Where are we located?
The Downtown Sailing Center is located on the campus of the Baltimore Museum of Industry at 1425 Key Highway. You can park in our lower gravel lot and meet your instructor on the compass rose near our docks.
What should I bring?
Please wear close-toed shoes and bring water, sunscreen, and a hat. Depending on the weather, it might also be a good idea to bring layers of clothing, such as a light jacket or rain gear. It will always be cooler on the water, especially during the early season when the water temperature is cold.
We also recommend bringing a pair of gloves if possible - any gloves that provide grip and hand protection are useful. The DSC provides life jackets, but you are welcome to bring your own.
When will I receive my course material?
If you live locally, you are welcome to pick up your course material from the office. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time to pick it up. Otherwise, you will receive the material the first day of your class.
Do I have to fill out any forms before the class?
If you have not already done so, please fill out our liability waiver on PDFfiller.com. We will have paper copies of this available on the first day of your class if you are not able to complete it beforehand.
Will we have a lunch break?
If you are attending a full day course, you will have a half an hour to 45 minute lunch break. We try to schedule this around noon, but the exact time might vary slightly depending on day's weather. You are welcome to bring a snack and packed lunch, although you will have time to grab food at one of our nearby restaurants.
What if there is inclement weather?
Classes will be held in light to moderate rainy conditions, so be prepared to sail even if it is not a bright, sunny day. We do not sail in thunderstorms. Our instructors are flexible and we will often rearrange course schedules to accomplish land-based instruction during periods of inclement weather.
We will contact you if the course has to be canceled or rescheduled due to weather - if you have not heard from us, plan to attend your course as scheduled.
What is your cancellation policy?
Participant cancellations made 14 days or more in advance of the event date will receive a 100% refund. Cancellations made 7-13 days in advance of the event date will receive a 50% refund, unless we are able to fill the opening in which case a 100% refund will be issued. Cancellations made within 48 hours to the event will not be refunded unless the opening is filled, in which case a 100% refund will be issued.
The DSC will do its best to find a replacement student for the course.
If the Downtown Sailing Center cancels your course, you will be rescheduled for another offering at no cost or a refund will be issued.
I've completed a course and don't own a boat. How can I keep sailing?
Consider becoming a member of the DSC! We have a number of sailing opportunities that will help you continue learning and meet other sailors! Members have the opportunity to attend member sails on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons and are able to go out sailing at other times during the week with a skipper. Members are also highly encouraged to sign up for volunteer events, and there are opportunities for everyone regardless of sailing ability - these events are a great way to improve your sailing skills while also giving back to the community.
For more formal education opportunities, there are always more courses to take at the DSC! If you are new to sailing, the Intro to Sailing course is a great way to start. No previous experience is required, and you will leave this class with the knowledge needed to be a competent crew member. You'll learn how to helm the boat, trim sails, and react to the wind.
For those with basic boat handling skills and interest in working towards becoming a DSC skipper, we recommend the Beyond Intro course. Prerequisites for this course are proficiency in wind awareness, tacking and jibing, and basic sailing vocabulary. During this class, you will learn to plan and execute a safe departure and docking, perform a Quick-Stop person overboard rescue, and learn the finer points of sail trim.
If you are interested in a more intensive experience and in a US Sailing certification, our Basic Keelboat course is for you! It covers all of the material in both the Intro to Sailing and Beyond Intro courses. On the final day you will take a written test and an on-the-water skills evaluation and successful sailors will receive the US Sailing Basic Keelboat certification. This course is fast-paced, and we often find that students with a bit of previous sailing knowledge have the best experience. You can get some experience first by joining the DSC as a member and attending our Member Sails, volunteering at Outreach and Accessible events, or simply sailing with friends.
For those interested in sailing on larger boats, the best courses would be Basic Cruising or Bareboat Cruising. Note that these require successful completion of the Basic Keelboat class as a pre-requisite.
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