Open-Boat Weekend at the Essex Yacht Club

Salty Dawg Sailing Association and Ocean Cruising Club Rendezvous 


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Date:  Saturday through Monday, July 8th to 10th. 

Location:  Essex Yacht Club, Essex CT (5 miles up the CT River and 25 miles from Block Island)

Organizer:  Bob Osborn, President Salty Dawg Sailing Association

Join us for weekend of fun on your way north to the Cape or beyond for the summer or visit us by car.   Attendance is limited to 50 SDSA and OCC guests in addition to EYC members that wish to participate. 

This event will give attendees an opportunity to learn from those that are “out there doing it” what makes for a good blue water cruising boat from both experienced and first timers.  

You will also learn more about being a part of the community of “Dawgs” that head to the Caribbean every fall as part of the Salty Dawg Caribbean Rally as well as highlights of what to expect when cruising the Windward and Leeward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean.  

This event is for both newbies and old salts.  Experienced already?  Pay if forward and be a part of the event to introduce others to the world of blue water passage making and what it takes to make a boat a  home.

As a special highlight, a number of well-equipped blue water cruising boats will be on the EYC docks and available for tours.  Attendees can talk to knowledgeable owners about what it takes to make for a safe and comfortable blue water voyager. 

Saturday:  July 8th

11:00 to 12:00 Registration at Essex Yacht Club.  Buffett lunch.  $18.00 advance reservations required. Register here

11:00-13:00 open boat tours on the docks at EYC.   There will be a selection of well outfitted blue water cruising boats to tour on the EYC docks. (open to program attendees and all EYC members)

13:00 to 16:00  An afternoon of panel discussions with experienced cruisers about outfitting a cruising boat for extended cruising and blue water sailing. 

16:00-17:00      Blue water boat tours on the docks. 

17:00-18:00      Cocktail hour in the Wetmore Room overlooking the CT River. (cash bar)

18:00-19:30      Dinner followed by a discussion about passage making to Antigua and cruising the Leeward and Windward Islands.  $35/pp advance payment required. Register here


Sunday:  July 9th            

08:00 to 09:00   Coffee and donuts in the Wetmore room, EYC. 

09:00-10:00       Tours of blue water boats on the EYC docks.  (open to program attendees and EYC members)

Afternoon and evening:  Raft up in Hamburg cove (1 mile north of EYC) or live music at EYC if its raining. 

Monday:  July 10th

20:00-23:00  Sea shanties at the Griswold Inn.  The “Gris” as it’s know to locals, bills itself as the oldest pub in America, opened in 1776.  Every Monday night the Motley Crew performs in the Tap Room to a packed house, sea shanties that will delight.  Order a pint of Revolutionary Ale and enjoy the fun.  See this link for Gris event calendar

There’s plenty to do in the area so feel free to stick around for a while.

The EYC will offer discounted moorings at $30/night and selected boats will be offered an opportunity to tie up to the Dock on Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning to participate in the Open Boat segment of the event.  Contact Bob Osborn if you would like your boat to be featured.  Moorings limited so please make reservations to secure your spot. [email protected] or call the club directly at +1-860-767-8121 and ask for the launch shack.

The Essex Yacht Club is located on the CT River about 5 miles up from Long Island Sound and about 25 miles from Block Island.  Bob is currently the president of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, a group dedicated to helping cruisers develop blue water skills and organizes the largest rally to the Caribbean from the US east coast.  The 2022 Salty Dawg rally to the Caribbean was the largest yet with more than 120 boats heading south, to the Bahamas or Caribbean, with most heading to Antigua.   

Many cruisers visit Essex each summer, a quintessential new England town.   In addition to discounted moorings, there is plenty of space to anchor in the river, opposite the club.  And nearby Hamburg Cove is less than a mile away and a great spot to enjoy time swimming in fresh water. 

Visit this link to sign up for the event. Space is strictly limited so don’t delay. 

For more information or to apply to participate on the panels and have your boat featured as an “open boat”, contact Bob Osborn at [email protected] or +1-201-315-3914 WhatsApp.

Refund Policy: Refunds available until 7 days prior to event.