Chartering Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is tipping required?
The maritime service industry depends on gratuity similar to the restaurant service industry. Standard gratuity is 15%-20%. Our captains and crew work very hard to provide our students with the best possible experience.  If you feel you’ve had an excellent experience, be sure that’s reflected in the tip. 

Q: Do you provide alcohol?
No, Erie Islands Sailing School & Adventures, LLC does not provide alcohol. We will provide water and ice.

Q: Can I bring my own alcohol?
Yes, you may bring your own drinks.  Please pack a SMALL cooler as space is limited. Please no glass containers onboard and No Red Wine onboard.  Erie Islands Sailing School & Adventures, LLC, the Captain, and Crew take no responsibility and are not liable for any injuries due to intoxication and or drunken stupidity. We do not condone nor tolerate excessive binge drinking nor excessive amounts of alcohol brought aboard our vessel. The captain will terminate your voyage and payment will be non-refundable if individuals are dangerously intoxicated. Must be 21 yrs. old to partake. Drugs of any kind are strictly prohibited.

Q: Is smoking or vaping permitted?
Our vessels are smoke free and vape free. Smoking is only allowed in designated areas within the marina or facility your tour is departing from.

Q: Can I bring food?
Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and snacks.

Q: What are the times for sunset sail charters?
Sunset sails will run for about 3 hours from 6:30 – 9:30. Charter times will be adjusted as sunset times change throughout the summer.

Q: What if the weather is cloudy or questionable?
The captain has the final decision to sail or cancel the charter. Weather on Lake Erie can change rapidly and throughout the day. While it may be cloudy or questionable in the morning, evening sunsets can be amazing peaking behind the clouds. Your enjoyment and comfort are important to Erie Islands; however, safety is the most important aspect to our customers, crew, and vessels.

In the event of weather canceling your charter we will work with you to attempt to reschedule. If we are unable to reschedule you will receive a full refund.

Q: What time should I arrive for my charter?
Please plan to arrive 15 – 20 minutes before departure time. Our times are firm as we may have back-to-back charters and our vessels need to be at the dock for the next charter.

Q: What should I wear for my charter?
We suggest boat shoes or non-marking shoes. Tennis shoes can leave black marks on our decks. No heals or flip flops as they are trip hazards on a sailboat. Dress for the weather during your charter using layers. Feel free to bring a light jacket, sweater or sweatshirt as evening can cool off.

Q: Do I need to bring a life jacket?
Typically, no.  We have standard size jackets on each vessel per USCG regulations. If you prefer to where a jacket, and have one you’re comfortable wearing, you are welcome to bring one. Erie Islands Sailing School policy is to have children 13 and under wear a life jacket while onboard the vessel. Please let us know if there is a child under 13 to make sure we have appropriate size jackets. Again, if your child has their own jacket, you are welcome to bring it, however, our captain will check for appropriate fit at the dock.  

Q: How many people are allowed on the charter?
Following United States Coast Guard regulations, a maximum of six (6), including children are allowed aboard the vessel.

Q: Are pets allowed during my charter?
Absolutely, no pets are allowed during the charter.

Q: Where can I get ice?

Ice is available at most local convenience stores. However, we will have a cooler of ice available on the vessel.

Q: Where do I park?

Once you enter the gate at Safe Harbor Sandusky Marina you will want to come toward the waterfront on the left side of the marina (when facing the water). There is ample parking in this area.

Q: Where is the Black Pearl?

The Black Pearl will be on B-Pier just past the pool at slip 88.