Featured School: Anchors Aweigh Sailing School

By: Schools

Anchors Aweigh Sailing School in New London, CT, is located on the Thames River. Their goal is to help you reach your sailing potential while introducing you to their philosophy that sailing is also a connection with the environment. Your passion, a boat, the wind, and water become all part of one equation. The school offers a wide range of ASA certifications and endorsements and prides itself on being the school with the most sailing courses in Connecticut.

Get to Know Anchors Aweigh Sailing School as they tell you all about their school.

Where They Sail

Anchors Aweigh Sailing School starts every sail in the Thames River out of New London, CT and we venture into the Long Island Sound, and Fishers Island Sound as part of the Basic Keelboat (ASA 101) and Basic Coastal Cruising (ASA 103) classes.  For the Bareboat (ASA 104) and Catamaran (ASA 114) classes, we sail into and around Narragansett Bay and to Block Island, RI.  Our adventures take us further offshore as we complete the Advanced Coastal Cruising course (ASA 106).

What They Teach

During our sailing season, we teach all certifications up to and including Advanced Coastal Cruising (ASA 106).  Most classes are scheduled for the weekends; we can accommodate scheduling classes during the week upon request.

One of our niche specialties is helping couples learn to communicate while sailing, maneuvering, and docking.

During the winter months, we focus on classroom topics:

  • Coastal Navigation (ASA 105)
  • Basic Celestial & Celestial Navigation (ASA 117 & ASA 107, respectively)
  • Marine Weather (ASA 119)
  • Non-Accreditation Topics:
    • VHF operations
    • Rules of the Road
    • Advanced Sail Trim
    • Boat Systems
    • Sail Repair
    • Provisioning
    • Basics of Regatta Racing

Meet Their Instructors   

Captain Chris Cooper is our Lead Instructor.  He has been sailing for more than 40 years on all styles of boats, from a 14-foot Sunfish to a 48-foot catamaran.  He has his 100-ton Near Coastal Captain’s License, and he is a retired Navy Commander (submarines).

Captain Chris has sailed on lakes, rivers, sounds, and open oceans.  His longest trip was a 39-day voyage from La Rochelle, France to Annapolis, MD.  He has been teaching ASA classes for 13 seasons.

Their Programs 

  • ASA Certifications at all levels.
  • Evening sails to give our sailors more tiller time.
  • Introducing our sailors to local Captains who need crew, either for regattas, day sails, or cruising.
  • Periodic navigation problems sent to sailors who want to establish and maintain their paper chart navigation skills.
  • Personalized classes (on the water or in the classroom) to help sailors reach their own personal goals.
  • Off-season classroom courses to help keep our sailors thinking about sailing all year long (for most of New England, the sailing season is only 4 or 5 months long; it starts Memorial Day and ends no later than Halloween).

Their Story  

At Anchors Aweigh Sailing School, we understand the lure of the sea.  We acknowledge that there are challenges and dangers in sailing a vessel; we want to prepare our sailors to sail safely and comfortably.

Our sailors arrive with a range of experiences, and we tailor the lessons to guide each person to their next level at an appropriate pace.  We know that tacking, jibing, reefing, and heaving-to are the building blocks, so we concentrate on those skills early on.  We want these maneuvers to be second nature.

After mastering the basics, our sailors continue learning the myriad of elements needed to command their vessel:  VHF operations, engine operations & maintenance, galley equipment operation, sail repairs, Dead Reckoning, COLREGS, first aid, provisioning (& food safety), and, of course, the extremely frightening act of bringing a boat into a slip.  Our lessons always teach concepts that will be examined at the next higher certification level.