Become a Better Cruiser with Offshore Sailing School

If you’re charting a course to become a better cruiser, follow the rhumb line to Offshore Sailing School.

If you’re charting a course to become a better cruiser, follow the rhumb line to Offshore Sailing School. From day sailing lessons to advanced certifications, you’ll benefit from the most complete and comprehensive programs available in the United States.

For over 50 years, Steve and Doris Colgate’s Offshore Sailing School has taught more than 130,000 people how to become capable and confident mariners.

That alone should be enough to reassure anyone looking for instruction that you’ve come to the right place. Yet facts barely scratch the surface of the Colgate story and the level of dedication and effort that goes into offering a brand of instruction unmatched anywhere else in this day and age.


So, what makes the Offshore Sailing School experience so unique?

Start with the founders themselves. The traits that make Steve and Doris Colgate great sailors —vigilance and intuition — are the same qualities that have made their institution endure and thrive.

Among their accomplishments, the Colgates have:

  • pioneered a curriculum that is the forerunner of U.S. Sailing certification and is more thorough than any certification program in existence

  • designed and built the award-winning Colgate 26 as a learning platform

  • established eight year-round and seasonal campuses at marinas and resorts in Florida and in New York Harbor and in the British Virgin Islands


*created a foundation for women and girls to learn sailing to build self-confidence and self-esteem

*provided an extensive, in-depth, and custom range of sailing instruction, certification, and programming in sail and power boats, for individuals, couples, families, corporate teams, and others

When Steve, a Yale alumni whose grand prix yachting career includes competing in the Olympics and the America’s Cup Trials, as well as induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame, embarked on creating a training program, he consulted academic experts.


He took the three cooperative aspects of successful learning endorsed by educators the world over — visual, auditory, and tactile — and used them to build the trilogy of 1. textbook study, 2. classroom exposure, and 3. hands-on application for Offshore:

1. Textbook study: Steve and Doris wrote books that distinguish their enterprise as the only U.S. sailing school to use works written by its founders. The critically acclaimed books are widely circulated today.

2. Classroom exposure: The majority of Offshore Sailing School professional teaching faculty are full-time employees who hold United States Coast Guard licenses and U.S. Sailing instructor certifications. They are teaching professionals who are passionately dedicated to your success.

3. Hands-on Application: The Colgate 26, used for training, was designed by Steve Colgate and marine architect Jim Taylor. The Colgate 26 has the largest cockpit of any tiller-driven training boat, with a separate area for the instructor to stand, and dual mainsheet controls. It is very safe, will not sink or tip over, has ergonomic seating, and a host of sophisticated gear and adjustments, making the transition to larger boats easy.

In addition to receiving top-notch instruction and optional U.S. Sailing certification, Offshore students benefit in many other ways. Once you book a course you receive a complete package of information confirming your course and accommodation reservations; supplying pointers on what to pack and where to go once you arrive; and detailing the course schedule. Upon graduation, you receive a packet that includes a diploma; logbook; a detailed list of alumni incentives and benefits, including the Offshore Cruising Club flotillas; complimentary subscriptions to Cruising World or Sailing World magazines for U.S. residents; and a personal letter from Doris Colgate, Offshore president and chief executive officer.

But make no mistake. After all the extras are added in, what will always matter most is that you are a sailor.

“Life throws us many challenges,” says Offshore Sailing graduate Steven Gray. “If you can just find the opportunity to get out on the water and sail, it might not necessarily solve anything directly but it will give your energy, enthusiasm and outlook a boost — and refresh your mojo.”

Click here for information about the Colgate 26.

Click here for information about the Offshore method of instruction.

Click here for information about graduate benefits.

Click here for information on Offshore Sailing School’s locations.

AFFGF Offshore Sailing School