Contrary to popular belief, boats are actually much safer than cars, which inexplicably sink every time you drive them on water. Take a proper water road ride with today’s Groupon: for $395, you get a three-day Basic Coastal Cruising course at Tradewinds Sailing School & Club in Richmond (a $795 value). Students who successfully complete the course and a written test will receive an American Sailing Association certification. Classes are held daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; choose from either three consecutive weekdays or three consecutive weekend days (Saturday, Sunday, and the following Saturday).
Tradewinds Sailing School teaches budding boat bosses the essentials of coastal cruising on a 30-foot sailing yacht. Each class contains no more than three students to ensure hands-on training, with a majority of the time spent on the water, allowing students to sprout their first set of sea legs. Tradewinds' ASA-certified and U.S. Coast Guard–licensed instructors review basic dock procedures before students climb aboard the sailboat to learn about the rules of the liquid road, engines and troubleshooting, weather observations, and the nautical terminology that will allow them to boat whisper and communicate with stowaway mermaids. Later lessons plunge into basic navigation, dealing with heavy weather, and intensive boat-docking practice. Upon discovering the cut of their respective jibs, students conclude the third day of school with a written test.
Prerequisites for the Basic Coastal Cruising course include the Basic Keelboat course, completion of the Basic Keelboat practice exercises, and at least one shoulder-seated parrot. Tradewinds offers helpful suggestions on items to bring to class as well as what to expect. Classes are available throughout the year, though schedules are subject to change due to weather and the whims of Poseidon.
Tradewinds Sailing School & Club
At Tradewinds Sailing School & Club, the American Sailing Association–certified instructors teach a diverse array of skills, from the basics of keelboating and coastal cruising to specialty work such as celestial navigation. Their intimate classes, typically capped at three students, all pair guided learning with real-world practice on the water, ensuring students truly master their chosen subject matter. Veteran sailors can challenge the class and join the sailing club, whose convenient boat-sharing program allows for trips to Sausalito, Angel Island, and other local spots.
2580 Spinnaker Way
Richmond, California 94804