So now that you’ve decided to sleep on a boat, you might get an itch to learn how to sail. It’s a bit under-the-radar, but during the WINTER months, every Saturday from 3pm to 5pm and Sunday from 10am to 12pm the Key West Community Sailing Center offers free sailing classes for women (just be sure to tip your instructors). They also have lessons at any time for $40 per hour (guys or ladies).

Sailing Lesson

Sailing Lesson

So, one of our guests Katie, and myself (Amber) decided to go check it out. Long and short: I highly recommend stopping by the center if you have any interest in learning more about sailing.  It was a highlight of her time in Key West, and it made my week.

First, they give you a brief introduction in a classroom setting for about 10-15 minutes, and then from there on out it’s hands-on lessons – which, in my opinion, is the best way to learn. The staff demonstrates how to set up your sails on the Hobie Cat sailboats (smaller ones designed for learning and just tooling around) that have trampoline floor/seat and that’s about it.

Sailing Lesson

Sailing Lesson


From there, we practiced in the protected harbor and learned how to jib and tack while the crew gave us pointers when we’d get stuck in the “no go zone” (you lose the wind and just stop moving). But in the end, although there are tips and tricks sailing is all about feeling – you go with the flow.


SailingAnd we’re off! Katie’s enjoying it too 🙂

Ideal weather for beginners is between 8 mph and 12 mph (I think it was around 12 to 14 mph when we were out there). Also, keep in mind that if the winds are more than 20 they usually don’t go out.

If you do stop by the center let them know Amber and Zappa sent you. They’re located across the street from Thai Island restaurant (one of our favorites) hidden behind a boatyard.

Dream. Drift. Discover.

Amber and Zappa