Learn to Sail Online

A Fast Way to Prepare for Your Course or More Sailing

The Offshore Sailing School Online Learn to Sail Course is heralded by online course producers as one of the best in any subject. Produced in 2013 by Offshore Sailing School founders Steve and Doris Colgate and the BoatUS Foundation, our sailing lessons online are a great tool for beginners just getting into sailing or those who want to refresh their sailing knowledge. If you plan to take an Offshore Sailing School Learn to Sail, Performance Sailing, or Cruising Certification Course, why not jump start your sailing education with this fun online sailing course?

Sample our Learn to Sail Online Course

The Online Learn to Sail Course includes video, animated diagrams, and interactive quizzes. It is divided into three sections which parallel Offshore’s Learn to Sail Certification Course curriculum, and Steve and Doris Colgate’s Fast Track to Sailing textbook. It takes about four hours to complete, with a Certificate of Completion awarded when you successfully pass the final exam. To view a sample of the online sailing course, click on the video to the right. To enroll in the Online Learn to Sail course, please click here. Completing the Online Learn to Sail course, along with reading your course text book in advance, will accelerate your knowledge for the on-water learning experience.
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Administered by The BoatUS Foundation

The BoatUS Foundation offered the first sailing lessons online for boating safety in 1997 and has since educated more than 500,000 boaters online. Funded primarily by the more than 600,000 members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), it offers the only free online, NASBLA-approved boating safety course recognized by 33 states.

The Online Learn to Sail Course mirrors our Fast Track to Sailing textbook, taking you through the intermediate level. Enrollment is valid for 90 days, it takes about four hours to complete, covering the following topics.

  • Nautical terminology
  • Rigging and sails
  • Getting underway
  • Proper winch techniques
  • Finding wind direction
  • Points of sailing
  • Tacking and jibing
  • Interaction of wind and sail
  • Wind pressure and lift
  • Heeling and stability

  • Apparent wind
  • Wind shifts
  • Sailing wing and wing
  • Stopping and starting under sail
  • Crew overboard pick-up
  • Sailing backwards
  • Rudderless sailing
  • Sail trim and sail shape
  • Boat balance
  • Hull speed

  • Mooring and anchoring
  • Docking under sail
  • Most used knots
  • Right-of-way rules
  • Grounding remedies
  • Heavy weather techniques
  • Steering with a compass
  • Weather and lee helm
  • Introduction to navigation
  • Reefing (shortening) sails


Pre-requisite for the Online Learn to Sail Course: No prior sailing experience required

Certification: Certificate of Completion is provided when you pass the final exam

The course must be purchased direct from the BoatUS Foundation.
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  • Access to the Online Learn to Sail Course for 90 days
  • Theoretical and technical knowledge covered in the Offshore Sailing School Learn to Sail Certification Course
  • Video, animation, diagrams, interactive exercises
  • Quizzes to reinforce what you are learning
  • Final exam
  • Certificate of Completion when you successfully complete the course

The following testimonials come from a survey of individuals who completed the Online Learn to Sail Course.

Great program, easy to learn.

George Knox –Parsons, KS

I felt better prepared to take the Learn to Sail course.

Keuka Tiles-Lasanta – Jersey City, NJ

I was quite pleased with the comprehensiveness of the course. There is a lot of information and I found it good to go back and review as I did not the time to complete it in one sitting. I think there is much there to continue to review, certainly for beginners, but suppose for well-seasoned sailors also. Thank you. Nice program.

Charlie Dixon – Ardmore, PA

The Learn to Sail online course was fantastic! It helped me build my confidence and was worth every penny!

Lisa Christman – Mankato, MN

Start Sailing Now!

Call 888-454-7015 or 239-454-1700
Email Sail@OffshoreSailing.com

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