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Tribe95 07-23-2008 10:57 PM

Puget Sound Area lessons
There seems to be no shortage of options for sailing instruction here in WA. The one I'm presently leaning towards is the Island Sailing Club in Kirkland.

Prices among all who offer courses are similar, but this one seems to have the most convenient scheduling, not to mention a close location for me. So... I was wondering if anyone was familiar with them or the quality of their instruction. I plan to drop by and check them out myself, but since I probably wouldn't know "quality sailing instruction" if my life depended on it, any and all "yeas" or "nays" on this organization - especially from some more seasoned sailors who may have interacted with them in the past - would be greatly appreciated.



nightowle 07-24-2008 01:31 AM

you may want to check with the BBB to see if they have any significant complaints against them. It's a useful resource to see if a service company doesn't deliver on their promises.

Grotius 07-24-2008 06:22 AM

I wish I could help with that particular club's offerings. It sounds like a great place to start. I take it you'll be sailing on Lake Washington? I think that's a much better place to start than Puget Sound. The lake is calmer, the winds are lighter, and you don't have to worry about tides or current.

As I'm sure you know, there are tons of sailing lessons to be had in the Seattle area. I can describe two or three that I tried when I lived there.

The City of Seattle used to offer lessons on Lasers on the west side of Lake Washington, near Madrona/Madison Park. There's nothing like a spunky little Laser to teach you the points of sail, heh. Before I took this course, I had to prove I could tread water for 20 minutes, fully clothed, in a cold swimming pool. Good thing, because I got plenty of practice capsizing the Laser. :)

The course itself comprised a series of lessons -- maybe around a dozen, I don't remember. At every lesson, we had to assemble the Laser ourselves, which was a good exercise in itself. (I wonder if I still could do that. It's been a while.) The course culminated in a few races, which were a blast.

I also took some lessons at Windworks, which I'm pretty sure is still in operation. See

About Windworks Sailing Center New Sailors

It offers lessons on larger boats on Puget Sound. I had a great time, but as I recall the first couple of classes weren't very hands-on. And I moved away from Seattle before I had time to finish their Basic Keelboat course, which was more hands-on. I think Windworks operates out of Shilshole Bay marina, or at least it did back then. I think your Kirkland program sounds like a better place to start, but I mention Windworks for what it's worth.

Finally, I took some private lessons on a 20-footer on Lake Union, and I loved the instructor, but I can't remember his name or the name of the sailing school he was affiliated with. Big help, huh? If I dig up any info on him or his school, I'll post it.

Anyway, your Kirkland deal sounds good, but I thought I'd pass along my experiences in case you decide to look further.

tenuki 07-25-2008 02:27 PM

I can recommend Windworks for keelboat instruction and their club rates aren't too bad compared to others. I would recommend sailing in smaller boats first though to really learn sailing, lasers are perfect if you are athletic.

Tribe95 07-27-2008 12:32 PM

Thanks for all the info, guys. I appreciate it. I will likely explore some other clubs a bit more in-depth and make some comparisons.

Thanks again


serenity4u2 08-01-2008 05:05 PM

Good Luck Ron... One school I have experience with is in Bellingham WA.. San juan sailing school... They offer many courses and also several options to accomadate a persons schedule. They also offer plenty of charters as well. Plus they are real close to both the san juan's and gulf islands..

Tribe95 08-04-2008 01:11 PM

That's actually a place I hadn't thought of - and it's really not that far (IMO - but I drive all over the state for work, anyway).

Thanks - I'll check 'em out!


anthony11 08-20-2008 03:36 PM


Originally Posted by Tribe95 (Post 345173)
There seems to be no shortage of options for sailing instruction here in WA. The one I'm presently leaning towards is the Island Sailing Club in Kirkland.

I took the Keelboat and Basic Coastal classes at ISC a couple of years ago, with Mike Cook as an instructor. Seemed fine to me. I suspect that the instructor one ends up with makes more of a difference than the company, though if one wishes to learn on a specific model of boat that could factor in too.

I'm thinking about taking a Bareboat course now, and mulling over whether I want to try ISC, SSC/Sail Northwest, or one of the schools in Anacortes or Bellingham. The decision may well depend on which can be flexible about food -- bareboat classes see to always specify that the school provides it.

Toddy 11-15-2008 10:50 PM

I am in the Basic Keelboat class with Windworks right now and so far I'm very happy with it. They are at Shilshole which isn't terribly convenient for me, but I wanted lessons on the Sound rather than the Lake. There's 24 hours of instruction (6 4 hour classes), 8 in the class room and the rest on the water. You start on 25fters. If you do their Basic Cruising - you move up to the 30+ fters which I intend to do next. Most of the classes are on weekends.

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