When the weather is just right, there is nothing better than sailing on Lake Michigan. SailTime Milwaukee offers wonderful opportunities for both experienced sailors and summer vacationers alike to enjoy these windy waters.
What can you tell me about the history of sailing in Milwaukee?
Sailing on Lake Michigan has been a popular sport in Southeastern Wisconsin for more than a century. From races to rendezvous at various ports, the area attracts both sailors and sailing spectators.
Crowds gather every year to see the parade of ships participating in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac (a.k.a. the “Mac”). It began in the late 1890s and is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. Milwaukee’s South Shore Yacht Club and the Grand River Sailing Club host another popular event, the annual Queen’s Cup Race, which goes from Milwaukee to Grand Haven, Michigan.
Why do people like sailing in Milwaukee?
Whether you sail north or south from Milwaukee, there are plenty of great stops and beaches along the coast of Lake Michigan. Sailors love to travel north from Milwaukee to Port Washington or Sheboygan, where you can find the famous Whistling Straight Golf Course. Boaters can head south and make it to Chicago in a day’s time, with plenty of fun stops along the way.
Summers are amazing in Southeastern Wisconsin. Winter may be brutal, but there are often opportunities in the spring and fall to head outside. There is a saying in Wisconsin — if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.
Tell me about SailTime Milwaukee and the team
SailTime Milwaukee has three sailing locations — Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha. Students can head to the Racine location for sailing classes. The boats are based in Milwaukee and Kenosha, although members can sail to and from any of the three ports.
Sailing is in owner Scott Monroe’s blood. His father owns the Racine Riverside Marine where the SailTime Milwaukee office is located. Scott also serves as the general manager of the marina. Along with getting a business degree, Scott’s background includes attending the Landing School of Boat Building and Design in Maine. He came back home to Wisconsin after that, and spent a decade working as a technician before going into management. Now he wears several hats as a boatyard manager and SailTime owner.
Two office workers help Scott manage SailTime Milwaukee. Cleaning and maintenance of the boats are done in-house with the help of technicians who work in the boatyard.
Can you tell me about a feature member and/or owner member?
SailTime Milwaukee is a relatively new program, and the location is interested in welcoming new Owner-Members. Scott owns two of the location’s three boats. John Triggs is the location’s first Owner-Member. He owns the fleet’s 2019 Beneteau Oceanis 41.1, a beautiful boat named Adagio.
Scott enjoys talking to each of the members personally, and it is an enthusiastic group of boaters. There is something different for everyone. Some people may want to start with a sailing class and then get a Lite membership. Others may want to have the experience of owning a boat without the work that comes with it.
Many sailors enjoy a SailTime Milwaukee membership because it offers them a unique experience during the summer months. If your family wants to participate for just one year, you can do that. Members with a boatshare in Milwaukee can come into the city for a weekend and have a unique place to stay on the water overnight. You can hang out on the docks and enjoy the lifestyle, or you can entertain for the evening on a yacht. Why not have access to this several times a month and use it how you want?
What boats are in the SailTime Milwaukee Fleet?
There are three boats in the SailTime Milwaukee fleet. The Beneteau Oceanis 35.1 and Beneteau Oceanis 41.1 are in downtown Milwaukee and the Dufour 390 Grand Large is in Kenosha. The Dufour is a new 2020 boat, and every boat is state-of-the-art. Each boat has memberships available, and SailTime Milwaukee is welcoming new Owners and Members.