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advanced Sailing (level 3)

DSC sailors heel a J/22 on their way to the racecourse


Are you looking to round off your sailing education with the US Sailing Basic Keelboat certification? Are you already a competent sailor, with the ability to smoothly execute dockings & departures under sail, the Figure 8 POB, and the Quick Stop?

This advanced-level course is for those who have successfully completed the Level 1 and 2 courses at the DSC and have had adequate practice time to solidify skills. This course will complete the Basic Keelboat curriculum on Day 1, and on Day 2 you will complete the US Sailing Basic Keelboat written and practical exams.

During this fast-paced course, you will learn how to:

  • Fine-tune your sail trim for optimal performance
  • Use sail controls appropriately
  • Anchor and moor a keelboat under sail
  • Sail effectively without a rudder
  • Fine tune your boat-handling skills through fun drills and skills practice
  • Evaluate weather conditions before and during your sail and leverage free weather resources for the best information
  • On Day 2, you will take the written and practical exams for the US Sailing BK Certification

To decide if you are ready for this class, please review the following questions - if you can say YES to all of them, this is a great time for you to take this class! This is not a class to be taken immediately after the Intermediate Sailing course - practice time in between is required to make sure you get the most out of this Advanced level class. In particular, you MUST be able to execute both types of POBs and dock smoothly under all wind conditions. You WILL be tested on these skills during Day 2.

  • Can you smoothly depart and return to the dock under all wind directions - upwind, downwind, and crosswind?
  • Are you adept at performing the Figure 8 and Quick-Stop POBs, always approaching on a Close Reach and coming to a stop at the PIW?
  • Are you comfortable sailing in gusty conditions, making the appropriate sail trim and sail control adjustments?
  • Can you heave-to and reef the mainsail while hove-to?
  • Do you know the vocabulary for all of the parts of the boat and sails, sail controls, running and standing rigging, and points of sail?
  • Can you tie a bowline, cleat hitch, stopper knot, clove hitch, sheet bend, and square knot?
  • Do you know the rules of the road and have basic navigation skills, including how to interpret the Aids to Navigation on the water?

For those who have not taken the Level 1 and 2 courses at the DSC, if you can answer all of the above questions affirmatively, you are welcome to join us! If you have any questions as to your readiness and wish to consult with the Adult Education Manager, please email to set up a call.

Boats and Facilities

This course is taught aboard the DSC’s keelboats, and you’ll sail on either a J/22 or a Sonar. Both have a heavy keel to provide stability and will not tip over during your sail!

Parking is available on site in the gravel lot of the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Classes meet behind the BMI pavilion, near the gate to the Downtown Sailing Center main dock. Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to orient yourself and meet your instructor.

Our full-day classes return for a lunch break in the middle of each day, but you should plan to be on the water for up to three hours at a stretch.

Life jackets are required to be worn and will be provided. Please wear close-toed shoes for safety. We recommend dressing for the weather (it can feel cooler on the water than on land!) and bringing a water bottle, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and a great attitude.

Signing Up

For complete session dates, please see below. To register, click on the session below that fits your schedule. 

If the class you want to attend is fully booked, feel free to join the waitlist. We will send an email to the waitlist when a spot becomes available. It is then first-come first-serve.

Full payment is required to reserve your spot. Space is limited!

Advanced Sailing Course Offerings

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The Downtown Sailing Center

Est 1994
1425 Key Highway, Suite 110, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 727-0722 •