Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to book in advance?
We welcome last minute reservations but please book in advance to reserve your date. Booking online is easy; please call if you have any questions.
What should I wear?
Rubber soled shoes are best on a boat. Depending on the weather, just dress appropriately so you are comfortable moving about the boat. Keep in mind the air temperature over the water can be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than on land. We recommend having a jacket with you, and we have plenty of blankets to keep you warm. A happy sailor is a comfortable sailor! If you'd like to swim please bring a swimsuit and towels.
Do you provide food and refreshments on the boat?
We provide ice and water, but you are more than welcome to bring food and drinks! Small tote coolers work great on the boat. Please think clean and easy: cheese and crackers, beer and wine, sparkling water, sliced apples...
What about the weather?
We monitor the forecasts and the weather constantly. West Grand Traverse Bay is well protected and tends to have beautiful sailing conditions. Because of the effects of Lake Michigan and the surrounding hills, weather conditions can change quickly. We see a lot of storms form over the lake, but also see a lot of storms break up and dissipate before they get to Grand Traverse Bay. As the old weather adage goes, “Rain long foretold, long last; short notice, soon past.” This is why we wait to make weather decisions only about one to two hours before your scheduled sail.
If the weather, as determined by the captain's discretion and experience, has threatening conditions of fog, lightning, or high winds, we may have to reschedule your sail. If we are unable to reschedule your sail, we will refund you your money. If we are underway and the captain comes in because of threatening conditions, you will be refunded for the time not used or you can get a discount on a future sail.
What is your cancellation policy?
If your plans change we offer a full refund if you cancel at least 72 hours in advance of your scheduled sail. Of course we want you to sail, and are happy to reschedule to meet your needs based on our availability. Within 72 hours, a refund is only given if your Captain determines the weather for your scheduled time is unsafe for sailing and you are unavailable to reschedule. Decisions for questionable weather are made as late as one to two hours before your charter.
What if I get seasick or need to come in early?
If you feel uncomfortable or get seasick during your charter, or want to go in early for any reason, your Captain will bring the boat in as promptly as reasonably possible upon your request; however, no refunds are given for customer requested early charter endings.
Should I tip the captain?
Tipping is customary, but should be based on your satisfaction with the service you receive. A 20% gratuity is typical if you are happy with your sail.
How many people can be in our party?
Our sailing vessel, Michele, in accordance with US Coast Guard regulations has a maximum capacity of 6 passengers. If you have a larger party we partner with with our sailing affiliates and sail side by side! We will take care of all of the arrangements for you. Just give us a call.
Is your sailboat safe?
Sailing vessel Michele meets or exceeds all US Coast Guard regulations for construction, stability, safety equipment, and electronics for vessels in passenger service and is inspected regularly by officers of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Your US Coast Guard licensed captain has many years of experience and you can rest assured of being in good hands.
Where is the boat?
Center Pointe Marina 12935 S. West Bay Shore Drive, Traverse City, MI 49684.
Look for the Center Pointe building, the large brown building with the seagull sculptures on the side. Across the road from their main entrance is a surface parking lot where you will park. Take the pedestrian tunnel under the road and veer to the right once you get to the other side. Head towards the water and we'll meet you at the white tent that says "Great Lakes Sailing."
Marijuana and Other Controlled Substances:
Please don't bring marijuana or other controlled substances on the boat. We all know that marijuana is legal in Michigan, but on the water it's a different story. Possession of marijuana is still a violation of federal law, and is enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard. Here's an excerpt from a recent article: "The United States Coast Guard and other law enforcement has a zero tolerance policy regarding the possession and / or use of drugs aboard any commercial vessel. Violation is a federal offense. Don’t even think about crossing that line aboard a charter boat. Medications other than Schedule I, II, III drugs may be brought aboard a charter boat in their original prescription packaging. Schedule I,II,III drugs are prohibited. Schedule IV, V drugs are prohibited unless used in accordance with the “Controlled Substance Act”. Additionally, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana or extracts or variations thereof are prohibited, without exception. The charter boat falls under federal jurisdiction."