The Salty Dawg Sailing Association has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 2011. That’s thanks to you. Each year, more and more cruisers join our “family” of folks passionate about blue water sailing. Most join us because they have heard from those of you who have participated in rallies or other Salty Dawg events in the past.  Word-of-mouth works.  Tell us what it’s like to be a Salty Dawg…..and we’ll share your experience with others who might be thinking about joining us in the future.  Thank you.



 Salty Dawg veteran Phil Worrall on Rum Runner told us his sea story by video. Click here to watch Rum Runner at sea. Send your favorite photos and videos to us! Click here.


“I am very excited to have been part of the Salty Dawg Rally to the Caribbean and to have earned Ocean Class qualification. I was so impressed with how organized the Rally was from events before and after, as well as all the communication during.”SANDY CURTIS, S/V DIVA
“I love running into Salty Dawgs when you least expect it! We met Kathy and Ralph on S/V Simplicity 3 1/2 years ago on our first rally to the Caribbean, now we are in the Exumas meeting up again! We’ve made so many friends joining the Salty Dawgs, and it’s so nice to see familiar faces everywhere we sail!”TAMMY SISSON S/V YOLO
We arrived well today in Green Turtle Cay. Manjack cut was ok, 5’ SE swell. Chris (Chris Parker, Marine Weather Center) – Thank you very much for all your help; the Gulf Stream window suggested by you was perfect. We couldn’t have done this challenging trip without your help. And a big thank you to the SaltyDawg organization for your personal advice!


Just wanted to  say we arrived safely in the Caribbean last Friday.  It was a very adventurous passage with all kinds of sailing; Beatiful 15 knots on the beam with sunshine to 40 knots and big waves at 3 in the morning triple reefed!  The Salty Dawg organization was a huge part of our success!  The passage to Maine was an excellent primer for the passage to the Caribbean. The comaraderie experienced along with advice from seasoned offshore sailors prepared us well.  We had a great time and a safe passage!  Moses (the dog on board) did great too.  We learned to heave to and take a break, letting Moses walk the decks and do his duty. Tack over when he’s finished and were off again!


The times we have spent with Salty Dawg sailors has been the highlight of our cruising life. Four years ago we did our first Rally with the Dawgs. After doing long distance racing and reading about the fun of rallys, we decided as we approached the time to cruise to the Caribbean we wanted this experience. It was the beginning of a love for passage making. Comradery, education, safety, and life long friends keep us coming back. Also giving us the courage to do bigger things ourselves, we sailed from Bermuda to the Azores and just crossed from The Cape Verdes to Barbados. Now we are joining up with the Spring Rally back to the U.S. coast, our fourth rally with the Dawgs.
It has been 4+ years since Mona and I left with your group in Salty Dawg 3 in November of 2013.  I also crewed with Phil Worrall on Rum Runner in Salty Dawg 2.  Last week we reached Grenada to finish our circumnavigation. To be honest it was never our goal.  We just left and never looked back.  Now that we have returned we are reflecting on how all this happened.  There were only 2 words that came to our minds.  Salty Dawg.  I just wanted to give you a shout out and say thank you.   We couldn’t have done it without you and the Dawg Pak. Heading up island from Grenada as I write this.  In a couple months we will be sailing back to the good old USA. Thanks again for everything,


Joining the Salty Dawgs was the best sailing decision we have made. The education and support for our first blue water sailing was fantastic and made all the difference between success and failure. Pulling and into a foreign port already knowing 3 or 4 people creates instant community. We would do this again in a heartbeat.


Lynn & Mark, sv Roxy

Aside from a charter in Hawaii, this was our first Blue Water experience. Months before the Rally even started we were getting help thru the Dawgs. Hank and Seale George reached out and met us for coffee to discuss our boat and experiences. Then Hank made a special trip to our dock at Yankee Point, Lancaster VA, to help Tom set up and learn the SSB. Hank also connected us with our great crew Dave Nelson. We were supposed to buddy boat with Dragon Thanks to the weather information supplied by Chris Parker thru the SDSA, we decided to leave a day early to arrive in Dutch Harbor before a predicted storm. The other boats met us there and we had a great captains meeting and dinner in Jamestown. After a couple of days exploring Jamestown, we were off to Mattapoisett for Harbor Day where we shared a lovely lobster dinner with John and Mary Maker from Akula. The following morning we all headed to the Cape Cod Canal, which takes to the Salty Dawg planning, we traversed with a favorable current pushing us along. My night watch was spectacular. The moon hadn’t risen yet when I entered the cockpit and clipped on at 11:45, so I was greeted with stars from horizon to horizon. It is amazing how beautiful it is to see the Milky Way over the ocean with no light pollution. About a half hour later, I had the pleasure of welcoming the waning moon as she began to peep over the horizon with an orange glow then rise to her full glory. Just before my watch ended, I hit the trifecta, Venus rose to take her place as the morning star. After 4 hours sleep, I went back on deck to find us motoring thru pea soup weaving our way through lobster pots. We could see the other Rally boats, Akula, Ariana and Magic Dragoon only on the AIS; and despite using radar, dodging the lobster boats was as difficult as weaving through their pots. After about 5-6 hours of straining our eyes and shouting directions to the helm, the fog lifted as we entered Rockland harbor picked up a ball, and celebrated our journey with beer and harbor watching. The next evening we enjoyed sharing tales of our journey and tasty ‘new shell’ lobster with our hosts, the Rockland Yacht Club. After seeing off our respective crews, RYC and SDSA members, Dawn and Archer played tour guide over the next 3 days introducing us to a lovely anchorage near North Haven and fun mooring in Buck’s Harbor. From there, Akula, Magic Dragoon and Stealin’ Time stuck together as we cruised to the Wooden Boat School, Southwest Harbor, Somme’s Sound and Northeast Harbor offering many opportunities for hiking, socializing and learning. We made great friends, we ate great food, we saw great sites and we built our skills and confidence. Thank you SDSA for this wonderful experience and we’re looking forward to November and the Fall Rally.


It was a challenging voyage, especially the first 3 days, but the support and friendship of the Dawgs were inspiring! The organization and the generous sponsors must be congratulated for a great job. We are now enjoying the Caribbean thanks to the Salty Dawgs.


I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for all your efforts in making the SDR happen.  In our case, we had intended to go to the Caribbean on our own and joined the Salty Dawgs for the social aspect and the communication network set in place while underway.  I don’t think we would have joined if the Salty Dawgs did not offer flexibility.  Since John and I both tend to be independent thinkers this was essential for us.  With that in mind, we left with the mind set that we were responsible for whatever would come our way and more came our way than we anticipated!


It was a great relief to me that the framework for communication was in place and we were able to connect with others and relay what was going on, receive weather information and it was, in general, just encouraging to have that daily communication.  I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this and I thank you for your being firm about the need for backup communications!  We definitely had some communication snafus that we had to work around and through.

Since our return to the Chesapeake we have been so touched by the outreach of the cruising community, we have experienced nothing but kindness and understanding during a time when we felt pretty horrible at the loss of our rig.  We are currently in South Carolina on the fast track for Florida where we will be doing repairs.  It looks like the next week is bringing us some warm weather, hallelujah!

John and I once again extend our heartfelt thanks for all the support of the Salty Dawgs, we wish you the very best in future rallies and hope our paths cross again some day!

Usually things that sound too good to be true are to good to be true. This is not the case with the Salty Dawgs. It’s run by sailors for sailors giving you all the benefits of an organised rally but with none of the downsides such as fixed departure dates or even fixed start or end locations. Even with all this flexibility there is a great sense of community built within the SDRers and companionship from having the shared joy of sailing and completing the challenge of crossing oceans.


We watched with horror in 2012 as the ARC fleet departed Las Palmas into shocking heavy weather and again in the Spring of 2013 when they left the BVI’s into 100’s of miles of no wind and vowed that the usual organised rallies were not for us. The Salty Dawg Fall Rally is no ‘usual rally’.

The Salty Dawgs, through their generous sponsors, enabled us to have a safe and successful crossing from the Caribbean to North America on our 34ft yacht. Had we gone our own way and not had the support of the rally and it’s included weather routing from Chris Parker, we would have been battered by a storm that was not forecast by GRIB’s or NOAA in a timely fashion.

Once we arrived in America the Salty Dawg support didn’t stop. Meeting up with Dawgs along the way enabled us to get much more out of our time in America than we could have had as ‘aliens’ in the USA.

Our sincere thanks go out to all of the Salty Dawg volunteers for all the hard work.

If you head south in November, or north in May you need to read about the Salty Dawg Rally and then join it. Why? Because it benefits everyone–your crew, your family/friends left behind, and especially the captain. Prior to the start there are social events so everyone can put faces to the names and gather valuable information/hints that will make the passage more comfortable. You can then begin to post position reports and blog entries that allow your family/friends to follow along throughout the voyage–they even record your daily radio contacts so each day out your families/friends can hear your voice.
Seminars are provided, a set of free charts are given, reduce/free moorings available in some sites, free coffee mugs, Salty Dawg bags, t-shirt, key rings, discounts, etc. are just some of the benefits.
Once out to sea you can access for FREE the service of Chris Parker and receive his specific reports to your locations. This made all the difference in the world to our route. We had 3 weather events converging where we were headed and Chris’s on the mark advice kept us in calm seas while we waited it out. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is THIS RALLY is a low key, high quality and superb services experience that once you join you will repeat over and over again. Thank you to the Salty Dawg volunteers for all the work….thank you to all the sponsors who donate so much, and thank you to our fellow Salty Dawgs who are now part of our larger family out at sea.


I have to say that the Salty Dawg rally is an incredible rally experience. From the pre-start staging, weather info, seminars and parties, the in transit weather briefings and checkins, to the arrival parties and discounts. The Salty Dawg Rally has saved me well over $1000 while cruising in the Caribbean this winter. I have gotten discount hull cleaning in Hampton, discount rig tuning in Hampton, free weather routing by Chris Parker (excellent), 10% off on groceries, discounts on moorings and dockage, a free Salty Dawg Mug, and a free chart set of the Caribbean,


The entire experience has been greatly enjoyable. Truly amazing for a rally run by volunteers. All involved have done an amazing job and a big thank you to the sponsors.