Learn to Sail

Sail Keelboats

Learning to sail is part dream, part great instruction, and part hands-on experience

At US Sailing, all of these come together in our Keelboat Certification System. This Learn to Sail program guides you through seven levels of courses where you will accumulate skills and experience with each certification.

You will record your progress in your US Sailing Official Logbook, documenting all course completions, certifications and on-the-water experience.

At the culmination of each course, you will receive a certification sticker from your school to affix in your logbook. Your Official Logbook will serve as your passport for renting and chartering boats and for continuing your sailing education at accredited US Sailing schools.

As you complete each level, your certification will also be submitted to the US Sailing database by where chartering companies and other sailing schools across the country will be able to verify your readiness to sail.


Basic Keelboat

You will learn the fundamental principles of safe, confident daysailing on a keelboat ranging from 18 to 27 feet in length in light to moderate winds. Learn the basics while enjoying a beautiful day on the water. See your confidence rise as a true beginner on day one to a competent sailor by the end of the course.

Basic Cruising

This certification opens the door to an exciting new world of cruising. You will learn to sail and operate a cruising sailboat in daylight hours and in sight of land.

Bareboat Cruising

You will gain the knowledge to successfully charter boats in destinations that were only distant dreams by practicing your handling skills on a 30-45 foot long sailboat. You will learn everything from using charts and electronics to navigating and meal planning for your crew.

Cruising Catamaran Endorsement

Is conducted on a catamaran of at least 34 feet. You will learn the handling differences between a single and twin screwed boat. You will learn the limitations of visibility from the helm, docking, mooring and helmsmanship.

Coastal Navigation

A lively, visual format with excellent charts, illustrations and diagrams all working together to make navigation and piloting easy and understandable to apply.

Coastal Passage Making

You will learn to responsibly skipper and crew an inboard auxiliary powered cruising sailboat during passages on coastal waters, in all weather conditions, including all levels of visibility and all hours of the day and night.

Celestial Navigation

Master the ancient art of open ocean position fixing using a sextant and timepiece. You will be able to apply your knowledge of sight reduction Methodology to reduce a sextant sight to a plotted line of position using any celestial body found in the Nautical Almanac.

Offshore Passage Making

Sailors who are contemplating the exploration of offshore passages will gain skills and knowledge in planning, watchkeeping, living aboard, safety at sea and more in this course. You will learn to sail a cruising sailboat in passages for most weather conditions, including all levels of visibility and all hours of the day and night. Get the training you need for handling the more challenging coastal passages of the world where the conditions and distances call for more than coastal passage making skills.