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Welcome to America’s #1 Sailing School

new york sailing

Interested in learning how to sail or taking some sailing lessons? Do you want more than just a one or two hour lesson in terminology and boat anatomy? Do you want instructors who put you first, ensuring that you have the skills you need to safely enjoy the freedom of the sailing lifestyle? Then Offshore Sailing School is the perfect place for you! We offer far more than just a simple overview of sailing, disguised as a lesson. Our courses are designed to give students real, practical knowledge through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on learning.

Graduates of our sailing school come away, not only with an outstanding vacation experience, but a new and inspiring lifestyle, complete with an internationally recognized sailing certificate. You can choose to learn at our schools in New York, New Jersey, Chesapeake Bay Maryland, Florida or the British Virgin Islands, making Offshore Sailing School a complete vacation adventure. Get away for a weekend of sailing and adventure. Come home with an entirely new lifestyle – the sailing lifestyle!

No matter your level of interest or previous sailing experience, the single most important factor in learning how to sail or advancing your current sailing skills is decided where and from whom to learn. For more than 48 years, Steve and Doris Colgate have been teaching both novice and experienced sailors, sharing with them the joy and adventure of the art that is sailing. Their dedication, attention to detail and love for sailing is the reason why Offshore Sailing School is considered the premier sailing school worldwide. More than 125,000 graduates would whole-heartily agree our sailing lessons are unlike any other offered in the United States today.

Come for Adventures, Gain a New Lifestyle

There is nothing quite like the freedom and experience that goes with the sailing lifestyle. Whether you want to spend your weekends cruising the beautiful coasts around the U.S., or you want to live aboard and take exotic vacations in far-away destinations, we can teach you how to sail with confidence. Our courses will take you from complete novice to old salt in just a few days. We provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to enjoy sailing for the rest of your life! With a broad range of course options and a sailing education beyond compare, you can turn a weekend getaway into a life-changing adventure, with skills you can apply on or off the water.

Offshore Sailing School- Since 1964

Learn sailing from America’s #1 Sailing School®

You are about to embark on one of the most exciting adventures of your life. Rather than a vacation that ends on the last day, when you learn sailing with Offshore it is the beginning of a whole new lifestyle. Sailing is a passion that founders Steve and Doris Colgate have dedicated their lives to sharing with you. Our No. 1 sailing school will allow you to do what you have always dreamed of doing: learning to sail out on the open water. Watch this DVD on our Fast Track to Cruising® Courseand find out why so many have chosen the sailing lifestyle with Offshore Sailing School.

A sailor since age nine, Steve’s racing career includes America’s Cup Trials, the Olympics, TransAtlantic and Fastnet Races. He has completed numerous class championships and international distance races on maxi-ocean racers. Together the Colgates campaigned their 54-foot ocean-racer Sleuth and have enjoyed cruising all over the world.

Steve founded Offshore Sailing School in 1964. Doris founded the National Women’s Sailing Association in 1990. Both Steve and Doris actively participate on several national boards and committees, including US Sailing (the governing board of sailing in the United States), Boat U.S. and Sail America. Steve was president of the International Sailing Schools Association from 1997 to 2003.

In 1996, Steve and Doris shared the prestigious Sail Magazine Industry Award for Leadership and in 2003 the US Sailing Timothea Larr Trophy in recognition of their outstanding leadership and excellence in sailing education. Doris was awarded the Betty Cook Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award from Boating Magazine and the coveted Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award from Boat U.S. and the National Women’s Sailing Association. Recently the Colgates received another coveted award – the Junonia Award from The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, for “their tremendous commitment & dedication to the Lee County tourism Industry.”  Lee County is where two of the Colgate Offshore Sailing Schools are located.

When you take a course to learn sailing at Offshore’s sailing school, you receive all the benefits of Steve and Doris Colgate’s vast experience! They are continually improving, refining and polishing their curriculum to give you exactly what you need to feel confident at the helm. At this top-rated sailing school, they want you to enjoy sailing to the max!

In May 2010 the Colgates led their 65th cruise for Offshore Sailing School graduates in celebration of the company’s 46th year in business and the Colgates’ 40 years of marriage. In December 2011 they will lead another graduate cruise – this time in Belize.

At home and work in Ft. Myers “we don’t sail as much as want, because we are always working on new programs and staying ahead of the game in challenging times,” says Doris. New cruises are planned every year usually on 44 to 50 footers provided by The Moorings. Take a course with Offshore to learn sailing, then sign up for a fabulous flotilla cruise in dream islands with The Colgates or one of their expert staff instructors.

Offshore Sailing’s unparalleled sailing school has a long history, operated continuously as a private corporation under the day to day guidance of the Colgates and the Offshore Sailing School Team. Founded in 1964, the exact number of graduates who have completed a core course with Offshore Sailing School is unknown. However, the Colgates estimate that number over the years as more than 125,000 individuals who took a sailing course with Offshore Sailing School.

Power Cruising with Offshore’s Powerboat School

Power Cruise School: Learn to handle a power catamaran with finesse

Fast Track to Power Cruising® gives you what you need to know to handle power catamarans or any powerboat like a pro

It’s not uncommon to feel that commanding a big power boat requires little more than the a bility to turn a key.  “What’s to learn?” some people ask, thinking they’ll just have the person they bought it from, or the renter, show them a few tricks and off they’ll go Power Cruising.

It isn’t that simple. There are Rules of the Road to follow when boats approach each other, one is overtaking the other, or you find yourself in a crossing situation. There is special power boating etiquette that good boaters follow in respect for one another on the water. And there’s always safety aboard to consider during powerboat cruising.

It’s generally not a “guy” thing to go to school to learn to handle a powerboat at a powerboat school. But it’s very satisfying to see loved ones and friends in a power boat class learn to love the passion you might already have for your boat and being out on the water. That’s the beauty of learning together, building trust in each other’s abilities without raised voices that come with uncertainty aboard.

Those you bring with you will share in every aspect of the powerboat learning experience – taking command and absorbing everything there is to do and know in case you become incapacitated in some way. And you’ll learn what makes boating so much fun – knowing you’ve mastered safe boating practices.

“The power cruising program was great! Most importantly was the confidence the course and instructor instilled throughout my participation. I’d recommend the program to anyone who questions their own skill sets.” 
Dave MacDonald – Kingston, Ontario

A productive learning vacation with Offshore’s Powerboat School

Navigation underway

At our Powerboat School, we’ll teach you navigation skills for powering in channels, between points of land, in current and tides, and crowded waterways. Even though there are plenty of electronic aids aboard to give you what you need to know with a push of a few buttons – will you know where you are if you need help and your electrical system isn’t working at all?

Overboard recovery

What would you do, if one of your crew or family suddenly fell off the boat and you had to return quickly, maneuver alongside and pick them up? In this comprehensive Fast Track to Cruising® cruising course you’ll learn how to safely and quickly pick that person up.

Routine maintenance

You’ll learn about and practice routine engine maintenance and how to operate all  electronics and machinery aboard.

Docking and anchoring

You’ll learn how to go to and from a dock in style with a smile; quietly indicating commands to your crew for maneuvers you’re about to make, and in return see them respond quickly and efficiently, with finesse. During our power boat class, you’ll also learn how to safely anchor where there are no docks and avoid getting into trouble if the wind pipes up and your anchor doesn’t hold.

Maneuvering in close quarters and wind

You’ll learn how to maneuver and secure your boat properly in a variety of wind and current conditions – common variables that can make docking quite embarrassing if you don’t have a clue and haven’t practiced the proper techniques.

What knots to use when

You’ll learn the appropriate knots and hitches, how to properly cleat when securing your boat to a dock, or fastening down items on deck.

Offshore Power Cruise School instructors are selected for their high level of knowledge, experience in boat handling and strong teaching and communication skills. Dedicated to your success, our US POWERBOAT Certified instructors give you the knowledge and techniques to master everything you need to know to start chartering or powering on your own boat. You’ll go home with US POWER BOATING Level 1 & 2 Certifications and the confidence to handle big boats like a pro on your nextpower yachting vacation.

Your ticket to great power boating vacations

You and your crewmates will discover absolute confidence in your boat handling skills and seamanship knowledge aboard with Offshore’s Fast Track to Power Cruising course. Best of all – you’ll do all this on a fantastic boating vacation in the glorious British Virgin Islands; powering a 47 foot power cat from island to island, anchoring or docking each night. After taking our power boat class, the next step takes you vacationing in fabulous cruising grounds all over the world, in command of a Moorings power cat on your own.

The Moorings 474 Power Cat

Flagship yacht of the Fast Track to Power Cruising Course

These new power catamarans were designed in collaboration with The Moorings, Morrelli & Melvin Design and South African builder Robertson and Caine.You’ll move about easily in three spacious levels with some very striking features. A huge fly bridge with steering station provides superb views over the water and comfortable seating for up to eight, plus, additional open space ideal for sunning. The main deck of these power catamarans boasts a spacious salon and galley area aft, and a pilothouse with inside steering and integrated seating forward. Large double cabins are located on the lower deck.

The Moorings Power 474 is ideal for Moorings Power Yacht Vacations and cruises comfortably with its powerful twin Cummins engines. With its fuel capacity of 317 gallons, you’ll see more destinations in a shorter cruising time.