Northeast Wisconsin native Bill Wons will operate a new SailTime base in one of Wisconsin’s top vacation destinations: Door County, Wisconsin. Opening in 2020 at Wave Point Marina in Sturgeon Bay, SailTime Door County offers the freedom of regular, flexible time on the water. Let’s hear about SailTime Door County from Captain Bill Wons.
What is special about sailing in Door County?
Bill Wons: Door County is one of the most amazing places to sail in the Midwest. What makes it so special is the water is sheltered in the peninsula. You always have relatively calm winds and calm water on the Bay of Green Bay. Marinas are conveniently located on the west and east sides. You can work your way up to Washington Island, Fish Creek, Egg Harbor and Ephraim, Oconto or Menominee.
What makes Door County a wonderful vacation destination?
Bill Wons: Door County has lots of islands and lighthouses to explore and a rich nautical history. As you sail north, you see the beauty of nature. You can pull into a marina and explore the town’s restaurants, shops, wineries, and orchards.
What prompted you to become a SailTime Door County owner?
Bill Wons: SailTime allows me to combine my entrepreneur spirit with my love for sailing. It was a natural fit for me. It was time to start a new venture, as I recently sold a business and became an empty nester.
Why are you passionate about the benefits that SailTime Door County offers?
Bill Wons: At any level, the most amazing thing is teaching someone the joys of sailing. I love to see their face as they understand that they’re moving through the water without any propulsion by man at all. It’s all nature.
What is your goal when teaching American Sailing Association courses for adults?
Bill Wons: I want students to become better and safer sailors, while at the same time, have fun. I will teach them how to safely skipper the sailboat, plus sailing terminology, seamanship, and navigation. The ACA-certified classes are taught in a classroom and on the Beneteau.
What are your favorite features of the Beneteau 35.1 sailboat?
Bill Wons: The Beneteau 35.1 is a 35-foot boat big enough to comfortably sail on Green Bay or Lake Michigan. It’s a cruising boat that’s built for comfort, with plenty of room inside the cabins and a shower separate from the head. Another nice feature is a lifting keel, instead of a wing keel, making the sailboat faster and better balanced. The lifting keel provides more flexibility in the direction we can sail.
What is one thing you enjoy about sailing on a summer day?
Bill Wons: It’s so refreshing to anchor the boat on a hot day and take a quick swim. We find shallow water and explore the shoreline or anchor in deep water and just dive in. We have a gigantic swim platform so it’s easy to get in and out of the Beneteau.
What makes a Sunset Cruise such a remarkable experience?
Bill Wons: The most remarkable part is watching couples reconnect and take pictures to remember that moment. It’s absolutely breathtaking when you’re in a sailboat and the weather’s right, the sun is setting, and you feel like you’re a million miles away from all the stress in life. You can’t help to fall in love again.
What makes a Day Cruise such a remarkable experience?
Bill Wons: Day cruises are all about adventure. I like to keep all hands on deck and keep people involved. There are plenty of things to do, like pulling on a line, letting down an anchor, keeping watch, tightening a sail, loosening a sail. I also like to get the kids involved in the voyage. I’ll give them a captain’s hat and let them steer the boat and put them to work. They really enjoy the experience.
Any final thoughts about SailTime Door County?
Bill Wons: This is more than a business. It’s about experiencing the joy of sailing. I’m looking forward to sharing this joy with as many people as I can.