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“Lovely tour of Charleston Harbor ”

Charleston Sail - Harbor Yacht Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Private charters available for couples and groups of up to 6. We provide comfortable seating, commentary and a chance to steer and trim sails. Food and beverages may be brought aboard to celebrate your birthday or anniversary (byob). Sailing lessons on request. We have restroom facilities aboard our modern Beneteau 323 yacht.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed March 19, 2016 via mobile

We really enjoyed our trip with MJ and Paul. I am an experienced sailor and my wife has never set sail before and both of us felt completely comfortable on this trip. The 34' yacht is very comfortable and we appreciated the little touches like hot cocoa on a chilly day. This trip really is a value since you will have the boat to yourself. We plan to go again next time we are in Charleston.

Thank Neil M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"captain paul"
in 24 reviews
"perfect afternoon"
in 3 reviews
"wonderful excursion"
in 2 reviews
"hour sunset"
in 2 reviews
"great stories"
in 2 reviews
"historical tour"
in 2 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 2 reviews
"skiing"
in 55 reviews
"boat"
in 42 reviews
"dolphins"
in 18 reviews
"wheel"
in 3 reviews
"bow"
in 3 reviews
"vessel"
in 2 reviews
"speeding"
in 2 reviews
"breeze"
in 5 reviews
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60 - 64 of 149 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2016 via mobile

Mary Joan and Paul arranged for 10 of us to sail in tandem me with Manning Harvey's boat , The Viking, and it was a fun and marvelous experience! All of the captains are experts in sailing and went out of their way to accommodate and engage us in the total sailing experience. A glass of wine and 3 hours if sailing, laughs, and sharing stories later... We all felt like different people! A "must" adventure everyone !

Thank RDCarolyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2016

What an exciting part of my trip to Charleston! MJ and Paul were great hosts. They let me take the helm right away and off we went! I learned a lot about sailing and plan to do it again in the future. A great intro into the sport! Thank you!

Thank lindsay3131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2015

I'm a little tardy with my review, which aired on my website, a-country-for-old-men.com, back in May when we took the trip. Here is the text from my site:

Life is too short not to go the extra mile once in a while to paint an experience that burns itself into your memory with dopamine delight. A memory you can reach for on winter work days when life its ownself has gone a bit stale. It’s a bonus to share that memory with the person you love most and have her agree the experience is held with the same reverence.

Such is a two hour cruise with Captains Paul & MJ of Charleston Sail.

We had planned to take a boat ride of some sort when we saw Charleston Harbor from Art Jr.’s bridge. We didn’t figure to be too adventurous, probably a tourist tub elbow to elbow on the rail with maybe a chance to take a turn on the top deck to see the sunshine and gasp a couple of lungfuls of sea air. Something like we had done in New York circling the city, but without the rubber chicken dinner.

Our expectations upgraded while sitting on the bench Tuesday evening eating ice cream and watching the sail boats carving across the harbor. I had learned to sail a Sunfish belonging to a high school and college girlfriend in the early ‘70s. I had last been on a sailboat in 1982 when I rented a Catamaran in Acapulco and somehow was able to point it seaward and get it back shoreward within the required hour allotted. I confessed to Jan about the Pirate yearnings the sailboats had stirred in me and the adventuress in her responded.

We got on Trip Advisor looking for sailboats to rent and discovered Charleston Sail. I was intrigued because I had never seen any business with 60 comments and all were positive. Not one negative. The price was more than a tourist tub but within reason for a sailboat seat. We called and MJ said they were just docking, which meant theirs had been one of the boats we had been watching.

We met them at the marina where they berth and were surprised by two exciting developments: One was the boat was much larger than we had anticipated, not a catamaran but a 30 footer that qualified as seagoing yacht. The second was there were no other passengers. Just the two of us and the captains.

Paul Mitchell and his wife, Mary Joan Oexmann, are both licensed captains. They have sailed “New Horizon” from Charleston to Bermuda as it has sleeping quarters and bathroom on board. Paul was at the helm as we left the marina under power to the harbor. He kept quizzing us about the countries represented by the various boats we passed. It didn’t take us long to realize we didn’t know our flags as we failed miserably until we saw the Stars and Stripes on a large yacht. One in a row.

Paul hoisted the sail as we reached the harbor. He offered the helm if I wanted to drive, but I had never sailed anything with a steering wheel and nothing of any type in 30 years. I was also afraid I might embarrass myself in front of professional sailors. I decided I was good as a passenger with two more qualified captains on board.

Clear of the Marina area Paul and MJ hoisted the sail. There was a pleasant breeze propelling us and scenery to feed our souls. We passed the mansions on the Battery we had seen up close during the pony tour the day before. They were much more impressive and stately from a distance and you realized how rich one had to be to be able to purchase a view that had taken breaths away since Revolutionary times.

Paul and I became fast friends as he pulled out the snacks that included wonderful gingersnap cookies. Paul is of English heritage and this probably explains his good taste in cookies. These were hard and a little dry with the ginger making them almost jalapeno hot.

an’s human resources background came in handy as she harvested the married captains’ life stories. MJ had been a college nutritionist who was doing a paper on sailors eating habits on long voyages. Paul’s father was in a sailboat race around the world and docked in Charleston where he was interviewed by MJ. Not long after the interview, Paul’s father was lost at sea. Paul and his mother came to Charleston for the funeral where MJ met them. One thing led to another, MJ also became a sailor and the two made a life together spawned from the tragedy. Few people seem as comfortable and genuinely delighted with one another’s company.

I spied the four sail yacht I had seen in the harbor the day before moving left to right in front of us. It reminded me a little of a toy pirate ship I had as a kid. It ploughed through the water but I didn’t see anyone queued up to walk the plank. Disappointing.

MJ invited Jan and I to move up from the safety of the seats to sit up on the bow under the sail. We did and this was a wonderful perch. We got full effect of the wind in our teeth and couldn’t have gotten a better whiff of freshness and all the day had to offer.

We made it to the Arthur Ravenal, Jr.’s bridge, which was the turnaround point in the voyage. The huge sparkling span of Art Jr. is just as impressive from the underside. It causes you to marvel at the ingenuity of man. On the way back we passed by the old USS Enterprise, which we had watched rescue so many astronauts when we were kids. The former pride of the fleet slumbers in Charleston now and is a tourist destination we wouldn’t make this trip.

As we ease our way back, I ponder how we didn’t know Paul and MJ an hour and a half ago and now they feel like old friends. I understand completely how they can have 60 positive reviews and zero bad ones. They are not just giving a tour or even taking us for a boat ride. Paul and MJ have taken us into their home on the water.

We had one more bit of excitement before we reached the end of our two hour tour. A Coast Guard helicopter appeared as we reached the battery and hovered about 50 feet above us at times. The copter seemed to be doing maneuvers with a boat that was choogling along though we couldn’t exactly figure out the purpose.

Like all good things in life, from ice cream cones to the kisses of little children, our voyage came to an end. For two hours we had floated a long way from our everyday life and cares with people who had the gift of instant friendship. We were buoyed in body and mind by the sea and wind as we dismounted from the sailboat. We thanked our hosts, for that describes Paul and MJ exactly, knowing they had given us memories that will last the rest of our days. We will never think of Charleston without remembering our two hour tour.

And we will smile, wherever we are.

1  Thank DonCyoti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 8, 2015

We recently booked a two-hour sunset sail with Paul and Mary Joan and loved every minute. They are a delightful couple and it is clear they love sailing. They encouraged questions and participation in the sailing experience, even though we were novices. We cannot wait to come back to Charleston and book another sail with them.

1  Thank OBwan49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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