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 Pogram 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.

May Swan Program – Many people have already asked about the May Swan trip sailing from the Caribbean to Newport at the end of the Caribbean season. We always give OPO members the first opportunity to join us since there are a limited number of berths available and they may fill up quickly. For those that need to and want to plan ahead we are publishing the dates and taking $500 deposits to reserve a berth with us next May. We will most likely sail from Nanny Cay Tortola BVI to Bermuda and then to Newport, but don’t make any plane reservations yet as we need to get confirmation from the World Cruising Club that the marina will be in place. The back-up plan would be to sail from St. Maarten to Bermuda and then to Newport not in the ARC USA. If you want to place a $500 deposit, please visit our online store or call Hank in the office at 631-423-4988.

Tentative dates are to arrive in BVI Wednesday May 2nd to Friday May 4th

The cost all-inclusive is $3,000 per person.

NARC Rally Overview

NARC Rally 2018 – The 19th Annual NARC Rally departs on Saturday, November 3rd, or best weather window after that date. If you have a boat and would like to sail south you can sign up for the rally from Newport to the Caribbean (St. Maarten or BVI).  Most of us do not have an offshore ready boat so we provide a very nice option to sail on a Swan with a pro skipper. 

I will be sailing Avocation, Swan 48, south once again.   The price is $3,000 for the all-inclusive* 15 to 17 days aboard with us. The dates are to arrive in Newport on Thursday or Friday October 25th or 26th . You can make flights home by November 15th.    

2018: 19th Annual NARC Rally!

This year Saturday, October 28th, 2018 is our closest Saturday beofre Nov 1st. So plan to be in Newport at the Newport Yachting Center no later than Thursday, October 25th or the morning of 26th. Boats can arrive as early as October 21st to get the discounted dockage at the Newport Yachting Center. If you need to arrive before then you can call them at 401-846-1600 to make arrangements. The weather briefing by WRI is Friday afternoon followed by dinner for all skippers and crew at Benjamin's across the street Friday Night October 27th.  We ask boats to be ready to depart by Saturday if the weather looks good.

The Rally is for experienced owners and pro skippers who make the annual passage south. If you have not made this passage before in the fall call our office at 631-423-4988 and we  will be happy to speak with you to see if we can help you join us or if you should head down the coast and depart with one of the other rallies leaving from the Chesapeake Bay. We can help find a qualified skipper or get experienced crew for you through our Offshore Passage Opportunities crew network if you need help. Smaller boats and less experienced sailors should spend September and October heading down to the Chesapeake and check out their boat and systems while they are still close to land. The are two rallies that depart from Hampton Roads/Norfolk Virginia area.

Our Rally is free.  There is a $100 per person fee for crew and skippers to pay for the socials in Newport and Bermuda.   Each boat owner pays their own dockage in Newport and Bermuda.  

If you do not have a boat and would like to join us, you can join OPO and learn about crew passage opportunities. in our Offshore Program or join OPO and see about helping one of the boat owners who may be looking for crew. Call 631-423-4988 to inquire. 


Rally participants should arrive in Newport at the Newport Yachting Center anytime the week before October 28th, 2018  and get the $2.00 per foot rate starting October 21st. There will be a skippers meeting Friday afternoon before dinner.

Weather Forecasts

Weather routing will be provided by David Cannon from Weather Routing Inc (WRI).  He will give us a pre-departue package including waypoints for the Gulf Steam. We will have a weather update every day while we are delayed. At sea we run a radio schedule with weather updates.  Printed copies will be given to all rally participants.

Our Host in Bermuda

In Bermuda we will be hosted by the St. Georges Dinghy and Sports Club. We receive discount dockage, the $35 per head fee is waived. We will have a fish fry when everyone has arrived at the club. 

After filling up on duty free fuel, most boats will head to the final Rally destination of St. Maarten in time for the final Rally party hosted by IGY Marina Group http://www.igymarinas.com/ with a special two days of free dockage upon arrival. There is an additonal 10% off for as long as you stay in the marina right up through an entire season. Even if you are planning to end your passage in the Virgin Islands or another island, we encourage everyone to come to St. Maarten first. It is the best place to provision in the Caribbean, has the best repair facilities for marine work in the area, and is the easiest and cheapest island for flights.

Signing Up

It is very simple to sign up for the rally. Simply fill out the short form and  e-mail it to me. If you need crew you can use the services of Offshore Passage Opportunities to get free crew that will pay their own way to and from the boat. If you have never made the passage before we would like you to have at least one crew who has made the journey. If you do not have a friend or family member that fits the bill we can help get you someone through Offshore Passage Opportunities.


If you have any questions please feel free to call or e-mail anytime.

Rally Benefits: