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March 24, 2016 How to, Sailing, York River

Sailing a New Boat

Sailing a New Boat, Williamsburg Charter Sails

Don Schreffler just bought an old sailboat with another fellow and then went sailing on a new boat to get the feel. (New to him.) “We were going to pay $2,500 but the owner couldn’t start the engine. He was really frustrated about it and gave us the boat for $1,000. My buddy is a good mechanic and fixed the engine, so there we are.” They stole the boat essentially.

The next step was to orient Don’s family to the joys of sailing on Chesapeake Bay. The Schreffers live within four miles of the water, at North Beach, Maryland. On a breezy afternoon in Williamsburg, he took his wife Shirley and their two young children sailing along the York River to get them in the groove. We reefed the mainsail and left the genoa wrapped to avoid too much heeling. They loved it.

Sailing a New Boat, Williamsburg Charter SailsShirley used to run nonprofits and now is the top deputy for the director of Social Services for Prince George’s County, Maryland. We got to talking about casework, and she surprised me. “Some of our work involves the slave trade, which is to say labor and sex. Most people assume they’re immigrants, but in fact 90 percent of the slave trade in this country consists of Americans. They are being exploited in everything from nail salons to farming, and more.”

She just finished drafting a Workplace Protection policy for her department, to ensure the clients are safe and that her own staff is safe out in the field. “The policy addresses domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence and stalking. We are, after all, representatives for protecting the most vulnerable people in society, so we need to sort out how to do that and how to report any violations. We’re sharing the policy with directors in other county departments and may take it statewide.” While coping with gusts of wind, it occurred to me Shirley’s policy is a gust of fresh air.

Let’s go sail. The season is now open for sailing on warm sunny days. To see the rates and reserve a date for a sailboat charter, click here. To check out reviews from sailors, click here. To become a crew member on a charter sail or to tell us your sailing story, click here.

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