The Stars and Stripes-USA11 is a famous San Diego Boat Tour; conveniently located 2 miles from downtown San Diego, just across from the airport on shelter island drive. The small privately held company in San Diego, California which specializes in public and private personalized yacht charter for small groups was started back in 2011. “This is not something you can do just anywhere,” says Lynn Hanna, captain of the vessel, which is called Stars and Stripes.
In fact, it’s the only place in North America where you can charter this type of boat, defined by its 11-story mast and speeds of up to 12 knots per hour. “We’re basically going twice as fast as the other boats,” says Hanna. “The keel goes down 13 feet and weighs 40,000 lbs., acting as a counterbalance to the mast.”
Stars and Stripes is not your typical San Diego Boat Tour; it is a premier yacht charter company in San Diego, CA. That encourages participants to raise the sails, grind the winches and even take the helm. We consider this an interactive experience combined with a 30 minute presentation of the history of San Diego Bay prior to the Sailing Charter. After the sail, complimentary refreshments are served while viewing the days activities on our flat screen TV.
The infamous Stars and Stripes and its sister vessel ILL Moro can also be retained for corporate team building, private events, racing against team-members or co-workers or birthday parties. The Captain does point out that this is NOT a booze cruise as the boat is designed to sail hard for three hours max, not nearly enough time to bring on beer scurvy.
Be sure to arrive 30 minutes before the sail and take advantage of the history of the American Cup. You can tell that the Crew that works on the sail boat LOVES what they do. We took both our teenage sons (13 &16) they had a blast and you know how hard it is to please a teenager. They were able to grind the sails and captain the boat. Another perk included on this tour was they took ALL the photos and emailed them to you the next day. This allowed us to sit back and enjoy. I will defiantly be back to sail on this boat next summer. Thank you to the Crew for providing my family with a day we will never forget!
This is the best adventure experience in San Diego. Well worth your time. San Diego, the home of Dennis Conner and port of call for two America’s Cup races, has this amazing boatfrom the 1992 campaign. The boat is big, impressive, and staffed with first class sailors. The bay tour is extensive and a lot of fun.
We reserved some time with the Stars and Stripes crew for a sailing tour of the San Diego bay. It’s hard to find activities that can accomidate a large group (17 people) but this was perfect! Everyone got the chance to steer the boat and crank in the lines. The boat was really impressive and felt spacious and safe for those who were timid of the water. The crew was fantastic- funny and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend for a sunny day!
This experience far surpassed my expectations and they were pretty high! Took my husband as a special treat as he is a sailor on the East Coast. We wanted something different than his usual experience in a J-22 sailboat and the opportunity to sail in an America’s Cup Yacht was too hard to pass up. The entire tour is well organized and run from beginning to end thanks to owners Lynn and Bee who are so personable and accommodating. Is it more expensive than those other tours – yes. Is it worth twice the cost – yes. This is why – it’s much more than a sail -it’s an educational hands-on experience on a historic yacht!! Arrive 30 minutes early and owner Bee gives you an amazing presentation on the history of the America’s Cup and Dennis Conner’s background in San Diego and major contribution to the sport. She is a wealth of knowledge and her presentation was interesting for even “non sailors” like myself. Once you are underway on the boat – which is super spacious and comfortable – each person interested was allowed a turn at the wheel and other sailing tasks as often as they wished. Tour itself on water was about 2.5 hrs. and you had a fabulous view of gorgeous San Diego downtown, Coronado and Point Loma to enjoy from the water. Another bonus was that Bee took hundreds of photos of all of us while onboard and sent us a link – FREE!! – immediately after the tour. I would say this is appropriate for ages 7-80? You need to be comfortable getting onto a large sailboat and the movement it involves. Our group was age range 40-75? When we got back we had an impromptu cocktail hour in the office area while enjoying the recent photo show of us all! Lynn and Bee – great job and thanks for a wonderful day on the water and lifetime memory:)
My family and I had a STUNning afternoon out on the water on the Stars & Stripes and with their amazing crew. We learned so much from our tour guide, Bee, and the crew took excellent care of us. My kids were thrilled getting to “drive” the boat. I would recommend this excursion to anyone coming to the area and the locals! I have never been treated so well on a tour PLUS they take tons of pictures and you can download them for free. That is usually unheard of! So go…go now… May there be wind in your sails, and wine in your glass.
If you are going to charter a sail boat in San Diego, why not get one of the original America’s Cup boats, “Stars and Stripes 11”. Thanks to some fine folks from Texas who have bought the boat and set it up as a charter you can do just that. This boat is sailing history and designed for pure performance. Its crew of 6-7 will let you participate in the process so its not a tour for couch potatoes, though my 83 year old dad and 76 year old mom managed it just fine. Incredible staff, crew, boat and experience. Added bonus, one of the crew doubles as a photographer and makes all the photos he takes available free after the sail, unlike most places that will try to sell you pics. Double bonus: a toast when your sail is over and cocktail reception back in the office.
From start to finish, this was an informative and fun sail. My husband, daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation prior to the sail and the sail, oh my! We had packed in a lot of activities in the week we visited, but this outranked them all. The weather was perfect and the boat was fast. It was fun to take the helm and my husband had a blast being a main grinder. The captain, first mate and crew were personable and knowledgeable about the boat. I highly recommend this tour.
Truly awesome, a very enjoyable adventure & tour. Everybody gets to help crew the boat as much as they want, or not at all. The ride is a forever experience, The crew was as much a tour guide as a sailing tutor, no matter what your degree of knowledge was of either. Way more fun than some “sit on your hands harbor tour“. Have already recommended this to friends and family, and would love to do this again on my return to San Diego. Thanks USA-11
My 16 year old daughter and I couldn’t convince my wife to go along on this great sailing trip, so just the two of us went. For the two of us it cost $182 and we were out for the better part of 4 hours, my 16 year old was half price.
Although we had a little difficulty finding the office near the Kona Kai Conference center, we did park in the Marina lot and USA 11 validated it for us -so parking for Free. The office is in a one story strip building east of the conference center.
They had a short America’s cup history presentation before the sailing that we just caught the tail end of.
The sailing was great with about 15 other people on board. We all got to grind the winches – raising and trimming sails, and steer the boat. We also got a little tour guiding from the crew as we sailed around San Diego Bay. It was fun sailing up to and around the large Navy ships including aircraft carriers and dodging ships returning to port. I think we got up to 12.8 knots several times during the afternoon, great fun.
You don’t need to bring a lot of gear (cameras, binoculars, and etc.). These all get stowed below deck anyway and the crew took hundreds of pictures that were available to all the next day on Google photos. I’ll try to attach some to this review.
They also had nuts, pretzels, and water / soft drinks throughout the trip. Towards the end they broke out some beer and wine for some of us.