Scholarships are available to support up to 100% of the cost of our programs.

Adult Sailing Programs

Keelboat Sailing

Dinghy Sailing

If the program you are interested in is full please join our waitlist by filling out the form below.

Private Lessons

$60/hour + $40/hour for additional student

The Community Boating Center offers private sailing lessons for all ages during the operating season (April through October). Private lessons can be a perfect solution for skill refinement after taking a sailing class, refreshing forgotten maneuvers, practicing person overboard drills, or simply getting the extra nuance and customization of education only private instruction can provide. All lessons take place on Bellingham Bay and depart from the Fairhaven public boat launch next to the Boating Center. 90 minute minimum per lessons. Lessons are scheduled around your schedule and instructor availability.

Planning & Preparing

This class is taught using US Sailing standards. At the end of the class, your instructor will assess your sailing skills and determine if you are safely able to rent our sailboats. Please note that you can only be checkout on the vessel you learned on, either a dinghy or keelboat. If at the end of the class you still need more practice, a private lesson is a great way to get one-on-one experience with an instructor.

Class location:  Class will meet at the Community Boating Center: 555 Harris Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225. The Boating Center is located immediately next to the public boat launch in Fairhaven. Parking can be found next to the railroad tracks in front of the Boating Center or along Harris Avenue if no other spaces are available. Please do not park in the Port of Bellingham’s trailer parking lot as this requires a paid launch permit.

Time:  Please arrive 15 minutes before your class’ start time. Sailing is entirely dependent on the wind. Too much or too little can prevent us from doing much on the water, but there are always drills and concepts that can be practiced on land or tied up to a dock.

Preparation: Any studying you are able to do before and during the class sessions will help make the most of your money and class time. For keelboat sailing, we teach using the US Sailing Basic Keelboat book. For dinghy sailing, we teach using US Sailing Start Sailing Right! book. Both of which can be purchased directly from Amazon, a bookstore, or checked out at the library.

What to Wear and bring? Please remember to look at the weather forecast and dress accordingly. You should come to class every day prepared to get wet or even go in the water. This means you should not wear cotton and you should have a spare set of clothes to change into. Wearing layers is a great way to remain flexible to weather conditions.
You should bring:
  • Water & snacks.
  • Non-cotton insulating layers (polypro, capilene, wool, etc)
  • Rain gear
  • Closed toe shoes you can get wet and non-cotton socks (deck shoes or any pair of old tennis shoes are fine. Keens and other water sandals are ok)
  • Hat for sun protection (a warm hat is strongly suggested on cooler days)
  • Other miscellaneous items to bring:
    • Sunglasses with safety strap
    • Sunscreen
    • Chapstick with SPF
    • Any medications you might need


For more information, visit our What to Expect page.

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