Frequently Asked Questions...
Is there electricity on the boat?
How far do you go?
As Capt. Lance likes to joke, "We go about half way." The truth is, every trip is different! We always depart from Thompson’s Wharf in Belfast, Maine. From there, we head out to Belfast Harbor, set sail, and enjoy as much of Penobscot Bay as the wind and tide allow. Most sailings are two hours long, with others scheduled for four, or even six hours! Some concessions on return times are expected. If your group has tight time plans please let a crew-member know at the time of boarding.
How big is the Timberwind?
"Winnie" is 96 feet from the tip of the bowsprit to the end of the main boom and 70 feet on deck.
How many people can the boat hold?
The Timberwind can accommodate groups of up to 35 guests.
Can I book the boat for my private party?
Yes! We have some great options for group rates and charters. Basically, your group can pick a day and time that is open (where no tickets for day sails have been sold), and we can give your group the boat exclusively. Our 2-hour charter rate is $1450. Longer charters and relative pricing is available upon request. If your group would simply like to book a block of tickets (without an exclusive charter of the vessel), please contact us directly and we will be happy to make you arrangements. In general, our group rate equates to: buy nine, 10th ticket is free.
If tickets are already booked for your preferred time & day, or if your event is structured differently, just contact us. We are happy to work with you.
What should I bring?
We recommend a small day pack. You should think about any snacks you want (although we have snacks for sale aboard), an extra layer or two, rain gear, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, your camera and anything else that helps you relax. Knitting and books are good choices, but if you bring an e-reader, you might be able to swap content with new friends.
** If you have children 12 and under coming aboard, we recommend bringing your own life jackets (if you already have them). Although we have some aboard, a life-jacket your kiddos are used to will make them more comfortable.
Do you sail in the rain?
Yes, we do sail in the rain on occasion. Enjoyment is as simple as the right clothing choices (and fun weather really does make for great stories). We are happy to make affordable recommendations on rain gear prior to your sail.
Are there bathrooms on board?
Yes. There are two marine heads (toilets) on the Schooner Timberwind. Keep in mind that most sails are only two hours long, and a little pre-planning can prevent any need for a lesson in the finer points of ship-board head usage.
Is there an age minimum for child passengers?
Although we do not have an age minimum for children, we recommend that you use your own judgement upon bringing infants or toddlers on your trip. We find that young children (typically 3 and younger) can quickly become uncomfortable with the temperature, wind, and movement shifts aboard the vessel and do not get the most enjoyment from their experience.
Please remember that per U.S. Coast Guard regulations, all passengers 12 years old and younger are required to wear a PFD (life-jacket) while on-board the Timberwind. If parents have a life-jacket that their child is used to, we strongly recommend bringing it along for use on the Timberwind.
Will I get seasick?
The waters of Belfast and Northern Penobscot bay are protected from the more rough waters associated with the open ocean. When the wind fills her sails and she is cutting through the water "Winnie" actually becomes more stable. However, everyone's experience with this will be a little different. Being well rested and staying hydrated can help you have a better experience. A little pre-planning, if you have a history of motion sickness, can also help prevent illness.
Can I bring my dog/pet?
No. Because we want the ensure the comfort of all passengers, we do not allow pets aboard the vessel unless they are service animals.
Someone in my group has mobility issues, will they be able to enjoy their day?
Many of our guests with mobility issues are still able to fully enjoy their day. We suggest coming down to the boat ahead of time to check things out, and talk to our crew about your needs and options. We hope to make sailing enjoyable for all. For more information contact us.
Will I learn to sail?
Although sailing takes lots of time and experience to really get the hang of it, we are happy to teach you as much as you would like to know in the time we have. Sailing is one of those situations that are best learned through actually doing it, and one great option to achieve this is through our Getaway Pass. This gets you 5 day or sunset sails during the season! It's a definite chance to learn more about the boat, sailing, crew, the Bay, and anything else that strikes your fancy.
Do you serve food and drinks on board?
We do not serve food and drinks in the traditional sense. We offer complimentary coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We also have a snack bar stocked with items like: potato chips, cookies, peanuts, and instant oatmeal on sale for $1 apiece. We also have bottled juice, water, and cans of soda for $1. Guests are welcome to bring their own favorite food and beverages as well.
Can I bring alcohol?
Yes. Guests are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages on board. We ask all guests to drink responsibly. Underage drinking of alcoholic beverages is strictly forbidden.
Is there electricity on the boat?
There is not guest-available electricity on the boat. All of our navigation equipment and lights run on DC batteries that we charge when at the dock. Because of this, we recommend charging all of your devices prior to boarding.
Does the Timberwind have an engine?
There are no engines on board the Schooner Timberwind. We use what is called a yawl boat, named "HANK" (say that in a deep throaty voice). Hank helps the Timberwind safely depart from and arrive back to Thompson's Wharf. When we are out on the bay she is powered by the wind in her sails.
What will we see?
Keep a look out for all kinds of wildlife on Penobscot Bay. Although everyday is different, you may see: harbor porpoise, harbor seals, eagles, sea birds, and fish. If you are lucky, our friend "Bubbles" the harbor seal will be there to lead us home. It would be a very rare sighting to see a whale in Penobscot bay. If you join us for our longer 6-hour All Day on the Bay sail, you may have an opportunity to see some lighthouses.
Do you have dockside parties?
Yes! Keep an eye on our events page. The latest happenings will be there. If you would like to throw a party at the wharf, just contact us.
What does Maine Day Sail & the Schooner Timberwind do during the winter?
Maine Day Sail spends the winter planning and preparing for the next sailing season. We keep the Schooner Timberwind in the water, right here at Thompson's Wharf, for the winter. The cold, salt water is good for her hull and helps keep her legacy alive. The Timberwind was built in Maine and has never left Maine waters; even the icy frigid ones we might have on occasion.