Top Five Places to Float Your Boat

1. Prospect Park on Prospect Lake, Brooklyn Two choices: a half-hour ride on the Independence, the electric boat with a captain who discusses the park’s ecosystem, or a do-it-yourself trip in a blue plastic pedal boat that holds five, with the two in the front doing all the work. (Electric boat, $5 grown-ups, $3 kids; 718-287-3400. Pedal boat, $10 an hour; 718-282-7789.)

2. Hudson River at Chelsea Piers, Manhattan Parents and their kids, ages 12 and older, can learn to sail along the Hudson River.Three-day course includes how to tack, jibe, and even sail backward. At the final lesson, all participants go it solo. ($695–$895 per person; 800-221-4326.)

3. The Lake Club at Clove Lakes Park, Staten Island For a century, rowboating has been a regular activity inside Clove Lakes Park. A walk over the bridge lands you boatside with the choice of a rowboat for six or a pedal boat for two grown-ups plus one child. ($10 an hour; 718-442-3600.)

4. Flushing Meadows–Corona Park on Meadow Lake, Queens Concessionaire Juan Gomez doesn’t speak much English, but he gets the job done and is open the latest. A pedal or rowboat will get you around the site of the former World’s Fair. ($15 an hour; 917-805-3946.)

5. Long Island Sound, The Bronx The best deal of the five: Jack’s Bait and Tackle will rent you a two-year-old four-seat fiberglass motorboat for ten hours. Owner John DeCuffa will throw in rods if you want to teach the kids to fish (bait, hooks, lines, and sinkers are extra) and even take you out for a free short lesson. ($49.99 weekdays, $59.99 weekends; 718-885-2042;

Top Five Places to Float Your Boat