Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Morning Lanterns Photo by Chad Sibert

What we are asked most often

Because a trip on a windjammer is so unique, you may not yet understand exactly what it entails.  We have listed questions that come up often, and if you don’t see your question here, LET US KNOW! Someone else probably wants to know the same thing.

“Can I come by myself, or do I have to charter the whole boat?”

Both. You can be a group as small as one and as large as 24. Many folks come by themselves and make long-lasting friendships by the end of the week. Our schooner is also perfect for family reunions, large and small. Our prices are listed per person and we have a group rate for charters.

“How do I get to you?”

There are several ways to get to us including plane, train and automobile. This link will take you to our “How to get to us” page.


“The facilities- two bathrooms and one shower- how does that work for 24 people?”

We know that this ratio seems simply impossible, but IT WORKS! Mostly because things on a boat are a bit different then at home. For starters, the bathrooms are called “heads” and contain only one thing…a toilet. That’s it. This means shaving, face washing, hair-doing and teeth brushing all happen in your cabin which has a sink and mirror. As for the showers, once we leave the dock, we have all the water we will need for everyone to take one shower per day provided no one expects to sing the first act of Madame Butterfly in there. All shower singing is done outside of the shower. Basically, you get in, you get clean, and you get out. Simple, and it works!

“Do I have to know anything about sailing?”

No way! If you want to learn, we (and our crew) are more then happy to teach you.

“Do we get to help sail the boat?”

You can do as much or as little as you like. We encourage everyone to be a part of the team that gets us going in the morning, sails the boat during the day, and helps us anchor at night. We also need plenty of help in the galley, and we encourage everyone to take a turn at the dish basin. You can even take a turn at the wheel if you like, or have Capt. Jon teach you to navigate. It’s fun! Everyone has a great time and by the end of the week you’re like old friends.

“What if I have a special diet or am allergic to certain foods?”

Chef/Captain Annie can work around almost any diet restriction or preference. However, you’ll need to bring any foods or medicine special to your specific circumstance. Call before you come (or let us know when you book) and we’ll figure it out.

“I have a CPAP machine. Will that be an issue?”

We can accommodate some CPAP machines however with more and more varying styles not all work with our battery system.  The newer machines, ones that have mist humidifiers, fans and heaters do not work. If you have an older style machine you can bring, please do so and bring a DC style plug (cigarette lighter plug) with you. You should also bring your AC style plug as a back up. We do not have standard outlets aboard to plug into.  Please let us know when you are booking if you will be bringing a machine like this aboard.

“Can we go swimming or fishing?”

Yes and Yes! Every week we have people, brave souls, who swim. We won’t lie…IT’S COLD! But it feels great (when you get out). As the summer goes on, the water warms up to a balmy 65 (or so) degrees. You are welcome to bring a fishing pole, we do not supply lures or bait.

“What is the best time to sail with you?”

Our favorite times are either early or late in the season. In May and June, the days are long and the sailing is fabulous. Plus, we are just so excited to be back on the bay again! September and October bring fall colors, crisp, clean air, and the best star-gazing ever! Early and late in the season we also have the advantage of being less hectic. Kids are back in school, fewer people are traveling and the summer cruisers have either not arrived or returned to their homeports.

“Do we get to get off the boat during the week?”

Yes, we anchor every night in a different location, and we always give you an opportunity to walk and explore ashore, either in the morning or the evening. Every harbor is lovely and individual in its own way. What you find ashore changes with each place we go. One time you might find an old historic fishing village or maybe a quiet country walk and a field of wildflowers. Another time might find you shopping in a quaint artist shops or passing the time with a friendly, local Mainer.

“Do we sail all day and night or do we stop?”

We set sail in the morning after breakfast and anchor in a different harbor every night. After the sails are lowered and folded and the deck is tidied, we put the canvas awning up and snuggle down for the night. We have hors d’oeurves, some have cocktails, and then we have dinner while at rest.

“What about drinks (wine, beer, liquor, and more)?”

There is no alcohol provided however, you are welcome to bring your own. The same is true for soft drinks, fruit juice, or bottled water if that is your preference. All of these can be purchased in Rockland in the morning before we sail and can be stowed in our icebox. We provide coffee – both regular and decaf – tea, hot chocolate, lemonade, and water. Ice and an ice chest are available on deck.

“Where do we go during the week?”

We don’t have a set itinerary, we truly don’t. Our gorgeous sailing grounds are between Boothbay to the South West and Bar Harbor to the East. We visit places like Brooklin, Islesboro, Castine, Stonington, Bucks Harbor and Vinalhaven. Because we don’t have an engine, we are a true ‘sailing’ vessel. We sail just like they did 100 years ago and 100 years before that. Don’t worry though; we have a sturdy yawl boat (or push –motor- boat) to help us if the wind dies. There are so many beautiful places to choose from that we let the wind and tide take us to our next destination.

“How big are the bunks?”

74” x 24”

“What if I am claustrophobic, can I do this kind of trip?”

Well, the only one who can really answer this is you, but we can give you the information that you need to make your decision. The bulk of your time will NOT be spent in your cabin. You will be outside in the fresh air and open space. Most people clean up, change their clothes and sleep in their cabins. That’s it. Now you do need to know that there is no wasted space in the cabins and they are definitely “cozy,” i.e. this is not a space in which you can do aerobics.  You may actually see Captain Anne doing some Yoga on deck.

“Do you have an age limit?”

Our age minimum is 12 years old, but we do make the occasional exception. On our Kids and Family trips the age minimum is 6 years old.

“Will we see whales or puffins?”

We will do our best to find whales for you, but it’s not a sure thing. What is a sure thing? Bald eagles, osprey, porpoise, seals, sea ducks and sea birds. Puffins are actually very rare and can only be seen from two islands where they have established rookeries. Unfortunately these islands are not within our sailing grounds.

“Smoking?”

We are a completely smoke free vessel for the duration of all trips while aboard.

“What if there is inclement weather?”

Your guess on the weather is as good as ours! The best we can do is to provide you with a packing list, included in your confirmation. Follow our list and you’ll be warm, dry, and comfortable no matter the weather. We generally sail rain or shine, but we will stay in port rather than endure rough seas. Please understand that our policy is as follows: in the unlikely event that your trip is delayed or shortened due to prolonged severe weather we do not issue refunds for time spent in port.

“What should I bring for seasickness?”

Very rarely is seasickness a problem because of the easy motion and steadiness of the vessel and the protected waters that we cruise. Seasickness would be bad for our business, so we’ll do everything possible to avoid those sorts of situations.  If you are concerned, bringing a natural remedy such as tea, ginger, saltines, olives (yes, really), or an over-the-counter remedy is typically enough.

“Do we dress for dinner?”

Absolutely not – life aboard the J. & E. Riggin is relaxed, informal, and casual. You will be spending most of your time in jeans, shorts, or bathing suits. When you are packing, remember to bring old, comfortable clothing. You will find that fashion is unimportant on a windjammer.

“What should I pack?”

Here is a list of clothing you will want to bring. DO NOT OVERPACK.

  • Sneakers, deck shoes, or soft soled shoes (2 pair)
  • Wool socks (2 pair)
  • Slacks, jeans, or sweat pants (elastic waists are really comfortable)
  • Shorts and shirts (long and short sleeved)
  • Long underwear
  • A heavy sweater or two
  • Windbreaker
  • Bathing suit, extra towels for swimming (we provide a towel & washcloth)
  • A hat and sunglasses, sunscreen, mosquito repellent
  • Waterproof rain gear- a jacket and pants (pants are as important as tops) – No rain ponchos please, they are hazardous and next to useless
  • A flashlight or book reading light for reading in bed
  • Binoculars, cameras, sketchpad, unfinished craft projects
  • Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

Optional items (items recommended by passengers):  Stadium sea/chair for back support (no metal pieces on the bottom please); water bottle, wet wipes, lip balm, a winter hat/head band (if sailing in early June or late September)

We have foul weather gear available for you to purchase in our ship’s store. Let us know and we can have it ready and in your bunk when you arrive. That will be one less thing to pack and more room for something else!

In June and September, the sailing is brisk and the weather is cool. Bring woolen sweaters, slacks, woolen socks, gloves, hat, and long johns. We have a 12-volt electrical system on board so that means no hair dryers, electric razors or battery chargers. Please do not bring portable TV sets or radios. Cell phone reception is spotty, but if you would like to bring one please use it discreetly. Pack in soft luggage. A duffel bag is perfect; the space in your cabin is limited and you will find that large suitcases don’t fit. All vessels are a little damp. Pack different items in small plastic bags and they will stay dry. Fresh linen and blankets are provided. If you are won over by the romance of sleeping out under the stars, you should bring your sleeping bag. Our mattress, quilts, blankets, and pillows stay below deck.

Printable Packing List

“Music?”

Yes! Captain Jon plays guitar and sings, and Captain Annie sings. Bring your voice and/or instruments along (except pianos and things that plug in) and join in!

“What time can I board?”

You are welcome to board between 5:00 and 6:00 pm on the evening before we sail and to sleep on board that night. We have a “Captain’s Call” at 6:00pm, when we will orient you to the boat. Please let us know if you plan to arrive after 6:00pm that evening. We will get you back to the dock between 10:00 and 11:00 am the day we return.

“Is parking available?”

Yes. There is a parking fee of $20 per vehicle for the duration of your trip.

“Emergencies?”

In the event of an EMERGENCY, if someone needs to reach you while you are sailing, they can call 1-800-869-0604 and their message will be relayed to you.

“Are there additional costs?”

Nope. None. Tax is even included. That’s not to say you shouldn’t bring spending money for anything you find you NEED in the Riggin Chandlery (ship’s store).

“Gratuity?”

Sailing on the Riggin would not be possible if not for the dedication and efforts of our crew. A 5-10% gratuity( of the total cost of your trip) is customary and would be greatly appreciated.

Helpful Links

Heard on the Docks…

“…we will sail again on the Riggin. I can’t stop talking about: the schooner, the food, the people especially the kids, the Captain and family, the crew, the sea creatures, the bald eagles, the cramped room which makes me laugh, the food again, the scenery, the mosquitoes, and the food, etc etc.”

~ Faye H., Pennsylvania

Capt Jon playing guitar Photo by Jim Karg

Roasted Pork Loin Photo by Rocky Coast Photography

Annie having fun Photo by David Eskelund

At Anchor Photo by Paul Santino

Lobster Bake Fun Photo by Laura Hemerling

Captain Morgan Stance