If passengers want to go slow, Wrightsville Performance Sailing owner and Captain Dustin Frye would cruise slowly.
But if they want to go fast, Frye is more than happy to accommodate with his 26-foot J/80 sailboat.
Frye, a University of North Carolina Wilmington alumni and sailor with the Operator of Uninspected Passenger boat captain license, is starting a new sailing charter in Wrightsville Beach and plans to bring some speed into Wrightsville’s sailing scene.
“I saw the niche there and nobody has done a performance-geared charter,” Frye said. “I want to bring the energy back into sailing, because I think a lot of people have a stigma that sailing is going slow and cruising. Not that it is a bad thing, but I just want to bring some fresh air into it.”
After graduating from UNCW, where he served as the sailing club’s president for multiple years, Frye has been a sailing instructor in places like the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda. He said this was a natural next step.
“I really enjoy getting people energized about the sport and one thing led to another. I graduated, couldn’t really find a job in my field and decided it was time to branch out and find my own thing,” he said.
What passengers do while underway on his sailboat is entirely up to them, Frye said.
“I love it when people participate and want to get involved so if they are that kind of person, I will find a task for them,” he said. “At the same time, this size boat I can handle by myself if someone just wants to go for a ride.”
A typical task for a willing passenger would be to man the sails while Frye steers, he said, adding that no previous sailing experience is required.
The types of charters offered will range from two-hour fast trips to half day, full day and multiday trips. A good multiday trip Frye has run before in his own vessel is to sail to Bald Head Island, spend the night on the island and sail back.
In addition to charters, Frye will also offer sailing lessons in hopes of spreading his love for the sport instilled in him by his grandfather.
“I’m just excited about getting people involved. I love sailing and I really want to share that passion with other people,” Frye said. “I have taught sailing in various aspects for so long that I can see when somebody gets hooked. It is not everybody but most people, in the least, get the thrill of a new experience and that is a cool experience to be a part of.”
Wrightsville Performance Sailing is hosting a meet-and-greet at Banks Channel Pub and Grille on Friday, May 9, from 6-8 p.m. For charter reservations, call 910-622-2503.