Where Do I Start to Learn to Sail?

Are you interested in learning how to sail but don’t know where to start? Sailing is a thrilling and rewarding activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and experience levels. Whether you want to sail competitively or just for leisure, there are a few things you need to know before getting started.

First, you need to decide what kind of sailing you want to do. There are many different types of sailing, including dinghy sailing, cruising, racing, and offshore sailing. Each type requires different skills and knowledge, so it’s important to determine your goals before beginning your training.

Next, find a reputable sailing school or instructor. Look for one that is certified by a recognized organization such as the American Sailing Association (ASA) or the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). These organizations ensure that their instructors meet certain standards and provide high-quality training.

Dinghy Sailing

If you’re interested in dinghy sailing, which involves small boats with one or two sails that are usually sailed close to shore, look for a local club that offers lessons. Many clubs have programs designed specifically for beginners, where you can learn the basics of boat handling and safety.


For those interested in cruising, which involves longer trips on larger boats with cabins and amenities like kitchens and bathrooms, look for a school that offers courses on coastal navigation and seamanship. These courses will teach you how to plan routes, navigate safely in different weather conditions, and perform basic maintenance tasks.


Racing is another popular type of sailing that requires specialized skills such as tactics and strategy. Look for a school that offers racing courses or clinics where you can learn from experienced sailors and practice your skills on the water.

Offshore Sailing

If you dream of sailing across oceans or participating in offshore races, you’ll need to gain more experience and knowledge. Look for schools that offer advanced courses in navigation, weather forecasting, and offshore safety.

  • ASA 101 – Basic Keelboat Sailing
  • ASA 103 – Basic Coastal Cruising
  • ASA 104 – Bareboat Cruising
  • ASA 105 – Coastal Navigation
  • ASA 106 – Advanced Coastal Cruising

These courses will give you a solid foundation in sailing theory and practical skills. Once you’ve completed them, you can continue your education with more advanced courses or gain experience by crewing on other people’s boats.

In conclusion, learning how to sail is a process that takes time and effort, but it’s a rewarding activity that can provide a lifetime of enjoyment. By following these tips and finding a reputable instructor or school, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a skilled sailor.

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Emma Gibson