Sailing Courses

The Northwest's Most Comprehensive Sailing Program

Sailing opens a world of possibilities that includes many unexpected challenges. To sail competently, students need knowledge and experience to safely operate sailboats, and the skills and confidence to handle whatever unexpected weather or equipment issues may happen. And, after 35 years and over 12,000 sails we've learned what makes a great sailing program.  Below are our 3 most popular programs, and we also offer continued training and sailing opportunities.   Read More about our Courses

We Appreciate Your Time

Like most of our students, we are parents and professionals pressed for time in today's busy world. So, we construct our classes to make best use of the time available: interactive online training and testing is often more efficient than books as well as frees class time. The extra class time is spent training on the water, giving students more meaningful practical instruction. And, we're flexible in that if weather doesn't cooperate or additional training is needed, we'll work with your schedule in continuing the training.

We Teach on the Water

Since the dawn of time when humans first took to the seas to 'learn the ropes', much of this training was passed down from sailor-to-sailor. That part hasn't changed much in sailing's 7,000+ year history, and in our small-group instruction you're trained by a highly experienced sailor. Our on-the-water courses include licensed instructors, Small Group low student-to-instructor ratios, proper equipment and no "time limit" on course length (i.e., we guarantee competency, regardless of time - hey you pay us for training, not stickers...). Choosing a Sailing School

We Use Advanced Online Training

NauticEd Flagship Sailing SchoolWhat has changed is technology, and we make knowledge training easier by utilizing the latest/greatest online training systems available. NauticEd's advanced online training gives students the most up-to-date and advanced training available while increasing your practical on-the-water instruction time. For continued training - Navigation, Radar, Weather and Celestial - we offer Starpath Navigation materials and home study courses.

The Highest Certification Standards

Island Sailing's practical courses exceed the standards of US based certification systems. Our affiliation with NauticEd offers paths to RYA, ICC and international certification, and with knowledge courses such as Navigation we work with the Starpath School of Navigation - which, surpasses any certification standard. For more info, see Certification Explained

Guaranteed Practical Competency

Simply, you're paying us to learn to sail at a certain level (not for a certain number of hours). We guarantee that in practical courses your instructor will verify your practical competency, regardless if it requires additional training time.  And, if you're not satisfied with your class or instructor, then you can retake the course at no additional charge.

Get your International Certification - next ICC Assessment is June 18-19th in Gig Harbor, WA  [click here]


1. Learn to Sail

Learn to Sail Skipper Small Keelboat Basic Sailing

Learn the fundamental knowledge and on-the-water training needed to competently crew and Skipper Keelboats up to 24'.

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2. Learn to Cruise

Sailors learn to sail further and faster with improved sail and boat handling techniques, in heavier weather and with sailboats 25' and larger.

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3. Learn Bareboat

Learn a complete understanding of vessel systems, planning, and large boat handling so you can confidently sail and charter big boats.

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Coastal Navigation

Coastal Navigation Class ASA 105

Navigation knowledge and skills are essential to sailing or chartering. Learn hands-on Coastal Navigation from an instructor and Starpath materials.

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Spinnaker Class

Island Sailing Spinnaker Class

Learn to harness the power of the Spinnaker sail for performance and light wind in our Spinnaker Class. Learn hands-on from experienced instructors.

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Sailing Wilderness First Aid

Northwest-Wilderness Medicine Training Center

Prepare for the unexpected! Students gain the knowledge, skills and ability to make sound decisions in emergency situations.

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Locks Clinic

Island sailing locks clinic

Through the locks!  Learn what you need to know about locks from an instructor and while aboard an Island Sailing sailboat passing through Seattle's Ballard locks.

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Intro to Sailing

Simply Go Sailing!  If you want to try out sailing, start learning a little or just kick back and enjoy the ride - join Capt. Frankland for a 3 hour intro sail on the Columbia.

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San Juan Islands
Cruise & Learn

sailing cruise and learn in the San Juan Islands

Learn in the San Juans with friends and family, become certified and have fun with this unique and highly personalized sailing program.

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ICC Assessment

International Certificate of Confidence Charter Countries

Sailing Internationally?  The pinnacle of recreational sailing licenses is the ICC - the only sailing license accepted by European Countries and the International Standard for chartering abroad.

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Coaching Sessions

island sailing coaching sessions

Sail with fellow sailors with the guidance of an Instructor. Practice skills, boat handling and maneuvering - really, whatever the group wants to learn.

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