Get there early (before 1pm) and you shouldn't have to wait. The lake is larger than it first seems and the 12 dollar hour will go by quickly as you take in the sun, watch the ducks, catch glimpses of an elusive cormorant, gaze at the beautiful architecture while dreaming of the apartments inside, and marvel at the turtles.
One of those Manhattan experiences that a lot of locals just never get around to doing but really should. It's such a pleasant way to start a day of museum visiting. The boats can accommodate up to four people and there are also one person kayaks available. Central Park is one of the most glorious things about the city and I don't take advantage as much as I should. I'm glad I took the time to experience it in this way.