Sailing Schools and Courses

Sail with us at Dunbar Yachts!

We proudly offer an extensive range of American Sailing Association qualifications including ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing, ASA 103 Coastal Cruising, ASA 104 Bareboat Charter certification, and ASA 105 Coastal Navigation. Classes are held throughout the year and can take place over weekends or during the week. A typical scheduled class is two full days including classroom training and hands-on sailing in the St. Simons Sound and around the Golden Isles. Class size is no more than 6 students so that each student receives extensive “hands-on” experience. Minimum of 2 students required to hold class. It is possible to schedule a back to back ASA Courses to achieve both certifications during the same training sessions.
Private classes are also available. Additionally, we are happy to schedule instructional sessions with boat owners onboard their own boats.


ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing

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Our ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing certification course requires no previous experience and uses the proven ASA instructional program and curriculum. Basic Sailing is designed to teach the beginner sailor the fundamental skills necessary to commence a lifetime of sailing. We provide textbooks and materials prepared by the American Sailing Association. Our sailing instructors are ASA certified instructors and Coast Guard licensed captains with over thirty years of sailing and offshore cruising experience. Students learn to sail on St. Simons Sound aboard boats larger than thirty feet with inboard diesel engines. Participants learn essential hands-on skills including rigging the boat for sailing, tacking and gybing, sailing on all points of sail, and handling the boat under power.. Our goal is that you learn to sail and that you have a safe, fun, and rewarding experience.

ASA 103 Coastal Cruising

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Our ASA 103 Coastal Cruising classes, sailors take their skills one step further to include the skills needed to cruise in offshore waters and enjoy a weekend cruise along the coast. Students sail the offshore waters of St. Simons, Jekyll, and Cumberland Islands to learn new skills, including flying a cruising spinnaker, navigating offshore and along the intracoastal waterway using nautical charts and the latest electronic navigation equipment, handling the boat under power and docking, choosing an anchorage, and anchoring. A typical schedule entails classroom training followed by a day spent sailing to an offshore destination.

ASA 104 Bareboat Chartering Certification

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Our ASA 104 Bareboat Charter certification course focuses on preparing the sailor to enjoy chartering a sailboat. In this course, students who may own smaller boats or may sail in inland areas learn the skills needed to charter a larger boat. Instruction includes navigation, engine troubleshooting, and the operation of domestic systems in order to charter or own a larger sailboat. In this course, we sail the offshore waters of the Golden Isles.

ASA 105 Coastal Navigation

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This hands-on practical navigation course applies navigational theory to ensure the safe navigation of a sailing vessel in coastal and inland waters. Building on existing knowledge, the focus is to use relevant publications, instruments, and equipment in order to ensure safe passage. The course includes the use of tide tables, charts, chart instruments, visual aids, a compass, etc and enables the student to become confident in dead reckoning, compass error, and the effect of course, speed, and current on passage making.

Private Sailing Instructions

Private instruction is available year-round.  The classes can be ASA certification classes or tailored to your individual needs and existing skills and knowledge base. We can provide private instruction to individuals or small groups.  We can provide instruction in any aspect of sailing from docking to sailing offshore. Catamaran and multihull training are also available.

Private sessions are particularly valuable to new boat buyers to help new owners to learn the many dimensions of operating and caring for their boat.

Accolades From Sailing School Participants

Love Dunbar Yachts, we purchased our Catalina 445 from them a few years ago and love this group of people! Even took a few classes from their great instructor Barney! But most importantly, they treat us like family…. a few months ago we were docked in Fernandina, when we had a medical emergency and had to rent a car and get to the hospital. We called Dunbar Yachts and they rallied to our aid, retrieved the boat and took her home for us! It was such a relief to not have to worry about how to get her back to St. Simons and to know that she was in very capable hands! Thanks to Mike, Steve and company!Donna

Thank you. You’re a good and thoughtful skipper and teacher. We had a blast remembering how much we like to sail.Robb

I wanted to thank you so much, Barney, for our class from a couple of weeks back. I found it inspiring and immensely confidence building…the class was an absolute pleasure! I hope to keep the enthusiasm cranking and see if I can get this beauty of mine in the water.Mitch

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