Adventure Charter Boats

Offering 1-2 week livaboard sailing and diving charters in the Caribbean, yacht delivery, and yacht repair. We are dealers for MackSails, BlueSky and Genasun.

Adventure Charterboats operates the s/v Mai Tai, a Lagoon catamaran sailboat in Milwaukee, WI. Mai Tai is available for both sailing and scuba diving charters on Lake Michigan. Live-a-boards and custom adventures are also available upon request!

Operating as usual

We really like where we are anchored in Calivagny Cut behind the reef (an off-shoot of Woburn Bay between Calivigany Island and mainland Grenada). This area is unique because the reef blocks the waves but we can still count on a strong breeze down the hatches, even when it’s hot with little wind onshore. The wind gives added bonus of keeping our wind generator going 24 hours power which keeps our batteries up at night! In addition there are very good resources for working on the boat in this area, which is Rick's job while Lara is making the bacon.

We had been anchored closer to the University during Lara’s initial 2 week training period, but quickly moved back to Calvigany after realizing how much hotter it is in that bay as well as having more limited access to resources. Unfortunately there is no easy way to get back and forth from Woburn to the University by public transportation. It takes 10 minutes in a car vs 1 ½ hrs via 3 different busses. We looked into renting a car and initially it looked like it would be $2000US from now till Nov1. Then we found one for $1000US. But we were really cringing at spending that much just to be anchored in a better place. Can you put a price on comfort and happiness? We still had one other option, we could buy a cheap car for 3 months and sell it when we leave. Rick is pretty good with fixing them so with a little luck we might be able to break even. We also liked the idea because the journey of fixing up a car often comes with meeting all kinds of locals that we would not otherwise encounter. It's a more risky option, but sometimes you gotta take chances to get somewhere! So we started looking around.

After weeding out several prospects we settled on a Suzuki Escudo, which is also known as a SideKick or a Vitara. They are very common here which allowed us to be more picky, and hopefully will make it easier to find replacement parts. Lara bargained hard and we ended up settling on one for a little under $1500US with the caveat that they would replace one of the tires that had a broken belt. Timing was such that Rick ended up picking up the car (day1) while Lara was back in the US visiting family so she missed the fun of visiting the Grenadian version of the DMV to transfer the title, the police station to get a three month temp license and an insurance company to get coverage. Even with the gracious help of the previous owner it still took all day. After verifying that they had replaced both front tires instead of just one (score!) I was driving back to the dingy dock and I started to notice all the stuff I overlooked earlier! Check engine light on (hadn’t been during the test drive). The steering was really pulling to the left. The engine temp was all over the place (but not overheating). The blower didn't work at all and neither did either of the remote key fob(s)/alarm. Oh, and reverse barely works! I like a challenge but now I was having a moment of mild panic and thinking that I better get this worked out before Lara gets back!

I was able to fix both key fobs pretty quickly on the boat that evening by taking them apart and removing some rusted areas. I started formulating a plan of attack the next morning. (Day 2) I was off to the parts store to replace all the spark plugs, cap and rotor in the blasting heat and full sun (Did we mention the car has no A/C?)! By the end of the day the engine ran a little better, Rick a little worse! Got totally overheated! (Day3) I had scored a free download of the service manual online so I set about reading the codes to see if I could fix the check engine light. Air flow sensor says low flow. Could be dirt on the sensor or maybe the plastic and duct tape on the disintegrating rubber intake where the sensor is cutting off half of the air going into the engine?! I’d have to deal with that later because I was already running late to meet with a recommended shop to get an alignment. When I got there, the guys quickly figured out that there were 3 different tire sizes on it! The "new ones" installed for the sale were way too big for this car! Ha! $400EC ($150US) later and I had 4 used tires that were the same size, but by then it was too late to do the alignment, so it would have to wait. (#islandlife) The next morning (day 4) I got up early because I wanted to replace the thermostat before the engine and the sun got too hot. I quickly realized somebody had previously removed the old thermostat and left it out! #islandcars! I put a new one in and headed out for the alignment. On the way the engine temp was nice and steady and overall it was starting to run much better despite the engine light still being on. They eventually got the alignment done and then told me they couldn't take a card for payment. Errr. I had used it there the previous day, but apparently the employer with the card reader had off that day. They said “no prob mon”, just bring the cash later that day. So back to town 15mins away to get cash and some magic transmission additive to try to fix the tranny. Reverse had been getting worse! When I got back I asked if they could check the alignment again because, while it was way better, it was still pulling to the left. This time they noticed that the two front wheels had different size rims! Whoops! They swapped the oddball one with a back wheel and then started to check the alignment again. Then they noticed that the left one only had 3 fingers of gap to the fender while the right side had almost 5 fingers of space! Either the frame or the control arms are bent from an accident! They wanted $500EC to fix that, so basically it's going to stay pulling a little to the left! Lol! At least it’s still way better than it was!

Next I got out the "emergency repair tape" most boaters carry onboard for temp fixing hoses and I fixed the intake and cleaned the mass airflow sensor. Light is still on. I guess that's just going to stay that way! :) So wish me luck on the transmission! Hopefully a filter change and some magic transmission fluid will make getting it to go in reverse less like trying to get Roger to move out of my way in bed!

In the end, was it worth it? We will let you know in November ☺

One more thing:
Our beater without a heater needs a name! Let's hear your suggestions!

As many of our friends and customer know, we sailed SV Mai Tai from Milwaukee to the Caribbean. We created a blog of sorts to document out journey. It's called The Adventures of Mai Tai. Here's a recent post. If you want to come along for the adventure, feel free to like our blog page! And if you really want to see what's it's like to live on a boat, book a week or 10 day "Livaboard Experience" with us! If you want to know more, send us a message!

We had a great sail from Bequia down to Mayreau. We chose to move on because our friends on SV Roxy from the Salty Dawgs were sailing through and we haven't seen them since Antigua in November! They had saved our butts back then by selling us their spare outboard propeller for super cheap when ours broke suddenly and we couldn't find a replacement locally. We wanted to get it back to them now that we've had time to buy a new one, and of course we now had so many stories to share!
It was a beam reach across the channel with good steady wind at 10-14kts. There was a strong 1.5kt current running across the channel so we had to adjust our course a few times but we made the 25nm in about 3.5 hrs. Again we were able to use our screecher (big head sail) which always makes us happy as it was a big project for Rick to add it to our boat prior to leaving Milwaukee last year. It seems we've finally turned the corner away from all upwind sailing! Ever since Martinique we've had beautiful sails at every crossing. So grateful!
And, best of all, we caught a Bigeye tuna!!!!!
It wasn't very big, like we've heard some tuna (ie Bluefin) get, but after months of trailing lures behind our boat, adjusting length and color and size and all of that with no success we finally caught something! We think the final solution was letting the lures out further from the back of the boat, but time will tell if that's true (for those of you not down here, it's supposedly wicked easy to catch fish while trolling with a sailboat so we have been quite frustrated at our poor luck until now).
We anchored in Saline Bay, which is the southernmost bay on the leward side of Mayreau. I'll get into more detail about the island on my next post!

The Adventures of s/v Mai Tai

sv Mai Tai moored at Sugar Beach, St Lucia in between the Pitons!

Our new depth finder has a few extra features! This is the Milwaukee Car Ferry!

University of Wisconsin Sea Grant

Here is a great article on the attempted salvage of the Prins Willem , known locally as the Willey!


the first ship to circumcise the globe... a clipper... ;)

Philomena Cunk steps on board the first ship to circumcise the globe. ⚓️🌎

GMS: 2017 Hurricanes and Aerosols Simulation

Here is a fascinating animation of air currents created using sophisticated mathematical models and data collection released by NASA. Check it out! Tracking the aerosols carried on the winds let scientists see the currents in our atmosphere. This visualization follows sea salt, dust, and smoke from July 31 to November 1, 2017, to reveal how these particles are transported across the map. The first thing that is noticeable is how far the par...

University of Wisconsin Sea Grant

Great article on the Alvin Clarke! The Alvin Clark: A Case Study on the Importance of Great Lakes Shipwrecks By Ryan Smazal, University of Wisconsin-Madison Shipwrecks have been a fascinating aspect of history; they are time capsules...

Yachting Monthly

It's pretty cool to see into that world.. I especially like the shot where he's sleeping with an emergency sail release line.

See the record breaking Macif (trimaran) in action. Her skipper, François Gabart has just broken the Solo Around the World record with a time of 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds

Garbart and MACIF destroy the solo RTW record

What an amazing accomplishment! Hitting speeds just shy of 40kts at times while sailing solo, non stop around the world on a huge trimaran! French solo RTW sailor, François Gabart, smashed the solo round the world sailing record by setting (yet to be ratified by the WSSC) 42 days, 16hrs, 40mins and 35secs slashing a massive six days and 10hrs off the existing record

Got the boat ready for the cover yesterday just in time for a beautiful sunset. Today Lara and I shrunk a 40' x 50' piece of shrink wrap on Mai Tai. Now the winter boat projects start!

Navionics Sonar Charts & The Missing Reef

Navionics has dropped the ball on keeping their charts accurate. While one should always check more then one source this has become required if using Navionics. Their response to this guy leaves a lot to be desired too.. Travel, sailing and cruising aboard sailboats, plus the systems and technology that support our cruising lifestyle.


Did you know that the Great Lakes contain almost 20% of the Earth's supply of fresh water?

So, what else makes the Great Lakes so great?

EPIRBs Alone Do Not Save Lives

Here is a great article about EPIRBS and their use! What's a EPIRB you ask? (E)lectronic (P)osition (I)ndicating (R)adio (B)eacon! I love EPRIBs. When asked what one thing I would take with me offshore, I always answer; an EPIRB. There is simply no valid argument against the devices. I recommend them to friends, insist on them for family and think anyone who goes to sea without one is just plain stupid.

What an Amazing weekend of sailing and diving with Team KeelHauled on our livaboard to Port Washington! Warm water, decent viz and great sailing!

A New Transatlantic Record

Thomas Coville sets a new solo sailing record across the Atlantic! Thomas Coville claims the Single-handed Transatlantic record  Another record has fallen and this one is huge. And not surprisingly, set...

Ann and Andy from Minneapolis sailing for the first time! Total naturals. Got Mai Tai up to 5.5kts in 9 kts of apparent wind!

Good times on a catamaran! :)

A Rare Glimpse of John Lennon, Sailor

Awesome story and John Lennon's sailing adventure to cure his writer's block. Nothing a good storm couldn't take care of! What was John Lennon doing in the middle of the Atlantic sailing in a 43-foot schooner with four strangers and a mysterious figure known only as “Captain Hank?”

Installed the new Windex (wind vane for a boat)!

Adventure Charter Boats's cover photo

Great day for a sail!

Adventure Charter Boats's cover photo

Milwaukee's FDR-Era Water Treatment Plant: 'A Monument To Civic Majesty'

Where Milwaukee gets its water! This week's Bubbler Talk inquiry takes us to Milwaukee's lakefront. It has just a few buildings, such as snack bars and a place to buy a kite. Yet there's

Statsraad Lehmkuhl

Norwegian sailors on a tall ship singing a shanty while coming into port. Maybe we should do this on charters? What do you think? :)

Statsraad Lehmkuhl tilbake etter tre måneders tokt over Altanteren. Her synger de shanti på vei inn Vågen til Bergen 5. desember 2015. Video: Eva Johansen/ N...

Research Vessel Neeskay: A vital tool for Great Lakes study | The Milwaukee Independent

This is a great article about r/v Neeskay's captain and the ship! I've worked as a relief captain/ first mate on her since 2007. -Capt Rick The Great Lakes is a living laboratory, and the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences operates the only research vessel that continuously explores the inland seas.

How Thomas Coville set the solo round the world sailing record - Yachting World

What an amazing accomplishment! And here is the story: Thomas Coville fought for nearly a decade to become the fastest man to sail solo around the world – this is his story.

Adventure Charter Boats

Adventure Charter Boats's cover photo

Ghost Ships Festival 2017 - Milwaukee, WI

Come visit us in our booth at GhostShips Festival this Friday and Saturday! It's free to get into the are with the booths and very inexpensive to see the presentations! Lots of diving and Great Lakes maritime history! Once again we are excited to be hosting the 18th Annual Ghost Ships Festival at the Crowne Plaza Milwaukee Airport Hotel. Conveniently located off I-94 just south of General Mitchell International Airport, the Crowne Plaza Milwaukee Airport Hotel with its state-of-the-art meeting and event faciliti...

Adventure Charter Boats

The ‘Crazy Kiwi’, Conrad Colman completes Vendée Globe - Practical Boat Owner

Wow! What a race this guy had! He is the first sailor in the history of the Vendeé Globe around the world alone race to finish without using any fossil fuel. And he overcame so many obstacles it's amazing that he finished at all! Colman constructed a jury rig after dismasting 700 miles from the finish line. He lasted out his final days on survival rations from his life raft.

Happy V.D.!

On February 14, 1779 Captain James Cook was killed by Hawaiians in Kealakekua Bay, on the Big Island of Hawaii. His attempted kidnapping of Kalaniʻōpuʻu and the decision to hold the ruling chief of the Island of Hawaii in exchange for their stolen long boat (lifeboat), is believed by many to be the main cause of his death. As well as other forms of violence, kidnapping leaders was a commonly used colonial method of subjugating Indigenous peoples.

Alex Thomson battling exhaustion in Vendée Globe

This year's Vendeé Globe solo non-stop around the world race has been amazing. I've never been so sucked in to one of these races before! Alex Thomson is struggling to fix problems threatening his bid to win the Vendée Globe

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