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At Narragansett Sailing School, we offer a multitude of different paths to try sailing or to improve sailing skills without requiring a major financial commitment. We invest a lot of energy in crafting a formula that allows our students to “test the waters” without breaking the bank.

We understand our clients’ dilemma of having the desire to get into sailing without yet being able to justify the investment in a boat they are not familiar with, don’t know how to properly operate, or don’t yet have thorough enough knowledge about.  Not to mention knowing what boat to choose or feeling confident that boat ownership is something they and their family will enjoy!

So we developed a teaching system to allow a budding sailor to continue learning and gaining experience until they see the path becomes clear, whether that be ownership, chartering, or just bumming time on friends’ boats!

Our mission is to provide an integrated system of courses to provide the tools to have a prospective sailor or cruiser acquire the skills, knowledge, and savvy to make intelligent decisions of how, why, and with what boat they want to sail off in. We take a person with an interest in sailing, bring their skills and confidence to a high level in a pleasant and stress-free environment, and provide a series of proper boats for that person to then practice and solidify their new knowledge.


Making a sailboat go is far easier than most people think. In fact, we will have you sailing around the harbor adjusting the sails on the first day!

What takes more time to learn is how to make the boat stop, how to get away from the dock and back again, how to navigate, knowing who has the right of way, understanding what to do in strong winds, and so on.

We have a unique way to teach beginning sailing. We are a hands-on school: low in classroom theory and high on on-the-water training. In three days we will take a complete novice and have them sailing out of the harbor and into the bay!

There are two broad categories of sailing: racing and cruising. It‘s sort of like the difference between driving a sports car or a camper. Racing is the sailing you see on TV with lots of frenetic activity, adjusting of sails, and a team focused on speed. Cruising is a more relaxed approach to playing on the water with a lay-back attitude, cooking a good meal, and enjoying a tranquil night at anchor. We are cruisers. We focus more on anchoring techniques, docking procedures, and family safety on the water, rather than on sail trim and speed. If you want to race there are many great schools for that, but that is not us.

Our class size is kept very small, and our course length is one of the longest in the business: three full days. Our instructors are experienced cruising sailors. Most have cruised extensively. We give students individual attention and lots of time at the wheel. We have opportunities for you to practice on the boat after course completion, so you can cement the skills that you have learned. It’s all about finishing with a good foundation and enough repetition to make those new skills intuitive.

Everyone has their own vision of sailing and what they want to get out of it. Our staff has the knowledge base and experience to guide you to the best sailing option for your individual taste.

Our Location: We chose our home very carefully. We wanted the following:

  1. An area with little indigenous boat traffic
  2. A protected harbor with a large enough sailing area outside to stretch skills, but small enough to be protected without waves or boat wakes to be an issue
  3. A place where current could be felt and experienced, but weak enough not to be challenging
  4. A good marina environment to be able to learn docking skills
  5. An area with a plethora of navigational aids and a variety of buoyage types
  6. Adjacent proximity to a more robust body of water for our “learning area” where students can challenge themselves as their skills grow; but also have a variety of protected anchorages nearby for overnights

In looking over various options, Narragansett Bay stood out:

  • highly predictable wind patterns during the summer (light morning breeze and solid sailing wind in the afternoon)
  • enough tide change to be aware of but not be overwhelmed by (four feet)
  • enough current to be felt but not enough to carry you away
  • a wonderful cruising ground with lots of places to go and explore

The Northern end of Narragansett Bay was perfect with little boat traffic, a slower current, protection from the waves blowing up the bay, yet open to the wind for smooth sailing. Cove Haven Marina in Bullocks Cove is completely protected from storms, but easy to get out to the upper bay. To top it off, we have plenty of parking and one of the largest marinas in the bay to practice docking and close quarter maneuvering using an actual marina slip!