On-the-Water Training



Our highly experienced US Sailing instructors, a year-round windy bay, and a beautiful waterfront location surrounded by the Olympic and Cascade Mountains combine to make the Northwest Maritime Center’s Basic Keelboat Program one of the best and most beautiful in the region. Experience sailing for the first time or take your skills to the next level! All Basic Keelboat classes are taught on our 26′ Thunderbird sailboats. 1 instructor and no more than 4 students per class. At least 80% of each course is taught on the boat!

The Northwest Maritime Center has received accreditation through US Sailing to teach US Sailing Certified Basic Keelboat Classes. Each student graduating from the US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification Class will receive a US Sailing Membership, a Logbook and Certification Sticker that can be used around the country to rent or charter sailboats. US Sailing is the national governing association for sailing and accredits only the top schools in the country.


Sail Like a Girl

NEW IN 2019! Intermediate and advanced sailors, are you looking to hone your buoy racing skills? Come sail with members of Team Sail Like a Girl on their Melges 32, winner of 2018 Race to Alaska, and fine-tune your trimming, tactics, race starts, roll tacks and other techniques to help you around the course!

Learn more here

US Sailing: Learn to Sail

Introduction to Sailing

Jun 7, Jun 14, Jun 21, Jun 28, Jul 5, Jul 12, Jul 19, Jul 26, Aug 2, Aug 9, Aug 16, Aug 23  |  4:00 – 7:00 PM  |  $75 Non-member  |  $67.50 Member
Spend 3 hours with an experienced US Sailing Instructor on a 26’ Keelboat sailing on Port Townsend Bay.  This class gives you the opportunity to discover what sailing is all about without committing to an entire course.

Basic Keelboat “Crew”

May 11-12, Jun 1-2, Jun15-16 (women only), Jun 29-30, Jul 13-14, Jul 27-28, Aug 10-11, Aug 24-25, Sep 14-15  |  9:00 AM – 5:00 PM  |  $375 Non-member  |  $337.50 Member
Learn parts of the boat, points of sail, sail theory, sailing upwind and downwind, steering, basic knots, safety on the water and practice crew overboard drills.  Step 1 toward your US Sailing Certification. 15 hours over a weekend (Saturday and Sunday).  No prerequisite.

Basic Keelboat “Skipper”

May 18-19, Jun 8-9, Jun 22-23 (women only), Jul 6-7, Jul 20-21, Aug 3-4, Aug 17-18, Sep 21-22  |  9:00 AM – 5:00 PM  |  $425 Non-member  |  $382.50 Member
Learn advanced sail trim, tacking, gibing, rules of the road, basic navigation, knots, reefing, heavy weather sailing tactics, line handling, outboard engine basics, docking. 15 hours over a weekend (Saturday and Sunday).  Receive your US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification!

Prerequisite: Basic Keelboat Crew or Beginner class with NWMC.
Includes: Basic Keelboat books & exam, and US Sailing Membership for 1 year.

Basic Keelboat Full Course

May 13-17, May 20-24, Jun 3-7, Jun 10-14, Jun 17-21, Jun 24-28 (women only), Jul 8-12, Jul 15-19, Jul 22-26, Jul 22-26 (women only), Jul 29-Aug 2, Aug 5-9, Aug 12-16, Aug 19-23 (women only)  |  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM  |  $775 Non-member  |  $697.50 Member 
These classes combine the “Crew” and “Skipper” classes in one 30-hour week.  Receive your US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification.  See “Crew” and “Skipper” descriptions for information on course content.  No prerequisite.

Includes: Basic Keelboat textbook, training, Basic Keelboat exam, Skippers Logbook, US Sailing Certification, Keelboat Certification Standards, and US Sailing Membership for 1 year.

NEW IN 2019! Basic Cruising & Bareboat Cruising

May & June
Learn how to sail larger keelboats, up to 42 feet in length, and become certified to skipper vessels for multi-day charters. More information and dates coming soon.

Sailing Club

NEW IN 2019! Take advance of the summer winds and warm weather, ideal for pure sailing enjoyment! Join the Sailing Club knowing that you are doing so with the guidance and support of our well trained sailing staff. Join at one of two levels.

Sailing Club Level 1

3:00 – 7:00 PM | $70
May 2, May 16, May 30, Jun 13, Jun 27, Jul 11, Jul 25, Aug 8, Aug 22, Sept 26

This level gets people more time at the helm with a NWMC instructor. This is especially helpful for students who have just completed a Basic Keelboat Course and need more practice before taking a boat out in their own. At this level, students will demonstrate to a NWMC instructor the skills necessary to advance to Sailing Club Level 2. If you have not completed one of our Basic Keelboat courses, you can join at this level and an instructor will go through the skills checklist with you before you advance to Skipper Level. This level is reasonably priced to encourage people to get on the water and practice their skills. It is limited to 4 classes per person. If more are needed, this can be discussed with NWMC staff.

Sailing Club Level 2

May 1 – Aug 31, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM | Sept 1 – Oct 31, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM | $225 monthly

Prerequisite: skills test and sailing club orientation

Customized Sailing Classes & Charters: Youth, Adults and Families

May-Aug 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM | September 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM | $25/hour per person
Perfect for students that want to learn to sail but don’t require a US Sailing Certification. Learn from our highly experienced instructors who will customize your lesson based on what you personally would like to learn! Or head out on the water and let our captain take you for a ride on the beautiful Port Townsend Bay. No age limits—bring your entire family! There is a 2-hour minimum.