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 $247, you get a three-day sailing course at Tradewinds Sailing School & Club (a $495 value), located in Richmond. Students that 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' Basic Keelboat course teaches budding boat-bosses the basics of sailing a 25-foot sailboat. 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. The typical first day of the course begins with an introduction and orientation in the classroom with one of Tradewinds' ASA-certified and/or U.S. Coast Guard-licensed instructors teaching safety and navigation rules. Afterwards, you'll review basic dock procedures before climbing aboard the sailboat to learn line-handling, knots, docking, motoring, sail-handling, and the boat terminology that will allow you to boat-whisper and communicate with stowaway mermaids. Days two and three delve into further instruction in the ways of nautical navigation with topics such as points of sail, crew positions, steering, reefing, changing courses, and emergency procedures. Upon discovering the cut of their respective jibs, students will conclude the third day of school with a written test.
Tradewinds offers helpful suggestions on items to bring to class, as well as what to expect. Classes are available throughout the year, although schedules are subject to change due to weather and the whims of Thor. Call to schedule your spinach-less voyage into becoming a stronger sailor.
Although the reviews for Tradewinds Sailing School & Club are still growing, five Yelpers give the business five stars:
- I'm looking forward to going again soon... have met very kind people aboard, and seeing everything from the vantage point of a yacht really helps one to adore the water and the scenery – jana s., Yelp
- I initially chose TradeWinds because I was looking for a school with good weather, a nice selection of boats, and instructors who were concerned with the craft of sailing instead of how you look with a sweater tied around your neck. This school got flying colors on all counts. – Alpha M., Yelp
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 Courses, 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.