Salty Dawg Rallies


As a not-for-profit organization operated by volunteers, hosting blue water rallies in the U.S. and Caribbean is our specialty.  Each rally is an opportunity for sailors to cruise-in-company, with the safety, camaraderie, and passage-preparation assistance that only a rally can provide, with minimal requirements and minimal costs.  Meet new friends and re-unite with old ones.  Kids and pets are always welcome.

The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) mission is to educate sailors, build camaraderie, and facilitate offshore passages.  Our rally goal is to conduct quality rallies with the flexibility that allows each Captain to make informed decisions, at the lowest cost for all participants, and provide the best possible experience.  We are all about "sailors helping sailors" and connecting experienced sailors with sailors still learning to make a passage.


  • Our rallies are open to all sailors, with some experience requirements.  SDSA Members participate at lower fees.  Non-Member rally fees cover SDSA Membership dues for their first year.
  • Fun, friendships, camaraderie and great social events will give you an introduction to like-minded cruisers who will become life-long friends.

  • Extensive preparation assistance from experienced Salty Dawgs and industry-leading experts.

  • Weather briefings, daily forecasts, and personalized routing guidance from Chris Parker of The Marine Weather Center.

  • Flexibility and an emphasis on supporting the decisions of each individual skipper based on what’s best for his or her boat and crew.

  • On-line fleet tracking through PredictWind for friends and families to watch your progress during offshore events….and to better locate you in case of an emergency.

  • Shore side coordination, support and at-sea communications.

  • Discounts and special promotions from our sponsors.  Access to a broad array of SDSA Member-Only benefits.

  • Access to the Salty Dawg Crew Service, to identify potential crew members.

Our goal is to provide high quality events with the greatest possible value at the lowest possible entry fee with minimal requirements – all made possible by the support of over 60 industry-leading sponsors and dozens of experienced cruisers who volunteer their time.

What is a Salty Dawg Rally?

The SDSA definition of a rally is a safe and social passage-making.  There may be some fun competition, but SDSA rallies aren't a race!  SDSA rallies are all about passage-making with friends, new and old; feeling confident and prepared on departure day; having support at sea; and providing a celebration on a successful arrival.


The SDSA knows that undertaking any passage-making can be a daunting prospect, even for seasoned sailors.  Our rally pre-departure schedule is designed to help crews prepare their boats with confidence.  Talking to other Salty Dawgs is a great way to share knowledge and concerns, and to make friends who will become cruising friends for life.

When you join a SDSA rally, you are provided with comprehensive information and advice on how to prepare your boat and crew. 

Your Safety

The SDSA has a Safety Manager working to ensure all sailors will successfully and safely complete the passage.  He takes your safety very seriously.  We maintain a close liaison with the US Coast Guard to ensure all boats in the fleet can be assisted, if required.  

Volunteer Opportunities

If you would like to join us as a volunteer, we would love to benefit from your passion, personality, and expertise as we plan future events.  If blue water sailing is your dream, and you aren’t quite ready to make the passage, becoming involved in SDSA is a great way to begin your journey.  Click here to volunteer. 

  • Rally Manager: this position acts as the Rally Director's assistant. For each rally the Rally Manager does the detailed organizing and planning for that rally. Sharing with the Rally Director, hosts some of the Captains Calls. Participation in the rally itself is not necessary.  Positions are available and flexible to accommodate your time for availability, for any one of our six rallies.
  • Fleet Captain: this position takes over in the departure location with help from the Port Captains. The Fleet Captain and Port Captain share in welcome activities and events. After departure from any port, keeps the fleet organized. Positions are available for any one of our six rallies.
  • Port Captains: this position takes the plans made in cooperation with the Rally Manager and implements them at each Port. The Port Captains and the Fleet Captain share in welcome activities and events. Positions are available for any one of our six rallies.

                        SDSA 2021 Rally Schedule


The SDSA East Coast Rally to the US departs the United States Virgin Islands May 1, weather permitting and is expected to last 7-10 days.


THE SDSA DelMarVa Rally circumnavigates the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia Peninsula departing from Hampton, VA June 1, weather permitting and is expected to last 6 days.


The SDSA Bermuda Rally departs from Hampton, VA in early June, weather permitting. This rally is not being held in 2021 due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements.


The SDSA Downeast Rally has departure locations from the Chesapeake Bay and Narragansett Bay areas.  The departures from Hampton and Annapolis are on July 8 (weather permitting) and Newport July 13 with final landfall in Maine July 16.


The SDSA Maritime Rally is held in alternate years and departs from the Northeast US coast for points in Nova Scotia. This year’s Rally spans July 31- Aug 11.


The 2021 SDSA Caribbean Rally departs the US East Coast on November 2, weather permitting. This rally goes to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. A crossing to Antigua usually takes 10-14 days. The crossing to the Bahamas 7-8 days.



As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the SDSA will continue to explore the best ways to conduct its 2021 activities in as safe and enjoyable a manner as possible.  Towards that goal, we have established protocols and requirements that will be in effect for the 2021 DelMarVa Rally, Downeast Rally and summer rendezvous events.  In addition, please note that the SDSA Board of Directors will adopt separate policies for the 2021 Fall Caribbean Rally and Annapolis Rendezvous, and further updates on those events will be announced to our Members and subscribers, and shown on the SDSA webpages.

Below are requirements the SDSA Board has adopted for the 2021 DelMarVa Rally, Downeast Rally and summer rendezvous events.  The specific protocols will be provided on the webpages for each event.

The CDC states that "all COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19."  Furthermore, these vaccines are increasing in availability throughout the US.    Therefore, the SDSA has adopted the following requirements and guidelines for participation in the 2021 DelMarVa Rally, the 2021 Downeast Rally, and the 2021 summer rendezvous events:   

1)  Individuals who have completed an effective vaccination regimen are invited to participate without a need to isolate or test for COVID before the rally, and must agree to follow CDC guidelines for vaccinated individuals.

2) Individuals who have a history of prior COVID infection and no vaccination yet, a medical reason (contraindication) that prevents them from taking any of the US EUA or fully approved vaccines, or for logistical reasons are unable to get one (e.g., too young to be eligible), must agree to follow CDC guidelines for unvaccinated individuals.   In addition to following CDC guidelines, unvaccinated participants must agree to avoid risky activities for the 10-14 days leading up to the start of the rally, and to provide a negative COVID test a few days before they join the rally. 

Click here to see the most current CDC guidance. At this time, local and state guidelines appear to be easing travel restrictions, but participants should adhere to any regulations that are in effect at the time of the events. If visiting other countries in your travels, visit Noonsite for Covid restrictions for these countries.  

Please refer to each event's homepages to learn the specific details for 2021.  Note also that should a significant change in the COVID-19 situation occur, a modification of the event requirements and recommendations may become necessary.  

We appreciate the diligence of our captains and crew in complying with the protocols and requirements we have established for these events over the past year.  The SDSA strives to keep all our participants safe, as we continue to plan both safe and enjoyable 2021 activities. 

Hank George, President, SDSA

April 30, 2021