In 1977, a group of Milwaukee’s sailors responded to its city’s lack of a public sailing institution by banding together with county officials to create a not-for-profit organization accessible to everyone. The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center has continued to uphold this original vision of granting everyone—regardless of age, physical ability, or financial means—a chance to develop sailing skills while exploring Lake Michigan’s aqueous expanses. Since its founding, it has imparted its knowledge upon upwards of 100,000 student via hands-on classes and private lessons.
Throughout the summer’s balmy months, Milwaukee Community Sailing Center’s experienced and certified staff can be found reviewing boat safety with students during on-shore lessons or calling out instructions to their trainees from within a sailboat cruising around the lake. As winter’s frigid winds rage across the city, a host of off-season winter sessions enables skippers to keep their sea legs toned until spring returns. Bobbing cheerfully in the onsite marina, the center’s seaworthy fleet is comprised of more than 80 meticulously maintained vessels, including sturdy dinghies, cruisers, and saddled-up krakens. The center’s dedication to bringing the community together on the water is further evidenced in its outreach programs, including one designed to help Milwaukee’s at-risk youth turn a new leaf by helping them uncover hidden talents, develop leadership skills, and conquer their fears.