Sailing season has officially kicked off and there is no better way to see the NYC skyline, than by one of two vessels operated by Manhattan by Sail. The company operates two beautiful vessels in Lower Manhattan; the Clipper City out of the Battery at Slip 2 and the Shearwater, out of the marina at Brookfield Place – South Side.
One of our favorite outdoor activities in NYC is to embark on a sail on the New York Harbor. Sailing gives you a chance to see the city in a very unique way and gives you perspective that only stepping away from the hustle and bustle can give you. The owner of Manhattan by Sail is Tom Berton, a downtown Dad and has roots in the downtown sailing community since 1988, when he was sailing on a previous vessel, the Petrel. Manhattan by Sail has been in operation since 2001 and they manage two beautiful vessels. The Clipper City, is a tall ship or topsail schooner which boasts a length of 158-ft and its masts and rigging reach 120-ft from the deck. It’s impressive, elegant and the perfect sailing vessel for viewing Lower Manhattan and all that it has to offer. I love the experience of the Clipper City because you are able to walk around the deck and experience different vantage points, without feeling like you are going to topple overboard. It’s the perfect sailing vessel for groups that want to socialize and mingle and great for families of little one’s that want to help the crew raise the sails and feel like a sailor. Catering is available as well.
Manhattan by Sail also operates the Shearwater schooner out of the North Cove Marina. The Shearwater is smaller in size and measures 82-ft in length. The Shearwater is beautiful and visitors will feel the history of the schooner, the moment they set foot on it. The Shearwater sail is an intimate experience because sailors tend to sit and relax, based on its size. Since the schooner can accommodate 49 passengers as opposed to the 149 that the Clipper City can accommodate, it tends to be a sail where you “sit back and relax”. The ship was built in 1929. It has been sailing out of New York since 2001 and is 88 years old, still going strong.
The Manhattan by Sail website lists the daytime and evening sails for both ships and both are available for private sails and group tickets. My kids and I have loved our sails and the views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are definitely picture worthy. If you have visitors in town and they wonder how and why you live in New York City, the best way to answer is by taking them sailing. One sail around New York Harbor will explain why NYC is the best place to live, with the views of the City, the skyline at night and the beauty of Lower Manhattan.