Learn to Sail in New England - Basic Keelboat Sailing Course - Portsmouth and Bristol, Rhode Island

Contact Us to register for sailing courses from our Newport, Rhode Island location. This course is offered week days and every weekend June- September.

Basic Keelboat Sailing – J24 Boats

Certification: Basic Keelboat


The J24 offers up strength, stability and speed unmatched in a keelboat of this size. Designed and built here in New England, there have been over 5300 built since the mid 70s-  a testament to its timelessness and popularity.

The J24 is tiller driven, greatly enhancing the boat’s reaction time to the skipper’s movement of the tiller.  The large rudder gives the tiller a light feel, translating into forgiving and precise helmsmanship. The lead keel balances the sail plan and keeps the boat upright giving the boat its ultimate stability.

The sail plan is generous enough to give the boat speed in light to medium conditions, but is easily reefed if the wind picks up. The deck is completely surrounded by double lifelines and bow and stern pulpits, and all control lines are within reach of the cockpit.                                          










Our two day Basic Keelboat course is structured around a schedule which challenges every level of person and rewards each with the subjective and objective know how to command a boat of this size. This course is offered weekly with weekday and weekend sessions. The course format combines classroom and on the water training each day. Students spend late morning in class concentrating on terminology, parts of the boat, knots, and theory. This time is also spent focusing on translating what you have read in the book into the simple dynamics of sailing.  Following classroom, students head out on the water for 4+ hours of on the water training. 

Following the day 2 on the water training session, students testing for the Basic Keelboat certification will write their exams as a conclusion to the BK course.

Course Curriculum

Day 1

On The Water
  • Parts of the boat
  • Bowline, cleating,clove hitch
  • Points of sail
  • Standing and running rigging
  • Tacks and jibes
  • Basic sail trim
  • Irons(how to go in, how to get out)
  • Mooring balls
  • Rights of way
  • Commands
  • Tides and currents
  • PFD's and safety gear
  • Outboard motor operation
  • Dock line and fender handling
  • Sail raising and leaving dock/anchorage
  • Using tell tales
  • Going head to wind, bearing away
  • Tacks and jibes
  • Sail to dock
  • ID all standing and running rigging
  • Straight line steering
  • Points of sail
  • Proper boat put down


Day 2

On The Water
  • Square knot,slip knot,rolling hitch, stopper knot
  • Apparent and true wind. Headers and lifts. Veers and backs
  • Sail shape and sail trim
  • Sail controls (backstay,vang, Cunningham, sheets, halyard, outhaul etc.)
  • Reefing
  • Slot effect (Bernoulli principal)
  • Anchoring
  • Windward Leewards
  • Zig zags with sail trim (heading up, falling off)
  • Mooring balls under sail
  • MOBS
  • Heave to
  • Reefing
  • Anchoring
  • Rudderless steering


Day 3 (optional)

More time on the water practicing and refining learned skills.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to check course availability and schedule your course.  Please note that our two day courses are offered Tue-Wed; Thur-Fri; Sat- Sun.  We have a maximum of four training in our courses.