FAQ’s

Sailing, generally …

 In a nutshell … Sailing is an adventure! It is always different. It is always interesting. It is always memorable! Of course it is dependent upon weather – yet no matter what the weather (excluding rain ) you will have fun – and, of course, always be absolutely safe.

 Safety

 The Captain and Deckhand’s primary goal is to assure the safety of all passengers, crew and the boat. Capt. Andrew has safely carried 336,000 passengers since 2003 – aboard 360-passenger architectural tour boats at Navy Pier (on Lake Michigan) and aboard tour boats in Santa Barbara and Marina Del Rey / Los Angeles).

 Are Red Witch II and Red Witch III disabled-accessible boats?

  Although Red Witch II and Red Witch III do not have official designation as disabled-accessible vessels, we frequently host “disabled” passengers – who depend upon a wheelchair, walker, and/or cane for mobility. On any given sail, one or more of our crew are strong individuals who are trained to help board and de-board any passenger (in virtually any condition). We have observed that the vast majority of disabled passengers, and young and elderly passengers, greatly appreciate the opportunity to sail aboard Red Witch II. Most (not all) smaller, portable wheelchairs may be stowed aboard the vessel during the sailing experience.  Similarly, most walkers may be stowed aboard the vessel.

 Where can I park?

 See the Location Tab/Page – regarding public parking in Milwaukee and Kenosha (near both docks).

 What should I wear?

 Even during summer, the weather can be (much!) cooler on the lake, especially after sunset. Bring a light jacket or sweatshirt. High heels and wedges are not recommended. Our sailorly advice: bring a pair of flats in your purse.

 May passengers stand during the sailing trip?

 No. Why not? Our Captain’s highest priority is your safety. Unlike motorboats, sailboats are designed to “heel” – lean a bit beam-wise (i.e., laterally). Simply stated, when wind hits the sails, the boat leans. You will enjoy the experience of heeling, as it is an essential element of true sailing. However, it is unsafe to stand (or walk) while the vessel is moving (i.e., heeling, etc.). However, for longer private event (longer than two hours), the Captain will try to slow and stabilize the vessel midway through the trip, or toward the end of the trip, so passengers can stand for a minute or two to stretch their legs.

 Is there a bathroom aboard?

For public sails – which are only 75 to 90 minutes in duration, we ask passengers to relieve themselves prior to boarding the vessel.  

 The reason we prefer that you use an external (non-boat) bathroom is that our highest concern is your safety. Again, in a nutshell, sailboats are designed to heel (lean) a bit – so, to minimize risk, i.e., your safety — we uphold this rule. We have found that most passengers are comfortable not using a restroom for 75 to 90 minutes. For private sails – which are a minimum of two hours (up to three hours) in duration, we realize that some passengers may need to relieve themselves while sailing – so the Captain may try to find a time during the sail when we can will slow the vessel – so as to reduce the degree of heeling – so it may be safe to be escorted to the restroom by the deckhand. Nonetheless, we ask private event passengers to relieve themselves before boarding the vessel.

 What if it rains? Cancellation protocol? How do we reschedule a canceled sail?

 Try as we might, we cannot control the weather! Both Red Witch II and Red Witch III have a spacious traditional cabins below in case an unanticipated hard rain should occur while we’re on the lake but, in the case of a light drizzle of brief duration, please bring a light rain jacket or poncho. Sailing is an adventure after all! Note that sails are cancelled at the sole discretion of the Captain, up to the time of departure. We want you to return year after year – so we only sail in weather that we believe you will enjoy. We definitely do not sail should lightning be in the area. And, typically, if sustained or hard rain is forecast, we likely will defer or cancel the sail. Should the Captain cancel a sail, you may reschedule by emailing us at redwitchsailing@gmail.com (for public sail rescheduling) and redwitchevents@gmail.com (for private event rescheduling). We will be happy to find another day that fits your schedule.

 How many passengers do Red Witch II and Red Witch III accommodate?

 Red Witch II is a U.S. Coast Guard “Inspected Vessel” (Category T-Boat). As such, following stability calculations, the U.S. Coast Guard determined that Red Witch II will safely accommodate up to 40 passengers, 1 captain, and 2 deckhands. However, we prefer to limit sails to 28 guests (and 1 deckhand) – so everyone has a comfortable seat on deck.

 Red Witch III, a smaller sailboat, is categorized as a U.S. Coast Guard “Uninspected Vessel” and, as such, is allowed to carry up to 6 guests – yet we prefer to sail with up to 5 guests to promote comfort of our guests.

 Do seats have seatbacks?

 On Red Witch II, 24 of the allotted 28 seats on the deck have seatbacks (bench-style). On Red Witch III, all seats have seatbacks.

 Is there a sound system?

 Red Witch II and Red Witch III have Blue Tooth-technology sound systems available for private events (only). Please note that we do not allow music on public sails as, obviously,  everyone likes different music styles – and, after sails are raised and the engine is turned off,  the sound of wind and waves is a beautiful, unique experience. If you have a private event, bring your favorite playlist on your IPhone or droid telephone.

 Can we swim or jump off?

 To protect your safety, there is no swimming from Red Witch II or Red Witch III – absolutely no exceptions.

 Can I bring food?

 For public sails, you may opt to bring a light snack. Note that there are numerous restaurants within two blocks of each dock — so you may plan to dine in downtown Milwaukee or Kenosha before or after the sail. Please feel free to bring a light snack – but not a meal (and definitely you may not bring any beverages – no exceptions – as beer, wine, soda, and bottled water are available aboard the boat).

 For private events, you may bring food or hire one of our recommended catering companies for casual dining aboard the vessel. For private events, we offer beverage options.

 Can I bring any beverages?

 For Public Sails (only) — No, you may not bring aboard any beverages aboard the vessel if you are sailing on a public sail — no exceptions – as we offer domestic beer ($5), boxed wine ($5), soda ($2) and bottled water ($1) on public sails.

 For Private Events, we offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage packages. Please contact us for more information at redwitchevents@gmail.com.

 What time does the boat actually leave the dock?

 We begin the boarding process at the scheduled time of departure with a 3-minute “Safety Speech” – while passengers are still on the dock. Then we board passengers. Hence the vessel typically departs between five and ten minutes after the time of scheduled departure. Note that we do expect you to be on time – arrive at the time of scheduled departure to hear the entire Safety Speech (for your safety and the safety of others).

Book Now