What You'll Get
Sailing lessons teach you to navigate choppy waters or awkward conversations during unnaturally still waters. Weather any storm with this Groupon.
Choose from Three Options
- $115 for a four-hour introductory sailing lesson or BYOB sunset cruise for two (a $232 value)
- $225 for the above deal for four (a $464 value)
- $330 for the above deal for six (a $696 value)
During the four-hour lesson, experienced captains coach their students through a basic overview of nautical terms, parts of the boat, and sailing technique. Classes may drift up or down the St. Johns River's gentle current, depending on wind speed and direction. On cruises, captains let passengers sip their BYOB drinks and enjoy the passing scenery, but may also teach sailing basics and answer questions about maneuvers, boat anatomy, and how to ask crayfish for directions. During lessons or on cruises, captains and passengers may travel from eastern points of the river as far as the Jacksonville Landing; a riverside complex of restaurants and venues. After a break with time ashore, they continue sailing west into the sunset.
Captains lead lessons and cruises aboard Sonar 23 sailboats—which seat up to six people—and will not depart without a full load of passengers. Groups of two or four may be paired with other groups in order to fill the boat’s capacity.
As an added bonus, Groupon customers receive 10% off gift certificates for 12-hour bareboat sailing certification courses.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Dec 26, 2012. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 3 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per group per visit. Not valid until 8/1/12. Valid only for option purchased. Must redeem in full by expiration date. Reservation required. Subject to weather conditions. Must use promotional value in 1 visit. Must be 21 to drink alcohol. Lessons and cruises require 6 passengers to sail. Total passenger weight must be within safety weight restrictions. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Southern Sailing
After the tidal surge, 5 feet of water settled over the main office. Splintered fragments from 22 yachts floated by the docks and lay strewn across the highway. Investment advisor and maritime aficionado Don Shapray gazed toward the now-tame seas, surveying his crippled fleet. Though he and his business weathered 1983's Hurricane Alicia, he knew he couldn't stay in Houston. Memories of weather reports touting calm waters and seasonable heat called him to Jacksonville, where he rebuilt his sailing academy from the ground up. Nearly 30 years later, he's instructed more than 15,000 students in the art of sailing keelboats and sailboats. A team of certified captains helps him train students aboard a fleet of Sonar 23 and Precision 15 boats, each lightweight enough to allow for drag races against other boat gangs with names such as The US Coast Guard.
Southern Sailing's experienced captains sail year-round, but conduct their summertime lessons and cruises at night to avoid the brunt of the day's heat and seasonal storms. They teach sailors to navigate the St. Johns River's calmer waters, drifting up or downstream as the evening wind permits past trees, docks, and riverfront homes. Though they guide novice sailors through basic sailing overviews, instructors can also certify them through a 12-hour bareboat sailing program that begins with an educational DVD starring Don Shapray himself. In each on-water lesson, instructors coach students one-on-one, allowing for personal attention and hands-on instruction. When not teaching, captains ferry visitors through the waterways on chartered cruises, or help customers find their sea legs among a fleet of small yachts.