Have you ever wanted to learn how to sail, or find a group of people to sail with?
Join our ever-growing community of sailors! We will help you get started, improve your skills, and meet new sailors. 

"All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came."

-John F. Kennedy, Newport, RI at dinner prior to America's Cup Races, September 1962

Courses are mixed gender, hands-on, Physical Education courses taught on RS Quest (Beginning & Intermediate Dinghy), Laser, and RS Vision (Advanced Dinghy) vessels.

  • Each class meets a total of eight times at the dock (weather permitting).
  • Students need to have taken and passed our Beginning and Intermediate Dinghy classes or equivalent to participate in keelboat classes.
  • Good attendance is strongly recommended in order to achieve best results.
  • Satisfactory completion allows you to move on to the next class and achieve higher levels in the Community Boating Center Sailing Club.
  • Students learn the basics inside the protected Santa Cruz Harbor, then venture out to Monterey Bay for further practice.

Dinghy Sailing

Beginning Dinghy

    • No prior experience necessary! Beginning sailing uses RS Quest vessels, which can hold 2-3 students per boat.

      Students Learn:

      • Rigging
      • Nomenclature
      • Sailing theory
      • Proper boat handling
      • Basic sailing knots
      • Rigging for strong vs. light-wind conditions
      • Departing and returning to the dock
      • Balancing the boat
      • Sail trim
      • Tacking and Jibing
      • Stopping and starting on the water
      • Safe-boating practices
      • Self-rescue techniques
      • Rules of the road
      • Wind and ocean conditions

Intermediate Dinghy

This course begins with a review of the skills that were covered in the Beginning Dinghy Sailing class.

After review, the intermediate class shifts towards further development and refinement of small-boat sailing techniques.

Satisfactory completion meets prerequisite for Beginning Keelboat and Advanced Dinghy Sailing classes.

Students Learn:

  • Right of Way 
  • Detailed discussion of rules of the road
  • Points of sail
  • Sailing in stronger winds
  • Improvement of boat handling skills
  • Hiking out
  • Sail theory
  • Sail trim
  • Powering up vs. depowering
  • How and when to reef
  • Heaving to
  • Backwards sailing
  • Blind-folded sailing
  • Introduction to racing

Advanced Dinghy

  • Advanced dinghy is an introduction to high-performance racing dinghies, with an emphasis on boat control and speed. 

    Wetsuits are required!

    Students Learn:

    • Rigging the Lasers and Visions
    • Self-rescue techniques
    • Dry capsizes
    • Boat handling
    • Sail trim
    • Sail shape and adjusting controls
    • Upwind vs. downwind sailing techniques
    • How to effectively hike
    • Establishing and maintaining a plane while sailing
    • Racing techniques and rules
    • Sailing with an asymmetrical spinnaker
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Keelboat Sailing

Beginning | Intermediate | Advanced

Beginning Keelboat

    • This is a great class for those students who wish to expand their knowledge of sailing.

      Students Learn:

      • "Hands-on" rigging and docking practice;
      • Sailing practice on the Monterey Bay;
      • Sail trim, powering up vs. de-powering, sail theory;
      • Person-overboard recovery techniques and drills;
      • Boating safety, VHF usage, and rules of the road;
      • Weather and ocean conditions.

Intermediate Keelboat

    • This is a great class for students who wish to be introduced to the exhilaration and intricacies of sailing with a spinnaker!

      Students Learn:

      • Review of skills learned in Beginning Keelboat class;
      • Introduction to spinnaker — packing, rigging, setting, crew management/positions, jibing, dousing and safety;
      • Practice new skills at the dock first;
      • Eventually set and fly spinnaker on the bay.

Advanced Keelboat

  • This is a class for those who want an introduction into cruising.

    Students Learn:

    • Boat systems
    • Docking
    • Anchoring
    • Back and fill
    • Introduction to charts and navigation

Click here for more information about dinghy class levels.

How to Enroll

Registration opens March 15th!

UC Santa Cruz Students: click here.

Adult Comunity Members: click here.

Junior Community Members: click here.


See Also