Salty Dawg Rallies


As a not-for-profit organization operated by volunteers, hosting blue water rallies in the U.S. and Caribbean is our specialty.  Each rally is an opportunity for sailors to cruise-in-company, with the safety, camaraderie, and passage-preparation assistance that only a rally can provide, with minimal requirements and minimal costs.  Meet new friends and re-unite with old ones.  Kids and pets are always welcome.

The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) mission is to educate sailors, build camaraderie, and facilitate offshore passages.  Our rally goal is to conduct quality rallies with the flexibility that allows each Captain to make informed decisions, at the lowest cost for all participants, and provide the best possible experience.  We are all about "sailors helping sailors" and connecting experienced sailors with sailors still learning to make a passage.


  • Our rallies are open to all sailors, with some experience requirements.  SDSA Members participate at lower fees.  Non-Member rally fees cover SDSA Membership dues for their first year.
  • Fun, friendships, camaraderie and great social events will give you an introduction to like-minded cruisers who will become life-long friends.

  • Extensive preparation assistance from experienced Salty Dawgs and industry-leading experts.

  • Weather briefings, daily forecasts, and personalized routing guidance from Chris Parker of The Marine Weather Center.

  • Flexibility and an emphasis on supporting the decisions of each individual skipper based on what’s best for his or her boat and crew.

  • On-line fleet tracking through PredictWind for friends and families to watch your progress during offshore events….and to better locate you in case of an emergency.

  • Shore side coordination, support and at-sea communications.

  • Discounts and special promotions from our sponsors.  Access to a broad array of SDSA Member-Only benefits.

  • Access to the Salty Dawg Crew Service, to identify potential crew members.

Our goal is to provide high quality events with the greatest possible value at the lowest possible entry fee with minimal requirements – all made possible by the support of over 60 industry-leading sponsors and dozens of experienced cruisers who volunteer their time.

What is a Salty Dawg Rally?

The SDSA definition of a rally is a safe and social passage-making.  There may be some fun competition, but SDSA rallies aren't a race!  SDSA rallies are all about passage-making with friends, new and old; feeling confident and prepared on departure day; having support at sea; and providing a celebration on a successful arrival.


The SDSA knows that undertaking any passage-making can be a daunting prospect, even for seasoned sailors.  Our rally pre-departure schedule is designed to help crews prepare their boats with confidence.  Talking to other Salty Dawgs is a great way to share knowledge and concerns, and to make friends who will become cruising friends for life.

When you join a SDSA rally, you are provided with comprehensive information and advice on how to prepare your boat and crew. 

Your Safety

The SDSA has a Safety Manager working to ensure all sailors will successfully and safely complete the passage.  He takes your safety very seriously.  We maintain a close liaison with the US Coast Guard to ensure all boats in the fleet can be assisted, if required.  

Volunteer Opportunities

If you would like to join us as a volunteer, we would love to benefit from your passion, personality, and expertise as we plan future events.  If blue water sailing is your dream, and you aren’t quite ready to make the passage, becoming involved in SDSA is a great way to begin your journey.  Click here to volunteer. 

  • Rally Manager: this position acts as the Rally Director's assistant. For each rally the Rally Manager does the detailed organizing and planning for that rally. Sharing with the Rally Director, hosts some of the Captains Calls. Participation in the rally itself is not necessary.  Positions are available and flexible to accommodate your time for availability, for any one of our six rallies.
  • Fleet Captain: this position takes over in the departure location with help from the Port Captains. The Fleet Captain and Port Captain share in welcome activities and events. After departure from any port, keeps the fleet organized. Positions are available for any one of our six rallies.
  • Port Captains: this position takes the plans made in cooperation with the Rally Manager and implements them at each Port. The Port Captains and the Fleet Captain share in welcome activities and events. Positions are available for any one of our six rallies.

                        SDSA 2021 Rally Schedule


The SDSA East Coast Rally to the US departs the United States Virgin Islands May 1, weather permitting and is expected to last 7-10 days.


THE SDSA DelMarVa Rally circumnavigates the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia Peninsula departing from Hampton, VA June 1, weather permitting and is expected to last 6 days.


The SDSA Bermuda Rally departs from Hampton, VA in early June, weather permitting. This rally is not being held in 2021 due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements.


The SDSA Downeast Rally has departure locations from the Chesapeake Bay and Narragansett Bay areas.  The departures from Hampton and Annapolis are on July 8 (weather permitting) and Newport July 13 with final landfall in Maine July 16.


The SDSA Maritime Rally is held in alternate years and departs from the Northeast US coast for points in Nova Scotia. This year’s Rally spans July 31- Aug 11.


The 2021 SDSA Caribbean Rally departs the US East Coast on November 2, weather permitting. This rally goes to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. A crossing to Antigua usually takes 10-14 days. The crossing to the Bahamas 7-8 days.



As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the SDSA will continue to explore the best ways to conduct its 2021 activities in as safe and enjoyable a manner as possible.  Read More.