Swan Program: A First Experience with Offshore Sailing

If you've ever considering deepwater sailing but were not sure how to jump start your sailing career, our Swan Program is for you.

Our Swan Program was specifically designed to introduce people to the world of offshore sailing by providing hands-on crew experience under the watchful eye of an professional skipper on a proven boat. During your tenure onboard, you’ll learn to keep watch, make log entries, navigate, use the radio, steer the boat  and perform tasks that are essential to safe offshore sailing. The Swan Program offers a fixed price for everything you’ll need aboard—you just pay for your travel to and from the boat. The Swan Program sails south from New England to Bermuda and the Caribbean in the fall, and north from Bermuda and the Caribbean to New England in the spring. Summer trips are also available.

After your first Swan Program experience, you’ll have the skills to sail on other boats. Please view the video below to learn more.

2022/2023 Swan Program

OPO members get a head start to sign up for any of the Swan Program Passages. We are now inviting anyone to inquire about what we may have left or to be on a short wait list.

Anyone can sign up for the coastal Annapolis Boat Show one-week sails, but I need to speak to all potential crew before they sign up for the Fall Program south or the May Ocean Race sail back from Sint Maarten to Newport to make sure they up for the adventure.

Hank Schmitt


2022 Swan Fall Schedule

Huntington NY to Annapolis Boat Show

October 8 to October 14. Sail aboard our Flagship Swan 48 Avocation from Huntington to the show. Crew arrive on Saturday afternoon October 8 and move aboard. We will depart early Sunday morning. We will stop along the C & D Canal Tuesday night and finish the sail to Annapolis MD by Wednesday late afternoon. We stay aboard the boat right next to the Boat Show and see the show opening day Thursday Red-Carpet Day and Friday. You make plans to leave the boat anytime Friday, October 14. Price: $2,000* all-inclusive except travel to and from the boat.


Annapolis Boat Show to Huntington NY

October 14 to October 19. Arrive in Annapolis MD anytime on Friday, October 14 and move aboard the boat. We will see the show on Friday and all-day Saturday. We will depart Sunday morning to sail up the bay and to the C & D Canal and then decide to push on to Cape May or wait on weather. We are building in one extra day just in case we have to adjust our float plan. Plan to leave the boat Tuesday night, October 18 or Wednesday morning, October 19. Price: $1,800*


Combined NARC/SDSA Rally Newport RI to Sint Maarten

This is the highlight of the fall season. We plan to depart with a fleet of up to 40 boats in this years combined rally. If you want to sail in one of our three Swans we have this year please let me know. We have a Swan 68, a Swan 65 plus our Flagship Swan 48 Avocation. Avocation is already filled, but we have berths on the other two boats.

Crew arrive in Newport on Thursday, October 27. We plan to depart on Saturday, October 29 if the weather looks good. It is a 4 to 5-day sail to Bermuda. We stay in Bermuda at least until Monday, November 7 and the bigger boats will arrive by Sunday, November 13. Fly home Monday, May 14. Price: $4,000*


Sneak Peek at Spring 2023 Ocean Race (Formally known as the Volvo Ocean Race)

May 4 to May 22. Sail aboard our Flagship Swan 48 Avocation from Sint Maarten to Newport RI and then stay aboard the boat for the start of the Race on Sunday, May 21. We then sail to Huntington NY by Monday, May 22. Plan to fly home Tuesday, May 23. You stay aboard the boat and we will be dockside in Newport RI from when we arrive (Most likely Thursday, May 18 or Friday, May 19) and then watch the start of the Race on Sunday and then we keep sailing to Huntington NY so you would travel home from NY on Monday, May 22 or Tuesday, May 23. We did this the last time the Volvo was in Newport in 2017 and we had a great time. Price: $5,000*


May 4 to May 20, 2023

We also plan to have a Swan 68 and Swan 65 to offer return passage with us. Fly into Sint Maarten Thursday, May 4 and move aboard and leave from Newport RI on Saturday, May 20. The price for the berths on the return passage are the same as the passage south in October. Price: $4,000*


*A $500 deposit will hold the October Boat Show sail and $1,000 deposit for the longer 18 days passages to or from St. Maarten. www.sailopo.com/store