Unsalted Sailing Flotilla – June 2017

Explore the Best of the Great Lakes!

Sets sail Saturday, June 24 – 30, 2017 with a complimentary reception dinner and sleep-aboard on Friday, June 23rd.  Great Lakes Sailing Co. Captains will be leading the way.  You’ll have assistance and guidance all throughout the event.

This is your opportunity to explore the islands, beaches, towns and harbors of beautiful Northern Michigan with the comfort and safety of sailing with others.

All sailors welcome – beginners to ol’ salts!  We’ll harbor hop in Grand Traverse and Little Traverse Bays with expected visits to Suttons Bay, Northport, Charlevoix, Omena Bay, Elk Rapid or Old Mission Harbor, Bower’s Harbor and Marion Island.  There will be presentations, wine tasting, nature hikes and the “Twisted Sheet Regatta” along the way.

You can join us by:

  • Charter a boat from the GLSC fleet – bareboat or hire a captain
  • Learn to sail and take an ASA course along the way.  Cruising courses also available for those with basic sailing experience.
  • Sail on your own boat for a small entry fee!

Check out scenes from past Unsalted Sailing Flotillas below or on Facebook 

Proposed Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Suttons Bay – quaint town with art galleries, great restaurants and beaches.  Anchoring outside the marina is an option.
  • Day 2 – Elk Rapids or Old Mission with the “Twisted Sheet Regatta” along the way.  This is a fun, informal regatta race with a humorous awards ceremony afterwards.
  • Day 3 – Northport – Jack Klang will meet us there and with one of his nationally recognized sailing presentations.
  • Day 4 – Charlevoix – a favorite stop-over in an amazing setting.  Explore the town, galleries, beaches and restaurants or even the self-guided walking tour of the famous Earl Young Mushroom Houses.
  • Day 5 – Omena Bay – enjoy a private wine tasting at the Leelanau Wine Cellars waterfront tasting room and dinner available at the adjacent “Knot Just A Bar”.
  • Day 6 – Bower’s Harbor with a stop over at Power Island – we’ll explore this diverse nature preserve island with a personal tour from the park ranger and then anchor for the night at Bower’s Harbor where a shuttle awaits to take us to the very popular “Jolly Pumpkin”; a historic landmark that is now a brew-pub restaurant in a beautiful setting.  On site wine and beer tasting followed by famous perch, whitefish, ribs and other great menu options.
  • Day 7 – return to Traverse City (about 5 miles away) at a nice leisurely pace.

Join Us By

  • Taking an ASA course
  • Chartering a boat – bareboat or with captain
  • Taking your own boat


  • Bareboat – regular 7-day bareboat charter rates apply. Visit the “fleet & rates” webpage.  Available for qualified sailors.
  • Captained Charter on Private Boat – regular 7-day bareboat charter rate plus $225/day captain fee. Open to anyone. A friendly, USCG licensed captain will be on board and you can be as active (or inactive) as you like with the sailing.
  • ASA and Sailing Instruction
    • ASA 103/104  -This course is designed to turn the ASA 101 graduate into a comfortable coastal cruiser. Focusing on “life aboard”, this course will familiarize you with the systems of a cruising yacht. The fresh water system, fuel system, battery charging system, steering and rigging are covered to name a few. Each student is also given ample time at the wheel in close quarters to improve harbor handling skills. Heavy weather sailing skills also covered in this class to assure that the graduate will be comfortable in most coastal cruising situations on a yacht in the 36′ – 39′ range.   $5600 total for up to 4 students ($1400 per person) for private boat.  Individual rates and Couples rates are available also, call for pricing on those.  The rate includes the boat, the captain, the instruction, text books, study guides, fuel, pump-out and marina fees.
  • Bring Your Own Boat – Join in on just part of the event or for the entire event. Powerboats or Sailboats, everyone is welcome!  $30 per person (includes a Great Lakes Sailing Co. Yellow Cap, along with the Friday evening dinner & drinks welcome reception on the docks).

For reservations or to check availability, call Great Lakes Sailing Company 231-941-0535 or email GLSC@GreatLakesSailingCo.com.

What is Flotilla Sailing?

Flotilla Sailing offers a safe and fun way for people to get to known a new cruising area.  A lead boat guides the fleet to the best anchorages and harbor towns.  This “follow-the-leader” style of sailing makes for a very relaxing vacation knowing that your flotilla neighbors are nearby.  A Reception Cook Out in the marina will start things off the evening before we sail.  We’ll review the charts of the area, discuss the weather and the planned itinerary, and before departure, a Great Lakes Sailing Captain will familiarize you with your vessel in regards to operation and location of gear.  There are several planned events along the way and you’ll enjoy the camaraderie with fellow sailors.  You’ll also have ample time to branch off and explore the towns and islands on your own.