Sailing Skills Tests

Prior to renting any dinghy or keelboat, you must be vetted by an instructor. There are no exceptions to this, we want to introduce you to our boats and venue in a way that will ensure you are set up for success!

Independent sailing on Bellingham Bay has its challenges and our boats have no motors; they must be sailed to and from the mooring or dock. Often the wind is shifty in the harbor and it can be crowded.

There are three ways to complete a skills test and get signed off to sail a CBC boat:

  1. An on-the-water sailing skills test with our staff:
    • Each on-water exam is $45 and lasts 1.5 hours.
    • Separate skills tests are required for sailing dinghies and keelboats.
    • Sailors will be checked off to sail in our green, yellow, or red wind conditions. Upgrading your skills test to be certified in higher winds may be offered at the discretion of the Manager on Duty at no cost. 
  2. Successful completion of our Dinghy or Keelboat Refresher sailing class and passing grade from an instructor. See rubric below*
  3. Successful completion of our Intermediate Dinghy or Keelboat sailing class and passing grade from an instructor. See rubric below*

*Please note it is not guaranteed that the instructor will be able to conduct a skills test in any class as it depends on the conditions, goals, and general skill level of the whole group.*

All candidates must bring their own crew, instructors are on the water to oversee your ability to sail the boat independently with your crew.

Skills tests expire after two years of inactivity, even if you sail outside of CBC.

Skills tests are specific to the type of boat (dinghy or keelboat). All dinghy skills tests require the successful demonstration of a capsize and recovery. Wet suits are provided.

We recommend you do your skills test with a friend or family member who you plan to sail with in the future so you both have practice with an instructor watching. 

To schedule a sailing skills test, please fill out the form below! 

*Skills tests are scheduled by our instructors or volunteers directly, during our busiest times of the year it may take a few days or even weeks to get this done. You may consider taking one of our refresher classes, where you can be certified to use the sailboats at the discretion of the instructor.*

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