Friday, June 21, 2019 at 5:00 PM EDT
Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 8:00 PM EDT

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Essex Yacht Club 
13 Novelty Ln
Essex, CT 06426

Driving Directions 


Bob Osborn, s/v Pandora 
Salty Dawg Sailing Association 

Salty Dawg
Open Blue Water Boat Weekend

Essex, CT, USA - June 21-23


Click Here to Register (Don't forget to register for Saturday Evening Dinner and Keynote Speaker!)

A special joint event of the Seven Seas Cruising Association, Salty Dawg Sailing Association and Ocean Cruising Club.

Event underwritten in part by a special grant from the Gowrie Group.

Please join us in Essex, CT on the scenic Connecticut River June 21-23 for a special event celebrating blue water sailing. 

The event will kick off with a raft-up in nearby Hamburg Cove followed by two days of seminars at the Essex Yacht Club for an opportunity to share experiences, make new friends and share blue water cruising best practices.

Members:  $55 (Members of SSCA, OCC or SDSA)
Non-members:  $75 
Children Under 12:  Free but must be accompanied by a registered adult.
Registration Deadline:  June 14, 2019.  No refunds given for cancellations after this date.

Registration fee includes all sessions and buffet lunches on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be an optional buffet dinner for registered attendees on Saturday Evening w/ guest speaker. Meal options are also available for children under 12. Space is strictly limited to 100 attendees so don't delay in registering!

For 2019, the event will focus exclusively on Blue Water Sailing, providing information on preparing skippers, crew and their boats for blue water cruising and passage making with the goal of bringing more skippers and families to the blue water voyaging and cruising lifestyle.  

The event will involve a number of organizations with complimentary missions. The event will also offer interested skippers, family and crew, the opportunity to see, first hand, boats that are fitted out for blue water cruising, meet active blue water sailors and cruisers and better understand the opportunities and support available to them.

The format of the two-plus-day event includes an informal rendezvous/raft-up in nearby Hamburg Cove (41.22.28N, 072.21.45W), located one mile up-river from the club on Friday June 21. On Saturday and Sunday at EYC, 6-10 blue water prepared boats and owners, set up for extended cruising, will be available for viewing on the docks at EYC.  (If you have interest in displaying your boat during the open house, contact Bob Osborn.)  Sessions will include:  

  • Blue Water Cruising Roundtable:  A roundtable discussion led by Publisher/Editor George Day of Blue Water Sailing Magazine will include skippers and crew of active blue water cruisers.
  • Passage Weather Forecasting:  Noted weather router Chris Parker, of Marine Weather Center, will share his thoughts on how the science of weather forecasting is changing and how to best work with a router when voyaging to make the passage as safe and enjoyable as possible. Chris is a much sought after speaker and popular with blue water and coastal cruisers.
  • USCG, Search and Rescue Demonstration:  The United States Coast Guard will perform a  search and rescue demonstration with a USCG Jayhawk helicopter and response cutter in the river out in front of EYC. The crew of the cutter will also share what skippers can do to stay safe and what to expect when the worst happens.
  • Life Raft Demonstration:  An offshore life raft will be inflated, giving attendees a first hand understanding of what to expect and what’s included in a properly set up raft.
  • Blue Water Cruising Destinations:  Experts will focus on popular destinations, including the Caribbean, Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, and share what’s unique about these cruising grounds.
  • Preparing You and Your Boat for Blue Water Cruising:  Experienced blue water sailors will share their thoughts on what to do to prepare your boats and crew for successful and enjoyable passages.

Cocktails and Dinner at EYC:  There will be a cocktail reception on Saturday night followed by dinner and a keynote speaker. Chef Michael at EYC is known as one of the finest on Long Island Sound ($35). 

The keynote speaker will be Charlie Doane, cruising editor at Sail magazine. He will give a presentation called How Not to Get Rescued by a Coast Guard Helicopter, which will highlight his offshore rescue that occurred in January 2014.

Agenda - Hamburg Cove and Essex Yacht Club

Friday, June 21

17:00 – 19:00   Club rendezvous, OCC, SSCA and SDSA – Raft-up in Hamburg Cove (one mile north of Essex)

Saturday, June 22 - Essex Yacht Club

08:30 – 09:45       Registration and coffee

09:45 – 10:00       Welcome and Introductions – Bob Osborn, s/v Pandora 

10:00 – 11:00       USCG safety discussion and cutter on dock- USCG speaker

11:00 – 12:30       US Coast Guard SAR demonstration (J-Hawk helicopter)         

12:30 – 13:30       Buffet Lunch (included in registration) 

13:30 – 14:30       Weather routing to the Caribbean and Gulf stream strategies – Chris Parker

14:30-14:45         Break

14:45 – 15:45       Cruising the Windward Islands- Bob Osborn, s/v Pandora

15:45 – 17:00       Open House, visit blue water boats on bulkhead

17:00 – 18:00       Beer & Wine Reception (Cash Bar)

18:00—19:00       Dinner

19:00-20:00         Keynote Speaker: How not to be picked up by a USCG helicopter- Charlie Doane, Editor, Sail Magazine

Sunday, June 23 - Essex Yacht Club

08:00 – 09:15       Registration and Open Blue water boat tours, Visit blue water boats on bulkhead

09:15 – 09:30       Welcome- Bob Osborn, s/v Pandora

09:30 – 10:30       Roundtable: Preparing your boat for blue water- Moderator George Day, Blue Water Sailing Magazine

10:30-10:45          Break

10:45 – 11:45       Roundtable:  Cruising together, how to make it work - Tara Flanagan, Editorial Director, Cruisers University  

11:45-12:15         Life-raft deployment demonstration

12:15 – 13:15       Buffet Lunch (included in registration)

13:15 – 14:15       How to think like a weather router - Chris Parker

14:15-14:30         Break (last chance to bid on auction items)

14:30 – 15:30       Cruising the Canadian Maritimes- John van-Schalkwyk

15:30 – 16:30       Open Blue water boat tours, Visit blue water boats on bulkhead

 (Note: Silent Auction closes @ 15:30)

17:00: – 18:30      Cocktail Reception (Cash Bar)

Monday, June 25

09:00 – 12:00       Shore Side Support (Advance reservations required)

Attendees:  In addition to members of supporting organizations, the event will be by invitation from the Commodore of Essex Yacht Club, Tom Klin, to members of noted yacht clubs on Long Island Sound.  Attendance is limited to 100 and pre-registration will be required. 

Participating Complementary Organizations Include:  The Seven Seas Cruising Association,  Ocean Cruising ClubSalty Dawg Sailing Association and the Essex Yacht Club

Background:  The Essex Yacht Club is located on the CT River in Essex, CT, approximately 6 miles up the CT River on the eastern end of Long Island Sound, approximately 25 miles from Block Island. Essex is a popular destination for East Coast US sailors and yacht club cruises. 

About the Co-Chair: Bob Osborn, in addition to his membership in each of the supporting organizations, serves on the board of directors of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, a group that holds a number of blue water rallies each year, most notably the fall rally from Hampton VA, USA to the eastern Caribbean, the largest rally to the Caribbean from the US east coast, attracting in the neighborhood of 80-90 boats.  

For more information or to apply to be one of the “open boats” for the weekend, contact Bob Osborn,  event co-chair.   

We are very excited about this event and sincerely hope that you will be with us.
A special thanks to the leadership of SSCA, SDSA and OCC for helping to make this event possible.
Bob Osborn and George Van Drasek, Event co-founders and organizers.

Click Here to Register (Don't forget to register for Saturday Evening Dinner and Keynote Speaker!)