Melanie Sunshine Neale, daughter of renowned maritime writer Tom Neale, has been a licensed 100 Ton Master USCG Captain with Sailing and Towing Endorsements since 1998.She grew up living aboard her family’s 47’ GulfStar Sailmaster, cruising up and down the East Coast and through the Bahamas for nearly twenty years. Melanie captained and crewed on various boats while working her way through college, then bought and lived aboard her first sailboat, Short Story, a 1969 Columbia 28, while attending graduate school in North Miami. She’s owned many boats since then. She is also an author (her books include memoirs Boat Girl and Boat Kid), contributor to Cruising World (her Short Story column ran in the magazine from 2006 to 2009) and BoatUS magazines, a freelance editor, and has worked over the years as everything from boat detailer to college professor to educational administrator. Melanie is a solo sailor and full-time single parent. As Owner/Founder of Sunshine Cruising Yachts LLC, Melanie is dedicated to building a strong team that embodies integrity and passion for matching people with the right boats. Melanie’s passion for teaching and helping people achieve their dreams is the inspiration for a new facet of Sunshine Cruising Yachts. We are announcing a delivery and training service with a personalized focus, keeping the “boutique” part of our company intact. Because we offer quality, we are not a discount delivery service. Our captains possess a minimum of a 100 Ton Coast Guard License, and our availability is limited so plan ahead!

Offerings include:

Boat deliveries

Owner training

Training focused on individual needs, such as cruising as a couple or cruising with children

Training specifically for women and minorities. We love everyone!

All-female captain and crew available—we want you to feel comfortable and empowered

We are up-front with our prices:

Captain’s rates are $600/day

Qualified crew rates are $250/day.

Vessels above 40’ require 2 qualified crew members in addition to the captain and vessels over 50’ require 3

Lay days due to weather or issues with the vessel will be billed at 50%

Specified training is $200/student per day in addition to captain’s fees. Owners who wish to crew aboard their own vessels while on delivery will be charged this rate.

Travel for captain and crew to and from delivery locations, $75 per diem/per crew provisions, and all fuel, dockage, and boat repairs are at the owner’s expense.

Decisions based on weather conditions and safety conditions will always be at the discretion of the captain.

Please email us with the specifics of your vessel and your trip and any training requests, and we will get back to you with an estimate and contract. 50% of estimate is due upon signing of contract, 25% at halfway point, and 25% at final destination.

A sample itinerary for a 35′ boat from Fort Lauderdale to St. Augustine with two people aboard who want training on cruising as a couple:

4 days underway (with good weather for going offshore) plus 1 lay day for provisioning and checking out systems.

Days 1&2, Lauderdale to Stuart, overnight in Stuart

Days 3&4 Stuart to St. Augustine

Captain: $2400

Crew: $1000

Lay Day: $425

Training: $1,600

Per-diem provisions: $600

Total for intensive 4-day training delivery: $6,025 Travel and operating expenses/fuel to be covered by owner

Buyers and sellers of vessels purchased or sold through SCY will receive a 10% discount on the total and use of SCY’s West Marine Pro discount for equipping the vessel. Email your request for a quote to