“The largest group of black sailors of both men and women in the countrycruising and racing.”







Compass Rose

Late 80's — Front(Burt Wsters (H20); Bill Pinkney(Committment); Bob Nelson (DayDreamer);
John Buckner (Rhodes); Standing: Unknown; Leon Harris (27 Catalina);
Al Thompson (Rainbow Seeker); Yvonne Nelson (Von Voyage) Jack Lyle and Eunice Lyle (Nightwatch)

Captain Bill Pinkney


Jack Lyle, Bill Pinkney and Edmond Gueringer
at Chicago Sail Show


Talking to Kim Webb, Pinkney visits home
JPYC where is is an Honorary Member.


Bill Pinkney, Captain of the 1994 African American crew of both women and men to race the Chicago to Mackinaw Race.

All of whom are captains and skippers of their own boats
Visit MAC page..

Bill Pinkney's Incredible Voyage around the five capes, the first and only African American sailor to do so.

It is with immeasurable sorrow and heartache that we announce the unexpected passing of world renown sailor, Captain William ÒBillÓ Pinkney on August 31, 2023. Captain Pinkney was the first Black Man to sail solo around the world via the 5 Great Capes. Captain Pinkney was in Atlanta, GA serving as an advisor for an upcoming documentary when he passed unexpectedly. Captain Pinkney led an extraordinary life as an Adventurer, Author, and Motivational Speaker. He was also Master Emeritus of the freedom schooner AMISTAD. Captain PinkneyÕs passion for sailing was overshadowed only by his desire to instill in people young and old, the self-confidence needed to make their dreams a reality. He spoke at schools, businesses and organizations across the nation sharing his ÒTen Things I Learned At SeaÓÉ lessons he learned during his extraordinary solo sail around the world. In addressing audiences, Captain PinkneyÕs core message was: ÒIf you have a dream and are willing to prepare yourself, commit to and never quit; you can make it become a reality.Ó Captain Pinkney was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2022 and is the author of two books: Sailing Commitment Around The World Alone Ð (for children) As Long As It Takes Ð The story of his circumnavigation of the world and winner of the John Southam Award. Additionally, a documentary of his solo sail around the world was featured on the PBS television network. Captain Bill Pinkney is truly A Sailing Legend and will be missed by many.

In the early 1990s, William Pinkney became the first African-American – and only the fourth person in the world – to travel around the globe on his own via boat. Pinkney, who was born in Chicago in 1935, received post-high school training as an x-ray technician. From 1956 to 1960, he served in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman. Over the next three decades, Pinkney held variety of jobs that ranged from being a professional limbo dancer in Puerto Rico to working for the cosmetics company Revlon in New York. Of all of this jobs, however, it was his stint as a crewman on sailboats during his time in Puerto Rico that made the strongest impact....MORE



June 2023 Book signing at Jackson Park Yacht Club
"Sailing Commitment Around the World Alone With Captain Bill Pinkney"



Alpha Thompson

Yvonne Nelson

Jack Lyle

Eunice Lyle

John Buckner

Bob Nelson

Burt Waters

Bill Pickney

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