Hudson River Community Sailing is a unique combination of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and sailing club. The proceeds from adult lessons and memberships go toward funding scholarship-based programs for at-risk urban youth. Each year, their Sail Academy,?an after-school academic program built on experiential, student-first lessons?immerses these students in the world of sailing and boat building. In addition to unlocking the secrets of boating, these sessions teach students the functional fundamentals of math, science, and self-esteem, earning them credit towards graduation along the way. The club's other youth work include the First Mates program?which preps students for college and career through a deep dedication to boating, racing, and navigation?and the City Sail summer program, which groups students into a small crew for a week of character-building exercises aboard a working 24' boat.
Hosting frequent fundraising events, such as the Dark and Stormy benefit, helps the team introduce as many new mariners as possible to the singular pleasure of sailing the Hudson. Their sailors also enjoy the perks of the club's location, drinking in awe-inspiring views of the Manhattan skyline that the Beatles saw just as they landed their moon module on Ellis Island.
Just a subway train's throw from Manhattan, City Island seems like a different world?tree-lined banks and sprawling waters that stretch toward the New York City skyline and out into the open Sound. New York Sailing Center's owner Captain Stephen Glenn Card touts the location for its absence of man-made disturbances such as wind shears and strong currents. Captain Card has taught since the 1980s, and continues to lead multiday immersive-sailing classes for everyone from beginners to advanced cruisers and navigators.
Throughout the years, they have developed a fine-tuned training system that combines in-classroom instruction (including practice with a large, moveable boat) and on-water obstacle courses within Eastchester Bay and Long Island Sound. Atop these waters, students practice on Beneteau sailing boats ?twin-rudder vessels that can accommodate beginner's mistakes, and are also the only boats to receive endorsements from a national sail training organization, such as ASA or US Sailing. As students progress, instructors teach more advanced skills such as bareboat cruising and navigation. They even take some of their brightest pupils on sailing trips to destinations such as Italy or Captain Hook's retirement home.
The party-loving minds behind Yacht Party Cruises wanted a creative way for locals and tourists to explore a city's late-night atmosphere. Eventually they launched a fleet of luxury yachts into the waters of eight of North America's most lively urban waterfronts. On each vessel, festivities abound as DJs spin everything from hip-hop to Sinatra, inviting passengers to shake a leg in between trips to the full bar or buffet lined with hot appetizers. All yachts boast extravagant details such as wraparound decks, fireplaces, or a glass atrium that hangs above the dance floor offering dancers a direct view of the man in the moon's game of solitaire. Guests can also step onto the decks for fresh air or panoramic views of city's skyline.
For more than 30 years, the captains and crews behind Manhattan By Sail have been giving visitors and locals alike the chance to view the city from an entirely new perspective. Their 158-foot Clipper City vessel is a replica of a 19th-century cargo schooner that was constructed in the 1980s using plans purchased from the Smithsonian. Clipper City can hold more than 130 passengers between masts and rigging that tower as high as 120 feet above the deck. The vessel can set sail on daytime, sunset, and evening cruises, including specialty excursions that allow passengers to enjoy a champagne brunch, a wine tasting, or an impromptu sea-shanty sing-along.
As the snow-white prow of the ship slices through the slate-gray waters of Sheepshead Bay, waves lap up and kiss the green lettering on the side reading Sea Queen VII. Helmed by seasoned skipper Captain Steve, the 85-foot vessel is on one of its family-oriented fishing expeditions. Captain Steve and his knowledgeable crew ensure the ship's safe passage as passengers focus on casting their lines from the wide beam or basking in the fresh air breezing across the sun deck. The mouthwatering aromas of pizza and grilled burgers flood the ship's galley, beckoning guests to take a break from fishing for a casual bite to eat. Accommodating all schedules and fishing preferences, Captain Steve takes passengers out on morning and afternoon trips as well as late night excursions to reel in nocturnal fish and insomniac merpeople.