Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions while sailing on Keelforce include what to bring, how the weather impacts your charter and will we see dolphins? Take a look at Capt. Rick’s advice to make your sailing cruise a breeze.

What should I bring?

  • Camera

  • Sunscreen

  • Towel

  • Binoculars

  • Swimsuit

  • Jacket

  • Clothing for Season

  • Soft-soled Shoes

Will I fall victim to fish feeding nausea?

Charleston’s protected harbor generally provides a smooth ride and the crew can reduce sail area to limit motion, but if you’re concerned about seasickness, consult your physician for a recommendation on the best anti-nausea medication.

Are reservations required?

Advanced reservations are strongly suggested. Peak demand begins in mid-March continuing through late November with weekends and holidays often booking weeks ahead. We’re happy to accommodate last-minute requests, but a safe and comfortable cruise is crew and equipment dependent.

What is your tipping policy?

While never mandatory, if you feel the captain and crew provided exceptional service, then gratuities are sincerely appreciated. A normal gratuity is in the 15 – 20% range. Your safety, comfort and experience are our priority and hope you depart the vessel with a once in a lifetime experience.

If my plans change, can I cancel?

Cancellation, with a full refund is allowed with seven or more days advance notice. Within the seven-day window, no cancellations are allowed as we must schedule crew and other provisions within this time.

Can I bring food and alcoholic beverages on board?

Absolutely, bring as much or as little as you like to make the voyage enjoyable. Your cruise includes complimentary water, soft drinks and ice with ample storage in the refrigerator and auxiliary cooler. We proudly work with Caviar & Bananas for catering options. Check out the Caviar & Bananas Maritime Menu.

Will we see dolphins?

99.9% guaranteed! Charleston harbor is one of the best places to view Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins in their natural habitat along with diving pelicans, schools of baitfish and the ever-present seagulls.

Will the boat tip over?

No, Keelforce is stabilized with 6,000 pounds of ballast making the boat fast and stable! Our crew can adjust the sail area controlling heel (tipping/leaning over) to your comfort level.

Can I drive the boat and trim the sails?

Yes, join the captain and crew handling sails, steering and making important tactical decisions such as navigating to the nearest bar, restaurant or special site on the harbor. Sailing is our passion and we’re delighted to share the knowledge or have you sit back and enjoy the cruise.

Why the restriction on 6 passengers?

United States Coast Guard regulations limit the number of passengers to six on uninspected vessels. Keelforce can accommodate any number between one and six passengers, but it’s more fun with friends. There are no exceptions to this rule with children & infants counting as a passenger.  Children under 13 years of age must wear a USCG approved Type 1 Personal Floatation Device (PFD) commonly known as a life jacket. You are responsible for providing the child/children’s PFD which are sized by weight. If you require assistance securing a child’s PFD, please contact us in advance for information on several local marine suppliers. Adult PFD’s are included in the package.

How does weather impact my charter?

Weather, we don’t control it, just work with it! Captain Rick and the crew take every action to ensure your safety and comfort for your sailing cruise.  On the rare occasions when weather forces a cancellation, Keelforce will reschedule or provide a full refund.

What is the weather like in Charleston?

January & February are traditionally the coldest months is Charleston with temperatures averaging 60 F with wild swings on both sides of the average. By March, temperatures will rise into the 70 F range increasing steadily into the 90’s by July and slowly decreasing by early Fall. December is again hit or miss with temperatures in the 60’s. The biggest threat is afternoon thundershowers in July & August. However, due to the daily prevailing, southwesterly sea breeze, many of the thundershowers do not reach the coastal/harbor areas.

Is the boat compliant with United States Coast Guard regulations for Uninspected Passenger Vessels (UPV)?
Yes, although not required, Keelforce completes a United States Coast Guard Courtesy Inspection in May of each year which is acknowledged with a decal placed on the starboard side of the mast. This process ensures all documentation, safety equipment and navigational aids are available and in working order.
Where do we depart?
Daytime, Sunset Charters, Team Building, and Sailing Lessons depart from the Charleston Yacht Club located at 17 Lockwood Drive, Charleston, SC. We suggest parking as close to the gray building as possible. Meet our crew at the Charleston Yacht Club steps 15 minutes before your scheduled charter.
Wednesday Sunset Racing Charters depart from the Carolina Yacht Club at 50 East Bay Street. Meet our crew at the dock.