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What we’re about

We want to make sailing more affordable for skippers and crews by bringing people together to voluntarily share the costs. By sharing the cost of chartering a boat, we can bring the cost of an afternoon on the bay down to $40 per person or a full day on the ocean to $50-75 (or more, for a larger and/or fancier boat, or a weekend day). 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 voluntary 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) or accepting any consideration per USCG Regulations; only US Coast Guard licensed captains can be paid for taking passengers. Our skippers have to contribute at least as much for the boat charter as everyone else (you can and should make a voluntary contribution for the cost of fuel, etc. for skippers of their own boats). 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 voluntary contributions needed. If an event doesn’t get enough people making voluntary contributions 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/organizer will collect your voluntary contribution 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 or not to contribute, 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 voluntary contributions in hand from the crew. If you pay and decide after the payment deadline not to go, you’ll get your voluntary contribution 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. Note that generally no sailing experience at all is required (skippers may sometimes ask for experience, but this is rare, and welcomed).
  • People who can commit to an event with a voluntary contribution 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.
  • People who can join with a first and last name (preferably real but I don't insist; a last initial will do) and a real photo of themselves (this has to be real). The reason for this is that if I have to change someone's status, eg, going/not going, not paid/paid, I don't want to try to figure out which "Jane" or "Bob" to change.

Who Should Reconsider:

  • People who change their plans at the last minute.
  • People not interested in voluntarily contributing $40-80+ 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!
  • People who want to join with a screen name and a photo of something else.

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