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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-18-2015 02:06 PM
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!

I'm sure you've already found a school. But I know Club Nautique has a package they run sometimes which brings the cost down considerably. They call it the "Skipper's Package" and you won't usually see it on their website, but if you ask about it specifically, it brings the cost of their entry level courses and membership down by over 50%. The website shows the Bareboat Membership (which covers beginner stuff) at about $3,000. But I think the skipper's package has like 90% of the courses from Bareboat, and the last ad I saw for it put the price at $1,295 for 8 days of lessons and certification to charter boats up to 35'.

Their site is at

UPDATE: I found out they've rolled out the intro package again through the end of July and posted it on their website. You'll have to navigate to the sailing school part of the site and then click the "beginners" button.
08-27-2013 11:41 AM
The Desserters
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!


My wife and I just left the Bay Area about 6 months ago. We could barely afford to pay our rent while out there but wanted to take advantage of the Bay. We want to live aboard and found a great cheap trainer. They are docked in Sausalito. They charge $25/hour and take you on a 4 hour cruise. They are very experienced and let you do as much or as little as you are comfortable with. We found them on Craigslist and loved their 30' sloop.

I guess i am not allowed to use links in my post for some reason so at the beginning of the "non-link" above, type http// They are a lot of fun and we highly recommend them!
08-02-2013 12:59 AM
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!

Hey, I just came across this ad in Latitude 38. Maybe this is what you're looking for...


Weekly sails with Blue Water Foundation, taking kids on the Bay. Great group of sailors looking for like-minded volunteers. Expand your sailing experience taking these exceptional racing sloops on the Bay. Contact Tim:
Email jweeg at comcast dot net
07-20-2013 02:58 AM
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!

I learned to sail at the Cal sailing club, kind of. I was teaching sailing at a camp and the guy on the pier next to me when I was teaching canoeing was teaching sailing. He taught me to sail so he could sit on the docks and I could go sailing.

When I moved back the to east bay I joined Cal Sailing. In the mean time I had broken my ankle and was in a cast. After joining the person in the office cruised me around the corner and dropped me off in a Pearson ensign. It was typical bay area winds (big) and I was in a cast (anchor). The waves were coming over the side in the choppy water. It was the only time I was afraid in a sailboat. Somehow I would still highly recommend this club.

It was cheap and unorganized, the standards were high (I remember one of the standards was to be able to sail the Lido 14s without rudder in high winds). The clubs book was Royces Illustrated. You can learn what you need to sail form this simple book. Learning to sail at the club may take a bit of patience but it can happen.

If you got more money join another club or pay a school to teach you. The other option is to go to the dock on a day or night when it is racing and blowing hard and volunteer your services as moveable ballast. Hang out enough and you will learn to race and eventually learn to sail. This plus a lot of reading is how i learned to sail.

If you have more money than time take a class or join a high class club, but if you have patience you can learn to sail for nearly free.
07-15-2013 05:46 PM
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!

I have heard that Treasure Island sailing school's lessons are very reasonably priced.
07-15-2013 12:39 PM
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!

I joined Cal Sailing years ago when I wanted lessons. Their instructors are all volunteer club members. First time I went, I waited a couple hours for the "instructor" to show up and once out on the water, I was not impressed with his knowledge or instructing style. In addition, you are required to put in a certain number of hours doing maintenance on the boats. On the plus side, membership is cheap.

After my initial experience, I decided the Cal Sailing model was not what I was looking for, so I went over to OCSC and bought lessons there. It was a lot more expensive but my time was not wasted and I wasn't expected to work on the boat afterwards (that only happened once I actually became an employee. )
07-15-2013 12:15 PM
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!

Cal sailing is a bit of a mixed bag. We went a couple times but decided we wanted our own boat. They do have open houses fairly regularly that are free and let you get an idea of what to expect.
07-14-2013 03:53 PM
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!

I do see your point. And yes, I am referring to the San Francisco Bay Area. I am quite shocked, however, at some of these schools prices. I guess I was expecting something incrustation couple hundred dollar range, but the more I look, this is really an expensive thing to do. I guess I'm still hoping that someone here on the forum will be willing to at least let me tag along for a day cruise before shell out a grand or so for lessons. Any takers?
As for Cal club, it is cheap. But has anyone else tried it? I've read a couple of reviews that don't make it sound very appealing. But, beggars can't be choosers I guess.
07-11-2013 08:46 AM
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!

The Bay area? This is an international forum. Our friends from Australia might assume that you're talking about the Whitsunday Bay area. Even if this was just an American forum, you might be talking about the Chesapeake Bay area, the Tampa Bay area, or any one of about a dozen other bay areas. It appears that respondents so far are assuming that you mean the San Francisco Bay area, which may or may not be correct.

So, just a reminder that if you're not specific about the area that you are talking about, a lot of people may have no idea what you mean.
07-10-2013 11:29 PM
Re: I want to learn to sail in the Bay Area!

Look for sailing clubs in your area. Can participate in events, activities and crew with members looking for additional hands.
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