Windward Bound Summer Camp







Teens between 14 and 18 sail the Appledore while learning seamanship and science.

Set sail on one of the world’s largest freshwater resources – the Great Lakes.

Click here for the summer program trainee application.

These FAQs will help you better understand Windward Bound.

Windward Bound Sailing Camp Overview

Sail to some of the most beautiful places on the Great Lakes. Explore remote, uninhabited islands. Learn about the unique freshwater environment of the largest body of freshwater in the world. Character building, confidence boosting, and learning are three reasons our programs attract students from around the Midwest.

Windward Bound is a live-aboard voyaging experience for teens ages 14 to 18. The teens sail aboard the 85-foot schooner Appledore IV and the 65-foot schooner Appledore V. During the voyages, we focus on seamanship and freshwater science, which means learning the art of traditional sailing and studying the ecology of the lakes you’re sailing on.

As the ships sail between ports, participants stand a regular watch while learning every aspect of running the ship, from navigation to meal preparation. The ships anchor most nights in one of the thousands of secluded coves on the lakes. Occasionally, we visit small port towns. Voyage highlights include trips ashore in the ship’s tenders, exploration of uninhabited islands, and beach cookouts.

The Appledore IV and Appledore V are licensed and inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard and are crewed by a licensed captain, mate, and additional deckhands. Windward Bound is licensed by the State of Michigan as a youth travel camp.



I’m totally thrilled that my son has the opportunity to travel on the Great Lakes from Bay City to Chicago and celebrate the Tall Ship [festival] in Chicago this weekend. What an amazing experience for a 13-year young man!

Kim Higgins

Summer Voyage Schedule 2018

Windward Bound voyages in 2018 will follow Appledore IV & V on journeys throughout Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, and Lake Erie. Climb aboard and experience the summer camp adventure of a lifetime!

Booking Policies

Windward Bound sail training voyages are designed for high school students ages 14 to 18. All participants are required to complete an application prior to being accepted into the program. Once accepted, a 50% non-refundable deposit is required. Any remaining balance is due 30 days before departure. All fees are non-refundable. Participants are required to complete a health information form and liability release waiver prior to boarding the ship.


Round trip transportation from Bay City to the ship is provided on all voyages where appropriate. This cost is included in the voyage fee.


The Appledore IV and Appledore V are licensed and inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard and are crewed by a licensed captain and first mate, and two additional deckhands. Windward Bound is licensed by the State of Michigan as a youth travel camp. BaySail is a member of Tall Ships America® and a past recipient of the “Sea Education Program of the Year” award.

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    Voyage 1 - June 16 to June 21

    Reserved for Naval Sea Cadet Corps

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    Voyage 2 - July 8 to July 11

    Bay City, Michigan to Sandusky, Ohio

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    Voyage 3 - July 26 to July 31

    Bay City, Michigan to Rogers City, Michigan

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    Voyage 4 - July 29 to August 3

    Reserved for Naval Sea Cadet Corps

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    Voyage 5 - August 5 to August 11 - $750

    Rogers City, Michigan to Bay City, Michigan

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the generosity of local individuals, funding has been made available to fully scholarship six participants on both voyages 2 & 3. All interested participants must complete an application and submit to BaySail for review. Preference will be given to youth from the Great Lakes Bay Region of Bay, Midland, Saginaw, and Isabella counties. Additional funding for voyage 5 is being sought at this time. Please contact us at (989) 895-5193 with any questions.


Participants successfully completing a summer voyage become eligible to join the year-round youth officer training program and could earn the opportunity to sail as crew in the future.



Those interested in joining our summer program can download the trainee application below.


Frequently Asked Questions

Sailing on the Appledore is likely to be completely different from anything you’ve done before. To give you an idea of what to expect, read through these Frequently Asked Questions.

This will be wilderness trip. We mostly go to wilderness locations such as uninhabited islands, parks, and the occasional small town or city. Our destinations are always flexible to take advantage of favorable wind and weather. When we stop and anchor, we can row the ship’s tender to shore. You will not need to bring much money to spend in stores. Some trips, we will never get near a store.
Most nights we will anchor. There are times that we may sail all night, but this is only under certain circumstances.
No. There are billions of gallons of fresh water in the lakes that can be used to keep clean. We can soap and shampoo when we swim or shower with a bucket while the boat is sailing.
Each trainee has his or her own bunk space below deck. Space is limited, so bring only a soft-sided travel bag as you’ll be sharing your space with it. Trainees should bring their own preferred bedding for the bunk (i.e. sleeping bag or sheet & pillow).
There is not a cook on board. We rotate the cooking duties. Everyone will help out in the galley every other day. There are three meals served each day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) plus dessert and snacks.
Watch is the time we are on duty to help sail the ship. As a trainee, you will be a full part of the crew and will be involved in all duties that you are capable of, including sail handling, navigation, steering, lookout, and more.
Crew members enjoy reading, taking pictures, napping, climbing, rope crafts, and fishing in their free time.
It’s hard to say since everyone is different. If the weather is rough, you may get seasick. But lots of people are not affected even in rough weather. If you are sick, do not worry. It may be very unpleasant, but it will not cause you any long-term harm. We anchor most nights and seasickness doesn’t usually last long. We can coach you through treatments for sea sickness, including looking at the horizon, nibbling ginger, singing, staying busy, steering, taking motion sickness pills, or resting in your bunk.
When the sails fill, it is natural for a sailboat to lean a bit to one side. That leaning is called heeling.
Your evenings will be busy with a variety of activities. Some favorites include fishing, campfires, hiking, and exploring. We learn sailing skills and about knots, including rope crafts such as making bracelets. Making dessert is always a highlight. Some of your best memories will be made during our evenings together.