Adult Sailing Frequently Asked Questions

​Q: What should I bring to sailing lessons?

A: Come prepared to be on the water rain or shine (unless it is a thunderstorm). We recommend checking the weather before you leave for your lesson at Columbia Sailing School. Pack a life vest, water bottle, sunscreen, towel, hat, sunglasses, shoes that can get wet, and maybe a change of clothes.

Q: Do I need a life vest?

A: We provide life jackets, so you do not need to purchase your own. However, if you would like to purchase your own, Personal Flotation Devices (PFD's) should be United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved. USCG Type III PFDs are strongly recommended. 

Q: Where can I park at Columbia Sailing School?

A: We recommend parking in the DuSable Parking Lot, located under Lake Shore Drive adjacent to the Columbia Yacht Club Member parking lot. Since our Columbia Yacht Club parking lot is small, only members who have purchased a pass are permitted to park there and unknown vehicles could be towed.


Q: What happens when the weather is too bad to sail?

A: We are always staying alert about changing weather conditions and we only take students out on the water if conditions are safe. If the weather doesn’t allow us to go onto the water, we will have on-the-dock or classroom instruction.


Q: Do we have a class on July 4th?

A: We do not have class on July 4th when it falls on a weekday. ​

Q: Do I have to be a Columbia Yacht Club member to register for classes at the Columbia Sailing School?

A: No, Columbia Yacht Club Membership is not required to sign up for Columbia Sailing School courses as they are two separate organizations. 

Q: What if I have to cancel?

A: Students who cancel three weeks before the program start date receive a full refund (less processing fees). Within two weeks before the start date, the student receives a 50% refund (less processing fees). Inside of two weeks, there will be no refund.