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Basic Keelboat 5-Day Course

  • 10 Jul 2024
  • 14 Jul 2024
  • 5 sessions
  • 10 Jul 2024, 9:00 AM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • 11 Jul 2024, 9:00 AM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • 12 Jul 2024, 9:00 AM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • 13 Jul 2024, 9:00 AM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • 14 Jul 2024, 9:00 AM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Baltimore's Downtown Sailing Center
  • 1


  • Consider joining as a crew level member! Benefits include a discount on courses like this and participation in member sailing events.

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Basic Keelboat 5-Day Course

Wednesday through Sunday (9am-4pm daily)

Course Description:

The US Sailing Basic Keelboat course is an intensive course designed to teach you all aspects of handling a keelboat, including sailing technique, water safety (including rescuing a person in the water), knots, vocabulary, and an introduction to weather. This is a nationally recognized certification course which, once completed, will allow you to progress to more advanced US Sailing courses including Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising.

Please read this page thoroughly to decide if this course is right for you, and if so, which option is best for you. This 5-day schedule is our fastest-paced option, and is best suited for those with some sailing experience. 

The course culminates with written and practical exams, and in order to earn the Basic Keelboat Certification, each student must successfully demonstrate the ability to responsibly skipper and crew a simple daysailing keelboat in familiar waters in light to moderate wind and sea conditions. The skills tested are listed here.

Each student will receive a copy of the US Sailing Basic Keelboat textbook. Upon successful completion of the exams, students will receive a logbook, sticker, and one-year US Sailing membership.

Please note that there is a firm administrative course change/cancellation fee of $35 per course for switching dates or cancelling. Full cancellation policy is on the FAQ page, located here - please read carefully as refunds are not guaranteed for cancellation within 14 days of class start date.


We believe in “learning by doing” at the DSC, so the majority of your time will be spent on the water! An experienced instructor will guide you through the curriculum and be on the boat with you at all times. The maximum number of students per boat is 3, to allow everyone plenty of time to learn to drive the boat and trim the sails.

This is an Adult Education course, and all participants must be at least 16 years of age. To enquire about family-based sailing education options, contact us (email

The course takes place from 9am - 4pm each day, with a lunch break in the middle of the day - you can bring your lunch or there will be time to go out to a local fast-food spot. You must be available for the full timeframe as the boats will spend the majority of the day on the water.

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. The restroom onsite is a port-a-potty.

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 full water bottle, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and a great attitude.

If the course is full, please add yourself to the waitlist - we will contact you if a spot opens up!

Please review our FAQ page for additional information, including details on our cancellation policy, and let us know if you have any questions (email



The Downtown Sailing Center

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