Is The Sailing Cruising Life For You?
Are you longing for open space and an overwhelmingly awesome sense of freedom? How about fresh sea air, beautiful blue waters, and lush green tropical islands? What about waking to an incredible sunrise and finishing your day feeling invigorated and alive? Look no further, because I'm here to help! As a seasoned boat captain and instructor, I offer personalized sailing lessons on my own 56' bluewater monohull cruiser, Britican, as well as on a bluewater catamaran. And if you have your own boat, I can teach you on board, too.
Who Am I? Meet Simon and S/V Britican!
If you haven't come across Sailing Britican before, we were the FIRST liveaboard sailing family offering bespoke sailing charters to specifically teach aspiring sailors how to become confident sailing cruisers. Our daughter has since grown up and has now gone to school, taking my wife, Kim, leaving me to tend to our growing liveaboard sailing experience business.
I’ve been sailing our 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 teach on Britican, a 50' catamaran, and if you have your own boat, I can teach you on board, too.
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 on Britican. It is a GAME CHANGER." K & K Cole, South Carolina
Britican - 56' Oyster
Manava - 50' Lagoon
What's On Offer
The Britican 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).
The Britican Experience has been set up for you to get an honest look at what it’s like to keep a boat afloat...sail to beautiful destinations and operate as a couple or family (singles are welcome too) all the while picking my brains, about everything and anything, for 7, 10 or 12 days.
A great opportunity to try the lifestyle before buying into it! Depending on what you/your partner/your family are looking for I’ll create an experience that includes any or all of the following (just to mention a small sample). Each experience is created bespoke for guests. I will teach you what you want to learn. I will show you what you want to see. And I will help you take a giant leap towards making your cruising dreams a reality.
What Will You Gain?
Some are looking for reassurance: "Do I really want to pursue this dream? Is it possible to make it happen?"
Try the cruising lifestyle for a week to determine if you really want to spend $10,000’s and $100,000’s on a boat. The number of people that I’ve met that get the boat, spend months and years fixing it up only to realize that they don’t like to sail or their partner hates the boat or it's just not what they expected are many. With the Britican Experience, you can gain an insight into the lifestyle to truly determine if it’s a ‘yes’ for all parties involved. Furthermore, getting experience will help you to determine whether now is the time to make your dreams a reality.
For others, it’s something solid to aim for.
The Experience offers the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and feelings that come with living the dream. It’s hard to visualize a future lifestyle if you haven’t yet lived it. By spending time aboard Britican, you’ll taste the sea air, hear the sea birds calling, see the white tropical beaches lined with palm trees, and feel the warm sun on your skin. You’ll also taste vinegar and water (it’s the mixture we use to clean everything on the boat), hear the generator purring (to make us water, cook our food and keep our batteries topped up), and see the underside of the hull (if the barnacles need to be cleaned off) and feel what it feels like when a job or task takes five hours longer than it should have.
Being a liveaboard cruiser is amazing but it's also hard work.
With the Britican Experience, you get to see the good and the not-so-good. And the not-so-good isn’t bad…it’s just different from what we’ve grown to know and understand. As I always say, you don’t know what you don’t know. Boy – when it comes to owning and maintaining a boat you really don’t know what you don’t know. The Britican Experience will help prospective boat buyers/owners/cruisers to bridge that gap.
Guys Week Feedback
"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 is returning to Britican with his wife for the Britican Experience)
Britican Experience guests to sailing cruisers!
"The Britican 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.
We 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 most likely would not have done it had it not been for our Britican Experience. Thank you!
John & Deborah Paquet, Britican Experience, Grenada 2019
No boat, no way! Changed to official sailing cruisers within a year!
"I booked the Britican Experience 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: These guys have purchased their dream boat!
Family of three give the sailing lifestyle a go!
"Let me start by explaining that my wife & I booked a Britican 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 his guests 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
Availability & Costings
- Green = Available
- Orange = Guys Week with at least one spot available
- Red = Booked
Note that our calendar dates change often. This calendar provides an idea of days available. Cancellations happen so if you don't see the dates you're interested in, it's still worth applying below.
Until June 2023 Britican will be cruising around St Martin, Antigua, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, and from July to November 2023 she'll be in Grenada.
To book, provided spaces are available and your application process is successful, 25% is due immediately and 75% is due one month prior to the Experience. The currency quoted is in USD. The fees listed below include room and board on Britican for one week with a custom-made itinerary based on you/your family's requirements. See below for exclusions.
Price is for one couple. Children under 13 are free.
Price is for one single not sharing with others.
Price is per person. Britican Guys Weeks are similar to the Britican Experience but it's for four guys who either know each other, or don’t, coming together for a week of learning, experience, practice, laughs, and a whole lot of fun.
ALL PASSAGES ARE SOLD OUT FOR 2023. Please fill out the application below to get on the cancellation list or get early access to our 2024 sailing season dates.
Price is per day in addition to travel, room, and board. Minimum of three days.
Notes: 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.
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE APPLICATION FORM.
Frequently Asked Questions
A. As soon as we confirm the dates that you want are free, a 25% 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 😉
Landlubbers to full time sailing cruisers!
"Sailing Britican 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! Britican is truly a dream, and his sailing stories are an unforgettable experience! 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 on Britican, 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.
If the Britican Experience goes well...time to buy a boat!
"We have been following Kim and Simon on YouTube for a while now. So when they introduced the Britican 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 Britican 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 Britican Experience is 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 meet them! When we met the Britican family it was as though we had known them all our life.
For us, the Britican 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 Britican 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 Kim, Simon, and Sienna 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
Apply Now for a Britican Experience!
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 the Browns and their tales of living and sailing on their 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 them a call and take them up on their 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 met the Britican and 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, Kim, and Siena are great teachers with great knowledge and greater patience. They also like to have fun which we had a lot of.
I recommend the Britican Experience to anyone who is wondering if the cruising life is for them.
Murphy Lents, Utah Britican Experience 2021
Motivation to make the dream a reality!
"Our Britican experience was more than we could hope for. Simon made us feel as though we were part of the family. 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 Britican 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
"First, I can say the experience is an excellent experience and you couldn’t meet nicer people. Simon and Kim 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 the Britican 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 Britican 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 and Kim could have arranged that as well as they 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 booked onto the St Martin to USA Britican Passage Experience in 2022 to get even more experience!
Britican Experience Montage Video
This video will give you a taste of what the Britican Experience will give you!