Semi-Private Sailing Terms and Conditions

In order to keep our services affordable, we have established the following terms. We believe that they are fair, and that overall they are the most guest friendly terms of any reputable sailing operation in Chicago or anywhere else. If you hold a voucher from a third party, by making a reservation you are redeeming your voucher. Once a reservation is made, your voucher is redeemed, even if you cancel your reservation. Should you cancel your reservation, your voucher is still redeemed but may be used to make another reservation. Any change fees incurred will be due at the time you make the new reservation.

Guests Travelling Longer Distances:
It is possible to arrive at the harbor and either have a system not pass as expected, or a new system pop up, that could cause the delay or cancellation of the sail. Since sails are not cancelled in advance of sail time due to dynamic nature of the weather in Chicago (regardless of hourly forecast), and cancellations are made based on current radar and marine conditions at the time of the sail, guests who are travelling from further distances should strongly consider cancellation insurance, or at least having a plan B should the sail be cancelled. Cancellation insurance would allow you to reschedule with no change fee even if the sail goes out as planned. This way you can make the choice to come to the harbor based on your own interpretation of the forecast.

Standard Sail Times :
Morning Sails (Sat, Sun): 9am
Sunset Sails (Mon, Tue, Thu, Sun): sunset sail times vary.
Upgrade Sails: days and times will be listed as available, but often include weekend afternoons/evenings and fireworks sails. Please see upgrades for more info.

Season Dates:
The Semi-Private season typically begins May 15 and ends Sep 15. There may not be any Semi-Private sails available the week of July 4, as well as air show weekend.
Last day to make a reservation with a voucher is Sep 5, due to the 10 day advance reservation policy.

Making a Reservation:
All reservations are made online for accuracy and logistical reasons. Simply LOGIN with your voucher number and email address and follow the directions. You will receive a confirmation email within a few minutes of when you submit your reservation. Sail departure times may change by up to 60 minutes, but never with less than 7 days advance notice. Guests with existing reservations for sails that have time changes will have the option to schedule another sail.

Rescheduling / Cancellation Policy and Change Fees:

In order to give our guests an option to change or cancel a reservation less than 10 days in advance, and since changes made by guests less than 10 days in advance often result in additional costs or underutilized capacity, there are change fees for rescheduling or cancelling a sail less than 10 full days in advance. Rescheduling is done by cancelling your existing reservation and then making a new one. Any change fees incurred will be due at the time you make your new reservation.

Change fees are as follows – fees are per pair of seats, not per reservation: 
$0 – with Cancellation Insurance
$0 – 10 days or more in advance
$15 – 7 or more full days in advance
$25 – 5 or more full days in advance
$35 – 3 or more full days in advance
$45 – 2 or more full days in advance
$60 – 24 hours or more in advance
$75 – 1 hour or more in advance
$85 – less than 1 hour in advance or no-show
$0 – with Cancellation Insurance

Cancellations less than 24 full hours in advance of upgrade sails will also result in the forfeit of 100% the paid upgrade fee in addition to the above change fees unless you have full cancellation insurance.

Weather Policy:
In general, sails are not cancelled in advance of sail time regardless of advance or hourly forecast due to the dynamic nature of the weather. Your captain and/or CSC staff will decide if your sail will be cancelled or delayed due to current conditions and approaching systems. We do sail in some scattered showers, but not persistent rain. We will not begin a sail during an electrical storm, moderate rain, or if we believe that such approaching conditions will be unavoidable during a sail by altering course or returning to harbor. This decision will made by the captain, and you will be notified immediately if your captain determines that the sail will be delayed or cancelled. If you do not show for your sail and conditions do allow for a reasonable sail (scattered showers at worst), this will be considered a no-show and the no-show change fee will be due before you may book another sail.

Expiration Date Extensions (for cancellations by CSC):
If your sail was cancelled by your captain due to conditions, with less than 30 days remaining until your voucher expiration, we will extend your voucher to expire 15 days from the date of the cancellation. If the expiration goes past Sep 30, we will extend your expiration to Jun 15 of the following year. Guests who were weather cancelled 2 or more times in a season will receive an extension through June 15 of the following year regardless of when their sail was cancelled. The above extensions are made upon request when the requirements are met.
If the program for 2 person or 6 person semi-privates are no longer offered the following year, the amount paid can be used towards any private charter.

Rain Dates for late season cancellations:
If you had a reservation between the dates of 8/15 – 9/15 which was cancelled by your captain due to conditions, and find that none of the remaining availability through the end of the standard season works for you, some rain dates are being held for this type of cancellation. Several sails will be set aside Sep 16 – Sep 30 exclusively for such rained-out guests, and your voucher will be extended as indicated above in “Expiration Date Extensions”.

All seats are based on availability. There are multiple sails made available every Mon, Tue, Thur, and Sun evenings, and Sat and Sun mornings. Many more seats are made available than vouchers sold, but no guarantees of availability for specific sail dates are made other than we make several seats available for each and every M/Tu/Th/Su evening and Sat/Sun morning other than blacked out dates. The days/times of all regularly scheduled sails and blackout dates are listed above under “Standard Sail Times”

10 Day Advance Reservation:
Though we will try to accommodate every reservation no matter how soon before a sail, we suggest that you make your reservation at least 10 days in advance. The further in advance you are able to make your reservation, the more availability there is. Reservations made less than 10 days in advance are subject to cancellation up to 24 hours before the sail.

Partial Sails:
Partial sails are sails which are shortened due to current or expected inclement conditions, or circumstances beyond our control. Our goal is for every sail to be a perfect sail, but sometimes safety and comfort force us to shorten a sail. Sails lasting less than 60% of their scheduled duration will be considered “incomplete” and a sail for the balance of the time can be arranged. Sails lasting 60-80% of their scheduled duration are considered “shortened” and you will receive a voucher to purchase sail for 6 for $149, which may be used within 365 days of your shortened sail. No refunds are available for “shortened” sails. Sails that were shortened due to conditions and lasting more than 80% of their scheduled duration will be considered complete, and in some circumstances a partial credit toward purchase of another sail may be issued on a case by case basis.

Waves and strong wind are sometimes a part of sailing. The captain will take into consideration current conditions, trends, and forecasts in order to decide if it is safe and reasonable to sail. Though it is not common, if you are prone to or are worried about motion sickness or sea sickness, please do not book a sail, as it is often impractical for sails to return early due to seasickness discomfort or illness except in severe circumstances.

You may bring alcoholic beverages (please avoid glass), but any passenger consuming alcohol must be at least 21, and passengers assume legal consequences due to illegal drinking of alcohol. Should you become intoxicated, or show up intoxicated, the captain reserves the right to deny service or return the offending individual/group to the harbor. No rescheduling will be available and no refunds will be issued to intoxicated guests. It’s nice to enjoy a few drinks while out for your sail, but intoxicated individuals create unsafe and uncomfortable conditions for all. We want everyone to have a fun, enjoyable, and memorable sail.

Children must be at least 12 years old to join us on Semi-Private sails.

Delays and Cancellations:
On very rare occasions, unforeseen events (e.g. changing weather, unexpected maintenance needs, etc.) may cause us to delay your sail for up to 1 hour, or even return late to harbor by more than an hour. If your sail is delayed more than 1 hour, your sail will be considered cancelled and you may make another reservation. Since sails may be delayed up to 1 hour, please only make a reservation if you are able to return up to 1 hour later than the scheduled return time. If you choose not to wait for the departure of a delayed sail, this will be considered a no-show and the corresponding fee will be do at the time you reserve a new sail. Late returns are a disclosed and known possibility, and no discounts or rescheduling will apply for late returns.

Restricted Items:
Glass (except for wine/champagne bottles) is not allowed. Dark liquids and sauces are not permitted (e.g. red wine, tomato sauces, grape juice, etc.). Illegal substances are not allowed.

Illegal Substances:
Under NO circumstances are illegal substances permitted on board. Any passenger bringing illegal substances on board will be held responsible for all damages that may be caused by such action, including but not limited to: entire cost of vessel due to confiscation by authorities, loss of income due to vessel down time, liability for injuries, legal fees incurred by all parties, etc… Our captains are bound by U.S. Coast Guard Rules to immediately report all possession of illegal substances to authorities, who will meet us at the harbor or even board us on the water to take further action.

To Cancel a Reservation…
To cancel your existing reservation, please LOGIN using your voucher number, and select cancel. You will be notified of any fee that will be due, asked if you are sure that you wish to cancel. Your reservation is only considered cancelled once you click to agree to the change fee and you receive the automated email confirming your cancellation. If you do not receive the cancellation email with a minute or two, please LOGIN and check your reservation status to make sure that your cancellation was completed properly.
If you cannot reach a computer or you do not have your voucher number with you to login, you may call us at 312-834-7245 to cancel your reservation. Should you reach our voicemail, please leave your name, sail date and time, and any other details you have and tell us that you wish to cancel your sail and understand that fees may be due. So that we can keep the cost of sailing down for all of our guests, the published change fees will apply to all cancellations regardless of circumstance.

Sailing Details:
Semi-Private sails are limited to 6 people when tickets are purchased separately, but if you have a single group of 8 or 10, we are often able to accommodate you on some of our specially licensed sailboats with a single payment for the reservation. Times are as specified in your booking confirmation. All sails will depart on time, so please show up at least 10-15 minutes prior to your departure to board or you may miss your sail.

Swimming is not permitted on Semi-Private sails unless all passengers are members of the same group on a single reservation, and the captain determines that the conditions allow it.

Inappropriate Behavior:
Should passenger actions or behavior make the crew feel that safety is compromised, other guests are made to feel uncomfortable, or that they are unable to focus on sailing the boat and maintaining safe conditions, the captain reserves the right to deny service and/or return the offending individual/group to the harbor and continue the sail with the remaining group. No refunds will be issued.

Cleanup Fees:
Excessive Messes: Of course we expect there to be cleanup that has to occur after a sail, but excessive messes caused by inappropriate behavior (ignoring captain’s directions, throwing food/drinks, etc.), may cause a $50 to $100 cleanup fee to be charged to the guests credit card based on the extent of the cleanup required. Vomit: Though it is not under anyone’s control if they get sea-sick or not, it s clearly under control where they vomit if they need to do so. Passengers will be instructed to notify the captain should they begin to feel ill, and that in the rare case when someone does get sick, that nobody should vomit inside any part of the boat, not even in the bathroom (this should be done overboard). If you need to vomit, the captain will help you safely do so overboard. There is a $50 cleanup fee for vomiting in the toilet, and $100 fee plus any damages for doing so anywhere else down below. To date, only 3 people have ever been charged this fee because the majority of the small number of guests who have been ill were courteous enough to follow the captain’s directions.

Credit/Debit Cards: Fees, Arbitration, and Chargebacks
I agree that the credit card that I used to make the reservation with Chicago Sailboat Charters may be used to charge any additional fees incurred during the sail, with the exception of change fees, which are not charged until the time a new reservation is made. I also agree that I will first make every effort to contact Chicago Sailboat Charters if I believe that there is an incorrect or unreasonable charge on my card. I further agree that should the issue remain unresolved for more than 10 days, I can pursue arbitration (see “Agreement” below), but agree not attempt to seek any remedy through my credit/debit card issuer or any other chargeback method. Any and all expenses incurred by Chicago Sailboat Charters due to the violation of this procedure will be the responsibility of the charterer.

This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois. The parties consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in the federal and state courts in Cook County, Illinois. This Agreement shall be binding upon, and inure to the benefit of, the successors, executors, heirs, representatives, administrators and permitted assigns of the parties. Any dispute, action, dispute, interpretation, or claim shall be resolved via arbitration and shall be the sole and exclusive procedures for the resolution of any such disputes. The arbitration shall take place in Chicago, Illinois. Arbitration expenses will be shared by the parties. Expenses (legal, travel, incidental, etc.) shall be apportioned by the arbitrator to each party. Arbitration proceedings will be governed by the Rules of the American Arbitration Association.
If any provision of this Agreement shall be found invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this Agreement shall be interpreted so as best to reasonably affect the intent of the parties.
This Agreement and Amendments, constitutes the entire understanding and agreement of the parties with respect to its subject matter and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous agreements or understandings, inducements or conditions, express or implied, written or oral.
Delivery of an executed Agreement and Amendments by facsimile, PDF, E-mail, e-signature or any other reliable means shall be deemed to be as effective for all purposes as delivery of a manually executed agreement. Both parties agree that all electronic communications, a reliable identification term, “Agree” or “Accepted”, contained in an electronic document is sufficient to verify your acceptance and is the equivalent of your signature to this agreement.

Full Disclosure of Terms
I agree that I have had ample opportunity to review all the above terms and conditions, been made aware of all cancellation/change fees, offered cancellation insurance and either chosen to accept or decline, been made aware of the fact that sails are not cancelled until sail time and may be delayed up to 1 hour without cancellation, notified of potential cleanup fees, and all other terms listed above. By signing or e-signing this agreement I agree to all above terms and conditions.

Last updated Nov 20, 2017

Chicago Sailboat Charters   info line: 312-834-7245