All Aboard with Captain Matt!

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Matt’s boat, the Emma Rose, against the New York skyline

“Sailing is an experience of complete relaxation and utter excitement.”

So says Matt Codner, a captain and boat owner stationed in New York who kindly invited some of our Sailo team members to a boat tour of the New York Harbor recently.

See our interview with Captain Matt here!

The boat we were on, Emma Rose, is a 26-foot Dufour 1800. The cockpit is roomy enough to fit four Sailo members easily; the maximum capacity is six people. Against the occasionally strong wind, the sailboat proves to be stable and responsive to Matt’s command. “We can turn a full circle on the spot with this,” Matt said proudly.

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Captain Matt standing next to his Emma Rose

The cabin provides a bed comfortable enough to accommodate a six-foot-four person, so Emma Rose is also great for overnight boat trip. Matt recommends one further up to Connecticut, where you can get a permit to do some clam-digging. The activity requires little expertise and is a great way to let your mind escape from the hectic city life. A quick jaunt across Long Island Sound will also bring you to another superb locale, Oyster Bay, which is famous for its seafood offerings and optimal sailing conditions. For more ideas on things to do in Oyster Bay, check out our guide here!

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The Emma Rose can easily accommodate up to six people
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Matt recommended clam-digging when you sail up to Connecticut. Image: Atlantic Seafood Market

From business to boat owner

An Iraq War veteran and experienced consultant, Matt didn’t get involved in the boat chartering business until about two years ago. Shortly after his marriage in 2014, Matt planned to delight his wife with a boat trip in British Columbia. After much searching, he found a chartered boat from Walter Masterson. He was fascinated by the business side of boat chartering. “[I] figured it would be great to do on the side,” Matt laughed. Not long after, Matt and Walter became business partners, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Walter, Matt’s friend and business partner

New York City, a Haven for Sailing

Much artistic sensibility has been devoted to the City that Never Sleeps, but nowhere near enough to capture its idiosyncrasies. On land, the city is too often bustling with activities that people sometimes forget it is built on one of the biggest natural harbors in the world. The water is blanketed with a sense of tranquility that is most clearly felt when you are on a boat. “If I spend a whole week in the city without going on my boat, I feel a bit claustrophobic,” Matt commented. The vast body of water does not overwhelm you; instead, each lap of the waves only erodes your stress away.

Sailing around the New York Harbor can be as educating as it is soothing. For a first sailing trip, Matt recommends planning for a two-to-two-and-a-half-hour long tour. “It should be enough for you to see the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island, Ellis Island, and also sail up the East River to see the United Nations, Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge…” (Also check out our guide on New York attractions by boat for more ideas!)

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The World Trade Center viewed from Matt’s Emma Rose
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View of the Statue of Liberty at night from the boat

From a personal hobby to a social network

“I love sailing not only because it is a great way to relax, but also because it is a great way to meet new people and learn about their experiences and their culture.” Matt went on to tell us about his time in Okinawa, Japan, where he got to sail with a Japanese crew. “They were all very orderly; we caught fish and made sashimi right on the boat,” Matt fondly reminisced of his time overseas.

“Sailing brings people together. With Sailo’s business, I’ve gotten to meet many interesting people from around the world.”

“With Sailo’s business, I’ve met a lot of interesting people around the world. Many of my charterees are New Yorkers, but I also have lots of travelers as clients,” Matt said. To share your experiences with other sailing enthusiasts and boat owners who rent with Sailo when they do not have access to their own boats is a wonderful thing: it is like having a huge global sailing club.

…Cool projects…

“In my spare time I’d look at spreadsheet of tide chart data to figure out the next destination to sail to.”

A sailing enthusiast, Matt constantly looks for cool things to do with/on his boat. From time to time, cool projects just come naturally. There have been requests for music video filming, engagement photoshoot on board, and the like. Recently, he hosted the NBC Crew during their filming of a crime drama show. It was supposed to be for the pilot of the show’s second season; unfortunately, the season never took off and the scene was shelved. “The scene was eerie,” Matt smiled, “though it never took off, it was plenty of fun working with them. I look forward to having more interesting projects this year.”


Matt and Walter’s chartering service focuses on boat rental in the New York area. Interested in an outing on the water with Captain Matt? Rent his boat here on! His partner, Walter, also has his boat featured on our website. Matt and Walter are able to accommodate a party of more than six people by pulling off a ‘duo’ trip: the group of guests will be divided in two smaller groups, one on Matt’s boat and the other on Walter’s.