Sailing instruction, education and the advancement of skills and practical knowledge is a central focus in all Island Sailing activities. Whether by ASA classes, seminars, or simply having access to qualified instructors for quick questions - continued learning is part of the sailing experience and what we offer...

Island Sailing's instructors not only hold the pre-requisite certifications and licenses, they are many of the most experienced and accomplished sailors in the Pacific Northwest. That experience, especially when combined with over 31 years of sailing instruction, makes Island Sailing's instruction an excellent choice!

As an American Sailing Association Certification Facility, our students receive certifications that are recognized around the world. ASA is the leading international authority on sailing instruction.

When considering a sailing program, we suggest you ask the question, "do you offer practice time after a class?" Island Sailing does - it's a subtle but very important point, and we believe that practice after a class is critical to building confidence, refining skills, applying knowledge, and asking any follow-up questions after the class. We have confidence in our instruction and students - the final ingredient is practice, experience and fun.

Island Sailing advantages include:

  • Our low Instructor to Student ratio means more personalized attention.
  • Year round sailing programs and multiple locations offers flexibility in scheduling.
  • A guarantee that if you're not satisfied or not confident after a class, you can take the course again at no additional charge.
  • Multiple locations offer a diverse choice of learning environments
  • Equipment commensurate with the course standards being taught (i.e., bigger is not always better).
  • A commitment to results, not just time spent. Our instructors adapt the class and equipment to the students' progress, weather, sailing conditions, etc...

ASA Logo     Island Sailing is an ASA Certifying Facility with over 30 years’ experience in sailing instruction. ASA is the leading authority on sailing instruction & sailing schools in the United States. ASA Certifications are recognized world-wide.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum functions as an educational ladder, guiding students from sailing's most fundamental elements to its more specialized topics. Upon successful completion of each level, students are encouraged to hone their skills with additional sailing. This approach instills comprehensive proficiency and confidence in any committed student. The majority of our courses are held over one full weekend, and you receive ASA Certification once you've shown proficiency with the ASA Standards.


Listed below, in order of skill level, of courses recommended through Bareboat Chartering.

ASA Sailboat Standards

Some sailing schools, often broker and charter companies, offer classes on 'new' and 'bigger' boats. While their instructors may be excellent, the equipment used often is a disadvantage for students.

The American Sailing Association requires that certain standards of boat size and equipment be applied for any particular class. The reason is that performance characteristics of sailboats greatly vary based on a boat's size, design, tiller vs. wheel and auxiliary power (outboard vs. inboard engine). Speed, heel, helm responsiveness, maneuverability are critical considerations in sail training - for example, when students learn basic sailing on a larger vessel with slow responsiveness and less maneuverability, students practice maneuvers less often as well as miss out on gaining the intuitive feel of helm response and sail trim characteristic of smaller sailboats.

Island Sailing's large fleet of training vessels gives our instructors and students equipment options that not only satisfy ASA standards, but allows instructors to select the best boat choice for the class needs and sailing conditions.

Class Length

When comparing sailing classes, one consideration is the amount of hours in a class, or classroom vs. on-the-water training time. Unlike most schools, Island Sailing focuses less on the clock and more on the students' progress and needs, as well as making the most of the weather conditions. For example, a weekend class is generally 16 hours of instruction, but from there instructors decide whether additional time may be needed (at no additional charge) for the class or individual students.

Planning For Your Course

We encourage you to plan your course in advance in order to receive the appropriate textbook in a timely fashion, giving you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the reading material. The advanced notice makes it possible for our staff to schedule the suitable number of instructors for your course date. With these details settled you can relax and enjoy your weekend on the water.

Post - Course Sailing

There are a number of ways to continue sailing once you've completed your course with Island Sailing. It is our goal to see our students sail consistently and continue to learn during each outing. This is why we always have one full time instructor on staff at each of our locations - They are there to assist you. It is also why we make our boats available to both club members and the public.

Club Membership

Club Membership allows you to sail as often as you like for one low monthly rate.


Renting our sailboats is also a practical option. We offer a variety of boats that compliment your skill level for a reasonable price. Half-days and full-day rentals are regularly available.

Boating Safety Education Requirements

The Oregon Boater Education Card is proof that a boater has taken and passed an approved boater education course. ALL Oregon residents must now carry the Oregon boater education card when operating powerboats (including personal watercraft or any motorized watercraft) greater than 10 hp. A card is needed for WA if the engine is greater than 15 hp.


* Island Sailing Club Members / Students need to obtain a Boater Education card when planning to operate the Cal 27 (Portland) or the Catalina 30 (Olympia).