How To Choose a Sailing School

Listed below are some things you may want to consider when choosing a sailing school.

  1. Is the school certified by an independent, well known and reputable authority?
    BaySail is approved as a training facility by the American Sailing Association (ASA). ASA provides a stepped approach to learning to sail -- as you take courses you gain skills and become certified to skipper different sized boats. This certification is recognized by sailing professionals and charter companies worldwide and ensures that our school complies with an established and comprehensive program.
  2. What type of boat will be used in the course?
    BaySail uses new or recent model sailboats that are chosen to give you the best possible sailing experience. In Basic Sailing, BaySail uses Capri 22's which are very responsive, stable and easy to sail. The Capri features a large cockpit with plenty of legroom and a cabin below decks to stow gear. If possible, it’s always best to learn the basics of sailing on a boat like the Capri 22 because it is less intimidating and gives students a much better feel for the wind than a large charter boat. For advanced courses, BaySail uses beautiful yachts from 30’ to 41’ that are fully equipped, impeccably maintained and sparkling clean (you could eat off our decks!). See our boat list.
  3. How many hours a day is the class held and how much time is actually spent on the water?
    At BaySail, we start each day at 9:00 AM and end around 5 PM with a break for lunch (there are lots of good restaurants within walking distance of our marina). Eighty percent of our class time is on-the-water training. We have designed our courses to make sure that you have the necessary amount of time to become truly proficient in each level of sailing. We want you to know your stuff because we want you to rent our boats after you’re certified!
  4. Will the course be conducted in uncrowded waters and will these waters be easy to reach?
    At some schools, teaching is conducted in busy waters filled with powerboats and commercial traffic. At other schools you may spend a lot of time motoring down a river to get to the instructional area. At BaySail, our classes are held on the Chesapeake Bay in Havre de Grace, Maryland. These waters offer an ideal setting because they are not crowded and they are literally right at our doorstep. The Havre de Grace harbor offers protected waters for bginner courses while the greater Chesapeake Bay ensures challenges for more experienced sailors.
  5. What is the student to instructor ratio?
    At BaySail, it's four to one -- the maximum number of students we allow on a vessel is four.
  6. What is included in the course price?
    BaySail's prices are inclusive of certification, course materials, logbooks and taxes. Because some schools charge extra for these, it is important to ask the school up front what is included in its published rates.
  7. Will you be able to rent a boat from the school after completing the course?
    Upon graduation, it is important that you practice your newly acquired skills. It is also nice to be able to take your family and friends out sailing. Some schools do not rent their boats and others require that you first join a club. At BaySail, you can rent a boat for a half day, full day or longer. After completing the basic sailing course, we will give you 15% off your first daysail rental. Larger charter yachts are also available for graduates of advanced courses at a discount of 10%. (See Charter Yachts & Daysailers for more information).
  8. Can you customize a course for me?
    BaySail would be happy to customize a sailing course for you based upon your individual goals and sailing experience. We have listed some sample custom courses on our Course Descriptions page to give you an idea of what we offer. Please contact BaySail by email or telephone to discuss pricing and your personal preferences.

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