Spinnaker Crew Sailing
Chicago, Illinois
855.SP.CREW.1 | spinnakercrewsailing.com

Spinnaker Crew Sailing is committed to satisfying your quest for adventure. Our instructors are passionate, experienced, award-winning, and above all else patient. We are here to help you go from not knowing what a bow is to sailing on Lake Michigan and beyond. We make our experiences fun so that they become indelibly etched into our memories. You may come as a student, but you definitely leave as part of our “crew”.

Why Us? It’s a pretty simple equation. Fantastic Instructors + Great Education = Goal Accomplishment. At Spinnaker Crew Sailing, we have highly-qualified, award-winning instructors who are all ASA-Certified and USCG licensed Captains. We blend the right amount of classroom instruction with practical, on-water, step-by-step skills practice to ensure you’re comfortable… all the while having fun and staying safe! Every one of our instructors has a passion for sailing and brings the experience necessary for students to walk away prepared to chase their dreams.

We offer progressive sailing certification programs from beginner (ASA 101, 102 & 103) to intermediate (ASA 104 & ASA 105) to advanced (ASA 106 & 108) courses. At Spinnaker Crew Sailing, we are proud to say that we can take someone from not knowing what a “bow” is to feeling comfortable to cruise the Great Lakes, buy and sail your own boat, take a vacation and charter a boat in the British Virgin Islands, or sail beyond. We can help you in a group or private setting, day or night, or on our boats or yours. Our teaching doesn’t end at the end of the class, in fact it’s just the beginning as we are here to help you achieve your goals. Besides classes, we provide consulting services, boat deliveries, charters, and new boat familiarization.

Our courses are taught on Lake Michigan at the heart of Chicago. Because of our location, we are uniquely suited to not just bring you the education and experience you need, but also to enjoy the sights while doing it. After leaving the harbor, we enjoy unrestricted sailing along the lakefront with beautiful views of Navy Pier, the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and of course our beautiful Chicago skyline.

Spinnaker Crew Sailing is committed to helping individuals realize their dreams on the water and rather than force fit our guests into square holes, we customize the experience to meet their specific needs. The individuals who come to Spinnaker Crew Sailing may come as customers but they definitely leave as part of our “Crew”. Part of our inherent identity is the fact that we, as an organization, are made up of our crew… employees and YOU!

Whether you are looking to learn how to sail or just want to get some time on the water to relax with family and friends, we can help you make the adventure that is pictured in your mind before calling us to turn into the reality that exists after your experience with us. We focus exclusively on providing quality education. You can feel confident that you will walk away qualified to sail anywhere of your choosing. Check out our testimonials and our website to learn more about why our school is the premiere teaching institution in the southern part of Lake Michigan.

American Sailing Certifications Offered

ASA 101, Keelboat Sailing 1
ASA 101, Keelboat Sailing 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 102, Keelboat Sailing 2
ASA 102, Keelboat Sailing 2
Learn to skipper and crew aboard a sloop-rigged keelboat of approximately 20 to 30 feet in length by day in winds up to 20 knots. Depart, sail, and return with control demonstrating teamwork.
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 111, Sailing Review
ASA 111, Sailing Review
Desire to improve or re-familiarize sailing knowledge and skills imparted during previous ASA keelboat certification course(s). Student and Instructor jointly decide on goals prior to the start of the review.
ASA 117, Basic Celestial Endorsement
ASA 117, Basic Celestial Endorsement
Learn to apply basic celestial navigation theory and practice to determine latitude and longitude at sea using a sextant and Nautical Almanac.
ASA 118, Docking Endorsement
ASA 118, Docking Endorsement
Learn basic docking skills for boats with single inboard or outboard engines. Discover the basic theory and hands-on techniques needed to dock and undock boats in an efficient manner and without damage or injury.

Other Services Available

  • Women Only Courses
  • Couples Courses
  • Private Courses
  • Weekday Courses
  • Weekend Courses
  • Corporate Team Building Courses
  • ASA 'Challenges'
  • Sunset Cruises
  • Sail Trim Courses
  • Spinnaker Courses


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. Spinnaker Crew Sailing is offering a minimum of $50.00 or 10% off their ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing course.

Sailing School Reviews / Testimonials

  • Thank you Captain Frank for such a great class! The hands-on practical learning gave me the confidence that I needed. I now have my own boat and sail as much as I can!

    Bill A - ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising

  • I signed up for my first ASA course with Frank in 2020. I grew up on Lake Michigan and wanted to take on a new challenging hobby. The hands-on experience mixed with sailing theory was great, so I continued taking courses and soon bought my own boat.

    Jason F - ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising

  • Your class was the just the confidence boost I needed to throw caution to the wind and buy a cruiser for our family last year. Wouldn’t have done it without the ASA training!

    Jeff B - ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising

  • Thanks so much for the kind words, all of your hospitality and most of all, the excellent instruction you provided. I will definitely recommend you to anyone else I hear might be looking to take a course.

    Tom G - ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising

Contact Information

Spinnaker Crew Sailing

Address 1559 S. Lake Shore DriveChicago IL60605USA
Phone 855.SP.CREW.1
Website spinnakercrewsailing.com

Contact Sailing School

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