ASA Featured Instructor: DJ McCabe

By: Instructors, Schools, women on the water

Captain DJ McCabe of U-Sail Sailing School

Captain DJ McCabe is not just a sailing instructor she is a sailing school owner. Captain DJ is the owner and operator of U-Sail of Central Florida and is the quintessential sailor. She lives to be out on the water. She has handled every aspect of the sailing experience from racing to maintenance to cruising to exploring. Her infectious spirit makes her popular with her students and a role model for women on the water. 

Captain DJ McCabe is ASA’s Featured Instructor

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ASA: What got you into sailing?

Captain DJ McCabe:

I was invited to go sailing by a friend when I was in college. Growing up in northeast Texas that was landlocked, my beginning sailing was aboard a O’Day 22 on Lake Ray Hubbard. After graduating college, I had an opportunity to move to Central Florida when I began crewing on many different day sailors for local racing events. During this time, I dated a sailor who owned a Precision 23, after we went our own ways I missed the boat a lot so purchased my own sailboat. My first boat was a Seidlemann 299 (project boat) that I took 3 years to fully restore. She is still part of my fleet for my sailing school and I teach the ASA Coastal Cruising class on her.

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ASA: What was your most memorable student or class?
Captain DJ McCabe:

This is an easy question. I had a family from Beijing, China, spend a year with me learning to sail, taking all the courses I offered. Then, they purchased a Beneteau 44’ and sailed from Daytona Beach to New Zealand.

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ASA: Your favorite place to sail?
Captain DJ McCabe:

Difficult question, given that Florida is a sailor’s paradise with many amazing places to sail and the Bahamas is just across the Gulf Stream. The Abacos Race Week was some awesome sailing. I have fond memories of sailing in the Everglades with no motor and no other people in sight. After 35+ years of sailing, I find sailing is great no matter where you sail.

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ASA: What do people not know about sailing that they should?

Captain DJ McCabe:

It’s not difficult, gotta be able to move from one chair to another and be smarter than a piece of rope… At the same time, mother nature has no mercy and the boat does not care what gender you are.

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ASA: Why do you Sail?

Captain DJ McCabe:

It quiets the voices. Nothing else in my life nor any moment can compare to a perfect day of sailing. My brain is focused, my soul is at peace and my body is energized.

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ASA: How do we attract more women to sailing?
Are there obstacles to sailing for women that are not widely known?

Captain DJ McCabe:

Remove the gender bias. Anyone who has a love for the outdoors should be the target audience.

Time, money, preconceived notion that a sailor must be physically strong. When I talk to a woman that has life limitations preventing her from sailing, I do all I can to encourage her to find a way to connect to the sailing community.

“Nothing else in my life nor any moment can compare to a perfect day of sailing. My brain is focused, my soul is at peace and my body is energized.
” – Captain DJ McCabe

Captain DJ McCabe can be found at U-Sail of Central Florida


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