Thoughts on Choosing a Sailing School

Some sailing and powerboat schools I recommend

I don't have first-hand experience with all the sailing and power-boating schools in the area. But these are ones I know well and can recommend. I work with most of them. But I'm don't recommend them because I work for them. I work for them because they are the type of school I can personally recommend! 

At the bottom of this page is a very complete list of sailing schools, updated annually by 48 North.

On the water instruction

Waggoner Inside Passage Flotilla to Alaska


 "The holy grail of Pacific Northwest cruising" For adventurous sail and power cruisers. 750 mile 3 week flotilla with experienced instructors. 

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Seattle Sailing Club: Shilshole Marina


 American Sailing Association certification courses. Active women's sailing program. High performance J/boats, spinnakers, racing program. 

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Windworks Sail & Power Boating: Shilshole Marina


 US Sailing and US Powerboating certifications courses. Cruising Catamaran and Cruising Powerboat courses offered year-round. 

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San Juan Sailing/Yachting: Bellingham


American Sailing Assn & Recreational Power Boating Assn courses. Live aboard classes in San Juan Islands. Offer women-only classes. 

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Classroom instruction (primarily)

Center for Wooden Boats Maritime Essentials: Seattle


 CWB’s Maritime Essentials Series covers a variety of topics that every  smart boater should know. These short classes include topics such as basic navigation, weather, knots and line handling, skills for First Mate. 

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Seattle Maritime Academy: Ballard


Evening Recreational Boater classes. Basic Navigation and Safety, San Juan Cruising, Knots and Line Handling, Transiting the Ballard Locks (on the water training). State of the art maritime training facility. Non profit.

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Seattle Boat Show: Women's University


 Full day course taught by respected local professional sail and powerboat instructors. Diesel engines, Navionics navigation, Crew Overboard, Docking. To enroll, go to 'Boat Show University" and scroll down to the Monday Women's Day.  

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Cruiser's College


Held at the Marine Technology Center in Anacortes, WA. Variety of classes of interest to cruisers, including hands-on boat maintenance and repairs.

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Article on Local Evening/Weekend Classes

Other Schools, Instructors

 Women only training? On line training? Hands on workshops? Here are some other options, below. 

 We have some GREAT non-profit community sailing programs in Seattle, like the Center for Wooden Boats and Sail Sand Point that are inexpensive ways to learn to sail. They are listed in the "Community" page. 

Other Boating Instructors, Schools, Training


Woman boating instructors

Some women sail and power boating instructors from around the Puget Sound area

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Private Instruction on Your Own Powerboat

For private instruction on your own powerboat, I highly recommend Captain Linda Lewis at

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On-line Navigation, Marine Weather, Radar, and Navigation Rules training. Rigorous, high quality training, used by both professional and recreational mariners.

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Boater Education List: 48 North

Many more options listed here. From 48 North, which also publishes a current, detailed list annually in January in their magazine.

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Popular on-line education, with netowrk of affiliated instructors/schools. Not affiliated with US Sailing, American Sailing association, or other US certification organizations shown here.

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