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Welcome to America’s #1 Sailing School


Instructors Who Put You First

Interested in learning how to sail or taking some sailing lessons? Do you want more than just a one or two hour lesson in terminology and boat anatomy? Do you want instructors who put you first, ensuring that you have the skills you need to safely enjoy the freedom of the sailing lifestyle? Then Offshore Sailing School is the perfect place for you! We offer far more than just a simple overview of sailing, disguised as a lesson. Our courses are designed to give students real, practical knowledge through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on learning.

Sailing Certification at Great Locations

Graduates of our sailing school come away not only with an outstanding vacation experience, but a new and inspiring lifestyle, complete with an internationally recognized sailing certificate. You can choose to learn at our schools in New York and New JerseyFlorida or the British Virgin Islands. Make your time with Offshore Sailing School a complete vacation adventure. Get away for a weekend or a week of sailing. Come home with an entirely new lifestyle – the sailing lifestyle!

Just Some of the Offshore Sailing School Course Offerings


Celebrating 50 Years and More Than 130,000 Graduates!

No matter your level of interest or previous sailing experience, the single most important factor in learning how to sail or advancing your current sailing skills is decided where and from whom to learn. For more than 50 years, Steve and Doris Colgate have been teaching novice and experienced sailors, sharing with them the joy and adventure of the sailing lifestyle. Their dedication, attention to detail and love for sailing is the reason why Offshore Sailing School is considered the premier sailing school worldwide. More than 130,000 graduates would whole-heartily agree our Offshore Sailing School sailing lessons are unlike any other offered in the United States today. 

Accomplish Your Sailing Goals with Confidence

There is nothing quite like the freedom and experience that goes with the sailing lifestyle. Whether you want to spend your weekends racing around the buoys, or cruising beautiful coasts around the U.S., or you want to live aboard and take exotic vacations in far-away destinations, we can teach you how to sail with confidence. Our courses will take you from complete novice to old salt in just a few days. We provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to enjoy sailing for the rest of your life! With a broad range of course options and a sailing education beyond compare, you can turn a weekend getaway into a life-changing adventure, with skills and confidence you can apply on or off the water.

    “I’ve seen promotional campaigns in sailing magazines praising Offshore Sailing School. Quite a few times, I must admit, I felt the quote under the picture of the person taking the course was a bit sugar-coated. Now, having taken the Fast Track to Cruising course, I firmly endorse those comments, and feel confident enough to do what many will find inspiring.” 
    – Michael and Sotira Forlini - Rosemere, Quebec

The Offshore Sailing Difference

The Offshore Advantage is what sets Offshore Sailing School apart from any other sailing school. Offshore Sailing School offers sailing courses designed to meet the needs of sailors with a variety of experience levels. Our courses are thorough and life changing. Here are of the differences in the sailing lessons offered by our sailing school include:

  • Minimum two-day course length to get acquainted with sailing, minimum three days to gain certification 
  • Flexible course options to meet the needs of every sailor, novice to advanced 
  • Experienced and caring instructors, certified by US SAILING, the highest national standard in the United States 
  • A successful and highly rewarding test sail is required as part of your course completion
    Live aboard course options, encompassing class and practical instruction
  • Performance and Racing courses for the competitive spirit
  • No more than four students per instructor for individualized training
  • And our Guarantee that gives you a repeat course, tuition free, if you are not satisfied

 The Greatest Classroom in the World!®

The sailing industry, from boat manufacturers to suppliers to services, refer clients and friends to Offshore. Here's what Peter Nielsen, SAIL Magazine's editor-in-chief (shown at right), wrote about Offshore Sailing School:

"If you want to learn to sail, look no further. Steve and Doris Colgate
will get you on the water quickly, safely and enjoyably." 
– Peter Nielsen, SAIL Magazine Editor-In-Chief

Awards, Accolades and Press

Over the 50 year legacy of Offshore Sailing School, we have received numerous awards and accolades, as well as extensive media attention.



  • Offshore Sailing School received the highly coveted Chrysalis Award from the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. This award recognizes their contribution to area tourism.
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Board of Directors presented the Chairman's Citation to Doris and Steve Colgate, and Offshore Sailing School, in recognition of outstanding efforts and support for donating more than $100,000 over the past four years.


  • SAIL Magazine named Steve and Doris Colgate to the group of Top 40 Sailors Who Made a Difference, citing their contribution to modern sailing education and training, and covered the Fast Track to Cruising course in a four page feature.
  • Southern Living named Offshore Sailing School one of the top 19 gifts for Christmas 2012.


  • The New York Times wrote about Offshore Sailing School in an award-winning two-page feature article.
  • Offshore Sailing School was featured in the Special Health Issue of Ladies' Home Journal.
  • The 2010 Junonia Award was presented to the Colgates and Offshore Sailing School for their commitment and dedication to the Lee County Tourism Industry from Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Additional Offshore Sailing School recognition includes:

  • Offshore Sailing School was featured on ABC in a half-hour travel show.
  • US Sailing’s 2003 Timothea Larry Trophy was presented to the Colgates for outstanding leadership and excellence in sailing education.
  • US Sailing presented its President's Industry Leadership Award in 1999 to Steve Colgate.
  • The Leadership in Women's Sailing Award was presented to Doris Colgate in 2004 from BoatUS and the National Women's Sailing Association for her dedication to introducing more women to sailing and helping at-risk girls through sailing.
  • Sail America presented it’s Southam Award in 2000 to Doris Colgate for her book SAILING: A Woman's Guide.
  • The Colgates received SAIL Magazine’s Industry Award for Leadership in 1996 for their achievements in sailing education.
  • The Betty Cooke Memorial Achievement Award went to Doris Colgate in 1994 from Boating Magazine and International Women in Boating for her lifelong work in the sailing education industry.

Talk to Our Grads

Read our graduate testimonials and find out why "Trust" is so important when seeking a positive learning experience. 

Choose Your Sailing Course, Pick a Date
Call 888-454-7015

Request a Quote to find out how easy it is to sign up for one of our sailing lessons. Our Friendly Sailing Advisors are standing by to answer all your questions! 

Community and Giving Back

Offshore Sailing School is a National Sponsor for the Leukemia Cup Regatta programs, which supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and its dedication to research and treatment of blood diseases. When you take a course with Offshore, a portion of your tuition goes to this great cause. In addition, Offshore and its founders, Steve and Doris Colgate support many other worthwhile causes, including the building of the new Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, local PBS stations and the American Heart Association.

learn to sail go green      SAILING- Good for You. Good for the World!®