What is a Sailing Lifestyle Experience?
Set sail on a transformative journey like no other, where the horizon becomes your playground and the winds carry whispers of freedom.
Welcome to our Sailing Lifestyle Experience, an immersive week-long adventure designed to unlock the wonders of living aboard and sailing the seas.
Imagine waking up to the gentle sway of the waves, with endless possibilities stretching before you.
As the sun bathes the deck in golden hues, you embark on a voyage of discovery, guided by Captain Simon, a seasoned sailor and passionate teacher. From the moment you step aboard, you'll be enveloped in an atmosphere of excitement, camaraderie, and the unmistakable allure of the open waters.
This is not your ordinary getaway.
It's an opportunity to delve into the heart of the sailing lifestyle, where you'll learn the ropes of seamanship, master the art of maneuvering in tight spaces, and navigate with confidence through sparkling azure waters.
Captain Simon will share his wealth of knowledge, teaching you invaluable skills such as passage planning, provisioning, reading weather forecasts, and managing essential boat systems.
But it doesn't stop there. Our Sailing Lifestyle Experience is about more than just sailing. It's about embracing the sense of community that thrives within the cruising world. You'll connect with like-minded individuals, forging bonds that endure long after the journey ends.
Picture yourself joining fellow adventurers for sundowners on secluded beaches, sharing stories and laughter beneath starlit skies, or embarking on unforgettable excursions to hidden coves and enchanting islands.
For those yearning to embrace the cruising lifestyle, our experience is the perfect stepping stone.
We cater to individuals, couples, and families who are on the precipice of purchasing their own boat, seeking reassurance and firsthand knowledge to confidently embark on their own cruising dreams.
We also extend a warm invitation to those seeking to inspire their partners, providing an unforgettable experience that showcases the rewards and joys of a life on the seas.
Get ready to dive into a world of breathtaking vistas, exhilarating adventures, and personal growth. Whether you're an aspiring sailor, an adventurer at heart, or simply curious about the wonders of the cruising lifestyle, our Sailing Lifestyle Experience is your gateway to a life of boundless horizons.
Are you ready to embark on an extraordinary odyssey? Join us as we raise the sails and set forth on a voyage of discovery, where the freedom of the seas becomes your reality.
Sailing Lifestyle Experience Opportunity - Watch our Video!
A Bit About Me
If you haven't come across Sailing Britican before, we were the FIRST liveaboard sailing family (me, my wife, and our daughter), offering bespoke sailing charters.
We created the offer to specifically teach aspiring sailors how to become confident sailing cruisers.
Our daughter has since grown up and gone to school, taking my wife, Kim, leaving me to tend to our growing liveaboard sailing experience business.
I’ve been sailing an Oyster 56′ (monohull) since 2014 and have done over 40,000 nautical miles circumnavigating the Mediterranean, crossing the Atlantic, and sailing the US east coast and the Caribbean.
I now offer our Sailing Lifestyle Experiences on a 50' catamaran located in St Martin, called Manava.
In the past several years, I've taught hundreds of guests including singles, couples, and families. During our time together, our guests spend a week enjoying a fast-track fully immersive sailing cruising experience.
For many, the experience has enabled them to get out living the sailing life quickly with far less effort. Why reinvent the wheel?
"We went on Britican outlining a five-year plan to go from our current situation with jobs, a house, and so forth to sailing cruisers. By the time we left, our passion was ignited, a new plan was created, and less than a year later we have our boat. If you are serious about becoming a sailing cruiser spend time with Simon. It is a GAME CHANGER." K & K Cole, South Carolina
What Will You Gain On Our Sailing Lifestyle Experience?
Comprehensive Sailing Education
Community and Camaraderie
Insight into Cruising Life
Immersive Learning Environment
Bridge the Gap to Boat Ownership
Confidence and Independence
Inspirational and Persuasive
What About Specific Skills?
Our Sailing Lifestyle Experience is not like chartering a boat for a week.
It's not a sailing school either. It's an opportunity to be fully immersed in the actual cruising lifestyle. To sail like a cruiser. To live like a cruiser. To hang out with other cruisers. It’s not about sailing to exotic white beaches, drinking gin and tonics at a tiki bar, or snorkeling at amazing dive sites (although that is included).
Our Experience offer has been set up for you to get an honest look at what it’s like to keep a boat afloat.
That means sailing to beautiful destinations and operating as a couple or family (singles are welcome too) all the while picking Simon's brains, about everything and anything, for 7, 10, or 12 days.
This a great opportunity to try the lifestyle before buying into it!
Depending on what you/your partner/your family are looking for, the bespoke experience will include any or all of the following (to mention a small sample). Each experience is created individually for guests. Simon will teach you what you want to learn. He will show you what you want to see. And Simon will help you take a giant leap toward making your cruising dreams a reality.
The Classroom - Manava, A 50' Lagoon Catamaran
Learning Cruiser Life On Manava Provides A Comfortable Learning Environment
Catamarans are ideal sailboats for couples and families becoming sailing cruisers because they offer ample living space, shallow draft, stability, safety, and impressive sailing performance.
They provide a spacious cockpit, saloon, and cabins for comfortable living, shallow draft access for exploring, and minimal heeling for comfort. The two hulls offer added stability and safety in case of collision or grounding, and they allow for faster and more comfortable passages.
If you're looking for a well-rounded experience on an ocean-going catamaran, Manava is a fantastic boat to learn on.
Overall, catamarans provide the perfect combination of comfort, safety, and performance for families looking to embark on a sailing adventure.
Any Concerns And Hesitations?
We understand that transitioning to the cruising lifestyle can come with its own set of concerns and hesitations. Therefore, we want to address those concerns head-on and provide you with the reassurance you need to embark on this incredible journey. Let us debunk common objections and show you why our Sailing Lifestyle Experience is the perfect stepping stone toward a life of freedom and adventure:
We prioritize your safety above all else. Captain Simon, is an experienced and knowledgeable instructor, who will guide you through every aspect of sailing, from navigation to boat handling, ensuring you have the skills and confidence to navigate the waters safely. Manava is well-maintained and equipped with state-of-the-art safety features.
We understand that learning to sail may seem intimidating. Rest assured, our Sailing Lifestyle Experience is designed for all skill levels, including beginners. Captain Simon will break down complex concepts into easy-to-understand lessons, providing hands-on practice and guidance. You'll be amazed at how quickly you gain confidence and master the fundamentals.
Adapting to the Cruising Lifestyle
Transitioning to a cruising lifestyle requires adjustments, but we're here to support you every step of the way. Our experience allows you to fully immerse yourself in the lifestyle for a week, giving you a taste of what it's like to live aboard and sail. You'll gain valuable insights into provisioning, managing boat systems, and embracing the community spirit. We've had countless guests successfully adapt and thrive in the cruising world.
We understand that purchasing a boat and maintaining a cruising lifestyle involves financial planning. Our Sailing Lifestyle Experience serves as a smart investment before taking the leap. You'll gain firsthand knowledge and practical skills, helping you make informed decisions about boat ownership. Simon can also provide guidance on budgeting, cost-saving strategies, and navigating the financial aspects of cruising.
If you're seeking to inspire your partner or overcome any reservations they may have, our Sailing Lifestyle Experience is an ideal solution. It offers a carefully curated balance of education, adventure, and community, showcasing the rewards and joys of the cruising lifestyle. Many partners have joined us with initial hesitations only to leave with a newfound passion and enthusiasm for this extraordinary way of life.
We are committed to your success and satisfaction. We've witnessed numerous individuals and families overcome their concerns, transform their lives, and embark on unforgettable journeys.
Don't let doubts hold you back.
Take the leap, and join us on our Sailing Lifestyle Experience to unlock the extraordinary world of sailing and cruising. Your dreams of a life on the water are within reach.
Reserve your spot today and let us guide you toward a future filled with adventure, freedom, and endless horizons.
Guest Feedback: Sailing Lifestyle Experience Guests to Sailing Cruisers!
Our Sailing Lifestyle Experience was great. We spent a week aboard and it was a fantastic learning event.
The vast majority of the experience applies equally to a prospective monohull or catamaran liveaboard life.
At the time we were looking at a monohull for our planned full-time liveaboard boat.
Deborah and I ended up changing tack and purchasing a catamaran, mostly on what we learned on board Britican and our physical difficulties in living on the lean.
The information passed on by Simon was priceless and helps us every day.
We're now starting our 3rd year full-time onboard our catamaran.
We highly recommend you test drive the Sailing Lifestyle Experience to see if it's for you!
Deborah and I most likely would not have done it had it not been for our Sailing Lifestyle Experience.
John & Deborah Paquet, Britican Experience, Grenada 2019
Guest Feedback: Convincing My Wife!
I booked a Sailing Lifestyle Experience with Simon as a birthday present to myself and to help convince my wife, Sheena, that one day we could be cruisers.
During the months leading up to the cruise, Sheena was definitely “not on board.” She was constantly trying to “give up” her spot to my friends so she didn’t have to go.
But, in the end, Sheena was 100% on board.
In the first few hours of talking to Simon, I learned more than all the books and videos combined. Not only did we learn sailing skills throughout our time on board, but we also experienced a glimpse into the life of full-time cruisers.
Simon made us feel comfortable from the first minute on board. We experienced the boat life, along with great ports, beaches, fabulous restaurants, secluded anchorages, and most of all great people.
The sights and experiences were amazing my expectations were blown away.
Sheena and I returned to the mainland with lasting memories, new friends, and the goal of buying a boat for ourselves. Take a chance, you have nothing to lose.
Mike & Sheena Wilt, Baltimore, Maryland April 2022
UPDATE: Not long after writing this testimonial, Mike and Sheena purchased a beautiful Hylas and are now preparing it for new and exciting adventures.
Guest Feedback: Landlubbers to Full Time Sailing Cruisers!
Our Sailing Lifestyle Experience was more than a vacation on the beach. For a week we tasted a new way of life we didn’t know possible. We couldn’t say it better than Margaret, our four-year-old,
“Being on a boat is the life for me! Wind in my hair, not a care!”
With the constant sound of crashing waves, a rocking boat, the sunsets, and translucent waters glistening it’s a challenge to pinpoint our favorite moments.
Every moment of every day seemed to gel together helping us to forget our worries on land.
Thank you, Simon, for sharing your sailing expertise, introducing us to other sailing families, and a pace of life full of fresh and salty air! The Experience was truly a dream, and Simon's sailing stories are unforgettable!
Simon is a generous person who wants to share this life with all who dare to seek it.
What a phenomenal experience for our family of five. Even our littlest member turned one during our Experience, a memory we will cherish forever.
Dorothy, Roger, Isla, Margaret & Patrick, Britican Experience February 2020
UPDATE: This family has their boat and they are full liveaboard cruisers. You'll find them sailing off the coast of California, Mexico, and Central America.
Guest Feedback: Motivation to Make the Dream a Reality!
Our Sailing Lifestyle Experience was more than we could hope for. Our week was a perfect balance of education, hands-on experience, and relaxation.
Simon had us sailing the boat, charting our course around the islands, looking for hazards, and looking at the wind and swell of the waves on day two.
We were running the rigging, dropping and pulling up the anchor, and helming our way in and out of bays. Not having any sailing experience was not a problem, as Simon answered every question we could throw at him.
The Sailing Lifestyle Experience has answered so many of the unknowns for us and has inspired/motivated us to get going on our own sailing adventure.
Thank you and we'll see you on the water!
Lonna Roe and Dave Applegate, Britican Experience April 2021
Guest Feedback: If Our Experience Goes Well...Time to Buy a Boat!
We have been following Britican on YouTube for a while now. So when they introduced the Sailing Lifestyle Experience program, we were excited for the opportunity to experience time with them as part of our research before we make the leap into this different lifestyle that we're considering.
From the outside looking in, the experience might seem like any other charter vacation where you get to see the environment of living in a small space and the freedom of being able to pull up anchor and move to the next lovely tropical paradise.
The Sailing Lifestyle Experience is way more! It's about immersing yourself in the life and culture of a boat community and the daily practices of having a floating home that moves constantly, the trade-offs you make for this life, and the peace and serenity of a much simpler existence.
You are enveloped in the experience as soon as you get on board! When we met Simon, it was as though we had known him all our life.
For us, the Sailing Experience was really about a change in mindset. We became comfortable calling the boat our home, and it became routine to consider how to keep it safe, clean, and comfortable.
We dined with great people, ate delicious food, planned and prepared for passages, fished, stargazed, chased rays and turtles while snorkeling, raced hermit crabs, trimmed the sails, steered into harbors, and made decisions every day due to the changing conditions and environment.
After not too long we were in the swing of things, embracing the need to be flexible, not making decisions based on a schedule, and realizing that a crimson horizon and a cool sundowner are perfect introductions to a lifelong excursion of blue-water bliss.
The Lifestyle Experience is an affirmation, a reality check, a confirmation that this is the lifestyle and life that we indeed are going to pursue. It gave us the confidence that we could reach for and grasp what the Britican crew is experiencing every day.
With heartfelt thanks to Simon and crew for their hospitality, patience, wisdom, and friendship - we look forward to sharing an anchorage together!" The Lander's Family. Britican Experience February 2020
UPDATE: This family is now living the sailing life. Follow them on their FaceBook page here: Sailing Erin Skye
Availability & Costings: 50' Catamaran with Simon in St Martin
Availability for experiences on Manava, the 50' catamaran is open from November 2023, in St Marin (SXM) provided your application is successful.
What is included is seven days room and board. Each itinerary is different depending on skill levels and weather conditions. Check the calendar for availability and fill out the application form below with your dates of interest. Experience weeks are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and applications are called in the order they are received.
To reduce the cost per couple, invite your friends! While you're learning how to become a cruiser, your friends/family can have a vacation and enjoy the ride. Any dates in GREEN are available.
NOTE THAT THE DATES AVAILABLE ARE BETWEEN NOVEMBER 2023 TO JUNE 2024 ONLY.
Price is for one couple sharing a room.
Price is for two couples and two rooms.
Price is for three couples and three rooms.
Our special passages are perfect for new sailors wanting to experience long sailing passages, night sailing, and multi-country stops. The dates of our next special passage are 30th October to 6th November 2023. This will sell out fast. The cost is $4,000 per person sharing a room with space for six people
Sailing Lifestyle Experience Availability
What is not included are flights, airport transfers, alcohol, excursions (dives, land-based tours, etc.), and any meals eaten out at restaurants. The first 25% is due upon booking the experience and the 75% payment is due one month before. The Experience is 7 days however we are happy to increase it to a 10-day or a 12-day experience. Prices are pro-rated on a daily rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
A. As soon as we confirm the dates that you want are available, a 25% non-refundable payment is required to book. Due next is 75% one month before the Experience.
A. No. I'm not here to teach by the book. I'm here to show you what life is like living aboard a sailboat. I'm here to give you a fly-on-the-wall look at what it’s really like to be a liveaboard cruiser. You will not find paper charts out on display (although we do have them in a drawer). No one uses charts anymore – all passage planning is done on a plotter or iPad nowadays. And we’re not going to drone on for a full day about how to use every safety mechanism on the boat (although safety is very important to us).
Hey – it’s important to know how to do things the old school way so we definitely advise people to get qualifications. Learn how to do a passage on a paper chart. Learn how to hold a flare in the right way. Learn what every night-time boat light configuration means. And when you want a real-life experiential situation, come join us and we’ll show you what living on a boat is like 😉
We believe in curating an exceptional and personalized experience for each participant of our Sailing Lifestyle Experience.
We want to ensure that every individual who joins us is not only enthusiastic about embracing the cruising lifestyle but also aligns with the values and spirit of our close-knit sailing community.
That's why we have implemented an application process, where interested individuals are required to submit an application form. Here's why our application process is an integral part of our Sailing Lifestyle Experience:
- Tailored Experience: By reviewing applications, we can understand your specific goals, aspirations, and level of sailing experience. This allows us to tailor the program to meet your individual needs and ensure that you receive the maximum value from your time with us. We want to create an environment where you can thrive and make meaningful progress toward your cruising dreams.
- Community Building: Our sailing community is built on a foundation of camaraderie, mutual respect, and shared passion. Through the application process, we carefully select participants who will contribute positively to this community, fostering an atmosphere of support, friendship, and collaborative learning. This ensures that everyone on board has the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and forge lasting bonds.
- Safety and Well-being: Your safety and comfort are our utmost priorities. By reviewing applications, we can better understand any specific requirements, medical considerations, or dietary needs you may have. This enables us to make necessary arrangements, ensuring that your time on board is safe, enjoyable, and tailored to your well-being.
- Limited Availability: Our Sailing Lifestyle Experience has limited availability due to the intimate nature of our program. We believe in providing a personalized and hands-on learning environment, which necessitates a limited number of participants. The application process allows us to select individuals who are truly committed to the sailing lifestyle, creating a cohesive and engaging experience for everyone involved.
Rest assured, our application process is not about exclusion, but rather about creating a supportive and vibrant community of sailors who are genuinely passionate about the cruising lifestyle. We encourage you to take the time to complete the application form thoughtfully and honestly, as it will help us understand your aspirations and ensure that our program is the right fit for you.
Upon submitting your application, our team will review it carefully and get back to you with a response within a few days. If approved, you'll receive further instructions on how to proceed with securing your spot on our Sailing Lifestyle Experience.
We look forward to receiving your application and embarking on this incredible journey together. Let's set sail toward a future filled with adventure, learning, and unforgettable memories.
Apply for our Sailing Lifestyle Experience Now!
Guest Feedback: Family of Three Give the Sailing Lifestyle a Go!
Let me start by explaining that my wife & I booked the Sailing Lifestyle Experience so that we could spend time on a liveaboard sailboat in an attempt to see what it’s like and to see if it might be something we would want to try. We came away with a better understanding of sail trim, motoring, navigational routing, weather forecast interpreting, mooring ball retrieval, anchoring, provisioning, boat repair/service, customs clearing, and so many other little things that all add up to what gave us a real sense of what it’s like to live on a sailboat.
Our expectations were blown away. It was exactly what we were looking for. Simon found a way to make us feel like friends, while also delivering a well-polished, professional experience.
Whether you are just considering this lifestyle and want to “try it out” or you are an experienced sailor looking to add to your skillset, Simon will deliver." Dean, Trish, & Ruby Izbraun, Portland, Oregon April 2022
Guest Feedback Video: New Catamaran Owner Tests Cruising Life with Simon First!
Guest Feedback: Should I Buy Another Boat? What Will My Fiance Think?
I used to be a sailor. I sailed a nice Beneteau monohull and enjoyed great times with friends sailing around the shallow gulf waters in Texas. As time went on work and kids became more demanding, and sailing, sadly, became a very occasional pleasure and the boat went to live with someone else. Now that the kids are grown, I often find myself thinking of the sea again.
Should I buy another boat? Do I even remember enough about sailing to charter and not look like an idiot? Hmm...my fiancé is from Wyoming and thinks boats are for water skiing. Is that a problem? Maybe. Lots of random thoughts and worries about the subject. I resubscribe to Cruising World. Wow! Beautiful boats! Can I possibly handle that big yacht on page 3?
Well, if I was ever going to circumnavigate (I know. That’s a bit of a leap), I needed to find a way out of the torturous mental maze I found myself in. During my nautically oriented wandering in cyberspace, I stumbled across SailingBritican.com featuring Simon and his tales of living and sailing on his beautiful Oyster yacht, Britican.
After a number of months following the tales of family life, glorious sails, repairs, leaks, beaches, and the sailing community, I decided to give Simon a call and take him up on his offer to share what real life is like on a cruising sailboat - sailing, cooking, fixing, navigating and all the things that make up the cruising life.
So, my fiancé, Stephanie, and I braved the COVID maze and boarded Britican, and met its crew in St. Martin in late January. I was hoping that Stephanie wouldn’t hate it and that I would find I could still sail a bit and maybe handle that big Oyster.
What a great time we had! I remembered how to tie a knot or two. Stephanie helmed that big Oyster all the way from St. Barts to St. Martin like she’d been doing it for years (with a big grin on her face)!
I even learned how to replace the impeller on the generator, which would have worked if we’d had the right part. All in all a great week and a real confidence builder for both of us. Simon is a great teacher with great knowledge and greater patience. He also likes to have fun which we had a lot of.
I recommend the Sailing Lifestyle Experience to anyone who is wondering if the cruising life is for them.
Murphy Lents, Utah Sailing Lifestyle Experience, St Martin 2021
Guest Feedback Video: Retired Pilot & Wife Try A Passage Experience
Guest Feedback Video: Does the reality of sailing match expectations?
Guest Feedback: Answering unknowns
First, I can say the Experience is excellent and you couldn’t meet nicer people. Simon and the crew customized the week specifically for our needs. We have experience with crewing our own trips thru charters but are restricted to daytime sailing.
Our longest trip prior to our Experience was a one-way trip from St. Lucia to Grenada that was spread over 7 days. Our goal was to gain more offshore experience and understand how cruisers lived. Pulling the trigger on a purchase of a boat is not something you want to do without ample knowledge of the total experience.
Living in Kansas does not generally provide you with accessibility to the lifestyle, the Sailing Experience was a great match for our needs.
Passage making - My goals for the passage were to learn and understand:
- watch schedules
- what do you do while on watch
- can you sleep between watches
- if you get seasick can you function afterward
- will you acclimate to the motion after a few days
- and just observe someone with experience dealing with whatever happens
I had hoped for a challenging squall, moderate seas, and some brisk winds. I can say we met our goals except for the squall, however, I did not specifically request a squall. I’m sure if I had, Simon could have arranged that as well as accommodated everything we requested and went the extra mile to make the experience perfect.
The watch schedule was 3 hours on and 3 hours off, which worked well for me and I had no issues sleeping while not on watch, in fact, I slept better than at home. While on watch we monitored location, heading, sails, wind, AIS, and took a hard look for traffic every 10 minutes. Once we found some traffic it gained all our attention until determined it would not be a factor.
I did get seasick at night while attempting to read a Lat/Lon on an unfamiliar chart plotter to make a logbook entry, the 12 hours prior I was fine and 3 hours later I was back to 100%. The next night I spent much time looking at the chart plotter and the iPad for navigation and had zero issues with seasickness, so I feel pretty good about that.
The winds for the trip were a constant 25 to 30 knots on the beam for the first day and night with seas to match. The boat responded with confidence and had no issues with the conditions. We ran the first reef in the main the entire trip and would reef the genoa as appropriate.
Britican has powerful electric furling for the genoa, which was pretty sweet in the conditions and made reefing the genoa under load a non-event. I felt completely comfortable in the wind and sea state and would have no issue on a longer trip. We arrived in Foulmouth harbor at night and I enjoyed using range lights and lighted buoys to make our path into the harbor.
Getting to see the nav aids for real at night and making sure I understood all of what the chart had to offer was a great learning experience for me. Some of it was a bit confusing several miles out but all lined up as we got closer to the entrance." Jon & Jennifer Carr 2019
Note: Jon also joined Simon and the crew on the St Martin to USA Passage Voyage in 2022 to get even more experience!
Britican Experience Montage Video
This video will give you a taste of what our Sailing Experiences on Britican were like. Now, the Experiences are on Manava, a 50' catamaran.
Guest Feedback - Guys Week
Although family and friends don't always understand, to me the point of a passage offshore is to do something outside my comfort zone for the challenge and personal growth with an experienced captain. The passage to Bermuda did not disappoint; despite challenging conditions at the start, every waking hour was full of new experiences, memories I'll cherish, and lessons I have no doubt will serve me when I have a boat of my own. I'm now more determined and confident than ever to make that happen!
Dan Martin, Virginia to Bermuda Passage Experience 2022 (Note: Dan also booked a Sailing Lifestyle Experience with his wife in the spring of 2023)