Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Our Ship

About the Windy

The Tall Ship Windy, sailing from Navy Pier in Chicago, is a 148-foot, traditional four-masted gaff topsail schooner. She offers fireworks cruises, pirate cruises, and a variety of other public and private cruises in Chicago. She is built of modern materials, however, like old trading schooners and sail training ships, the WINDY has all the character and charm of the great Age of Sail.

Windy was built by Detyens Shipyard, Inc. of Charleston, SC. A custom design, she was conceived by Captain Robert Marthai “Captain Bob,” longtime sailor and traveler, who also became a maritime adventurer, maritime historian, designer, and shipbuilder. Windy was welcomed as the biggest and newest schooner to the Lake Michigan Fleet in July 1996. Windy reveals her designer’s love of the traditional sailing ship, yet integrates modern amenities and safety items such as pressurized plumbing, bow thrusters for docking, and a 300 hp Cummins diesel engine.

From the beginning, her mission was intended to bring Tall Ship sailing to the public, for enjoyment, personal and spiritual growth, and self-discovery. In the years since coming to Navy Pier, Windy saw many thousands of students, Girl Scout, Boy Scouts, youth groups, families, and other guests across her decks for educational cruises, daysailing, festivals, and religious, corporate, and private celebrations. Her skyline cruises became legendary and Windy was awarded the status of official flagship of the City of Chicago, by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2006.

Since 2008, Tall Ship Windy is now the pride and joy of husband-and-wife owner/management team Captain Bruce Randall and Karen Randall. She continues the mission envisioned by her previous owners, gracing Chicago’s skyline with her majestic sails and noble and unmistakable profile. Windy provides an opportunity for people from all walks of life to experience an authentic tall ship and crew while sailing in a safe and protected waterway.

Windy’s Mission: Our goal is to inspire those who may have never been sailing, as well as to intrigue those who are experienced sailors. An adventure on Tall Ship Windy is ideal for families and groups wanting a fun/educational time, romantics of all ages, history buffs, those seeking creative and spiritual inspiration, or just friends out to have a wonderful sailing experience AND a truly unique view of our fair city of Chicago.

Windy Specifications

Windy is the first certified four-masted traditional sailing vessel built in the U.S.A. since 1921. Constructed of steel, combined with wooden booms, gaffs, and deck ornamentation, she has three spacious decks with seating, a grand salon and galley (kitchen), 4 pressurized “heads” (marine toilets), and two showers. On day cruises, Windy is certified for 150 persons on their three decks: the fore deck, midship deck and aft deck. On overnight cruises, Windy can accommodate up to 36 persons in 12 cabins including a 12 bunk “dorm” style accommodation. A favorite spot for guests is the aft great cabin (salon) with its large stern windows and varnished planked interiors, deep traditional gold, burgundy and blue colors, all adding a bright warmth to the practical décor.