Learn to Sail



Due to COVID-19 limitations, sailing classes in 2020 have been cancelled. To be updated about future sailing classes, sign up for our email list.

Sailing & On-the-Water Classes at the Northwest Maritime Center

Basic Keelboat classes have been cancelled for 2020, but you can still learn about them here: 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 sailing 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.


About the Instructor:

Carolyn “Ace” Spragg grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, messing about in boats. She built her first raft at age 6, learned to sail at age 8, and has spent more than 35 years teaching on the water. She taught swimming, sailing, canoeing, and waterskiing at summer camps back east, and was the Waterfront Director and Program Director at Camp Wayne for 15 years. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2000, she started teaching sailing and cruising skills on her Yorktown 39, S/V Fraid Knot, which she lived aboard for 15 years. Ace has her USCG 50-ton Master’s License, International Sail and Power Association Yachtmaster Offshore teaching certification, US Sailing teaching certification, and is a US Maritime Academy Captain’s License Instructor. In 2006 she skippered her boat to Hawaii and back with all-women crews. She was the Program Director of the Northwest Maritime Center from 2011-2017, and also speaks at various seminars on Docking, Anchoring, Navigation, Tides and Currents and Trip Planning. After exploring other adventures for a couple of years, Ace has returned to the NWMC as our Adult Programs Manager.