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Adult Summer Classes 

Columbia Sailing School offers lessons for every age and ability level of sailor. Join us for a fun and educational experience in any of our popular classes, from our First Sail Experience to our Advanced Racing Courses. Classes are taught by our US Sailing Certified Instructors in our Colgate 26 Sailboats. Whether you've never been on a boat before, want to brush up on your skills, or are interested in meeting new people in a fun and exciting sport, we have something for you!


First Sail

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 can start learning basic sailing terminology or sit back and relax.  This two-hour experience is for anyone, so pick one date and join us on the water!

First Sail
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Learn to Sail

Through our Learn to Sail course, students 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

US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification Course

The US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification Course is a 20-hour course taught in our Colgate 26 keelboats. Each boat will have four 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 captain a boat safely. Upon completing 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. Choose either a weekday session (5 classes) or a weekend session (5 classes) to complete this course!

Basic Keelboat

Learn to Race Class

In our Learn to Race class, you will continue to develop your skills in all aspects of seamanship. This class focuses on using a spinnaker and the Racing Rules of Sailing. This class is fun, competitive, and a little more athletic than the Basic Keelboat Certification Course. We ask that you consider 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 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!

Learn to Race

Are you ready to begin your nautical adventure?

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