We had a terrific day on the water yesterday. Hit 20 knots on the bay and SV Caribbean Blue handled it with ease. The training I’ve received helped keep all the family feeling comfortable and SAFE and I have you and my CN instructors to thank for making it so.
-Albert Arthur – Passage Maker Member since 2015 – Basic Cruising Certified since 2016
We signed up for fun on the water. We’ve gotten plenty of that and much more… new friends, new skills, personal challenges, and adventures we never imagined for ourselves. Working through the program has been such a great journey for us to share, and has changed how we envision not only future vacations, but even our long-term dreams.
-Brian & Rachel Cook – Passage Making Members since 2011 – Passage Making Graduates since 2014
I wanted to pass along some thoughts of how grateful I am after my first charter. I signed up for the basic skipper package in mid-February, finished the BC2 class on May 24 and less than a week later was leaving Ballena Bay for an over-nighter on Saphira. My wife and I had always dreamed of a weekend of baseball and boating, and it happened May 30-31. Ideally we would have preferred guest docking in South Beach Harbor marina but we learned 5 days notice wasn’t enough (2 months for Giants’ games!). We ended up at the Pier 39 guest marina which was almost empty, saw Saturday night and Sunday afternoon games, picked up my adult children in SF at Pier 1 1/2, got them very interested in sailing and had a fabulous weekend. A delightful and dramatic late afternoon sky over SF framed the trip back to Alameda.
As I think about the experience, I’m so grateful for the training your instructors provided. I have chartered a motor yacht up off the “Sunshine Coast” of British Columbia the last 2 summers but never sailed at all. We were never really challenged by the weather up north and had delightful trips. I knew it would be more challenging on San Francisco Bay and if I was going to be tested by conditions, I was hoping to have some confidence along with the skill. The training your instructors provided gave me the ability to have solid skills and confidence, especially when heading up to Pier 39 and encountering winds of 24 knots. We never had anything like that in the classes and I was able to calmly reef the sails, then furl them and get into the marina with my inexperienced crew.
Having the experience of both Sausalito and Alameda for the BK & BC classes as well as four different boats was great. Simon Bell, Richard Deep, Paul Churchill (with new instructor Jay Grant as well) and Joe Brandt were all extremely helpful, encouraging, patient, knowledgeable, passionate and remarkably calm with us students. I don’t know what could have made it better for my personal needs.
The boats were all in very good shape and knowing you have a talented maintenance team lends even more confidence in the operation and reliability of each boat. We were so comfortable on Saphira whether motoring, sailing or when tied up in our slip cooking a meal. I hope to take her out again and share more of my passion with family and friends. I hope it passed inspection this morning when you checked it over.
Please pass along my appreciation to each instructor, the office support, maintenance teams (Colin was gracious enough to help with some questions during pre-cruise) and Dave Scott for his enthusiasm and information on how everything works. In my opinion, you are doing everything right. I look forward to more time in classes and chartering.
-Gove Celio – Member since 2015
“This was the most excellent weekend of sailing I’ve had as a CPM Skipper. Spectacular conditions as we rounded Point Reyes and set our course to the Golden Gate. Perfect yacht, very capable crew, and challenging, but manageable conditions. It really doesn’t get any better.”
-Marye Ellen Valentine – Passage Making Member since 1992 – Coastal Passage Making Graduate since 2013
Club Nautique has helped me to realize dreams I didn’t even know I had! The wealth of knowledge available in the broad base of instructors, to the network of other sailors to learn from and sail with is fantastic! I have been able to confidently charter on the Great Lakes, BVI, Pacific coast and most recently be the navigator for a delivery from San Francisco to La Cruz Mexico. I am looking forward to the next adventure, THANKS to CLUB NAUTIQUE!
-Renee Kiml – Passage Making Member since 2004 – Coastal Passage Making Graduate since 2012
After retiring, I thought I’d enjoy learning how to sail. The Bay and Club Nautique proved to be the perfect combination to help me realize this goal. I have progressed from beginner to a coastal passage making student in one year, logging 1,000nm in the process. Every time I go out, I learn something new. The new friends and instructors I have met through the Club have helped me in this journey and I look forward to continuing for many more years.
-Eric Stern – Passage Making Members since 2014
Here I am sailing our 30‘ Sea Sprite on Long Island Sound where we summer. Our home port is Noank, CT. The second is to show you I LOVE your hats. I wear mine all the time. My husband and I are so happy with the skills I acquired at your classes, we both realize I should have done this years ago. Some of the ladies at my marina, are amazed I did the lessons, I encourage them often, their husbands are usually in agreement. I practiced MOB on our sailboat last summer , my husband was impressed I got to “Bob” first try. LOL! Your instructors rocked.
-Kathleen Gardiner – US Sailng Certified through Basic Cruising
Club Nautique made 2013 an awesome year for me. In one year I went from knowing zilch about sailing to bareboat chartering a boat in Greece in July 2013. I am so grateful for the excellent instruction and experience I got through Club Nautique. Attached is a photo of me and my crew on our boat in Greece. On the far left is my brother and first mate — everything I learned about sailing, I passed on to him.
But more than just realizing a dream, Club Nautique was about camaraderie, laughs, learning, and exciting challenges, making 2013 a remarkable year.
-Madeleine Loh – US Sailng Certified through Coastal Navigation. Working on Coastal Passage Making Certification
I became a Club Nautique Groupie long before I joined and could kick myself for waiting so long. It’s true you can learn to sail and become certified skipper in just a few weekends of fun and hard work. It opens the door to enjoy chartering and sailing on San Francisco Bay while you build your sailing experience and skills for the next level or simply enjoy what you have accomplished so far. I’ve met new friends, for me it’s six months in and I can’t get enough, I’ve been fortunate to be able to sail nearly every other weekend mostly on club boats and I definitely learn and challenge myself on each sail.
We all come to Club Nautique for different reasons, word is Club Nautique is the best sailing school in the country, one of my class mates traveled from the east coast simply to get his certifications from Club Nautique on San Francisco Bay. Rumor also has it that if you can learn to sail professionally on San Francisco Bay, you can learn to sail anywhere.
I’m the one who is thankful in having been afforded the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to be entrusted with some of the most beautiful sailboats in the world. I look forward to my 3rd US Sailing Association BBC certification course to build on my training.
There is nothing like being skipper at the helm or tiller of a heeling sailboat!
-Roberto Almodobar – US SAILING Certified through Basic Cruising
After 20 years adrift I joined Club Nautique and learned just how much I didn’t know about sailing. I thoroughly enjoyed my BK, BC and BBC training. The instructors were first rate. I have fulfilled my dream of being able to charter locally and worldwide and take great pleasure participating in club activities with my fellow ‘sailaholics’.
-Rod Witel – US SAILING Certified through Bareboat. USCG 50 Masters. US SAILING Certified Trainer. In 2011 Rod became a Club Nautique instructor.
I wanted to train with the best instructors and sail on the best fleet on the Bay, in a comprehensive program. Club Nautique gave me confidence and experience. They deliver on their promise of long term success.
-Tracy Reigleman – US SAILING Certified through Coastal Passage Making
I would not classify my Offshore Passage Making(OPM) experience as “fun”. However, if you want to take your skills to the next level, this is the class. It’s Coastal Passage Making on steroids. OPM isn’t only about demonstrating you’re a competent skipper, it is an education. An education in preparation, prevention, and problem solving. OPM was an adventure.
-Deb Fehr – US SAILING Certified through Offshore Passage Making
In 2007, Club Nautique was the foundation block for one of my biggest dreams; own a boat and prepare myself to take a long passage from San Francisco to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Today, I got my Offshore Passage Making certification. It is really important to me to know that I had Club Nautique and its staff behind me in my learning process. It gave me confidence in myself and brought my sailing skills to the level I needed for such trip.
-Ricardo Poli – US SAILING Certified through Offshore Passage Making
I had been sailing with my wife for 29 years when we started the basic keel boat series in about 2002. Our experience to that point was in dinghies for fun and racing. Our training was only a Red Cross sailing and water safety course taught in Sunfish.( surfboard with a sail). We continued together through the Basic Cruising series and Then I went forward through the rest of the classes from 2003 to 2010 when I received the OPM certification.
My primary motivation was to increase my knowledge and gain valuable on the water experience in larger boats in coastal and off shore situations so my wife and I could eventually do charters. In 2007 we purchased a 42 foot cruising sailboat to do costal type cruising to mexico and where ever. I felt that even if I was only going to do charter or coastal type cruising that the Offshore Passage Making experience was valuable because you never know when a coastal situation might turn into an extended off shore experience as you wait for weather/seas states to improve to get back to port as you try to hold off from a lee shore.
My wife and I both felt that even though we were raised as kids around lakes and boats and had been around the water that you can never have enough experience and training and never quit learning. During this time we also maintained our CPR/Medic certifications and I additionally obtained my USCG 50 GRT Master license. Going through the OPM instruction helps by real hands on experience to plan and execute all aspects of cruising, including navigation, meals , crew rotations as well as maintenance and just general housekeeping. In reality during my OPM cruise we actually lost the ability to steer with the wheel (it broke off at the spoke hub) and had to use the emergency tiller for 2 days to get back home from over a 150 miles off shore in near gale conditions. We took the boat all the way back to the dock in Sausalito. This was a real confidence builder. Gaining experience from professionals in a somewhat controlled setting is invaluable. These courses , especially the OPM, have helped us set up and sail charter boats as well as our own boat in the channel Islands, St. Lucia and Out the gate in the Gulf of the Farallons. I will probably never circumnavigate but I feel the OPM course was more than worth the cost and effort as we look forward to doing the Ha Ha and cruising the Sea of Cortez later this year for the first time.
-Jim Ellis – US SAILING Certified through Offshore Passage Making