We want to make sailing more affordable for skippers and crews by bringing people together to share the costs. By sharing the price of chartering a boat, we can bring the cost of an afternoon on the bay down to $20 per person or a full day on the ocean to $40-60 (or more, for a larger and/or fancier boat). This isn’t as inexpensive as having a friend who owns a boat, but it can bring sailing once or twice a month within the range of many people. In order to do this, crews need to commit to going and making their payments in advance so that the skipper can reserve the boat and lock in the cost for everybody.

Nobody is making any money from this (except the boat chartering companies); only US Coast Guard licensed captains can be paid for taking passengers. Skippers have to pay exactly as much for the boat as everyone else. Here’s how it works: Skippers qualified to charter boats (each chartering company decides whom it will approve for which boats; the Meetup group does not certify anyone) will be event organizers who can create events.

Each event description should include the full cost of chartering the boat and minimum and maximum number of people; that will tell you the range of per person costs. If an event doesn’t get enough people to keep the cost down, the skipper and crew can decide to go ahead with a higher shared cost, or get a smaller boat, or cancel. Once there are enough people going, the skipper will ask the guests to pay their share in advance of a deadline. The deadline for getting your money to the skipper will be far enough in advance so that if people decide not to go, the skipper will be able to cancel the boat reservation and refund everyone’s money. The event isn’t confirmed until the skipper has enough money in hand from the crew. If you pay and decide after the payment deadline not to go, you’ll get your money back only if the skipper can find someone else in time. This protects the skippers and crews from being out of pocket if you find something better to do at the last minute.

Who Should Join: Congenial people who like to sail with like-minded folks. People who can commit to an event with money a week or two in advance. People qualified to charter boats who want more experience, especially on larger boats than they would normally charter themselves.

Who Should Reconsider: People who change their plans at the last minute. People not interested in paying $20-60+ for an event - This is expensive compared to many Meetup events, but compare it to a whale-watching trip, or a sail on the Californian from the Maritime Museum. And don’t even think about the cost of owning a boat!

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