuring murals, banners, and sculpture, fabulous outdoor bars and restaurants, the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum (and others), music, recreation, fishing pier, a seasonal concession program, and events, such as the St Pat’s river-dyeing.
Grant Park, created in 1835, is a protected open space that encompasses other notable parks and attractions on 300 acres between Chicago’s skyline and Lake Michigan in downtown’s loop. The park includes the famous Museum Campus of Adler Planetarium, Field Museum of Natural History (founded 1893, among largest in the world, “SUE,” Tyrannosaurus rex), and Shedd Aquarium (built 1930, 5 million gallons, beluga whales). The Park’s focal point is the Beaux-Arts style Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain dedicated in 1927 and is one of the world’s largest fountains. The Petrillo Music Shell is an outdoor amphitheater in Grant Park that hosts annual festival music performances (Chicago’s Jazz and Blues Festivals, Lollapalooza).
The Art Institute of Chicago founded in 1879, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the world. The museum hosts approximately 1.5 million visitors annually. Millennium Park, originally scheduled for 2000 opening, actually opened in 2004 as a cultural project rather than another recreational park. The 24.5-acre park features the designs and works of renowned American and international artists—each a unique attraction and experience, earning it the description, “America’s Most Dazzling Urban Park.” Completed in 2015, the Cloud Gate, also known as “The Bean” for its shape, is one of the most popular and photographed for selfies in its reflective surface. Inspired by Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park opened in late 2014 as the newest green space in the heart of downtown Chicago loop. The park features a unique quarter-mile ice skating ribbon with capacity for 700 skaters that becomes a scooter track for kids in the summer season or a walking path to watch climbers on the central 40ft high climbing wall. There is also a 3-acre Play Garden (combo Alice in Wonderland and Charlie’s Chocolate Factory), plus 18-hole mini golf and picnic groves.
The Museum of Science & Industry is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere and is housed in the only remaining building of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The museum offers a truly amazing experience of interactive exhibits within its 14-acre area in Jackson Park fronting on Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Chicago’s Lakefront Trail is an 18-mile paved path along Lake Michigan shoreline for pedestrians, joggers, and bicycles. The trail runs from Ardmore Street on the north side to 71st Street on the south side, past Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park, Jackson Park, Lake Michigan beaches, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Lincoln Park Zoo, founded in 1866, is the fourth oldest zoo in the United States. Set on 35 acres in Lincoln Park on Lake Michigan, it is one of a few major zoos with free admission. The zoo features over 1000 different animals and 200 species
Great Loop cruisers passing through Chicago’s downtown skyscrapers to the Illinois River passageway to the Mississippi, will encounter historic Starved Rock State Park in North Utica and Deer Park in LaSalle County. The 2,630-acre natural area features rugged canyons, waterfalls (after spring rains), bluffs, and hiking trails with scenic overlooks along the Illinois River. The area around “Starved Rock” was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. Site of legendary starvation of Illiwek people when besieged by Ottawa and Potawatomi people. Other archeological sites in area were listed in NRHP in 1998. The popular park hosts more than 2 million visitors annually. Starved Rock Marina (Ottawa) is a full-service marina on the Illinois River since 1957 located across from the park in the heart of Starved Rock Country. The marina features a gas dock, 200+ slips, including slips for onsite restaurant, and can accommodate boats up to 55ft.
Further south on the Illinois River is historic Peoria, the largest city on its banks in central Illinois and oldest European settlement in the state. Prior to Prohibition, Peoria was center of the whiskey industry and famed for its 12 distilleries in operation by end of 19th century. A major port on the Illinois River, Peoria is a primary trading and shipping center for a vast agricultural area (corn, soybeans, livestock). The award-winning Peoria Park District of 9000 acres of parks and trails includes the Illinois Bluff Trail that connects 4 parks and is the first and largest park district in Illinois. The Museums Block in downtown Peoria along the Illinois River opened in 2012 and includes the Peoria Riverfront Museum. The Peoria Art Guild’s Annual ArtFest is among the top 100 art fairs in the nation.
The Chicago Harbors system of marinas consists of 10 marinas with collective spaces for over 6000 boats. Located on Chicago’s 14-mile Lake Michigan shoreline, Chicago Harbors constitutes the nation’s largest municipal harbor. Founded in 1833, the harbors on Lake Michigan attract thousands of boaters each year. Transient reservations can be made through Dockwa.com.
Montrose Harbor is on the northern edge of Lincoln Park and a short walk to Montrose Beach. The marina features a skyline view, dinghy fleet, 711 slips, mooring cans, and star docks to accommodate boats 25ft to 50ft. Home to Corinthian Yacht Club.
Belmont Harbor, located in the heart of Lincoln Park, is one of Chicago Harbors’ largest with 818 slips, mooring cans, and star docks for vessels 28ft to 80ft. Vessel minimum is 30ft in slips, 25ft for moorings. Features a fuel dock and mast stepping/unstepping.
Diversey Harbor Lagoon is located in the heart of Lincoln Park. Bridge restrictions allow only power boats with 9ft clearance. Features 719 slips for boats 25ft to 50ft. Diversey Yacht Club has fuel dock.
Jackson Park Outer Harbor is in the heart of Jackson Park off 63rd Street Beach. Home of Jackson Park Yacht Club and an old Coast Guard Station. Features floating docks with 192 slips, mooring cans, and star docks for vessels 25ft to 40 ft. and fuel dock.
Jackson Park Inner Harbor can only accommodate power boats due to bridge restrictions. Marina features slips for 150 boats, 30ft to 40ft. and is walking distance to 63rd Street Beach. Home to Southern Shore Yacht Club.
59th Street Harbor is located in Jackson Park and is a short walk to the Museum of Science & Industry and 63rd Street Beach. Features slips for 125 boats from 25ft to 35ft. Home to Museum Shores Yacht Club.
Monroe Harbor is located in the heart of downtown Chicago with beautiful skyline backdrop. Offers 392 mooring cans for boats 25ft to 50ft. Tender service and pump-out equipment. Home to Chicago Yacht Club and Columbus Yacht Club.
DuSable Harbor is in the heart of downtown at Randolph Street. Entrance to the marina is through Monroe Harbor. This very popular marina features 420 slips close to the downtown loop, surrounded by towering skyscrapers, and accommodates boats 30ft to 90ft.
Burnham Harbor is walking distance to downtown and on the Museum Campus. It is the largest of the group with 1126 slips, mooring cans and star docks for vessels 28ft to 100+ft. Full-service marina with mast stepping/unstepping available.
31st Street Harbor is the newest marina in the Chicago Harbors system. The full-service marina offers slips for 1000 boats 35ft to 70ft. Sustainable, eco-friendly design, and lots of amenities.
Check with Dockwa.com for further information, other Illinois marinas, and transient slip reservations.