learn to sail in heavy weather

Capt Dan’s Channel Islands Sailing School



learn to sail with Capt. Dan at the sailing school of the channel islandsOur sailing school mission is to teach you to sail competently and confidently  in the ocean, specifically the Pacific Coast of Southern California. I only teach one at a time,  just you and your crew, if you have one. Click the button above to see class offerings, schedules and pricing.

Call for sailing school availability 805.750.7828

Let’s discuss the kind of sailing you’d like to do over the next few years. Then we can create a curriculum

The course of study is designed to give you and your crew the skills to sail the Channel Islands on your own or bareboat charter at foreign bases around the world.Learn to sail with Capt. Dan Sail Channel Islands

I tailor the sailing school schedule to meet your needs; I tailor the curriculum to fit your situation, considering your experience and your sailing goals. I do precious little lecturing. This is a hands-on school, much more about doing and thinking than reading and talking.

Book learning for beginners

ASA beginner text
The American Sailing’s book should be titled Sailing Made Safe and Easy
Though we’ll tell you everything you need to know, it’s quite clear that the onboard training is most effective if it is supported by prior study, and we recommend the Official ASA text “Sailing Made Easy.”
ASA 104 student Mallory pitches in after a hard day’s lesson on the Pacific, rinsing the salt off Wiley.

I also like “Sailing for Dummies,” even though I hate the name.

Sailing school fees

Lessons run 3.5 to four hours. Rates:  $580 Mon-Th and $678 Friday to Sunday.  Add a crew member or two for $100/crew/session. Up to 2 passengers can join you on ASA 103D, the all-day lesson, at no extra charge.

How many lessons will I need?

ASA 101 covers all the basic maneuvers. How long it takes depends on your previous experience and your understanding of the text. Beginners require 5 or 6 lessons, while experienced sailors complete in 2-4 lessons.

How many people in a class?

The classes are private and are designed for one person; however, you can add up to two more if you like. There is an additional daily charge of $100/extra student.

What’s the + about in your ASA+?

We teach and coach until you feel confident and we judge that you are competent to perform the skills on your own and that you have developed the “forehandedness” to think ahead of the boat. We are not here to simply”sign you off” because you saw certain things or did them once. We work on the skills until you are both competent and confident.

Our advanced courses take longer and cover more of the ocean than most other schools. ASA 104 Bareboat training is a minimum of three days with us, ASA 106 Advanced Coastal Cruising is four or five days.

Beginners get a lesson devoted to docking, each person getting five or six shots at it the first day and two or three on each subsequent lesson.

At no time are you simply an observer, you’ll always have your hand on the wheel, a sheet, the anchor or navigation tools.

Our sailing preferences

Sail School

Frankly, we’re not racers. Our pace is measured and we enjoy the beauty and solitude of cruising the islands of the Santa Barbara Channel more than the thrill of squeezing a tenth of knot out of our crew and beating some yahoos around a buoy.**

Nor are we long-range cruisers. Several of our past students are. We get e-mail and blogs from all sorts of exotic spots. We, on the other hand, are all about a lifestyle that is closer to home. And, when the feeling moves us, we’re up for a 10-day charter trip, but we’ll fly to the palm-fringed island and rent a boat.

Approach to Santa Cruz Island
Approaching Fry’s Anchorage on ASA 104

BTW, we’re not going to squeeze you into some kid-sized boat at our sailing school. All of our lessons are on a Catalina 36. And I teach all the courses.

The outline of our courses is in the menus above, but your curriculum will  be shaped individually, so we need to talk about your previous experience, instruction you’ve had and your near term and long range sailing goals. Give me a call at 805.750.7828, or e-mail me at Learn to Sail

Sailing season

*When is the sailing season? you ask.

End of a rigorous instructional day during ASA 104
End of a rigorous instructional day during ASA 104

This is southern California. We sail ALL year. Summer is a good time to learn to sail, but fall is better and winter can be spectacular. You’ve always got to check the weather and must always  have many layers in your sail bag. But we sail all year. But almost never in the rain.

Our sailing grounds

We sail the Channel Islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara.

Some folks say that if you can sail here, you can sail anywhere.  That’s true to a point. We can find navigation and weather challenges that you won’t find on a lake, San Francisco Bay, Monterey Bay and certainly not in Santa Monica Bay. And the far western end of the island chain and Point Conception (the Cape Horn of North America) always tests us.

ASA 101 Text

Sailing Made Easy

ASA 103 Text

Coastal Cruising Made Easy

ASA 104 Text

Bareboat Cruising Made Easy

ASA 106 Text

American Sailing Association Advanced Cruising & Seamanship

Sail for just a few hours …. or several days

Verified by MonsterInsights