Green Bay Boat Show
The Green Bay Boat Show, presented by Ken’s Sports, brings together dealers and exhibitors from across the state, including Captain Bill Wons of SailTime Door County. SailTime is the world’s leading boat-share program, offering regular, flexible time on the water without the high cost of boat ownership. SailTime is designed for experienced sailors who simply step aboard a new-model yacht and begin their cruise.
Stop Dreaming and Start Sailing
It may be winter outdoors, but it’s summer in the new Resch Expo Center, 840 Armed Forces Drive, Ashwaubenon. Stop dreaming and start sailing the Leah Helen, SailTime’s 39-foot Jeanneau Sun Odyssey, newly arrived from France in 2021, and the 2020 Alyssa Joy, SailTime’s 35-foot Beneteau Oceanis sailboat.
- 2-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4
- 10am-7pm Saturday, Feb. 5
- 10am-4pm Sunday, Feb. 6
Sailing, Boating, and Fishing Seminars
The Green Bay Boat Show offers exclusive show pricing on 2022 boats. Boats of all sizes and styles will be displayed and on sale. Personal watercraft will also be featured, as well as docks and lifts. Seminars on the Team Winnebagoland Education Stage will feature local fishing experts, water safety and more. Families can enjoy a kid’s area with Green Bay Sail & Paddle and Hands on Deck. Also on display will be Relic, the verified last 18-foot 1939 Deluxe Utility Sedan in the world.
Visit Captain Bill at the SailTime Booth
2022 is the perfect time to hop aboard a SailTime Door County yacht and cruise beautiful Door County. Experience the natural scenery, trendy shops, and fantastic food in Sturgeon Bay, Fish Creek, Egg Harbor, and Sister Bay. As an alternative to Door County, sail the bay of Green Bay to Oconto, Wisconsin, or Menominee, Michigan. Wherever the wind takes you, you’ll be sailing in style aboard a SailTime Door County yacht. To learn more, attend the Green Bay Boat Show and visit Captain Bill at the SailTime Door County booth.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a sailing lesson at SailTime Door County with Captain Bill? Wait no longer for the full scoop!
Last year I had the pleasure of taking the American Sailing Association ASA 101 course with Captain Bill on the Snow Escape. In that class, I learned all the technical terms and details as a beginner sailor. What is a beam reach, a tack (No, not an attack as some have thought), or a transom? Before the class, I hadn’t had a clew (okay, okay enough puns).
Seriously though, I didn’t have a lot of boating experience in my life. I could’ve probably counted on one hand how much boating experience I had before I started boating with Captain Bill. I never started a boat motor. I really didn’t know much about boats in general beyond it seemed like something fun to do on a hot summer day.
As the wife of a captain, I wanted to learn how to sail a boat. I don’t have the passion Captain Bill has for sailing. I mean, who does?? I feel comfortable on the water, but I wanted something much more than that. I wanted to take control of the sailboat. God forbid, what if Captain Bill were to have a heart attack? Would I know what to do? What if he fell into the deep waters of the bay? Would I just leave him there and go off sailing into the sunset because I didn’t know how to help him?
I learned a lot of practical things in sailing 101. But I wanted something more. As I maintain the schedule for SailTime Door County, I decided to sign myself up for the ASA 103 class. The ASA 103 class includes an overnight stay on the sailboat.
We took the Alissa Joy with our new members, Ralph and Paula, to the Menominee Marina. Paula was taking the 103 class with me. In the 103 class, I learned some new things. This class wasn’t all about the sailing terms and how to tie knots. We learned that in 101.
Instead, I learned about a diesel engine. Paula and I even took turns docking the boat.
Although our classroom was on the water, it wasn’t just learning. We also had a fun trip with a beautiful view. After we got to the marina, there was live music playing in the park nearby. We walked around town and went to a nice restaurant. It was much more like a vacation than taking a class.
The next morning, Captain Bill said we needed to have a plan on how we were going to leave the dock and head back home.
And if you were wondering, I did pass the class and receive my ASA 103 certification. Contact Captain Bill Wons, 920-371-5599, to schedule your sailing vacation aboard the Alissa Joy (a Beneteau Oceanis) or Leah Helen (a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey).
Have you ever wondered where you could sail in just a few days? The Leah Helen, a 39-foot Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 389, is docked at Wave Pointe Marina in Door County, Wisconsin. We were a couple of hours away from a different state. We left Wave Pointe and spent our first night at the Menominee Marina in Upper Michigan.
Sailing to Menominee, Michigan
The first hour was really choppy with big waves that splashed water over the bow as we neared the Peshtigo Reef. After that, the seas calmed as we grew closer to our destination.
Enjoying our visit
The marina was absolutely beautiful and the town quaint. The boater’s lounge was more like a nautical museum instead of a place to simply take a shower and fill a cup of coffee. There were dozens of fish swimming around in a big tank that made us feel a little like we were still on the water. Later that evening, we walked to a nice restaurant where we ate seafood.
Spending a night on the Leah Helen
I wondered how the first night would be sleeping on the new boat. I am a light sleeper so that is always something I worry about. Would I sleep or not? Out of the three cabins I decided to sleep in the V-berth. It was a chilly night but I was able to sleep fairly well with the heat on in a surprisingly dark room with the shade closed.
Sailing to Chamber’s Island
The following morning Bill made some egg and cheese croissants in the galley. Not only does he love to sail, but he loves to cook as well. How much luckier could I be?? Mid-morning, we set sail to Chamber’s Island a couple hours away in Door County, Wisconsin. Our plan was to anchor out with several other sailboats.
Swimming, kayaking & exploring
The day ended up being hotter than we thought it would be. Thankfully Bill talked me into bringing my swimming suit. After we set our anchor in mid-afternoon, we opened the swim platform and took a dip into the icy water to cool off. We also brought along our kayaks to explore Chamber’s Island. We were able to visit the lighthouse on the island. Afterwards, we headed back to the boats to grill out. We enjoyed a gorgeous sunset on the water.
Sailing to Wave Pointe Marina
The next morning, we headed back home. On the way, we saw a huge cargo ship. It’s nice to know there are a lot of places to go and things to see with only a couple days to play.
My husband, Bill, introduced me (Joan) to sailing in 2020. I took to it right away. I loved to relax on deck and in the cabin, help hoist the sails, and watch the sunset on the water. We started our 2021 sailing season on June 9. As soon as we could wrap up our work day on that Wednesday, we packed our bags and drove to Little Sturgeon. Bill and I set sail aboard the Alissa Joy, a 35-foot Beneteau Oceanis sailboat docked at Wave Pointe Marina.
Basically, this was a shake-down cruise. I learned a lot during my first sailing season. Now in my second season, it took me a while to remember it all! I overpacked – do two people really need a case of bottled water for three days? I forgot many of the nautical terms, sailing techniques, and knots that I knew last summer. Nevertheless, the get-away was a success.
Sunset Cruise in Southern Door County
Arriving on Wednesday night, we had just enough time for a sunset cruise. Our neighbors helped us launch the sailboat, and we were off. The night was comfortable, with enough breeze for sailing. It felt so good to be out on the water again. What a peaceful time to sail. We didn’t see any boats or fishermen, just nature all around us. It was a great start to our mini-vacation. We had no destination in mind, just chasing after the sun. We took our time, took our photos, and returned to Wave Pointe Marina.
Sailing to Sister Bay in Northern Door County
On Thursday morning, Bill made us a hearty 5-egg omelet in the Beneteau’s galley, and we set sail. We had a full day of sailing ahead of us. We were sailing on the bay of Green Bay from southern Door County to Sister Bay in northern Door County. Because the winds were calm, we motor-sailed. I pulled out my laptop and worked awhile but mostly just watched the passing scenery. We passed the Strawberry Islands and watched flocks of birds flying around. We saw fishing boats, a buoy tender, and Door County tour boats showing visitors the bay.
Docking at Sister Bay Marina
Eventually, we reached our destination, Sister Bay Marina, where two marina workers helped us dock. Docking is one of the trickiest parts of sailing, so I was grateful for their help. After a day on the water, it felt good to go ashore and stretch our legs for a walk down the main street. We marveled at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant, beer garden, and gift shop. The restaurant is open 9am to 3pm, so we’ll have to go back another day for Swedish meatballs.
Enjoying our Visit to Door County
We stopped for ice cream, visited a few shops, and sat on the beach watching some kids play in the water. We sat close to Sister Bay’s open-air concert venue that draws crowds for music and movies on the weekend. We ate at a local restaurant before returning to the marina. We walked around the marina, visiting with other sailors to learn about their sailboats and recent excursions. Finally, we sat on a park bench to watch the sunset. This sunset was more beautiful than the first night! A sailboat in the distance made it even more stunning.
The Comfort of the Alissa Joy
Our day in Sister Bay came to an end. Marina guests receive a passcode to the bathroom and showers, so we showered before settling in for the night. The cabin of the Alissa Joy is so comfortable because of its spaciousness, air conditioning and dehumidifier. I like to feel the gentle motion of the boat when I’m falling asleep. The Sister Bay Marina is quiet, and sleep came easily.
Day Sail in the Bay Green Bay
On Friday morning, the winds were perfect for sailing out of Sister Bay and back to Wave Pointe Marina. The sky was blue, the clouds were big and puffy, and the Alissa Joy sailed beautifully. At midday, I went below to make sandwiches, which we ate in the cockpit. Afterwards, I laid down on the bench seat, covered my face with my hat, and took a nap while Bill sailed us through the bay of Green Bay.
SailTime Door County Vacation
Our get-away came to a close on Saturday morning. Our vacation was complete. We had sailed one evening and two full days on our first Sailtime Door County trip in 2021. Regretfully, we packed up, cleaned the sailboat, and left Wave Pointe Marina. We’re already looking forward to our next cruise with SailTime Door County.
Many adults and a whole lot of kids enjoy combing beaches for things of interest or value, hence the name “beachcombing.” We’ve all seen the person with the metal-detector looking for things of value. Then there are kids and many adults who enjoy nothing more than roaming a beach looking for unique and interesting things including driftwood, seashells, and… sea glass.
The photo shows sea glass that I have collected from beaches in Door County. Most of the glass was collected on Washington Island and Plum Island. I have a theory why sea glass is more plentiful on the islands. I think it has to do with the currents and wave action of Death’s Door which carries and churns the glass into the unique and smooth shapes that you find beachcombing. It takes many decades to get the glass as smooth as those pictured.
It is cool to think that a bottle tossed overboard as garbage returns many, many years later as something beautiful.
Most Common Sea Glass Colors
The most common sea glass colors are white (clear), green and brown. Think soda, wine and beer bottles. Forty percent of sea glass will be these colors. Also very common (50%) are seafoam green pieces of sea glass. These tend to come mostly from Coca-Cola bottles but also from wine bottles, rum bottles and window glass.
Less Common Sea Glass Colors
Beautiful and much rarer (0.5%) are cobalt blue. These rare pieces come from medicine bottles and Noxzema bottles. Sometimes, cobalt blue bottles were used to hold poison. Less than 0.25% will be lavender. Lavender glass can come from any bottles or glass product made with manganese. Even more rare are light blue or cornflower blue sea glass. Only 1 in 500-700 pieces of sea glass will be this shade of blue. Some sources include Pre-1900 Milk of Magnesia, Vick’s Vapor Rub and other medical product bottles.
Rarest Sea Glass Color
One of the rarest colors is red. Only 1 in 10,000 pieces will be true red glass. These pieces of sea glass come from glass made by Anchor Hocking who originally used gold to make the vivid red color but later used copper for coloring. Sources of this glass include running lights on boats, a certain type of bottle used in the 1950’s by the Schlitz Brewing Company and kitchen utensils.
Beachcombing with SailTime Door Co.
I hope you have an opportunity to visit Door County and do some beachcombing. Sea glass is just one of the interesting things you’re likely to find. SailTime Door County offers members the chance to explore Door County waters, islands, marinas, and beaches. Contact Captain Bill Wons to schedule your sailing vacation aboard the Beneteau Oceanis or Jeanneau Sun Odyssey.
Leave the hustle and bustle of the peninsula behind. Many consider Washington Island the opposite of the Door Peninsula. As beautiful but with a fraction of the crowds. As an avid, long-time visitor to Washington Island, here are some of my favorite places.
Where to Dock on Washington Island
There are several marinas on the Island, Shipyard Marine and Kap’s, both on Detroit Harbor, and the Town Dock at Jackson Harbor. The Jackson Harbor dock is small and can only hold a few boats at a time. It has water hook-up, restrooms, ice, trash receptacles, and electric.
There are at least three things that make it a cool place to dock:
- A beautiful view of Rock Island
- The best sandwiches (and soups and homemade pies) to be found at the Jackson Harbor Soup Company. I recommend the “Dagwood” sandwich
- The Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum is a small, quaint but very interesting, museum chronicling the Islands commercial fishing industry, shipwrecks, ferry line and Coast Guard history.
As a side note, Pam (the Harbor Master) owns the Jackson Harbor Inn, a terrific place to stay for friends and family or for yourself when you’re not sailing. There are nine rooms and a cottage available.
How to Get Around Washington Island
Biking is a great way to get around the Island. There is over 40 miles of paved road and minimal traffic. To get a birds-eye view of the island, climb the 186 steps of the Lookout Tower on Mountain Road.
Where to Get a Bite to Eat
You may be hungry after that climb. My favorite bar and restaurant is Fiddler’s Green. Fiddler’s is an Irish pub with an incredibly eclectic décor housed in a building that started its life as the Detroit Harbor School in 1860. In 1920 it was moved to its current location and became Tom’s Store. Over the years, it was a grocery store, butcher shop, gas station, auto repair shop, and finally, an Irish pub. The menu leans towards healthy options (no greasy bar food). Almost every weekend there is live music.
Where to Wet Your Whistle
For your caffeine jolt, the Red Cup on Detroit Harbor Road is a classic coffee shop with great artwork lining its walls. For those who are looking for an adult beverage, Main Street has four bar/restaurants in a row: KK’s, Middle Bar, Karly’s and the famous Nelsen’s Hall. Tom Nelsen built his Dance Hall in 1899. During Prohibition, Tom received a pharmaceutical license. Why? Well, Angostura Bitters is 90 proof. This allowed him to sell shots of Bitters as a “stomach tonic for medicinal purposes.” It appears that many residents had stomach problems during Prohibition. The Door County Pulse has a great article: https://doorcountypulse.com/a-shot-of-history-hauntings-and-bitters-at-nelsens-hall/. To this day, Nelsen’s is the largest consumer of Angostura Bitters in the world.
Don’t Miss Stavekirke
Mann’s Grocery Store and Mann’s True-Value Hardware store are just across the street for any provisions you may need. Around the corner and down a bit on Town Line Road lies Stavekirke. This is an exact replica of an ancient church that was built in 1150 in Burgund, Norway. A definite must see!
Visit a Rare Beach
As your day winds down, visit Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Harbor. Part of the Niagara Escarpment, it boasts a sandless beach, one of only five beaches in the world with the same characteristics. Instead of sand, the beach is made up of smooth limestone rocks polished by glaciers and wave action.
Watching the Sunset
One of the most relaxing times I have had is grilling out in People’s Park. It is a long, narrow park with several picnic tables and fire pits which is not frequented all that often. It runs to the edge of the Death’s Door passage upon a 50-foot bluff. Facing west, it is the best place to watch a sunset on the Island.
Other Washington Island Gems
Other places that I recommend include visiting the Jacobsen Museum, a performance at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center, and if you’re around on Sunday, a Door County League baseball game featuring the Washington Island Islanders.
Article and photo courtesy of Jim Schwartz, SailTime Door County
Of the many islands that surround Door County, none may be more beautiful than Plum Island. This 325- acre island lies “plumb” in the middle of Death’s Door (hence its name) between Gills Rock and Washington Island. As part of the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge, it is open to boaters from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
It is a historically significant island boasting a rich maritime history. On the northeast corner lies the U.S. Lifesaving Service Lifesaving Station, built in 1896. Adjacent to the pier sits the “Roosevelt Style” Boathouse built in 1939. On the opposite end of Plum Island are the front and rear range lights. The rear range light is a 70 ft. cast iron and steel skeleton tower built in 1896. Behind the rear range light sits the Lighthouse Keeper’s House also built in 1896. Further east of the rear range light you will find the cream-city brick Fog Signal building (1896).
Home to Two Shipwrecks
Plum Island is the home of two shipwrecks. The Grapeshot went aground in 1867 just west of the boathouse. The Resumption went aground in 1914. There is very little left to see of the Resumption, but the Grapeshot is a whole different story!
The Grapeshot was built in 1855 by the B.B. Jones shipyard in Buffalo, New York. She was a two-masted schooner with a length of 129.67 ft. and a beam of 23.35 ft. The depth of the hold was 10.30 ft. Owned by George Holt and Charles Ensign, her home port was Chicago. She spent her career mostly on Lake Michigan (but also sailed Lakes Erie and Huron) hauling lumber, wheat, coal and other commodities and goods. In June 1866 she ran aground on Poverty Island. Two months later she ran aground on Plum Island.
The Wreck of the Grapeshot
In early November 1867, the Grapeshot found herself in the midst of a gale while traversing Death’s Door passage. She was heading for her home port of Chicago with a cargo of lumber and salt. For the second time in two years, she ran aground on Plum. She ran up on the rocks so far that her bow was lifted four feet in the air.
The tug Leviathan was sent from Chicago to free her from the rocks. Later, the steamer George Dunbar, also from Chicago steamed north to help. There appeared to be little damage to the Grapeshot and the hope was that she could be refloated once her cargo of 50,000 board feet of lumber was removed and hold pumped out. Their efforts were futile. In 1868, the Grapeshot was stripped and abandoned.
Today, the Grapeshot lies in eight feet of water 200 feet north of the boathouse: latitude N 45 degrees 18.843’ and longitude W 086 degrees 57.084’. On calm days you can see the wreck beautifully from your boat. It is a fantastic shipwreck to snorkel. Her starboard side and most of her lower hull remain intact. The entire wreck is very well preserved.
Article courtesy of Jim Schwartz of the Friends of Plum & Pilot Islands.
Photos courtesy of Tim Sweet of the Friends of Plum & Pilot Islands.
Tour the 39-foot Sun Odyssey
At the SailTime Door County Open House, Captain Bill Wons will lead a tour of the Leah Helen, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 389 marking its inaugural season on the water. Ordered directly from Jeanneau, the 39-foot yacht is comfortable, spacious and seaworthy. Designed by Marc Lombardi, the sailboat is equipped with the latest and most innovative technology of the Jeanneau line. Its three cabins provide space and comfort for family and friends. A true cruiser, the Leah Helen offers stability, speed, and good seakeeping.
Tour the 35-foot Beneteau Oceanis
The Leah Helen joined the fleet in 2021, just a year after the debut of another remarkable cruiser, the Alissa Joy. The Alissa Joy is a luxurious 35-foot Beneteau Oceanis sailboat, also docked at Wave Pointe Marina south of Sturgeon Bay.
Like the Leah Helen, the Alissa Joy is built for comfort. There’s plenty of room inside the cabin, a large swim platform, and a shower separate from the head. The Alissa Joy’s lifting keel (instead of a wing keel) makes the sailboat fast and well-balanced. The sailboat lives up to its name – the cruiser is a joy to sail.
Become a SailTime Member
SailTime is the world’s leading boat-share program, and SailTime Door County is the only Wisconsin base north of Milwaukee. Door County members sail the local waters of Green Bay but also have access to luxury sailboats around the globe. “Your boat is ready when you are,” is SailTime’s slogan.
SailTime’s innovated membership-based program is designed for people with experience in sailing and a passion for the water. Members and their guests step aboard a new-model yacht and begin their cruise. Members spend their time sailing, not repairing and maintaining a sailboat.
SailTime Door County offers regular, flexible time on the water without the high cost of boat ownership.
Contact Captain Bill Wons
It’s a whole new frontier when people learn to sail. The connection with water, wind, weather and nature is an experience beyond the humdrum everyday life on land. I enjoy sharing my love and knowledge of sailing with others. As owner of SailTime Door County and captain of the 35-foot Alissa Joy, I’m looking forward to teaching sailing classes this summer.
After completing an intense and challenging sailing instruction course in California, I am now an American Sailing Association-certified sailing instructor. I teach sailing classes to adults at Wave Point Marina in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in beautiful Door County. My focus is making sure everyone is safe, learning to sail, and having fun.
I am now certified to teach three American Sailing Association courses:
- ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing
- ASA 103: Basic Coastal Cruising
- ASA 104: Bareboat Cruising
ASA is the premier school in the nation for preparing sailing instructors. The ASA sailing instructor program is rigorous and demanding, and becoming an ASA sailing instructor is quite an accomplishment. Over the course of four days, I learned the teaching techniques to instruct beginning and experienced sailors.
My sailing and teaching skills were tested in a classroom and aboard a sailboat. I prepared lesson plans, presented the material to classmates, and took written exams. On the water, my instructor evaluated my ability to singlehandedly maneuver a 25-foot and 36-foot sailboat through a busy Marina del Rey harbor in California. On my final day of instruction, the sailboat was rocking and rolling in strong winds over 20 knots. Teaching under those circumstances was a challenge, but the experience I gained was worth it!
It was wonderful to leave the cold and snow of Wisconsin’s winter to travel to sunny Marina del Rey. It felt good to be on a sailboat again and rise to the challenge of earning my ASA instructor certification.
I’m excited to teach ASA-certified sailing lessons to adults at Wave Point Marina in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. I have been sailing for years, and I look forward to introducing students to the amazing sensation of using wind to propel a boat.
Contact me at 920-371-5599 for more information or to register for an ASA certified sailing class.
Wave Pointe Marina is the home base for SailTime Door County, a sailboat membership program, sailing school, and day trip/sunset charter service. SailTime Door County’s Alissa Joy, a new-model, luxurious 35-foot Beneteau Oceanis sailboat, is anchored at Wave Pointe Marina. Spacious, comfortable, and surprisingly stable, the Alissa Joy is ready to skipper for a memorable Door County, Wis. vacation experience.
Looking for a place to stay in Door County?
Wave Pointe Marina, 3600 County CC, Sturgeon Bay, is more than just a boat dock. The marina also runs a resort, restaurant and rental/gift shop. Twenty-four one- and two-bedroom suites are located inside Wave Pointe’s resort. The spacious suites are equipped with kitchenettes or full kitchens, whirlpool tubs, and balconies.
Ready for a swim?
Boaters can enjoy the outdoor heated pool, indoor hot tub, and sauna. The resort also offers private bathrooms, showers, and dressing areas. At the Boat House Rental & Gift Shop, customers can rent pontoons, kayaks, and paddle boards or buy beverages, snacks, apparel, gifts, and bait.
Hungry or thirsty?
Gilmo’s Bar and Bistro offers indoor and outdoor dining, lunch and dinner specials, and Happy Hour from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The Tiki Bar, open until 10 p.m., features live music on summer weekends. Boaters also have the option of grilling their own meals; grills and picnic tables are located on site. Gather round the fire pit patio on warm summer evenings to spend times with friends.
Want to skipper SailTime’s Alissa Joy?
SailTime’s innovative sailboat membership program provides the freedom of regular, flexible time on the water. Members enjoy a memorable Door County vacation sailing aboard the Alissa Joy. They experience the benefits of new boat ownership without the high cost of owning a sailboat themselves. They spend their time sailing, not making repairs or maintaining the sailboat.
Contact Captain Bill Wons
Northeast Wisconsin-native Bill Wons captains the Alissa Joy. Contact Bill for information about sailboat memberships, American Sailing Association-certified sailing lessons, or chartered cruises in scenic Door County.