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Frequently Asked Questions

We know you have questions and have tried to capture the most common questions below for your convenience.

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at; 309.620.4461

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Sailing Cruise

Click here to learn more about how you can enjoy a 3 hour cruise on the Illinois River!  We offer 3 cruises every day - Late morning cruise, afternoon cruise, and a favorite for most, evening sunset cruise.

Sunset Cruise

The Sunset Sailing Cruise is the most popular cruise we offer.  Take a look at the Photos page and you'll see why!

Sailing Lessons

Whether you are brand new to sailing or have been sailing a while and would like to learn the finer points of sail trimming, I can tailor a class for you!

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I wear on the boat?
  2. How many guests may I bring"?
  3. Are there any special rules about children?
  4. What should I bring with me?
  5. Do you provide drinks or snacks?
  6. What is your alcohol & tobacco policy?
  7. What form of payment do you take?
  8. What is your cancellation policy?
  9. Is the boat handicapped accessible?
  10. Tell me more about the boat!
  11. Is sailing safe?
  12. What about those "Flying Carp"?

What should I wear on the boat?

  • What you wear is completely weather dependent.  A good rule of thumb is to expect the temperature on the water to feel approximately 5 to 10 degrees cooler than it does on land.  If you are sailing the sunset cruise you should also consider how much cooler it will get when the sun sets and the evening progresses, so bring a few layers to add as the sun goes down.
  • I keep the boat very clean, so if the occasion calls for dress clothes, you should be fine.  The only exception would be the possible spray from hitting a larger wave on a windy day.  It's fairly unusual here on the Illinois River, however, it is possible.
  • Street shoes are the only nemesis of a fiberglass boat.  Please try to wear shoes with non-marring soles, if possible.
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How Many Guests Can I Bring?

  • You are welcome to have a total of 4 persons including yourself.  We limit the number to 4 persons total to allow for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.
  • There is no cost difference as to the number of persons.  The price is based solely on the length of the cruise, not on the number of guests.
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Are there any special rules about children?

  • Children are absolutely welcome on your sailing cruise!  Just be aware that the United States Coast Guard mandates that every child 12 years old and younger is required to wear an approved life preserver at all times while on the boat.  I do have some children's life preservers available.  We will need to make sure in advance that I have enough of the correct size for your children.
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What should I bring with me?

  • First and foremost - Bring your camera!
  • As far as personal items, it depends entirely on the time of day, the weather, and your personal preferences.  What I suggest is to bring what you would normally bring for a day at the beach or a sunny picnic.  This includes the appropriate clothing, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc.  Thankfully, we typically don't have a problem with mosquitoes out on the water, so you can bring mosquito repellant with you, however, wait until you need it before applying it.
  • If there is even the remotest chance you will need any medication, you should bring it with you.  Depending on where we are, should you need medical assistance it could potentially be 30 minutes or longer before we could get you to someone who could help you. 
  • I will provide all the necessary safety gear, however, if you have a personal favorite life preserver (USCG Approved), please feel free to bring it with you.
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Do you provide drinks or snacks?

  • Snacks or drinks are not included in any of the cruises.
  • You are free to bring your own snacks and drinks if you like, however, please be careful to bring only items that can be opened for use then immediately reclosed, i.e. plastic bottles instead of cans, Ziploc Baggies instead of chip bags, etc.  Please don't bring anything made of glass.
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What is your alcohol and tobacco policy?

  • Due to insurance limitations, I am not able to provide alcohol to my guests.
  • Any beverage, including alcoholic beverages, should be consumed in limited quantity as there is no public restroom on the boat.
  • Smoking is not allowed due to your proximity to gasoline. 
  • Thank you for your understanding!
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What form of payment do you take?

  • I try to be very flexible with forms of payment.  Credit cards are my preferred form of payment due to flexibility and convenience.  We accept Apple Pay, Android Pay, and most major credit cards including AmEx.  I am also happy to take cash and personal or business checks.
  • For sailing cruises, I require 50% deposit to schedule the cruise, with the balance due before we sail.  For lessons I charge in blocks of time with payment due prior the the lesson.
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What is your cancellation policy?

  • I try to keep my cancellation policy very simple.  If I have to cancel the cruise due to weather, mechanical problem, or any other reason, you will be given a choice of either rescheduling the cruise or I will refund your money.  If you need to cancel for any reason prior to 48 hours before the scheduled time of departure, I will offer you the choice of rescheduling or I will refund your money.  If you cancel less than 48 hours prior to our scheduled time of departure, you will forfeit your deposit.
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Is the boat handicapped accessible?

  • Safety is always my primary concern.  Unfortunately, most sailboats, including mine, are not designed to be handicapped accessible.  There are several obstacles which may prevent a handicapped individual from being able to sail safely.  That being said, I don't want to discourage anyone from sailing due to a their handicap.
  • Please give me a call and let's discuss our options.  I want everyone to be given the opportunity to be able to enjoy sailing!
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Tell me more about the boat!

  • The S/V Heaven Bound is a Macgregor 26S fractional rigged sloop.  She is 26' long and 8' wide.  She has an average cruising speed of 5 - 7 mph depending on wind speed and wind direction. 
  • Her cockpit is large enough to seat 4 people comfortably.  Any more than 4 people and it starts to get a little snug.  There is plenty of seat room for 6 people, however, the room on the sole where your feet would normally be resting is fairly small.  That's why we limit the number of passengers to 4.
  • Although a 26' boat is not extremely large, it is the largest sailboat that can safely sail most of the waters of the Illinois River.  With the exception of the channel, most of the Illinois River is no more than 2' to 4' deep.  A typical sailboat requires approximately 5' of water in which to sail before it could potentially get stuck.  With its retractable keel and rudder, the Macgregor is specifically designed to be able to sail in as little as 18" of water, therefore, giving us greater flexibility as to where we can sail.
  • There is only a very primitive head (restroom) on board and it is only to be used in case of emergency.
  • For more information and a picture of the boat, click here to go to the "About Us" page.
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Is sailing safe?

  • Sailing, like any other sport, comes with its inherent risks.  That being said, sailing, especially on inland lakes and rivers, is very safe.  Rest assured, our sailboat is insured as a commercial passenger vessel, and as such, she is subject to much higher requirements.  Our sailboat is inspected by a licensed surveyor and any potential issues are required to be addressed.  Capt. Brad has passed rigorous testing and certification processes by the United States Coast Guard and has more than 30 years of boating experience as well as more than 6 years of experience sailing this current sailboat. 
  •  Our goal is to give you a very safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience!
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What about those "Flying Carp"?

  • In case you are wondering, yes, there is a unique phenomenon on the Illinois River known as "Flying Carp".  Sometimes also referred to as Asian Carp or Silver Carp, these rather large fish do not actually "fly" but rather, jump out of the water when disturbed by boats.
  • The advantage of a sailboat is that they are much quieter than a powerboat so the fish are not nearly as frightened by them.  We typically only stir them up if we sail through shallow water where they are schooling.  Even then, they don't jump as high, or in as large a number, as they do with a powerboat.
  • Under most circumstances, we can either attempt to avoid them completely if you have no desire to see them, or we can intentionally try to get them to jump for you to put on a little show!
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Three-Hour Private Sunset Cruise


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