FINAL FRAME – Smooth sailing

Posted on Sep 1, 2012 :: Final Frame
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Door County is well-known for its cherries, quaint villages and scenic camping. And visitors who want to view the county from a different perspective can cruise along the shoreline by boat – or, more specifically, historic schooner.

Sail Door County, a 13-year-old day cruise company out of Sister Bay, offers two-hour tours that take advantage of the peninsula’s nearly 300 miles of coastline. Since the company’s inception, Peder Nelson, the owner and founder, wanted to give more people the chance to experience the county in a new way.

“It gives people a unique experience,” says Dan Eggert, the company’s sales manager. “You’re at the mercy of the wind. In that regard, we get you out there, and then it’s Mother Nature who drives us around.”

Last fall, Sail Door County picked up the Edith M. Becker, a schooner built in 1984 that carries 22 passengers. The fleet’s other ships can only carry six. Registered as a tall ship, meaning it has traditional riggings, the Edith M. Becker has sailed around the world at least twice. The schooner goes on regular tours with the rest of the fleet, which makes five trips a day including a sunset tour.

While Sail Door County draws on the past, it also looks to a sustainable future.

“We have accreditation with Travel Green Wisconsin,” says Nelson. The company uses non-caustic chemicals to clean the boats, recycles all the oil it uses, and employees have a minimal commute. “All of our employees live within the village so they ride their bikes or walk to work,” he says.

– Laurel McKenzie