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Sailing Lessons

Please see the information below to learn more about the private sailing lessons we provide - tailored to fit you!

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Sailing Cruise

Click here to learn more about how you can enjoy a 3 hour cruise on the Illinois River!  We offer 3 cruises every day - Late morning cruise, afternoon cruise, and a favorite for most, evening sunset cruise.

Sunset Cruise

The Sunset Sailing Cruise is the most popular cruise we offer.  Take a look at the Photos page and you'll see why!

Sailing Lessons

Whether you are brand new to sailing or have been sailing a while and would like to learn the finer points of sail trimming, I can tailor a class for you!

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Sailing Lessons

Hello!  I'm glad you are interested in learning to sail!  Sailing brings a peace and tranquility, as well as plenty of excitement, that few things can match.  I look forward to introducing you to a world that many dream about, but few actually get to experience.


Sailing Lessons Offered

As with everything I do at Sail, teaching the art of sailing is no different. I don't believe in the cookie cutter approach of "Buy this book, take this test, perform this task - now you're an accomplished sailor" sort of thing. Nothing could be further from reality.  My goal with my students is to first understand what they wish to accomplish, then develop a plan that fits them, with the flexibility that only a small class (4 students or less), or better yet, one-on-one training can provide.

The following is a general description of what we offer:


Beginner Sailing Lessons - Learn the basics of sailing in both the classroom and an actual sailing environment.  You will learn everything you need to know to become a safe and competent sailor!

Your first lesson will be in the classroom, where you will learn the principles of what makes a sailboat sail, what all the parts and equipment are that are typically found on a sailboat, as well as the various points of sail that you will practice later.  At the end of the classroom time you will be given some assignments to work on prior to our first day of actual sailing out on the water.  You will also be given a length of line to take home and practice all the new knots you've learned!  If that sounds like a lot to remember from your first class, don't worry, you will be given a textbook that has been recognized as the best in the business for teaching new students.  This textbook comes complete with pictures, drawings, and step-by-step directions on everything you have learned so you will be able to go back at anytime to practice and review.

After the first classroom lesson, all future lessons will begin with a dockside discussion of what we will learn and practice out on the water that day.  I will explain what we will be practicing, show you how to do it, then let you take as long as you need to completely understand each new concept.  Each lesson will build on the previous lessons, introducing you to more and more complex maneuvers until you are competent and ready to take command of your own sailboat!

Cost:  I charge $125 for the first lesson, which is a 2 hour classroom session and includes 1 training manual.  (Additional training manuals may be purchased if desired)  After the classroom training, the rest of your training will be done on the water in my boat and charged at a rate of $40 per hour. 


The "No Spouse Allowed" Class - Let's face it, sometimes we are extremely good at working with others, however, when it comes to teaching our spouses or significant others, we just don't seem to have the same amount of patience.  Signing up for sailing lessons with me can greatly reduce the stress of teaching your partner yourself!  Give me a call and let's work together to make you a competent sailing couple without all the stress!

Cost:  Similar to the Beginner Lessons above, I charge $125 for the first lesson, which is a 2 hour classroom session and includes a training manual.  (We may forgo the classroom training if the spouse has already had equivalent training or experience.)  After the classroom training, the rest of the  training will be done on the water in my boat and charged at a rate of $40 per hour.  Depending on the amount of knowledge you have coming in to the class, we will modify the training accordingly.


Intermediate Sailing Lessons - Do you already know how to sail, but would like to learn the finer points of sail trimming?

I will teach you the tried and true practices and procedures which will help you get the most out of your sailboat and her sails.  The method I use is recognized by many as the best sail trimming procedures available and something you will almost certainly not be taught in most sailing schools.

You will learn the four basic elements of sail trim, the eight primary controls for the mainsail, the mainsail and jib control indicators, as well as the six primary jib adjustment controls.  Not only will you know what these controls and indicators are, you will understand how they work and when to use them.

This class includes a textbook as well as optional laminated reference guides that you will be able to use as you take what you've learned in this classroom and put into practice on your sailboat.

Cost:  This is a more challenging class and doesn't really lend itself to a strict timeline.  It also requires some on-the-water practice on your own time between classes.  I charge $50 per hour with a minimum of 2 hours of training.  The cost for the textbook is $30 and the Sail Trim Charts are $25.  I recommend you take a class at least once per week, then practice the principals of what you learned in class on your boat before the next class.  After the first couple of classes you may be comfortable enough to be able to continue on your own. If you would like more training, we will schedule as many as you would like.  The timeline, and therefore, the cost, is entirely up to you!  It requires a bit of commitment, but is WELL worth the investment!


Great Lakes Adventures (sail or power) - Most of us have dreamed of sailing the vast sweetwater lakes that make up the Great Lakes.  The lakes offer wide open expanses, quiet coves, exciting sea caves, interesting islands, and lots of quaint little towns.  You may be wondering, however, if either you, or our boat, is safely up to the task.

I will work with you to help you to become safe and competent while cruising the largest lakes in the world!  I have sailed Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Green Bay so far in my 26' trailerable sailboat and would love to share my knowledge and experience with you.  As faculty of the Great Lakes Cruising Club School, I have given seminars on the topic of cruising the Great Lakes in trailerable sized boats.  I will be glad to share those experiences with you and get you prepared and confident to enjoy the beautiful Great Lakes!

Topic points of the discussion include; The Beauty of the Great Lakes, Planning the Trip, Safety On the Lakes, Navigation, Outfitting Your Boat, and Q & A.

Cost:  I charge $25 per person for the session with a minimum of 4 persons.


Marine Navigation (sail or power) - As you are probably aware, the captain or operator of the boat is responsible for knowing the position of the boat at all times.  He or she is ultimately responsible for the safety of the boat and her crew as well.  Navigation plays a key role in the safe execution of any outing.  While this is fairly easily accomplished on the small lakes and rivers in our area, if you have the desire to expand your horizons to cruise the Great Lakes or the high seas as many of us do, learning the fine art of navigation is not only essential, it's required!

With the proliferation of electronic navigation, captains now have access to more information than ever before.  Despite all these new tools, the more traditional tools not only still have their place in modern navigation, they are actually much more reliable than their electronic counterparts.

In our Marine Navigation class we will cover the basics of piloting which include; Aids to Navigation, Dead Reckoning, Triangulation, Course Made Good, Speed Made Good, ETA, Tides and Tidal Currents, Set and Drift, and more.  When you complete this class, you will be able to confidently plot a course, determine your position anywhere on the chart, make confident course corrections, and arrive safely at your destination every time, anywhere in the world!

Cost:  Like the Intermediate class above, this too is a more challenging class and doesn't really lend itself to a strict timeline.  I charge $50 per hour with a minimum of 2 hours of training, however, the amount of time is significantly more than just a few hours.  The total cost for the training will depend entirely upon how quickly you absorb and apply the lessons.  There will be homework assigned between classes and you must be willing to commit to practicing via the homework.  It is a bit challenging, however, very much worth the investment of your time and money!

There will be some additional costs associated with the class for things such as a Marine Training Chart, Marine Parallel Rule, Divider/Compass, etc., which can cost $50 and up depending on the quality you prefer.


*** All Classes *** - All fees are per person (or per family if taken together)  All classes are private lessons for individuals, couples, family, or family and friends, to a maximum of 4 persons in the class.  You must be 18 years old or older to participate.  (exceptions may be made for a family taking lessons together)

Don't Know If Sailing Is For You?

Why not schedule an introductory cruise?  We will go for a fun sail while I introduce you to the various aspects of sailing.  Once you have experienced the basics of sailing, you will know if sailing is for you.  The charge for an introductory sail is $80 and is approximately one hour in length.  I believe it is a wise investment if you are hesitant about signing up for lessons.  If you chose to sign up for lessons, I will credit 50% of the cost the introductory cruise to your first lesson!


We're sorry, but due to extenuating circumstances our Business Hours this season are:

Monday thru Thursday 10 am - 10 pm

Call today to create your personal cruise or lessons - Or book online by clicking the button below!

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