Tall Ships Entrepreneurs: Operating a For-Profit Vessel
Captain Michael Rutstein, Schooner FAME
Captain John Eginton, Mystic Whaler
Greg and Laura Lohse, Schooners Alliance and Serenity
Rutstein, Schooner FAME presentation
Eginton – no Powerpoint given during this presentation
Lohse – no Powerpoint given during this presentation
This session will discuss traditional sailing vessels which are run as for-profit enterprises, and the important ways in which running such a business differs from the non-profit models which are shared by most Tall Ships members. Many Tall Ships crew dream of running their own schooner someday. What is the skill set that makes for success? What represents a good location? What’s the right boat for the business model? A panel will discuss the intricacies of running a successful for profit business.
Capt. Michael Rutstein is the owner and operator of the schooner FAME of Salem. FAME is a full-scale, oak-on-oak representation of the first American privateer to capture a prize during the War of 1812. The new FAME was launched in 2003 and sails May-October from her historic home port of Salem. The business plan consists of public sails, private charters, educational sails, and the popular Schooner Camp program. Capt. Rutstein also publishes Marlinspike magazine.
Capt John Eginton has been sailing professionally since 1976. Beginning his career with six seasons on the Victory Chimes of Castine, Maine, Capt. Eginton went on to sail as mate on the schooner Voyager of Mystic, CT and as 2nd Mate on Pride of Baltimore. He has commanded the schooners Charlotte Anne (1 year), Mystic Clipper (6 years), and Mystic Whaler (24 years). In the off seasons, Capt. Eginton has done numerous yacht deliveries and private charters, and had the privilege of sailing aboard the Coast Guard Barque EAGLE. He has also served as captain of a 70 ft. motor yacht and as mate and captain for Connecticut Pilots Association for ten years. In 1995 Capt. Eginton purchased the schooner Mystic Whaler from the yard where she had been abandoned, and directed a substantial refit. He now embarks on his 20th year as owner, providing passenger cruises and educational programs ranging from 3 hours to 5 days. Capt. Eginton serves on the board of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, and is past commodore of the American Schooner Association.
Greg and Laura met crewing on the maiden voyage of the Corwith Cramer from Spain to Woods Hole in 1988. Greg was engineer on that voyage and Laura was a deckhand. Since then they have sailed extensively throughout the Atlantic, Caribbean, Bahamas, Great Lakes and Pacific Oceans on various tall ships and research vessels. For much of that time they worked aboard the Sea Education Association vessels and also aboard the Tole Mour for Marimed Foundation. The Lohses purchased their first schooner in 1989, the year they got married. Since then they have expanded from owning the 45′ pocket schooner, Delight, to owning 2 passenger carrying schooners, the Serenity, and the Alliance. In 2000 they purchased the 65′ Serenity and upgraded from 6 passengers to 30 passengers. In 2005 they purchased the 105′ Alliance, moved their business to Yorktown, VA and started Yorktown Sailing Charters. They currently operate the Alliance and Serenity in Yorktown during the summer season and sail Alliance to the Caribbean in the winter for week long island hopping cruises in the San Blas Islands of Panama and other islands in between.