A Minnesota couple on vacation in Williamsburg took their three children sailing on the York River. They asked about the perfect sail and as luck would have it, this was it.
Jim Keane took the helm as an accomplished boater. “We don’t have boats,” he said. “Instead, we have boating friends. We bring the lunch and drinks, and they won’t even let me pay for fuel.” Truly great friends.
I approached the river from Sarah Creek just as the wind was beginning to pipe up from light and shifty to a steady breeze. Son David and I deployed both sails full out and zipped southwest downriver. Jim gracefully tacked as we crossed again. He picked up speed and took on a 37-foot sailboat with a yellow hull.
Within an hour we were quickly up wind near the Severn River, having tacked five times. We turned 180 degrees and began to put up the spinnaker. From there we shot straight upriver to the Yorktown monument on a glorious run with full spin and main. What’s more, I said, you look terrific.
From there, we tacked near VIMS and Yorktown five or six more times for a total run of 24 miles. Jim yielded the helm to the kids, who had a great time getting the feel of the rudder under water. As a bonus, we got to see dolphins playing near the boat. It was magical.
David asked numerous relevant questions about sailing and operating a charter. The one that stumped me was, “What goes wrong more than anything else, or that needs to be replaced more often?” I had to think about that because I generally consider what takes the most time.
The business breaks into two sectors, Marketing and Operations. Marketing encompasses writing, research, advertising, scheduling, reputation management and social media. Operations consists of compliance, maintenance, repairs, accounting, training, education and cleaning. Of all of those tasks, cleaning is the most time-consuming.
Finally I came up with an answer. Batteries! They are like congressmen. They have to be replace every two years.
Let’s Go Sail
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