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

$300 / person

Four 3-hour sessions

This course is for anyone interested in learning the basics of sailing. Whether you are looking to try something new, or you’re itchingready to buy a boat and sail around the world, this is the place to start. You will learn everything you need to know about how sailing works, and how to use the wind to get where you’re going! Be prepared to take the helm, you will quickly learn how to trim the sails and navigate Bellingham Bay! The goal of this class is to prepare people to independently skipper a boat. 

Our skills test may be administered during the course at the instructor’s discretion. Sailing is very much a conditional sport, and the wind may vary from class to class. We find that on average 2/3rds of the students who complete this course are ready to pass a skills test.

Each Keelboat class is taught with a 4:1 student-instructor ratio and offers a great environment for addressing the particular needs of each student. This class takes place on the water, come prepared to be out on the boat for nearly all of the session.

Join us and take your first step toward your cruising or racing dreams.

CBC is an accredited US Sailing Center; This class is taught by certified instructors to US Sailing standards. 

Prerequisites: None, but if you aren’t sure sailing is your thing try an Evening Sail first!

Next Step: Keelboat Refresher or Intermediate Keelboat

Topics Include:

  • Basic sailing theory
  • Boat parts and sailing terminology
  • Rigging the boat
  • Upwind and downwind sailing maneuvers
  • Efficient sail trim
  • Tacking and jibing
  • Rules of the road
  • Person overboard recovery practice
  • Cold water safety 
  • Approaching and leaving a dock or mooring under sail
  • Understanding the basics of local weather and tides 
      

Recommended Reading: We use US Sailing’s Learn Sailing Right textbook in conjunction with this class. This book is a great resource as you start your journey as a sailor. We have a limited number of copies for sale and a few that are available to borrow from us. You can also find it online or at the library.  We suggest that you glance through it before the start of class, having a sense of these concepts will allow us to maximize your time on the water!

Session 1: 5/1 , 5/2 , 5/8 ,  5/9 10:30 – 1:30
Session 2: 5/15 , 5/16 , 5/22 , 5/23
Session 3: 6/12, 6/13, 6/19, 6/20 ** Women Only!
Session 4: 6/26, 6/27, 7/3, 7/4
Session 5: 7/10, 7/11, 7/17, 7/18
Session 6: 7/24, 7/25, 7/31, 8/1
Session 7: 8/7, 8/8, 8/14 , 8/15
Session 8: 8/21, 8/22, 8/28, 8/29
Session 9: 9/4, 9/5, 9/11, 9/12
Session 10: 9/18, 9/19, 9/25, 9/26
Session 11: 10/2, 10/3, 10/9, 10/10

$75 / person

3 Hour Class

This course is designed to take students with existing sailing skills and give them a few hours of practice with an instructor onboard. The goal to help you build confidence and practice for the skills test, allowing you to take the boat out independently. In three hours we will orient students to our J/24’s, covering the specifics of rigging, departing and returning to the mooring under sail. 

This course will not teach all of the skills required to pass a skills test.  

This program is a good fit if you have recently completed a sailing course and need a bit more time with an instructor, or if you are new to CBC but have sailed extensively in the past.  

If you’ve never skippered a sailboat in the past then you should start with our twelve hour Introduction to Keelboat Sailing course or schedule a private lesson.

 

Each Keelboat class is taught with a 4:1 student-instructor ratio and is a great environment for addressing the particular needs of each student. This class takes place on the water, come prepared to be out on the boat for nearly all of the session.

Our skills test may be administered during the course at the instructor’s discretion. 

CBC is an accredited US Sailing Center; This class is taught by certified instructors to US Sailing standards. 

Prerequisites: Intro to Keelboat or past experience skippering.

Next Step: Intermediate Keelboat or Keelboat Spinnaker Workshop 

 



$150 / person

Two 3-hour sessions.

Our Intermediate Keelboat course is intended for students who already have a grasp of the basics and are ready for more.This course is designed to hone your existing skills while pushing you to a higher level of understanding and refined boat handling. By the end of this course, students should feel comfortable skippering independently and have a complete understanding of rigging and sailing the boat. We will dive deeper into the various roles and responsibilities of the crew, explore the balance of forces on the boat and how to make fine tune adjustments of the sails and the rig. This should deliver students to a point where they feel comfortable taking inexperienced friends and family for a sail! The next step is to move towards racing and learning to fly a spinnaker!

Everyone learns at their own pace; if at the end of the class you feel that you still need more instruction, consider taking a Keelboat Refresher or schedule a private lesson to build confidence and prepare you to pass the  skills test

The skills test may be administered during the course at the instructor’s discretion. Sailing is a conditional sport, and the wind may vary from class to class. We find that on average most of the students who complete this course are ready to pass a skills test.

CBC is an accredited US Sailing Center; This class is taught by certified instructors to US Sailing standards. 

Prerequisites: Intro to Keelboat or equivalent experience

Next Step: Keelboat Spinnaker Workshop or if you’re ready, take the skills test and start sailing independently!

 

 

Session 1: 5/1 & 5/2
Session 2: 5/22 & 5/23
Session 3: 6/12 & 6/13
Session 4: 7/3 & 7/4 **Women Only 
Session 5: 7/24 & 7/25
Session 6: 8/14 & 8/15
Session 7: 9/4 & 9/5
Session 9: 9/25 & 9/26

$100 / person

4 Hour Class

Flying a spinnaker can be intimidating and challenging and dangerous! This workshop is designed to demystify one of the greatest elements of the sport. You will learn how to rig, launch and recover this downwind kite and develop an understanding of the tools, terms and teamwork that make spinnaker sailing safe and successful! 

If you’d ever like to get into racing or just want to know how to use a spinnaker while cruising, this workshop will you get underway! 

After the class join us for Race Night and put your skills to the test!

Come fly a kite with us!

Independant usage of spinnaker’s on our fleet of J/24’s is not allowed in our rental program.

CBC is an accredited US Sailing Center; This class is taught by certified instructors to US Sailing standards. 

Prerequisites: Intermediate Keelboat or equivalent experience

Next Step: Race Night

$60 / person
3 Hour Class

Join us for an evening of exciting racing hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club! Our instructor will help you navigate the exciting world of racing. We’ll coach you through starts, strategy, and the rules of racing while you and the crew finesse your boat handling – mark rounding, tactics, calling laylines, and learning how to sail fast!  

This course will offer students a foundation of racing knowledge, as well as experience in the different roles aboard a boat. Instructor to student ratio is kept low to offer the support needed to build confidence and master the sport! 

This drop-in offering is designed to be repeated, each racing series is five weeks long, come for a night or sail weekly all summer. Racing with a consistent crew will lock in the teamwork and dynamics needed to win.

Buy a 5 punch pass and get 50% off!  

Race Night is perfect for competitive students who are interested in advancing their sailing expertise, or who have some prior experience racing and crave more knowledge and time aboard a boat. There is no better way to improve your sailing skills!

We will also discuss other racing opportunities in our community and can help make connections to other fleets!

Prerequisites: Intermediate Keelboat and Spinnaker Workshop or equivalent experience.

Next Step: Buy a boat! or volunteer your time and skills to help us put people on the water!

 
$300 / person
12 Hour Class

Learn to sail with us! Sailing a dinghy is fast, fun, and physical!

Our Beginner Dinghy Sailing course is designed to teach small boat sailing to people with little or no experience on the water. Our instructors provide a safe, controlled environment for you to discover the sport of sailing and gain confidence on our fleet of 14’ RS Quests.  This class is taught with 2-3 students in each boat with instructor oversight from the safety boat. We will be running a capsize drill in this class, it is not required to participate in this but highly recommended. Capsizing is part of the skills test you will need to pass to rent the boats independently.

There is no better way to learn to sail than on a dinghy, these boats offer students a responsive platform with better feedback than bigger boats, allowing students to quickly feel and understand the forces at play.

This dinghy class is taught with a 6:1 student-instructor ratio, we monitor the conditions, your comfort and skill level to create a challenging but comfortable space to learn. Come prepared to be out on the water for about half of each session. If you’d prefer to learn with an instructor onboard, consider scheduling a private lesson.

Our skills test may be administered during the course at the instructor’s discretion. Sailing is very much a conditional sport, and the wind will vary from class to class. We find that on average 2/3rds of the students who complete this course are ready to pass a skills test.

Dinghies are lightweight sailboats that balance the force of the wind by moving around the weight of the crew, unlike keelboats which have a weighted keel, such as our J24’s.  The sailors in a dinghy actively move within the boat, using their skill and body to keep the boat upright. This makes for a responsive sailing experience that provides great feedback that will help you to quickly learn the basics of sailing. This class is great for beginning sailors that are willing to get wet and have a ton of FUN! 

Prerequisites: None

Next Step: Intermediate Dinghy Sailing or Dinghy Refresher Course.

Topics Include:

 

  • Cold water safety
  • Sailing theory
  • Tiller hand exchange
  • Setting up and launching the boat
  • Tacking and jibing
  • Upwind and downwind sailing techniques
  • Person overboard recovery/ Safety position
  • Crew movements and weight placement
  • Sail trim
  • Approaching and leaving a dock or mooring
  • Capsize recovery 

Suggested Reading: We use US Sailing’s Learn Sailing Right: Beginning Sailing textbook in conjunction with this class., This book is a great resource as you start your journey as a sailor. We have a limited number of copies for sale and a few that are available to borrow from us. You can also find it online or at the library. We suggest that you read Chapters 1 through 13 before the start of class. Having a sense of these concepts will allow us to maximize your time on the water!

Session 1: 4/17 , 4/18 , 4/24, 4/25
Session 2: 5/15 , 5/16, 5/22 , 5/23 ** Women Only!
Session 3: 6/12 , 6/13 , 6/19 , 6/20
Session 4: 7/10 , 7/11, 7/17, 7/18
Session 5: 8/7, 8/8, 8/14, 8/15
Session 6: 9/4, 9/5, 9/11, 9/12

 

$200 / person
8 Hour Class

Our Intermediate Dinghy Course is for sailors who have a firm grasp of concepts covered in Beginner Dinghy Sailing.  Our intermediate course is tailored to student skill level and objectives.  Students will hone their sailing skills in various weather and wind conditions, learn increasingly advanced concepts, and further develop their boat handling techniques.  By the end of this course, students should feel comfortable and confident sailing in most weather conditions and be ready to try our racing .  

Our skills test may be administered during the course at the instructor’s discretion. Sailing is very much a conditional sport, and the wind will vary from class to class. We find that on average, most of the students who complete this course are ready to pass a skills test.

If you aren’t feeling ready to sail independently you may need to supplement this course with a Dinghy Refresher or  schedule a private lesson

Class Content Includes:

  • Cold water safety and conditions assessment
  • Basic understanding of tides and currents
  • The physics of sailing
  • Proper sail trim 
  • Weight balance in light/heavy wind
  • Capsize recovery 
  • Effective hiking technique
  • Sailing strategy and understanding laylines 
  • Right of way
  • Refined boathandleing
  • Teamwork and onboard communication 

 

Prerequisites: Beginner Dinghy Sailing

Next Step: Spinnaker Workshop, Dinghy Race Night

Session 1: 5/1 & 5/2
Session 2: 6/5 & 6/6** Women Only!
Session 3: 6/26 & 6/27
Session 4: 7/24 & 7/25
Session 5: 8/21 & 8/22
Session 6: 9/18 & 9/19

$75 / person
3 Hour Class

The Dinghy Refresher course is designed to refresh sailors on how to independently rig and sail the RS Quest.  This quick lesson will orient students to sailing with us while covering what you need to get on the water. The pace of this refresher is fast and will cover the hand exchange, rigging, launching and recovering the boat, and an optional capsize drill.  

We will not be teaching the basics of sailing, this class is for expirenced sailors only! We will not cover the basic skills required to pass a skills test.

If students have completed an Introduction to Dinghy Sailing course and would like a bit more time with instructor oversight, or it has been a year or two since the student has been on the water, this class is a great continuation of introductory sailing education.  Sailors should have experience and confidence independently skippering a boat prior to this course.

Our skills test may be administered during the course at the Instructor’s discretion. 

 Prerequisites: Intro to Dinghy or past experience skippering dinghies.

Next Step: Intermediate Dinghy Sailing or Dinghy Spinnaker Workshop

$75 / person
3 Hour Class

 

We know that flying a spinnaker can be intimidating and challenging, this workshop is designed to demystify one of the great elements of the sport.  You will learn how to rig, launch and recover this downwind “kite” on our 14’ RS Quest!

Understand the tools, terms and teamwork that make spinnaker sailing safe and successful! 

Independant usage of spinnaker’s on our fleet of Quest’s may be allowed in our rental program after completing the course and passing the spinnaker skills test

After the class join us for Dinghy Race Night and put your skills to the test!

During this course you’ll have the opportunity to understand and practice all of the roles and responsibilities of flying a Spinnaker under the guidance of our instructors.

Come fly a kite with us!

A spinnaker skills test may be administered during the course at the Instructor’s discretion, allowing participants to rent Spinnakers.  

Prerequisites: Intermediate Dinghy Sailing or Equivalent Experience

Next Step: Dinghy Race Night or Intermediate Keelboat Sailing!

$15 / person; required 2-3 people per boat, no singlehanding
3 Hours 

Dinghy Race Night is the perfect place to begin racing against our community of sailors. Perfect for those who are interested in advancing their sailing skills and learning the subtleties of the sport, or who have some prior experience racing and crave more time on the course.

This is an experience designed to allow beginning racers to grow, we aim to keep competition light hearted and will offer casual coaching to push you to the next level! 

If you’re looking for 1:1 coaching, we recommend scheduling a private lesson during race night!    Our instructor will be on board to help you navigate the exciting world of racing. There is simply no faster way to get better! The cost of participation in race night will be waived for private lesson students. We’ll coach you through starts, strategy, and the rules of racing while you finesse your boat handling – mark rounding, picking laylines, and simply sailing fast.  

If you have been approved for Spinnaker usage through our workshop or skills test you can check one out for Race Night.

 Prerequisites: Intermediate Dinghy Sailing or Equivalent Experience

Next Step: Keelboat Race Night or join one of our local racing fleets! 

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.

For more information or to schedule a private lesson, contact the Programs Manager or call 360-714-8891.

 

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
  • Shoes you can get wet and non-cotton socks (deck shoes or any pair of old tennis shoes are fine. Chacos, 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.