Wow, is this cynical. This year, SAIL magazine is again backing a ICW Snowbird Rally, building on the success the inaugural event saw last year.
I think it is cynical. Disclaimer: Wally Moran is a friend of mine; Mark and Diana Doyle are also friends of mine. I've been invited to speak at the Sail seminars in Hampton. I spoke at the Annapolis 'Secrets to the ICW' seminar last year.
Mark and Diana were long-term sailors before switching to power.
As Jon Eisberg notes the ICW is overwhelmingly run under power.
Something tells me this is a recipe for friction and frustration.
I'll take that bet.
So, in a nutshell, participants will pay more for less, led by boats without masts.
So what? If there is a problem in the fleet they can get through most bridges without waiting for a lift if they need to get to a boat in the fleet. I know Mark cruises at the same speed most sailboats do but he can go a good bit faster if need be to support the rally.
I think the propulsion of the lead boat is mostly irrelevant with some benefit of a power boat.
How much fuel does he think a sailboat is going to use on a 200 hour power run?
150 to 200 gallons. *grin*
I know that the details are still being worked out. I wouldn't be surprised if fuel savings works out to $50 to $100 or more. Marina savings is likely to be much more. I have been told that registration in some events along the way is included. There will also be discounts on equipment and services. I don't know what the total will work out to - I'm sure those details will start showing up on the rally website as details are worked out.
Harder to put numbers on is the value of the seminars before the rally, the daily counsel from someone that knows the ICW as well as anyone I can think of, a very capable mechanic on the rally team, fellowship of other cruisers built along the way, and the follow-on seminars for those moving on to the Bahamas and/or Caribbeans.
I'm definitely not a rally guy. I prefer to go my own way. The closest I've come to a rally has been a small trail of ducklings following me out of an anchorage. *grin* For those who do like the rally concept the Doyles (for the ICW) or the Knowles (for the SDR) are the sort of leaders worth following.