Featured School: Bow to Stern Sailing School

By: Schools

Bow to Stern Sailing is located in Oriental, North Carolina. For many years Oriental has been known as “The Sailing Capital” of NC. Our sailing area is the Neuse River. The term river does not convey the size of this body of water. Three miles wide at Oriental spreading 19 miles in Pamlico Sound, it is one of the largest inland sailing areas in the US. A section of the Intra-Coastal Waterway traverses our area, making Oriental a popular stop for cruisers heading south in November and north in March/April. Access to the Atlantic is via Adam’s Creek,  a three-hour motor trip for an average sailboat. The general area is termed The Inner Banks. 

We are surrounded by beautiful cruising destinations such as Cape Lookout and Ocracoke, and the entire ICW. This area is not subject to lunar tides; the water level is affected by wind direction. The entire area is relatively shallow, 25’ is deep water. There are reportedly 5000 sailboats within a 5-mile radius of the village, but sadly we don’t see nearly enough sails on the river. 

Who They Are 

Jim Edwards founded bow to Stern in 1999. His initial focus was Junior sailing and with the support of a cadre of local woodworkers, developed a fleet of Optimists. Over the years, the fleet had grown to over 80 watercraft from stand-up boards to 42’ Catamarans. 

The fleet of FJs and 420s has proved to be a big draw for College Sailors, with 21 Colleges coming for Spring Training just prior to Covid. This springtime migration of sailors will hopefully resume again. 

What They Teach  

The school offers ASA 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 110 and 114.  With a total of 2 female instructors and 4 male instructors. 

During the summer months, the school runs a Day Camp for junior sailors. Each session lasts 5-days and the older kids have the opportunity to take the ASA 110 course. 

Special Program in Jamaica 

Bow to Stern has been working with Scuba Carib in Jamaica since 2018 and completed 36 ASA Certifications, 110, 101 and lately, 103, 104. One of the staff traveled to Oriental to become an instructor in 2021. The work in Jamaica started in 2018 when Bow to Stern was contacted by Scuba Caribe, who supply Watersport to many of the All Inclusive Hotels. They wanted to improve the sailing skill of their Staff. Some work with the Beach Cats, Hobie 14s and some sail the big Cats ranging from 40 – 65’.  

The school is an integral part of the local sailing community. It runs three small boat regattas each season and has supplied support boats to the PHRF regattas. 

The Instructors have diverse backgrounds but share a common passion for sailing. The focus is on making students better and safer and not just “paper” sailors.