Blue Water Sailing School
Fort Lauderdale, South East Florida
(954) 763-8464 |

Sailing Education is All We Do

We are exclusively a sailing school. One hundred percent of our efforts are devoted to sailing education and training. Many other schools are adjuncts of charter companies, whose primary goal is to drive as many people as possible to their charter fleet.

Widely Recognized for Excellence

We were recently ranked by readers of Practical Sailor magazine as one of the best sailing schools in the United States, and we were the highest rated American Sailing Association (ASA) school in their survey. We received ASA’s annual Outstanding School award (Southeast Region) in 2000, 2001, 2002, and twice prior to 2000.

Our instructors are licensed and experienced cruising sailors

All of our sailing instructors are licensed by the United States Coast Guard, and are certified by the American Sailing Association as instructors after an exhaustive evaluation process. Most also have real life cruising experience, deliveries and all have thousands miles under sail.

A True “Hands-On” Experience

We actually go on a weeklong live-aboard cruise, mooring at a different location every night. Many schools concentrate on day sailing, with lodging in a hotel at night. Other schools offer a “live-aboard” experience, but the boat returns to the same dock each night.

An Appropriate Cruising Area

We choose the area sailed to by the composition of the students and the course level. Our beginning and intermediate courses sail to the Florida Keys, while our advanced courses cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamian island of Bimini. Our offshore courses make a passage to Bermuda, further out in the Bahamas, or to the Caribbean. We do not feel that it is appropriate to throw beginning and bareboat level students into a Gulf Stream crossing.

Our Prices are Inclusive

Our rates include the boat, instructor, provisions, fuel, ice, customs and immigration fees, books, certification fees and sales tax. Check other schools’ rates carefully; some have you buy books and course material separately, some charge extra for a recognized certification, some make you buy food for yourself and the instructor, and every other school we’ve seen adds on sales tax — an extra 6% in Florida and possibly more in other states.

You may be able to find sailing schools that charge less, you will certainly find many that charge more, but you will not find any that offer more for the money.

The Best Choice of Schedules

Check our schedule, we offer more courses and more dates than any other school in Florida, and possibly in the United States.

A Full Range of Courses

We are one of the only schools in the United States to offer the entire range of sailing education — from Basic Sailing to Offshore Passagemaking. Our advanced courses cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, and we do an offshore passage every year. In 1997 we were the first ASA school to do a Transatlantic Passage.

In 2001 we continued our Offshore tradition with trips from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands, and a west bound Transatlantic Passage, crossing from the Canaries to the Caribbean. Other schools teach only the lower levels, and still other schools run offshore courses only in their advertising. We do the trips other schools only dream about.

Small Class Sizes

Our standard one week live-aboard courses have no more than four students and one instructor. Other schools regularly have 5 or even 6 students on a 40 foot boat. We feel that four students is the most that can be comfortably accommodated and still have a reasonable chance of learning and practicing.

Private, Custom-Tailored Courses Available

For couples, families and others who would prefer a boat to themselves we offer Private Instruction. We can customize courses, schedules, and boats to almost any requirement.

American Sailing Certifications Offered

ASA 101, Keelboat 1
ASA 101, Keelboat 1
Learn to skipper a 20' - 27' sloop-rigged keelboat by day, in light to moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn basic sailing terminology, parts and functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards.
ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising
ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising
Learn to skipper a sloop-rigged auxiliary powered 25'-35' keelboat by day in moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather, safety and seamanship.
ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising
ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising
Learn how to sail a sloop-rigged, auxiliary powered 30'-45' sailboat during a multi-day cruise upon inland/coastal waters in moderate/heavy winds and sea conditions. Learn about provisioning, boat systems, auxiliary engines, advanced sail trim, coastal navigation, anchoring / mooring, docking, emergency operations, weather, and more.
ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising
ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising
Learn to safely act as skipper and crew of a sailing vessel about 30 to 50 feet in length in coastal and inland waters, in any conditions.
ASA 108, Offshore Passagemaking
ASA 108, Offshore Passagemaking
Learn to skipper a sailing vessel on extended offshore passages requiring celestial navigation. Knowledge of long-term passage planning, offshore vessel selection, sail repair, offshore first aid, watch-keeping, emergency procedures, abandon ship protocols, safety and seamanship.
ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran
ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran
Learn to skipper an auxiliary-powered sailing cruising catamaran of approximately 30-45' feet in length during a multi-day liveaboard cruise upon inland or coastal waters in moderate to heavy winds (up to 30 knots) and sea conditions.

Other Services Available

  • Couples Courses
  • Private Courses
  • ASA 'Challenges'


ASA Veterans Sailing Education Program - Sign Up Now >>

At ASA we recognize the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who have served or are serving in our country's armed forces. As a token of our appreciation, and our way of saying thank you, we are inviting veterans and active military personnel to share our passion for sailing by offering a discount on our ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing course. Blue Water Sailing School is offering a minimum of $50.00 or 10% off their ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing course.

Sailing School Reviews / Testimonials

  • Amazing Experience! I learned so much and had one of the best weeks of my life!! Our instructor, Molly Winkelman was AMAZING!!! What an exciting experience!! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves sailing.

    Dan V - ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising

  • I took the bareboat course down in the USVI and had an amazing time. Even though it is a course where each day you are building on existing skills and learning new ones I would also put it as one of the greatest vacations I've ever had. The "..."[read more]

    Sean D - ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising

  • My experience sailing with Molly Winkelman of Blue Water Sailing School in St. Thomas was nothing but positive. She delivers her expert knowledge with focus, authority and good humor, and caters to individual students' needs whenever able "..."[read more]

    Becky P - ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising

  • BWSS USVI Captain Dick Dawson is a very knowledgeable captain and instructor. His wife, Gail, is a great cook. My husband and I had a great week aboard Keremeos. We learned so much, ate well, and relaxed. Wonderful time, I would highly recommend"..."

    Janine - ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising

  • We actually went somewhere (Key Largo), rather than returning to the dock each evening. The course was made to be an adventure, as well as simply instructional. The weather was “made to order” — sun and gentle breeze Saturday through Wednesday "..." [read more]

    Peter R. - ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising

Contact Information

Blue Water Sailing School

Address 924 NE 20th AveFort LauderdaleFL33304United States
Phone (954) 763-8464

Contact Sailing School

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