The Coast is Clear

Savannah Vasquez
Brooke Brancamp enjoys the KlearKanoo with Clear View Canoe Rentals near the Marler Bridge recently. [SAVANNAH VASQUEZ/DESTIN.COM]

Imagine a glass-bottomed boat and the excitement of cruising right over sea life in a real-world aquarium. Now, imagine the entire boat is transparent ­­— well in Destin that is now a reality with Clear View Canoe Rentals.

Lori Jenkins, owner of the rental company, said she got the idea for the business after seeing KlearKanoo advertised in the area.

“I kept seeing ads pop up and thought, we need to know where we can rent these, but no one was renting them,” she said.

Not long after that, Jenkins met with local KlearKanoo distributor Silvia Madriaga, purchased four tandem KlearKanoos and launched her business.

“It’s so relaxing and just so awesome,” Jenkins said. “It’s awesome because you can see everything.”

Jenkins said she moved from Wisconsin to Destin three years ago after a 28-year career in nursing and another eight years owning a bar. She said she was looking for a laid-back job that would allow her to take in Destin’s natural beauty, and with Clear View Canoe Rentals she finally found it.

“I moved down here just to enjoy the awesomeness of the area,” she said. “I just wanted to enjoy a new area.”

As for the canoes, KlearKanoos are made from clear plastic polycarbonate, which is a highly durable material used for bullet-proof glass and fighter jet canopies. The canoe only weighs 39 pounds and can easily be carried by two people down to the beach. Each canoe has two scoop-backed seats and comes with two oars with clear paddles.

“What’s awesome about it is you can see right through to the bottom; you can see all the little bait fish swimming around,” said Jenkins. “It’s very easy to use; anybody at any level and any age can use the clear canoe.”

When booking a canoe from her, Jenkins equips every rider with a life vest, whistle and cup holder to hold drinks and personal items. For a small up-charge she will also include water-proof bags for phones and other small items. She said she has tried to make the rental process user-friendly by offering free delivery of the canoes and even offers pay-at-the-beach with a mobile card reader.

“It’s a mobile rental for now,” she said. “I deliver wherever the customer wants.”

As for her favorite place to put in, Jenkins said hands down it's the foot of the Destin bridge.

“I always recommend it here, especially when the tide is high because the water is awesome,” she said.