Come Sail Away (or What is a “Sail Out”)

“I’m sailing away,
Set an open course for the virgin sea,
‘Cause I’ve got to be free,
Free to face the life that’s ahead of me,
On board, I’m the captain, so climb aboard,
We’ll search for tomorrow on every shore, …”

Styx 1977

And at HMBYC, you have many opportunities to explore new horizons.  We caught up with Leann Nassar, our volunteer Cruise Out Coordinator, who tells us more about exploring the Bay…

What exactly is a “sail out” that I hear so many people talking about?

A “sail-out” (also known as a “cruise out”) is when club members take their boats and visit other yacht clubs (generally arriving by sea, but land yachts are also welcome!) over a weekend.


Usually the other yacht clubs are a day trip away (maybe two days if going up the Sacramento Delta).  We talk about “moving the party from HMBYC to somewhere else.”  Once the boats and others arrive (Saturday), then a cocktail party and open boat visitation starts around 4pm – cocktails/wine/snacks.  Folks move from boat to boat visiting with each other and seeing the different kinds of setups (galley, sleeping quarters, navigation stations, etc).  Some of the clubs we visit have restaurants and the party might move on to dinner.  Other clubs just have a bar – and that creates a different kind of fun!

Wow, that does sound like fun, but I don’t know much about sailing and I don’t have a boat…

There are many ways to participate in a “sail out” or “cruise out.”  For novice sailors, it’s always possible to catch a ride on someone’s boat and be a crew member.  All of the captains are experienced teachers and enjoy introducing Bay sailing to newbies!  If timing doesn’t work, then arriving via carpools in land yachts works well too – especially if staying over night in the area near the club.

So, any good inside stories about these sail outs?


“What happens on the cruise out, stays on the cruise out!”  Often, the coordinator for that event will arrange some kind of special activity.  Petaluma is a great destination with lots to do (cheese factory tour, historical museum docent walking tour).  Benecia is great for antiquing.  Encinal had a great outdoor wedding last time we were there (no one we knew).   And Encinal has an outdoor pool that we coastsiders really enjoy.  Some people even reported tan lines last year!

OK, I’m hooked.  How can I get involved?

The best way to get involved is to send an email to and ask to be added to the mailing list!  And then, SHOW UP!  Last year, I traded my spot on our boat for wheels – two people sailed back from Petaluma to Pier 39 and I drove their car to our house in HMB.  It was a GREAT weekend for many reasons.  You really get to know your fellow members in a new environment and get to experience the best of boating on the Bay.

Any ideas where we’ll be heading this year?

The best destinations are Petaluma and Encinal (on Alameda) in my opinion.  This year, we will talk about Vallejo, Tiburon, Benicia, and others as possibilities.  Petaluma is tide-dependent, so we look ahead at the tide charts to decide on a date.  If you want to help decide, please come to the planning meeting on Tuesday, January 21 from 8-9pm at the club (and an after dinner glass of wine!).

Thanks Leann for sharing your experiences.  And members at any experience level, please take advantage of these opportunities to craft your own journey.  Feel free to share your sail out experiences or comments below.





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    2 Responses to “Come Sail Away (or What is a “Sail Out”)”

    1. Jesse Says:

      Sailing is definitely something I would love to try! When out on my boat I see sail boats and always wondered how it would fee to sail. Is a must on my “to do” list. Thanks for sharing!

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