First Sail Experience

Sign up for First Sail and get a chance to experience in person why sailing is one of the most exhilarating activities! This unique on-the-water opportunity is designed to provide a memorable experience that will motivate newcomers to continue sailing. Participants will learn about sailing from one of our instructors on a Colgate 26 keelboat. On your First Sail, you have the chance to start learning basic sailing terminology or just sit back and relax.  This two-hour experience is for anyone, so come and join us!

Price: $30

2021 First Sail Dates

Tuesday, May 4: 6-8pm

Saturday, May 8: 2-4pm

Sunday, May 9: 2-4pm

Saturday, May 15: 2-4pm

Sunday, May 16: 2-4pm

Saturday, May 22: 2-4pm

Sunday, May 23: 2-4pm

Saturday, May 29: 2-4pm

Sunday, May 30: 2-4pm

Saturday, June 5: 2-4pm

Sunday, June 6: 2-4pm

Saturday, June 12: 2-4pm

Sunday, June 13: 2-4pm

Saturday, June 19: 2-4pm

Sunday, June 20: 2-4pm

Saturday, June 26: 2-4pm

Sunday, June 27: 2-4pm

Saturday, July 10: 2-4pm

Sunday, July 11: 2-4pm

Saturday, July 17: 2-4pm

Sunday, July 18: 2-4pm

Saturday, July 24: 2-4pm

Sunday, July 25: 2-4pm

Saturday, July 31: 2-4pm

Sunday, August 1: 2-4pm

Learn to Sail

Through our Learn to Sail course, students begin to develop a foundation of sailing skills. In this introductory course, you will learn boat parts and their purposes, how to rig and de-rig a boat, points of sail, and basic boat handling skills.  Be prepared to get on the water in your very first lesson!  Students are asked to pick two class dates that work with their schedule, Learn to Sail is two, 2.5 hour introductory lessons.

Price: $150

2021 Learn to Sail Dates

Thursday, May 6: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, May 13: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, May 20: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, May 27: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, June 3: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, June 10: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, June 17: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, June 24: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, July 1: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, July 8: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, July 15: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, July 22: 6-8:30pm

Thursday, July 29: 6-8:30pm

Basic Keelboat Certification Course

The Basic Keelboat Certification Course is a 20-hour course taught in our Colgate 26 keelboats. Each boat will have a maximum of 4 students per instructor and includes a comprehensive workbook. With lessons both on the water and in the classroom, you will learn all aspects of sailing, docking, and how to safely captain a boat. Upon completion of the 20-hour course and a written test, students will receive US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification which is accepted at many locations (including Columbia Sailing School) to rent a boat without a captain.  

There are no prerequisites for this class, however many participants with no experience elect to participate in a First Sail to gain experience before signing up for the Basic Keelboat Certification Course.

Price: $670

2021 Basic Keelboat Certification Dates

Weekends – 8:00am-1:00pm

BK 1: May 8, 9, 15, 16
BK 2: May 22, 23, 29, 30

BK 3: June 5, 6, 12, 13

BK 4: June 19, 20, 26, 27
BK 5: July 10, 11, 17, 18

BK 6: July 24, 25, 31, Aug. 1
BK 7: August 7, 8, 14, 15
BK 8: August 21, 22, 28, 29

Weekdays - 6:00pm-9:00pm

Wednesday 1: May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9

Friday 1: May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11

Friday 2: June 18, 25, July 2, 9, 16, 23

Intermediate/Advanced Keelboat Class

2021 will be the 4th season of our Advanced Keelboat Racing class in conjunction with our Wednesday Night Racing Colgate Inshore Beer Can Series!

In our Intermediate/Advanced Keelboat Racing class you will continue to develop your skills in all aspects of seamanship. This class focuses on the use of a spinnaker and the Racing Rules of Sailing. This class is fun, but also competitive and a little more athletic than the Basic Keelboat Certification Course. We ask that you take into account that you will be actively moving around the boat and using racing tactics, before signing up for this class. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have!


You will be able to compete against other Colgate 26’s from the area in our weekly Wednesday Night Racing series called the Chicago Inshore Beer Can Series. Additionally, you will be invited to attend Wednesday night parties hosted in the tent on the second level of Columbia Yacht Club in the tent with other sailors racing in the series.  With hundreds of other sailors joining our Wednesday Series there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people in the community and continue to grow your sailing network!


*Prerequisite a resume and/or Successful Completion of the Basic Keelboat Course.

Wednesday Evenings 6:00-9:00pm

Session 1: June 16, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21 

Session 2: July 28, August 4, 11, 18, 25, September 1

Price: $670