If you’ve never sailed before, or it’s been awhile, we recommend easing into it slowly––like on a no-experience-necessary daysail.
Love sailing? Then take an intro course. Classroom and on-the-water instruction takes 3 to 5 full days, is offered during the week or on back-to-back weekends, and typically costs $300 to $700. You’ll be certified through U.S. Sailing or the American Sailing Association and be able to rent a boat. We asked instructors which skills to master.
Wind 101: “Every sailor has to know where the wind is in relation to the boat, and what you can do with that to make the boat go where you want it to. Once you have that down, it all flows from there.” –Michael Rice, founder, Puget Sound Sailing (pugetsoundsailing.com), Seattle and Tacoma, WA
Safety and prep: “We put students through crew-overboard drills and teach them to control the boat, under sail, in emergency situations. Mastering that stuff eliminates the fear and gives them the confidence to do everything else.” –Andrew LaPlant, Lead sailing instructor, Mission Bay Aquatic Center (