About Us


The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) is a Non-Profit educational organization that conducts seminars, rallies and rendezvous to help sailors realize their long distance cruising dreams…safely. The Association strives to transfer knowledge and skills from veteran “Salty Dawgs” to less experienced cruisers, enabling independent decision-making and offshore confidence.

The SDSA is a flexible close-knit collection of like-minded people with a passion for ocean sailing and the camaraderie of cruising life. The activities are made possible through the combined efforts of members, volunteers, sponsors and contributors.

Memberships in the Association are available for anyone interested in passage making or long distance cruising. Salty Dawg burgees are found on vessels around the world.


Little did Bill and Linda Knowles from Bristol, RI know what they were getting into when, in 2011, they contacted a few friends who would be sailing from the northeast to the BVI in the fall to see if they wanted to sail in company. From that small conversation, the Salty Dawg Rally was born.

Click here for the rest of the story.

From the beginning, sponsors have been crucial to the rally’s success. Special thanks to our Founding sponsors, those that have supported us since the beginning. They include:

Today, we are grateful to the over 40 sponsors who continually increase the value of our events.

Central to Salty Dawg operating philosophy is the belief that the best people to manage quality events are sailors with a passion to learn from each other and pass on their knowledge to those who are less experienced. The organization has always been managed by volunteers. Each year, more volunteers step up to introduce new services to our event participants.

Today, over 650 boats and more than 2,500 sailors have participated in Salty Dawg rallies. Over 50 volunteers and 40 sponsors are integral to the success of our events. The organization has grown from a casual cruise-in-company to a full-scale sailing association with multiple rallies, seminars, and sailor gatherings, governed by a non-profit organization dedicated to helping long-distance cruisers realize their dreams…safely.


2011: First Salty Dawg Fall Rally to the Caribbean
2012: First Salty Dawg Spring Rally to the US
2012: First Salty Dawg Rendezvous – Annapolis Boat Show
2012 Formation of the Salty Dawg Rally as a 501(c)(3) non profit educational organization (The Salty Dawg Rally, dba Salty Dawg Sailing Organization, EIN: 46-1339267)
2012: Formation of the First Salty Dawg Rally Board of Directors
2013: First Annapolis Seminar for Long Distance passage makers
2016: First Salty Dawg Rally to Maine
2016: Formation of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association
2017: First Salty Dawg Rally to Cuba


Rally Participants, 2011 to the Present
Articles by and about the Salty Dawgs
Press Releases of Salty Dawgs
Past Issues of Dawg Tales, the Salty Dawg Newsletter


As with all organizations, the secret to sustainability is a strong network of people working together to achieve our mission, maintain our passion, and have fun. As we look forward, we plan to increase our event schedule and educational programs, carrying on the legacy of the organization’s founders.

The expansion of the Salty Dawg Rally to the Salty Dawg Sailing Association means that we have begun to build the organization from a small number of founders and volunteers who managed a couple of rallies each year to a large contingent capable of launching a full schedule of educational, sailing, and social programs. We’ll still be volunteer-run and rely on the willingness of experienced cruisers to pass on their knowledge to the next generation….always with an emphasis on camaraderie and fun.

We are excited to be reaching out to a broader membership, expanding on our original focus on experienced “Salty Dawgs” to include cruisers interested in developing bluewater sailing skills for future ocean adventures, whether as crew or as boat owners.  Our membership rolls are increasing as a result. Please join us.

Thanks to our members, event participants, volunteers, and sponsors, the Salty Dawg Sailing Association is a growing, vibrant, mission-oriented organization. Without you, this would not be possible. Thank you.

—— Hank George, President


Hank George, President

Linda Knowles

Vice President 

Director of Membership Services [Member recruitment, member renewal, member data, Dawg Tales newsletter]

Rick Palm

Treasurer [General accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, financial statements, tax filings]

Director of Rally Management [Rally management tools, recruit Rally leaders, plan rally program, manage implementation of rallies]

George Day

Secretary [Board minutes, organizational files, establish library of organizational documents accessible by Directors]

Dutch Dresser

Director of Rendezvous Events [Develop rendezvous criteria/template, solicit rendezvous hosts, organize rendezvous, port host program, partner club program]

Bill Knowles

Director of Development [Solicit sponsors, manage sponsor relationships, provide input to Treasurer for sponsor invoicing, provide input to Communications Coordinator for sponsor information on our website]

Bob Osborn

Director of Education [Plan Annapolis and Hampton Seminars, invitation of speakers, facility and support equipment reservation, attendee reservations, maintain on-line technical reference library]