charter and school firm opened on "our lucky
day" - Friday the thirteenth
North Fort Myers, Fla-
Southwest Florida Yachts has announced its own
"Berth" Day celebration, a two-year
event surrounding the twentieth anniversary of
the yacht charter firm and its sister division,
Florida Sailing and Cruising School in N. Fort
Principals Barb and Vic
Hansen took over the company on July 13, 1984.
"Friday the thirteenth stuff is not a bad
omen after all. It was definitely our lucky day,"
said Barb Hansen, adding that 2004 is also their
twentieth wedding anniversary.
Called "Happy Berth
Day to Us - Celebrating 20 years of Yachting Excellence
1984-2004" the anniversary will include a
variety of discounts and gifts.
charter sail or power yachts for five days or
more will receive a 20 percent Sail-a-Bration
discount between July 13, 2003 and July 13,
2005. Charters of three or four days receive 10
percent discount between July 15 - October 15,
yacht charter customers will find a celebratory
gift of a bottle of "Happy Berth Day to Us"
wine when they board the vessel.
-Several marinas frequented
by SWFY charterers will offer special discounts
as part of the Sail-A-Bration.
--Students who graduate
from the live-aboard school, Florida Sailing and
Cruising School, will receive a graduation gift,
a Weems & Plath Nav Kit.
Hansen said anniversary
events will include a special web site section
featuring photos of customers and boats going
back 20 years. "The boats don't change so
much but, boy, you can sure see the changes in
boating fashions over the years."
Southwest Florida Yachts
keeps its fleet of nine trawlers and motor yachts
from 32 to 42 feet long at Marinatown Marina on
the Caloosahatchee River. Its sailing yacht fleet,
nine vessels 24 to 42 feet in length, occupies
slips at Marinatown Marina and also Burnt Store
Marina Resort on beautiful Charlotte Harbor. Casting
off from either location gives charterers access
to a 150-mile long coastline, from Marco Island
to Venice, rated the number one cruising area
in the United States.
Florida Sailing and Cruising
School (FS&CS) is a unique academy in which
students live aboard the vessel while they take
courses. FS&CS offers 10 live-aboard trawler
courses and 13 live-aboard sailing courses. Its
trawler school is one of the few remaining trawler
training schools in the U.S.
"Real world, real
times, hands-on learning," is how Hansen
describes the live-aboard courses. Attendance
is limited to four students, two per cabin, and
courses are scheduled at the convenience of the
students. By day, under the tutelage of the captain-instructor,
they learn by doing - steering, plotting, casting
off, tying-up. By night, under a cabin light,
they read textbooks and prepare for the big test.
Almost literally, she said, students "eat,
breathe and sleep" their way to the diploma.
In addition to the live-aboard
courses, FS&CS offers a one-day Safe Boating
course emphasizing safety, seamanship and rules
of the road and the two-day First Mate course
in which students spend part of the time in a
classroom and part of the time on the vessel.
On the vessel the students get to experience what
they have learned in the classroom and an opportunity
to learn the proper knots for securing the boat,
how to place fenders when docking, proper radio
procedures and what to do in case of an emergency
For charter rates and course
descriptions and prices contact SWFYACHTS@aol.com,
telephone 800-262-7939 or 239-656-1339, or write
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W., North Fort Myers, FL