I may be a bit biased about saying how wonderful it is sailing with Capt. Bud aboard his sailboat "Old Glory" since I'm a big fan of catamarans.
And why is that?
Well, I used to be the editor of a multihull-sailboat-focused magazine while working for the largest U.S. dealer of French-made Lagoon catamarans a few years ago. I read all about them, went to the largest boat shows all over the country, and walked around on and test-sailed pretty much every make and model of modern cruising catamaran out there. I interviewed some of the people who design and build the best catamarans. I spoke to people who SAIL them and SELL them for a living, as well as people who own them and live aboard them 24/7, and who sail their catamarans all over the world.
So I was already pretty familiar with how awesome they are when Liz, my significant other, was looking to book us a sunset sail in the Fort Myers area as my birthday present. Having also been aboard my share of "monohulls" a.k.a. "traditional" sailboats, I wasted no time steering her in the direction of catamarans.
That's how we found Captain Bud and his 35-foot Lagoon catamaran, Old Glory.
What makes catamarans like Old Glory so special?
Well for starters, as a general rule, at sea, more liveable space aboard a boat = greater comfort.
A 35-foot catamaran like Old Glory has double the liveable space than a comparably-sized, traditional, single-hulled sailboat.
They're more than twice as wide, have a larger deck to walk on or lounge on, and the interior space is practically vast compared to a regular sailboat. The large trampolines at the bow of a catamaran are so much fun to lay on and enjoy the water rushing past beneath you!
Plus, catamarans tend to sail nice and level, even when the wind is kicking up a bit.
On a traditional sailboat, when the breeze picks up at all, the boat will tend to lean way over to one side. Which can get pretty uncomfortable for novice sailors or for those just looking to relax.
And don't you dare put your beverage down, or it'll tip over, spill, and make a big mess all over your feet.
Not so on a cat. On a catamaran, you've just got so much more room to relax and the experience with all of that extra space and stability at sea will forever spoil you to their ways.
Once you go cat, you'll never go back!
In my day, I've also met quite a few charter boat captains. They can be as loud and obnoxious as some of the people you go sailing to get away from.
Captain Bud sure enjoys having fun, but as a former airline pilot, he understands that the safety of his boat, his crew, and his passengers always come first.
And that's not something you want to take a chance with--not when you're out on the Gulf of Mexico, even under sunny skies and a light breeze, it's a good idea to have a Capt. like Skipper Bud keeping one eye on the fun, and the other on the horizon at all times...
My birthday sunset cruise with Captain Bud aboard Old Glory was unforgettable, perfect, in fact.
Of all of the catamarans I've been aboard up and down the eastern seaboard of the U.S. (and I've been aboard some big catamarans) my half-day charter aboard Old Glory was by the far the best.
We motored out to the Gulf, put the sails up, and ran past the pier on Fort Myers Beach while spotting dolphins in the water, sea birds catching a meal on shore, and oh that gorgeous Southwest Florida sunset--wow!!!
Skipper Bud is a great host, Old Glory is a great boat, and trust me, for the money, you're not going to get a better sailboat charter anywhere!
And what you do on your Sail SWFL charter is pretty much all up to you.
Want to get out to the Gulf and hoist the sails? Or sail to Sanibel Island and drop the anchor right off the beach and go for a swim? Maybe the kids want to jump in the big innertube and have the boat pull them around for a while?
It's up to you! Just tell Skipper Bud what you want to do and where you'd like to go, and he and Old Glory will make it happen. And take my professional word for it--you're going to love every minute of it!
I highly recommend this if you enjoy boating, swimming, going to the beach, seeing the sunset, dolphin watching, taking the family out on the water for a day, or if you just want to leave the rat race behind for a day!
You'll love this!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.