Stars & Stripes Sailing FAQs
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STARS & STRIPES USA 11
Is this "THE" Stars & Stripes that won the America's Cup?
The short answer is that our boat is ONE of several America’s Cup racing yachts named Stars & Stripes that were used by Team Dennis Conner while competing in America’s Cup events. Our Stars & Stripes, also known as USA-11, competed in the event held in San Diego in 1992. In 1987, Dennis Conner won the America’s Cup back from Australia with a 12-meter yacht named Stars & Stripes US-55. USA-11 is an International America’s Cup Class yacht that was designed to be sailed in the moderate winds of San Diego. USA-11 is larger and has twice the sail area of the 12 meter US-55. The 28th America’s Cup was contested between the winner of the 1992 Citizen Cup defender selection series, America, and the winner of the 1992 Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series, Il Moro di Venezia.
How is your sailing tour different from the other charters?
Stars & Stripes Sailing is an authentic racing yacht and is the fastest and most iconic sailboat in San Diego; if not the world. Our Sailing excursions are interactive and exciting! Grind the winches to help raise and trim the sails, take your turn at the helm, or just hang on as you zip around San Diego Bay at twice the speed of the average sailboat. Check out what 900 plus other people have to say about our reviews.
How big is Stars & Stripes?
The strictly racing yacht is 78 feet long with a beam of 17 feet, a mast that is 115 feet tall, and a 40,000-pound keel that is 13 feet below the waterline. She has been restored to pristine condition with carbon fiber sails from modern-day racers.
How many people can fit on Stars & Stripes?
What can we expect with this sailing charter?
Each guest will be encouraged to take a turn at the helm and everyone will see what it’s like to crew aboard an authentic America’s Cup Racing Yacht. If interested, guests may join in grinding the winches to raise and trim the sails. Water, soft drinks, and light snacks are included. Photos and videos are taken during the sail for immediate viewing after the sail along with complimentary refreshments. The photos are uploaded overnight for free online viewing and downloads. Conveniently located at the beautiful Kona Kai Resort and Marina on Shelter Island with plenty of free parking. Souvenir shirts, caps, windbreakers and jackets are available for purchase in the office. An America’s Cup history is presented 30 minutes before each sail. After the sail, complimentary refreshments are served while viewing the days’ activities on our flat-screen TV.
Is there a bathroom aboard?
Yes, there is a bathroom, a marine head below deck, basically used for urgent use. The head is accessible by able-bodied guests.
All info regarding parking will be sent via email upon purchasing your ticket. There is free parking on the street, a public parking lot, or the marina’s parking lot. Valet parking is available in front of the Kona Kai Resort.
What time should we arrive?
Please allow plenty of time for traffic and parking. Be sure to check in at our office 15 minutes before the sail, or contact us by phone 15 before check-in, and meet us at the dock next to the boat.
Our boat leaves the dock promptly at the time listed on your reservation. If you are running late, please give us a courtesy call BEFORE your scheduled boarding time. If you do not, the boat may leave without you.
Sailing San Diego Bay
How long will the public sailing tour last?
- America’s Cup history presentation
- 3-hour sail
- Beverages, bottled water, light snacks
- Complimentary photos & videos of the sailing tour will be available as well.
What else will we experience or get to see?
- Photos and videos are taken during the sail for immediate viewing after the sail along with complimentary refreshments.
- Souvenir shirts, caps, windbreakers and jackets are available for purchase in the office.
- An America’s Cup history is presented 30 minutes before each sail.
- It will not be unusual to see Dolphins, Sea Lions, and Porpoises
- USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, beautiful views of downtown San Diego, the Star of India (the World’s oldest active sailing ship).
Does your sailing tour stay inside San Diego Bay?
Yes, sailing on the Stars & Stripes is meant to enjoy the scenery of San Diego Bay and all of its history and current attractions. We may consider ocean sails for private events.
How long will the sailing tour last?
- Our sailing excursions are generally 3-hours long.
- Each guest will be allowed to take the helm, grind the winches, or just hang on and enjoy the scenery!
- It would be best to contact us or give us a call: (619) 255-4705 for more detailed information regarding private sailing charters.
- You can visit our Private Sailing Charters page here: https://sailusa11.com/private-sails/
Team Building Sailing
What can be expected for corporate or private team building activities?
America’s Cup racing yachts provide the perfect venue for dividing your employees into groups to race one another. Stars & Stripes USA-11 and IL Moro ITA-16 both competed in America’s Cup venue held here in San Diego in 1992. Your guests/employees/team members will join our crew of 6 on each boat to form a team to get the maximum performance out of each racing yacht. Under the supervision of our crew, your team members will take the helm, make tactical decisions, and grind the winches to trim the sails. We will have a series of 3 races along San Diego Bay to see which team can be an America’s Cup sailing team.
Before the sail, we will provide a brief history of America’s Cup and details of each boat. During the sail, a photographer will be on board each boat to document all the action for immediate viewing afterward in our clubhouse. The photos and videos will also be uploaded to Google Albums for later viewing online. Contact us today by giving us a call at (619) 255-4705 or filling out our contact form.
Do you have a sailing tour blog?
Yes we try to share as many sailing stories and tour stories as possible. You can view our blog here.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you must cancel within less than 24 hrs before your trip please understand that we have probably turned other guests away while holding your spot, so no credit or refunds will be issued. Please call us as soon as you know you need to cancel and we can usually work something out. We will cancel the day of a trip if there are bad weather conditions, and you will receive a choice to reschedule for a better day or receive a full refund. We accept same-day cancellations due to heavy rain, lack of visibility or winds above 15 knots. Additionally, we are happy to provide you with a gift certificate that can be transferred to anyone and has no expiration date. So you never lose the value of a trip.
Private charter cancellations?
A Private Charter canceled up to 2 weeks prior to the date of sail will receive a full refund.
Other General Questions about our Sailing Tour
What clothes should we bring?
This depends on the time of year we are sailing. Summer is hot, and Winter is much cooler. We always send a list of what to wear, what to bring, and what not to bring along with every confirmation we send out. We suggest dressing in layers. A T-shirt, sweatshirt, wind jacket is the minimum of what we’d suggest, and long pants or wind pants are recommended in winter. Any extra-warm clothes can be kept down below inside the boat if you don’t use them. Hats that can be tied on are also suggested.
Please wear soft-light soled shoes such as tennis shoes or sneakers. No black bottom shoes, heels or cowboy boots are allowed because they can become slippery on the wet decks. Try to wear shoes that are non-marking (white or light soles sneakers preferred). Also, don’t forget your cameras & sunscreen!
What about food/drinks aboard?
Water, soda and light snacks (peanuts, pretzels) are included at no charge. We do not supply alcohol during the charter. The Kona Kai Resort has a bar and is a 1- minute walk to our boat. We recommend that you bring your own alcoholic beverages.
What about seasickness?
We stay within the calm waters of San Diego Bay. However, USCG allows us to “poke our nose” out in the ocean to buoy #5, about a mile offshore. If you’re prone to seasickness you can always pick up an over-the-counter medicine at any drug store, such as Bonine. Take at least 2 hours before departure.
Will we have the boat to ourselves or will there be others sailing with us?
If you have booked a Public Sailing Tour, there will be other guests on the tour with you. If you prefer to have the Stars & Stripes to yourself, contact us about booking a Private Charter!
Has anyone ever fallen overboard?
In our 12 years of business, a passenger has never fallen overboard! The Stars & Stripes USA-11 is a very smooth sailing vessel.
Are your boats handicap accessible?
Some levels of disability can be accommodated so please call us to discuss your needs before making a reservation. We’ll try our very best to help you, however, we are not able to accommodate individuals in wheelchairs due to the nature of our tour.
Are there any age restrictions?
Children under the age of 5 are not allowed, and any children between the ages of 5 – 18 years old must be accompanied by a legal parent or guardian.
Is smoking allowed?
To provide a better environment for all of our guests, smoking is not allowed during our tours or charters.
What about bad weather and cancellations?
Our sails generally run in light rain and other moderate weather situations, but if you decide at the dock that the weather is just too cold or too wet & windy, we can reschedule or offer you a complete refund. We will only cancel due to severe or unsafe weather conditions (very rare in San Diego) and will, of course, offer you the chance to reschedule.
Can we bring our dog?
Due to the nature of our tours and charters, dogs or any animals are not allowed. This includes Therapy & Service Dogs.
Will my gift certificate expire?
Gift certificates do not expire, making it the perfect gift for any sailing or adventure enthusiast!
How do I know what days are available?
You can easily view our sailing tour availability on our website calendar. Or, you send us the days you prefer to sail, and we will do our best to accommodate you!
Are there any additionally charges - booking fees or taxes?
There are NO hidden fees or taxes. Our price includes everything, including photos/videos, light snacks, and drinks, parking.
Useful links regarding our sailing charter
Our San Diego Sailboats
Stars & Stripes
Stars & Stripes USA-11 is an International America's Cup Class (IACC) racing yacht used by Team Dennis Conner in an effort to defend the prestigious America's Cup trophy held by San Diego Yacht Club. With her 1992 state-of-the-art carbon hull and spars, Stars & Stripes is lighter, larger, and faster than previous generations of America's Cup boats. Join us for three hours of interactive and exciting FUN sailing San Diego Bay!
IL Moro di Venezia ITA-16 is an Italian America’s Cup veteran also from the 1992 event in San Diego. IL Moro is available for racing events versus Stars & Strpes and is well matched as they were built under the same IACC rules. As a foreign built vessel IL Moro is limited to a maximum of 12 guests, however she can be used for more adventurous activities such as flying the spinnaker. ITA-16 also placed fourth in the IACC World Championship in 1994.