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ASA, US-Sailing and NauticEd Certified Sailing Schools in Illinois

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ASA & US-Sailing Certified Schools and Other Sailing Programs at Chicago, Riverside, Wilmette, Waukegan, Clinton, and Evanston in Illinois..

USCG Captain's License Online

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MARINERS LEARNING SYSTEM (MLS) ONLINE- USCG Approved Online Captain's and Masters License Study Packages, Home Study Guides & FCC Online Tests - Located in Pennington NJ, Mariners Learning System provides U.S. Coast Guard Certified Licensing Courses with their flexible online training. Auxiliary Sailing & Towing endorsements are also available.

3rd Coast Cruising - Chicago IL

Affiliated with NauticEd International Sailing School

nauticed online

Take online theory sailing courses with NauticEd, with two free sailing courses and sailing resume, and then use the skilled in-house sailing instructors to gain practical sailing experience and confidence. Once you pass the courses and practical training, you'll be awarded with a NauticEd Sailing Certification with Verified Practical Competency. Yacht Charter Companies worldwide accept and acknowledge the NauticEd Sailing Certification. Read more..

Sailing Packages

  • Port Package (3 hours)
  • Lighthouse Package (Five 3 hour sails)
  • Explorer Package (Ten 3 hour sails)
  • Weekender Package (Three 3 hours includes lessons or club sails)
  • Captains Package (Twenty 3 hour sails)
  • Admirals Package (Thirty 3 hour sails)



Sailing Apprenticeship

  • Captain’s Apprenticeship (3 years): If you need Captain’s License or SLC (Sailing License and Credentials) Certification and need the seatime and the practical hands-on experience, this is your program. During the season, May to Oct, you may sail as much as you want anytime we sail. The 2nd year, you may also sleep on the boats to get a real idea of what it is like to live on the water. This program runs all year and includes off-season training in the boatyard were you will learn everything there is to know about sailing, rigging, engines, electrical & water systems, etc.

Chicago Sailing Charters - Chicago IL

chicago sailing charters

Chicago Sailing Charters provides regular charter sailing and bare boat charter sailing and also offer excursions and nightie sailing to the Navy Pier Fireworks, Daytime sailing, corporate sailing charters, and even sunset cruises for those romantic nights. Chicago Sailing Charters offers ASA certified sailing classes in Chicago for those who wanted bare-boat charter sail or just want to learn the ropes of sailing. The sailing fleet consists of two sailboats, a 36′ Mariner and a 330′ Hunter.

ASA Classes

  • ASA 101, 103, 104


Other Programs

  • Bareboat Charters
  • Day Sail Charters
  • Sunset Cruise Sailing Charters
  • Navy Pier Fireworks Charters
  • Corporate Sailing Charters

Chicago Sailing - Belmont Harbor, Chicago IL

chicago sailing

Established over 30 years ago, Chicago Sailing is located at Belmont Harbor, Chicago IL and is the oldest public sailing facility in the Midwest. Chicago sailing provides Lessons, Rentals, Charters, and more. Learning to sail are comprehensive and certified to the highest standard in the industry by US Sailing. Chicago Sailing also has the largest fleet of training vessels in the greater Midwest with most opportunities for on-the-water training. The classes cover the all the curriculum required by US Sailing and majority of the time on the water leaning through practical education. A typical 4 hour sessions has over 3 hours of on the water time, followed by an on shore recap and explanation of the day's topics.

Adult US Sailing Lessons

  • Intro to Sailing 100
  • Basic Sailing 101
  • Refresher Sailing 201
  • Advanced Sailing 202
  • Cruising Course 301
  • Intro to Fleet Racing 401
  • Spinnaker & Speed 402
  • Coastal Navigation 501


Other Programs

  • Private Lessons
  • Shore School (Off season Seminars)

Chicago Yacht Club Sailing School - Chicago IL

chicago yacht club

Founded in 1875, Chicago Yacht Club (CYC) advances the community's knowledge, proficiency, participation and enjoyment of boating and the nautical arts. For more than 90 years, the Chicago Yacht Club Sailing School has been a leader in teaching adults to develop the skills and confidence necessary to enjoy the sport of sailing. Located at the south end of Belmont Harbor, the Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station is home to the boating education programs. Broad-based programs cover a range of ages and abilities. Powerboating classes are also offered and Chicago Yacht Club has been designated by US Powerboating as a Midwest Powerboat training center. Most on-the-water activities take place in the spring, summer and fall. A variety of classroom presentations are offered year-round. The Chicago Yacht Club is a US Sailing Accredited Keelboat School.

Sonar Programs

  • US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification
  • US Sailing Intermediate Course
  • US Sailing Private Lessons


Other Programs

  • Crew U (7 weeks)
  • Match Racing
  • Adult Powerboat Courses
  • Plus more

Fairwind Sail Charters - Riverside IL

fairwind sail charters

One of Chicago’s oldest and most respected sailing schools, Fairwind Sail Charters offers award winning American Sailing Association sailing lessons leading to ASA sailing certifications. They also have a premier Sailing Yacht Lease Share Program where you can sail your own yacht all season long and private sailing charters. Located at Burnham Park Harbor in the heart of Chicago’s famed Museum Campus, Fairwind Sail Charters’ legendary Dragon Fleet features Beneteau Yachts with direct walk-on access and ample parking right beside your yacht.

ASA Courses

  • ASA 101, 103, 104, 105
  • ASA Challenge
  • Summer of Sail Package


Other Programs

  • Sail Charters
  • Lease Share

Sail Chicago - E Monroe Ave, Chicago IL

sail chicago

Sail Chicago is a US Sailing accredited sailing school which assures that you are learning to sail the right way with qualified sailing coaches and well-maintained boats. Sail Chicago owns and maintains a fleet of 12 keelboats for instruction and private use. These boats provide excellent stability and safety with simple layouts designed for easy handling and quick learning. Sail Chicago is the most affordable way to learn to sail in Chicago. Each of the 4-week, on-the-water sailing courses gives you sailing knowledge and skill, and puts you on the road to being a confident skipper.

US Sailing Programs

  • Pre-Sail Orientation
  • Basic Program
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced / Skipper Prep
  • Coastal Navigation (for members)
  • Basic Cruising (for members)
  • Bareboat Cruising (for members)
  • Rhodes Spinnaker (for members)


Other Programs

  • Race
  • Memberships

Sea Safaris Sailing School - Chicago, Wilmette, and Waukegan - IL

sea safaris sailing school

Located in Illinois at various locations, Sea Safaris Sailing School offers ASA approved and other sailing programs from basic through advanced skills including topical subjects such as coastal navigation, celestial navigation and marine weather for all ages. Skills gained through Sea Safaris courses prepare students to safely sail small through large craft in and beyond their home waters. Sea Safaris Sailing School instructors are all certified to teach American Sailing Association courses which upon successful completion, offer students certification. Sea Safaris also offers refresher, tutored or custom instruction for individual or families to improve sailing skills. Primary Teaching Locations include - Chicago (31st Harbor, Monroe and Belmont Harbors), Wilmette, and Waukegan in Illinois; and Milwaukee, Neenah, and Sturgeon Bay in Wisconsin.

ASA Certifications

  • Small Boat Sailing (110)
  • ASA 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 117, 118, 119, 120
  • Re-Sail Shop

Other Sailing Programs

  • Sailing Fundamentals
  • Racing 101
  • Family Fore Sail Certification
  • Couples Certification
  • Tutor Fore-Sail
  • Custom Instruction Fore-Sail


Skill for Sail Programs

  • Beginners Fore-Sail
  • Basic Sailing Skills Refresher - J70
  • Basic Skills Refresher - Catalina 27
  • Basic Skills Refresher - Jeanneau 349
  • J70 - Tacking and Gybing
  • J70 - Asymmetrical Techniques
  • Catalina 27 - Tacking and Gybing
  • Jeanneau 349 - Tacking and Gybing
  • Jeanneau 349 - Code Zero Techniques
  • Catalina 27 - Basic Docking Refresher
  • Jeanneau 349 - Basic Docking Refresher
  • Navigation Fundamentals
  • Celestial Navigation Fundamentals
  • Basic Electronic Navigation
  • Advanced Electronic Navigation
  • This is Knot Fun

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Seabreeze Charter - Chicago IL

seabreeze charters

Located in Chicago, Seabreeze Charter is the only ASA School with a classroom in Chicago available at any time for classes and test. Seabreeze Charter Sailboats not only passed the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Inspection but in addition is the one of the few ASA School and Charter Company in Illinois with boats that has passed the selective U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for Commercial Vessel and also SeaBreeze Charter Sailboats meets ocean passage safety standard including life raft and EPIRB. SeaBreeze Charter has sailing vacation and Sailing live aboard courses in exotic locations all year round including Italy.

ASA Certifications

  • ASA International Proficiency Certificate
  • Live Aboard Classes in the Caribbean (ASA 101, 103, 104 in one week)
  • ASA 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 114, 118


Other Programs

  • Charters
  • Sailing Vacations

Sheridan Shore Sailing School (SSSS) - Wilmette IL

sheridan shore sailing school

Sheridan Shore Sailing School is a US Sailing recognized Community Sailing Center and operates out of the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club located at Wilmette Harbor. The courses focus on sailing skills for all ages and ability levels. From beginners to seasoned sailors, the Sailing School fleet of 50 sailboats include -  Prams, Optimists, 420s, J 24, a 24-foot keelboat, and a Catalina 27. For more than 70 years, Sheridan Shore Sailing School has been proud to offer students of all ages the opportunity to experience the thrill, challenge and exhilaration of sailing. All of our coaches are U.S. Sailing Level 1 Small Boat and First AID/ CPR Certified. The sailing school uses the facilities of the Wilmette Harbor Association, located on the North Shore of Chicago at Wilmette Harbor in Gillson Park.

US-Sailing Courses

  • Skills for Sail
  • ASA101, 103
  • Other Programs
  • J24 & Catalina 27 Charters
  • Private Lessons
  • Semi-Private Lessons
  • Family Lessons

Other Sailing & Boating Classes in Illinois (Without Certification)

Carlyle Sailing Association (CSA) - Carlyle Lake, Carlyle IL

carlyle sailing association

Carlyle Sailing Association is a not-for profit sailing organization located just an hour east of St. Louis, with some of the finest sailing facilities in the Mid-West. They are a friendly, family oriented, wholly volunteer association dedicated to the sport of sailing. CSA offers an exceptional and inexpensive recreational value for all members. Developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers for the purpose of flood control and recreation, Carlyle Lake encompasses 26,000 acres of water, approximately 8 miles long and 3 miles wide. Carlyle Lake enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the best sailing lakes in the Midwest.

Adult Sailing Seminar

  • Beginners - Learn to Sail
  • Intermediate - Sail better, with more confidence


Other Activities

  • Memberships
  • Boat Rentals
  • Racing

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Clinton Lake Sailing Association (CLSA) - Clinton IL

clinto lake sailing association

Clinton Lake is a 4,900 acres reservoir located near Clinton, Illinois. It was built in the 1970s as a cooling source for Clinton Nuclear Generating Station. The lake opened in 1978. Clinton Lake Sailing Association (CLSA) was formed officially in 1978, to encourage and foster the sport of sailboat racing, to promote boating safety and education and to promote fellowship and cooperation among its members.

Adult Sailing Classes & Programs

  • Intro to Sailing I
  • Intro to Sailing II
  • Learning to Race
  • Learn to Sail with Flying Scot Fleet 135 - Parkland College
  • Power Squadron Classes
  • Club Boats

Northwestern Sailing - Campus Drive, Evanston IL

northwestern university sailing center

Northwestern Sailing is the Northwestern University Sailing Center and located at 1823 Campus Drive (two blocks east of Sheridan Road and Chicago Avenue), next to the southeast corner of the double-deck parking structure. It is open every day from April 30 to October 9, weather permitting. The entire Northwestern community and the general public may enjoy the Sailing Center’s easily accessible campus location, affordable memberships rates, high-quality equipment, superb sailing location, spectacular views of Chicago, and a trained, helpful staff committed to providing an enjoyable and safe sailing experience for all guests. Whether you are an experienced sailor looking to hone your skills or have never set foot on a boat, the Sailing Center has something to offer you. All Sailing Center memberships include use of select sailboats and sailboards at no extra cost. In the interest of safety, everyone who purchases a membership is required to pass a proficiency test to earn a NU Skippers rating.

Sailing Programs

  • Adult Learn to Sail (adult sailing classes meet twice a week for four weeks)
  • Private Sailing Lessons


Other Programs

  • Adult Learn To Windsurf
  • Membership Programs
  • Plus more

Pinnacle Yachts - Chicago IL

pinnacle sailing school

Pinnacle Yachts offers several levels of instruction conducted on your particular yacht in the pinnacle fleet. Pinnacle also provides memorable learning & adventure programs for private and corporate groups of up to 100 people. The Pinnacle Fleet shines as the finest metropolitan fractional sail and power yacht fleet in the United States, with bases in Chicago, Stamford, Annapolis and Miami. Yachts by acclaimed international builders Jeanneau and Sea Ray comprise the Pinnacle Fleet. Pinnacle club members cruise the wonderful waterways near their home on a magnificent yacht without the costs or obligations of ownership. Pinnacle’s fractional yacht leasing and instruction programs have been a roaring success. In Chicago, the program is sold-out each and every season since the formation of Pinnacle Yachts in 1998. Pinnacle Yachts also operates in Miami FL.

Sailing Programs

  • Fundamental Sailing Course (Five lessons which are conducted on the water plus one online seminar)
  • Fundamental Power Course (Six lessons which are conducted on the water, plus one online seminar)
  • Women Only (Fundamental Sailing Course and the Fundamental Power Course)
  • Private Lessons


Other Programs

  • Fractional Leasing
  • Fractional Ownership
  • Charter Adventures

You may also read: Online Sailing Certifications & RYA Skipper Theory