FAQs About a Manhattan Boat Tour | Manhattan By Sail

Frequently Asked Questions


What if it rains?

Sailing is an all-weather activity, and Manhattan by Sail’s boats leave the dock rain or shine. Summer thundershowers are part of life in New York and you’ll soon see that braving the elements with our safe and reliable crew is all part of the fun! If you are a fair weather sailor, no worries, just be sure to give our reservation and cancellation policies a read.

What if I can’t make a sail that I have tickets for? What’s your Refund Policy?

Sorry, but we don't offer refunds. In the event of a cancellation by the captain due to severe weather or mechanical failure, customers will be given the opportunity to reschedule at no additional fee. If you need to reschedule from the original date booked, go right ahead, but be aware that we have a 48-hour notice policy. Call us any time before then and we'll reschedule you at no extra charge. A predetermined surcharge is required for a reschedule within 48 hours.

What if I get seasick?

New York Harbor is one of the most protected waterways in the world, so generally speaking seasickness isn’t much of a concern. Some people are more susceptible to it than others, however. If you think you might be one of them, we recommend taking Dramamine (or any similar over-the-counter motion sickness drug containing dimenhydrinate). Keep in mind that Dramamine takes about two hours to take full effect so if you’re taking them on board, it’s too late. Ginger capsules have also been found to be helpful. If you do get seasick, our crew will do everything they can to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.

Are beverages served onboard?

We’re sailors! Of course we serve drinks - it comes with the territory. The Clipper City boasts a full bar on board and the Shearwater offers drink service featuring a selection of beer, white wine and champagne. Also available on both boats is an array of non-alcoholic choices such as water, soda and juice.

Do you serve food? Can we bring our own?

Yes on both counts. Ask our staff about our catering options for groups. We can have a host of food options waiting for you when you board. But if the mood strikes and you want to pack the old picnic basket, go right ahead. However, aside from sails that include food in the program, we do not have food available for purchase on board.

Is sailing safe?

If you’ve never been on a sailboat before, don’t worry about a thing. These are not small boats and they are very stable. Once you have been on one of our boats you will see how safe and comfortable you feel. Sailing is inherently safe and at Manhattan by Sail passenger safety is our primary concern. All of those sailboats that you see heeling over out there are supposed to do that, it’s part of the physics of how they work. As soon as you climb aboard, our crew will tell you everything you need to know about the particulars of our sailing vessels.

Are your boats handicapped accessible?

The Clipper City is indeed handicapped accessible. Wheelchairs can come right aboard or we can stow them below during the sail as needed. If you have any concerns, don't hesitate to ask our office staff.

What should I wear?

Dress comfortably and prepare appropriately. We sail rain or shine, and keep in mind that it is usually cooler out on the water than on shore, especially in the evening and night. We do ask that passengers wear soft-soled shoes aboard the Shearwater as heels and boots can scuff the deck. Bare feet are also fine. There are no special requirements on the Clipper City.

Should I tip?

Our crew, from servers to deckhands, work for tips. If you enjoyed your sail, please tip accordingly!

I have a gift certificate with no expiration date, can I use it anytime?

All of our gift certificates issued after 2007 have an expiration date on them. If your gift certificate has no expiration date, it means that it is more than 4 years old and we no longer accept those.

What age qualifies as a child?

Any child 12 years of age and below qualifies for our child rates.

Are there restrooms on board the boats?

Yes, there are restrooms available on both the Clipper City and the Shearwater. You might hear them referred to as "the head," which is what they're called on a boat!

Where can I use the restroom near the boat before I board?

Clipper City: There are restrooms available behind Battery Gardens restuarant; in front of the Battery Beer Garden, there are men's and women's public park restrooms. Between 8am and 5pm Castle Clinton (closest to the Bowling Green 4/5 train station), the brick building where Statue Cruises sells ticketsalso houses men's and women's public restrooms. Shearwater: There are restrooms available on the second floor withing Brookfield Place. Take escalator up to second floor, make a left at "Sprinkles", continue straight making a right at "Olives" restaurant, left at next opening for men's and women's restrooms.

Do you actually put the sails up when we go out on the water?

Of course! We couldn't call ourselves sailors if we didn't! Depending on the wind, we'll utilize the sails for the majority of our power. If the wind is not so strong, we'll turn on the motor to get around for portions of the trip.

Are life jackets required?

Nope, except for passengers who are 12 years & under and sailing on the Shearwater. ​No one else is required to wear a life jacket but you're welcome to one, if you'd like.

Am I able to purchase a ticket using an international credit card?

Absolutely, you'll just have to select the International option from the drop-down on the ​Billing Information page of the payment process.

Can we bring our own beverages on board?

Due to our liquor license we are not able to have customers bring their own alcoholic beverages on board the Shearwater or the Clipper City. ​

Do we accept credit cards at the bar?

Yes! We accept all major U.S. credit cards on board the boats.

How close do the boats get to the Statue of Liberty and can we get off the boat at the Statue?

Our boats get as close to the Statue of Liberty as allowed by the U.S. Coast Guard, however, we do not disembark at the Statue.

Are hot beverages served aboard the boats?

We do have both coffee and tea service on the Clipper City, however, we do not serve hot beverages on the Shearwater.

Can I help to raise the sails?

Yes! We encourage our passengers to help us raise the sails.

Does the boat make a complete 360 around the Statue of Liberty?

Due to low water depths we do not sail behind the Statue of Liberty, however, we do spend a decent amount of time in front of the Statue providing a nice photo opportunity.

Can we bring strollers / bikes aboard the boat?

Yes you can bring strollers aboard the boats, however, we do not allow bikes on any of our boats.

What routes do the boats take?

Our routes are ever changing and depend on certain factors such as who the Captain is that day and the changing tides and winds.

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