Frequently Asked Questions
Browse through our frequently asked questions and discover all you need to know about the Sailing Academy
Our seasonal location in St. Michaels operates April through the end of October.
Our yachts are located at the Inn at Perry Cabin – 308 Watkins Lane. The classroom is located at our North St. office – 100 North St. Check in for the first day of each course will be at the front desk at 8:30am.
There is no maximum age limit. Minimum ages listed below are a rough guideline for the classes. If you have a specific question, please do get in touch.
- Learn to Sail in a Weekend: 16 years old — Under 16 call for information
- ASA 101 and 103 Certification Courses - 18 years old — Under 18 call for information.
Make reservations as far ahead as possible. Some courses are booked months in advance.
Yes, as long as wind and wave conditions do not create an unsafe condition.
We strongly recommend talking with one of our staff to help you answer this question, but here are some general guidelines.
If, based on your past experience, you can rig a sloop rigged daysailer, sail away from a dock or mooring, sail for the day, return the boat, unrig it, in moderate wind conditions (10-15 m.p.h.) with someone acting as crew, then you can probably skip the beginners or basic course. However if your experience has been that of crew, not skipper, or the boat that you skippered is a board type boat or of the variety with only one sail, or it has been years since you have sailed, then one of the basic courses is probably a prerequisite to taking an advanced or cruising course.
Boat nomenclature, steering, sail trimming, putting on and taking off of sails, finding wind direction, tacking and jibing maneuvers, points of sail, right of way rules (briefly), how to deal with thunderstorms, grounding and man-overboard situations and basic chart reading.
You should be able to rig, sail away from the dock, or mooring, day sail, return to the dock or mooring and unrig up to a 26’ daysailer in light to moderate wind conditions (10-15 m.p.h.). Of course, you must have someone aboard as crew.
Sailing is most fun when you are comfortable and prepared. What follows is a list of helpful hints for you to ensure a pleasant experience learning to sail:
- The Sailing Academy at the Inn at Perry Cabin provides Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) to all our students. If you have your own USCG approved PFD, feel free to bring it with you.
- Boat Shoes are to be worn at all times. If you do not own boat shoes, white-soled tennis shoes will suffice. Keep in mind the possibility of your feet getting wet!
- The Sailing Academy at the Inn at Perry Cabin sails in rainy weather (unless notified), so be prepared with rain coats, windbreakers, etc. if the weather looks or calls for inclement conditions. Dress according to the weather. If it is cool, bring a sweater or jacket. Cotton pants are much better on a boat than denim. If the weather is hot, shorts and T-shirts are the norm.
- Sun Block, hats, sunglasses with straps, and lip balm are important for sailors with the extra effect of sun, wind and glare on the water.
- Plastic water bottles are usually a good idea. With all the sun and wind, your body will dehydrate much quicker than under normal circumstances. There is ample storage space for these and other items on board.
- Boxed lunch can be purchased through Stars Restaurant at the beginning of each day. If you choose to bring your lunch, bring it in a cooler so that you can leave it in your car.
This is a very individualized question and may require that you correspond directly with one of our reservation specialists. However, there are a few general guidelines. The array of courses offered has been designed to fit most student needs. Before you call us, ask yourself, "What do I want to be able to do after I take this course?" This sometimes will tell you what course to take. If you have doubts or need clarification, please call us on our toll-free line and our experienced staff will be glad to help you.
Boating can be relaxing and serene, requiring minimal physical effort, but it can also be demanding, hectic, and require a person to use strenuous physical effort. If your health or that of persons in a course with you is in question, please contact your physician and discuss your plans for taking up sailing as a sport. Follow his or her advice.
As the operation of the Academy necessitates careful coordination of the number of students with the number of boats and instructors utilized, we ask that you advise us immediately if there are any changes in your reservation.
Cancellation and Course Policy Except
The following shows the number of days’ notice, from your original class date, required for rescheduling or cancellation in order to receive a refund of your tuition. Note that all refunds will be subject to a 5% service charge. No charge will be made for the first change in class starting date as long as it is made prior to the number of days indicated. Additional changes in class starting date and number of students (if less than originally reserved) will result in a $25.00 charge of each occasion. Should it become necessary to change your reservation, every effort will be made to reschedule on a space available basis.
Days Notice/Amount of Refund
30 days’ notice (from original date of course) /100% refund*
14 days’ notice (from original date of course) / 50% refund* OR *full credit for future courses
Less than 14 days’ notice (from original date of course) / No refund*, *credit for future courses
*Refund will be subject to a 5% service charge.
*Note: credit will be for full dollar amount paid for your course. That dollar amount may be applied to any course we offer. Prices of courses are subject to change and credit will be for dollar amount, NOT for a specific course. Gift Certificates are non-refundable.
Cancellation or Delay of Course by the School
The Academy reserves the right to cancel or delay courses due to weather conditions. The decision to conduct classes is based on known factors concerning our staff, our sailboats and weather conditions prevailing in the area. If classes are cancelled, arrangements will be made to make up the class or give sailing credits to be used by the student at a later date. This does not apply to live-aboard cruising courses wherein weather conditions may prevent boats on the cruise from leaving their anchorage on a given day. An effort will be made to make up the sailing time lost due to weather conditions during the time of the cruise only. However, it should be understood that the cruise is designed to acquaint you with actual cruising conditions and how to conduct your cruise given different weather conditions.