During your two-hour tour, Captain Ed will create a relaxing, educational and fun experience for people of all ages.
- Sail and explore the mystical beauty of the fabled St. Michaels on the Bay.
- Have the rare opportunity to see how to dredge for oysters!
- Forget the present and experience the historical life of a waterman.
- Hear exciting stories about the fascinating past of oystering and the rise and fall of skipjacks on the Chesapeake Bay.
- Learn about the local ecology and look for wildlife including osprey and other waterfowl.
- Great for children to gain an appreciation of sailing and the environment in an interactive way.
What Is Not Included?
- Do I have to purchase a ticket in advance?
- A sailing tour on the H.M. Krentz is a unique and incredible experience and our tours often sell out in advance. We highly recommend booking your tickets in advance to ensure you get your preferred date and time!
- What is a skipjack?
- Built specifically for oyster dredging the Chesapeake Bay, skipjacks are a type of sailing boat that originated in the late 1800s. Their characteristic wide planks and open deck, which is low to the ocean surface, makes them ideal for relaxing cruises. While skipjacks once populated the Chesapeake Bay by the thousands, their upkeep was heavily neglected during the 1900s, making the H.M. Krentz one of only 24 remaining skipjacks in the country, and one of just a handful suitable for sailing excursions.
- What will we do on the sail?
- Not only will you will take in the breathtaking beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and the fabled historic waterfront of St. Michaels, but you will also learn about the ecology of the area in an exciting and fun way! You will get the hands-on experience of dredging for oysters and pulling up the sails, while gaining a wealth of knowledge about the history of the Chesapeake, skipjacks, and oystering from 40 year resident Captain Ed. Great for friends or family of all ages, this is a sailing excursion you will never forget!
- Do you really raise the sails and turn the motor off?
- Yes we do. We want to give our guests a full sailing experience so as long as there is wind, we will sail. We only use the engine for a few minutes at each end of trip, to help us get into and out of our slip.
- Are these tours suitable for children?
- Yes, a sail on the H.M. Krentz is great for people of all ages! In fact, Captain Ed helped create an environmental educational program with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that has allowed 14,000 school children to learn from his interactive approach. All children must be accompanied by an adult are are required to have a ticket. Children can come for a reduced ticket price based on their age.
- What is oyster dredging and can I participate?
- The H.M. Krentz is specifically equipped with a dredge (a device that scrapes along the seabed) for gathering oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. By lifting the dredge you can actually "harvest" oysters like the original sailors did! We would love to have you join in and take advantage of this rare experience!
- Can I bring the oysters we catch home with me?
- No. This is just a demonstration of how to harvest oysters and we don't actually keep the oysters. They are returned to the water.
- Are the tours narrated?
- Captain Ed will share a wealth of knowledge with you, which he has gained during his 40 years of industry experience. His passion for the Chesapeake Bay, oyster dredging, and the preservation of historic skipjack boats, will keep you fascinated as you're surrounded by the beauty of the Bay.
- How long are the tours?
- Each of our unique sailing tours lasts approximately two hours.
- Where do the tours start and end?
- Our tours begin and end at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels.
- Are food and drinks allowed on the boat?
- You are encouraged to bring your own food and beverages, as we do not sell any food or drinks on board. Alcohol is permitted for those 21 and older. During the summer when it's warmer, please consider bringing a bottle of water.
- Is there a restroom on the boat?
- Yes, we have a marine head located below deck. Please note that the restroom is not handicap-accessible as guests must take four steps down to access the cabin area. There are bathrooms available for use at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and we encourage guests to use those before the tour departs.
- How steady is the sailing? Am I likely to get seasick?
- The H.M. Krentz is a 70 ft. boat with at 49 ft. deck that was built specifically for the shallow waters of the Chesapeake Bay. This creates a very steady and smooth ride, unlikely to cause seasickness. However, if you are prone to motion sickness you may want to consider taking precautions prior to the tour. We cannot actually advise you to take any specific medication.
- Can pregnant women attend?
- Yes, expectant mothers are more than welcome to attend. But if they are concerned they should feel free to consult their physician prior to attending one of our sailing tours.
- Is there any shade or covered area on the boat?
- The H.M. Krentz has a 49 ft. expansive open deck that is perfect for soaking in the sun and enjoying the breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay. There is usually some shade from the sails on at least one side of the boat, but other than that there is no other covered area of the boat.
- What happens if it rains? Do you ever cancel sails due to bad weather?
- The H.M. Krentz will continue to sail in light rain, however, the safety of our passengers is our first priority and cancellations may occur due to moderate or severe weather conditions. If this happens, you will be able to reschedule to a later date subject to availability or receive a credit for a future event.
- What should I wear?
- Feel free to dress as comfortably and as casually as you like. Because temperatures are typically 10 degrees cooler on water than on land, we recommend bringing light sweaters or layers, particularly for the evening sails. Also, please wear comfortable shoes with non-marking soles and please do not wear high heels.
- Do you have life jackets on board? Are children required to wear them?
- We are a US Coast Guard certified passenger vessel, so we are required to carry sufficient life jackets for emergency use. Children are not required to wear life jackets on board, but we do have a few Type 2 (children's size) vests if parents would like to kids to wear something while on board. Parents are also welcome to bring their own if they would like.
- Is the boat wheelchair accessible?
- We regularly accommodate people in wheelchairs on our tours, but please note there is a 10" drop from the rail to the deck, so our staff will need to assist with getting people directly onto the vessel. If anyone in group has limited mobility or is in a wheelchair, please let us know when booking your tickets. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please click on the "Contact SailHMKrentz" link to request more information.
- Is there parking and how much is it?
- Yes, there is free parking available in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum parking lot.
- Can I stow anything (e.g., luggage) during the sail?
- Unfortunately, there is limited storage space on board the boat, so we cannot store larger items for you.
- Can I bring a pet?
- No, unfortunately pets are not allowed on board.
- Should I tip the crew?
- Gratuity is not included in the ticket price and is not required, but always appreciated.
- What does the H.M. Krentz do during the winter months?
- Not only does the H.M. Krentz provide unforgettable sailing tours on the Chesapeake Bay during the summer months, but during the winter oyster season it is also one of only remaining skipjacks left that work as operating oystering vessels.
- Are gift certificates available?
- Yes, gift certificates are available and make great gifts for any occasion! Please click on the “Contact SailHMKrentz” link if you’re interested in purchasing a gift certificate.
- Can I book a private charter?
- To book a private charter aboard the H.M. Krentz, please click on the “Contact SailHMKrentz” link. Someone from our staff will return your inquiry shortly and help you plan an amazing sail.
- Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.
- Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- All participants are required to have tickets for this event.
- Our boat is United States Coast Guard documented for a certain amount of passengers and we cannot exceed the capacity. This means that all passengers including infants and toddlers must have a ticket.
Skipjack H.M. Krentz
USCG licensed Captain Ed, who has personally restored and sailed skipjacks for 40 years, will share inside knowledge about the Chesapeake and the history of oystering. Unlike any other sailing tour, your time on the H.M. Krentz will be a memory that you will never forget!
Be sure to stop in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum before or after your sail to see the Rosie Parks, a skipjack built in 1955 which is going through a major restoration in full public view for all to enjoy. Museum admission is not included in the ticket price.