Adult Classes

For over 70 years Community Boating has been teaching new sailors like you how to master the power of the wind, right here on Boston’s Charles River. As you make your way through the many classes and experiences offered at CBI, you can use this site as your home port for learning to sail.

Your membership unlocks access not only to our classes, but also to our boats. Grab a kayak or stand up paddleboard and explore the natural wonder of the lagoon system. No class needed!

Once you earn your green rating, there are many options in front of you. Check out our class flowchart for more details. To get the most out of your classes, please show up on time and properly dressed for the weather. Classes will be held rain or shine, so plan accordingly.

As your skills and confidence grow, consider joining our Volunteer Faculty! Community Boating was founded with an emphasis on volunteerism and teaching that still exists today. Our passionate and knowledgeable Volunteer Faculty are part of what makes our classes so fun, and provide a great way to further engage with the community.

 

Orientation
Prerequisite: FREE: No Membership Required
Duration: 45 minutes
Class Size: Any size

Everyone who walks through our door should start here! Orientation is the gateway to everything that CBI has to offer, whether you’re a seasoned sailor or brand new to boats. Done entirely on the dock, it will include a guided tour of CBI’s boats and facilities, an overview of our classes and programs, as well as plenty of time to ask the questions that matter to you.

See Public calendar for Orientations

Sign-up not required

Rigging Class
Prerequisite: Membership required
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: No Limit

This class will teach you your port from starboard, mainsheet from mainsail, and just about everything else you need to know about our boats. A trained instructor will cover parts of the boat, sailing terminology, dock procedures, and how to set a boat up and how to break it down so that you can be well on your way to sailing on the Charles.. This class is conducted in the classroom, and in our parked boats at the dock, and you’re encouraged to take notes.

Sign-up not required

Shore School
Prerequisite: Rigging Class
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: No Limit

With demonstrations and boat simulators, Shore School explains all the theory you’ll need to start sailing. An experienced instructor will guide you through the basics of reading wind, trimming sails, steering a boat, and more. We’ll cover everything you need to know to get out and back to the dock safely, and you’ll even get a chance to practice these skills in our simulator located on the dock. and When you have completed this class, you’ll be prepared to take the Mercury green test!

Sign-up not required

Introductory Classes
Orientation
Prerequisite: FREE: No Membership Required
Duration: 45 minutes
Class Size: Any size

Everyone who walks through our door should start here! Orientation is the gateway to everything that CBI has to offer, whether you’re a seasoned sailor or brand new to boats. Done entirely on the dock, it will include a guided tour of CBI’s boats and facilities, an overview of our classes and programs, as well as plenty of time to ask the questions that matter to you.

See Public calendar for Orientations

Sign-up not required

Rigging Class
Prerequisite: Membership required
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: No Limit

This class will teach you your port from starboard, mainsheet from mainsail, and just about everything else you need to know about our boats. A trained instructor will cover parts of the boat, sailing terminology, dock procedures, and how to set a boat up and how to break it down so that you can be well on your way to sailing on the Charles.. This class is conducted in the classroom, and in our parked boats at the dock, and you’re encouraged to take notes.

Sign-up not required

Shore School
Prerequisite: Rigging Class
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: No Limit

With demonstrations and boat simulators, Shore School explains all the theory you’ll need to start sailing. An experienced instructor will guide you through the basics of reading wind, trimming sails, steering a boat, and more. We’ll cover everything you need to know to get out and back to the dock safely, and you’ll even get a chance to practice these skills in our simulator located on the dock. and When you have completed this class, you’ll be prepared to take the Mercury green test!

Sign-up not required

Check Calendar
First Sail
Prerequisite: Mercury Green Rating
Duration: 1 hour
Class Size: 1-2

First Sail is an optional sailing experience to help you get your feet wet — so to speak. We pair you with an trained CBI instructor for an hour of semi-private instruction in our Mercury sailboat. You’ll get time on the tiller to practice all the basics; steering, sail trim, tacking, gybing, landing, and everything you need to get out on your own once or twice. This is the perfect way to get on the water for the first time!

Schedule and appointment HERE!

Mainsail 1
Prerequisite: Mercury Green Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 20

Mainsail 1 builds basic sailing skills with both simulator demonstration and on-water instruction. After a bit of review and expansion on previous concepts, students will get a chance to practice their skills on the water under the direction of an instructor. Skills such as tacking, gybing, steering and sail trim will get special emphasis in this class, so that students are prepared for Mainsail 2, and the Yellow Test.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Mainsail 2
Prerequisite: Mercury Green Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 20

Mainsail 2 builds basic skills into sailing competency to prepare you for the Mercury yellow test. It covers the finer points of tacking and gybing, sail trim, and best practices for keeping your boat flat in heavier wind. You’ll be accompanied by a trained instructor in a powerboat, and you’ll have the opportunity to practice on a real test course out on the water.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Mainsail Clinic
Prerequisite: Mercury Green Rating
Duration: 1.5 hours
Class Size: 10

Mainsail Clinic is an opportunity to practice the skills relevant to the yellow test with support from an instructor. Please take after completing both Mainsail 1 & 2. Instructors for this class will simulate a yellow test and coach students on the water so they can be confident in taking the test.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

Beginner-Intermediate
First Sail
Prerequisite: Mercury Green Rating
Duration: 1 hour
Class Size: 1-2

First Sail is an optional sailing experience to help you get your feet wet — so to speak. We pair you with an trained CBI instructor for an hour of semi-private instruction in our Mercury sailboat. You’ll get time on the tiller to practice all the basics; steering, sail trim, tacking, gybing, landing, and everything you need to get out on your own once or twice. This is the perfect way to get on the water for the first time!

Schedule and appointment HERE!

Mainsail 1
Prerequisite: Mercury Green Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 20

Mainsail 1 builds basic sailing skills with both simulator demonstration and on-water instruction. After a bit of review and expansion on previous concepts, students will get a chance to practice their skills on the water under the direction of an instructor. Skills such as tacking, gybing, steering and sail trim will get special emphasis in this class, so that students are prepared for Mainsail 2, and the Yellow Test.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Mainsail 2
Prerequisite: Mercury Green Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 20

Mainsail 2 builds basic skills into sailing competency to prepare you for the Mercury yellow test. It covers the finer points of tacking and gybing, sail trim, and best practices for keeping your boat flat in heavier wind. You’ll be accompanied by a trained instructor in a powerboat, and you’ll have the opportunity to practice on a real test course out on the water.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Mainsail Clinic
Prerequisite: Mercury Green Rating
Duration: 1.5 hours
Class Size: 10

Mainsail Clinic is an opportunity to practice the skills relevant to the yellow test with support from an instructor. Please take after completing both Mainsail 1 & 2. Instructors for this class will simulate a yellow test and coach students on the water so they can be confident in taking the test.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

Check Calendar
Jib 1
Prerequisite: Mercury Yellow Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 20

Jib 1 covers the requirements of the red test, including basics of the jib sail, teamwork, and sailing in heavier wind. It will take your basic competencies to a new level by introducing man-overboard drills (no swimming required!), weight placement, and skills for dealing with demanding conditions. It includes in-class and on-water portions. Jib 1 includes lots of practice, and is often taken multiple times before successfully completing the red test.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

Jib 2
Prerequisite: Mercury Yellow Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 20

Jib 2 focuses on a rudderless sailing drill to improve boat-handling, sail trim and crew placement. While rudderless sailing is not on the red test, it offers a deeper understanding of the forces at work when a boat is under sail. For many, this can be a gateway to mastering the skills required for the red test. Any sailor who has taken Jib 1, and wants to greatly increase their sailing knowledge, should take this class.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

Jib Clinic
Prerequisite: Mercury Yellow Rating
Duration: 1.5 hour
Class Size: 10

Jib Clinic is an opportunity to practice the skills relevant to the red test with support from an instructor. Please take after completing both Jib 1 & 2. Instructors for this class will simulate a yellow test and coach students on the water so you can be confident in taking the test.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal.

Advanced-Intermediate
Jib 1
Prerequisite: Mercury Yellow Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 20

Jib 1 covers the requirements of the red test, including basics of the jib sail, teamwork, and sailing in heavier wind. It will take your basic competencies to a new level by introducing man-overboard drills (no swimming required!), weight placement, and skills for dealing with demanding conditions. It includes in-class and on-water portions. Jib 1 includes lots of practice, and is often taken multiple times before successfully completing the red test.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

Jib 2
Prerequisite: Mercury Yellow Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 20

Jib 2 focuses on a rudderless sailing drill to improve boat-handling, sail trim and crew placement. While rudderless sailing is not on the red test, it offers a deeper understanding of the forces at work when a boat is under sail. For many, this can be a gateway to mastering the skills required for the red test. Any sailor who has taken Jib 1, and wants to greatly increase their sailing knowledge, should take this class.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

Jib Clinic
Prerequisite: Mercury Yellow Rating
Duration: 1.5 hour
Class Size: 10

Jib Clinic is an opportunity to practice the skills relevant to the red test with support from an instructor. Please take after completing both Jib 1 & 2. Instructors for this class will simulate a yellow test and coach students on the water so you can be confident in taking the test.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal.

Check Calendar
Keelboat Class
Prerequisite: Mercury Red Rating & advanced class fee
Duration: 6 hours
Class Size: 6

This class teaches advanced sailors how to rig, moor, sail, and care for our most popular and most expensive equipment Sonars and Ideal 18s offer more space and better performance than a Mercury, and are our most popular boats on busy days. To sail these boats students will learn to rig, reef, and sail these boats in a variety of conditions. Your instructor will join you on board and give students time on the helm, so you can safely navigate the mooring field, moor each boat, and perform a man-overboard rescue. The class will be conducted in Ideal 18s and Sonars.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

420 Class
Prerequisite: Mercury Red Rating & advanced class fee
Duration: 6 hours
Class Size: 6

The 420 is one of the most popular double-handed racing boats in the world,  and our E420s are fast and maneuverable. This class will teach everything you need to know to rig, store, and sail these boats at CBI, as well as some new skills tailored to these agile boats. You’ll also spend time in the water, learning how to recover the boat from capsizes.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

Laser Class
Prerequisite: Mercury Red Rating & advanced class fee
Duration: 6 hours
Class Size: 6

The Laser is a popular and fast single-handed boat that’s raced and sailed recreationally around the world. This class will teach everything you need to know to rig, store, and sail these boats at CBI, as well as some new skills tailored to these agile boats. You’ll also spend time in the water, learning how to recover the boat from capsizes.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

 

High Performance
Keelboat Class
Prerequisite: Mercury Red Rating & advanced class fee
Duration: 6 hours
Class Size: 6

This class teaches advanced sailors how to rig, moor, sail, and care for our most popular and most expensive equipment Sonars and Ideal 18s offer more space and better performance than a Mercury, and are our most popular boats on busy days. To sail these boats students will learn to rig, reef, and sail these boats in a variety of conditions. Your instructor will join you on board and give students time on the helm, so you can safely navigate the mooring field, moor each boat, and perform a man-overboard rescue. The class will be conducted in Ideal 18s and Sonars.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

420 Class
Prerequisite: Mercury Red Rating & advanced class fee
Duration: 6 hours
Class Size: 6

The 420 is one of the most popular double-handed racing boats in the world,  and our E420s are fast and maneuverable. This class will teach everything you need to know to rig, store, and sail these boats at CBI, as well as some new skills tailored to these agile boats. You’ll also spend time in the water, learning how to recover the boat from capsizes.

Sign up in advance is required through our Online Member Portal

Laser Class
Prerequisite: Mercury Red Rating & advanced class fee
Duration: 6 hours
Class Size: 6

The Laser is a popular and fast single-handed boat that’s raced and sailed recreationally around the world. This class will teach everything you need to know to rig, store, and sail these boats at CBI, as well as some new skills tailored to these agile boats. You’ll also spend time in the water, learning how to recover the boat from capsizes.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

 

Check Calendar
Intro to Windsurf
Prerequisite: Verbal Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 8

Want to try something different? Windsurfing is a great way to branch out. This class will introduce you to our equipment and the basics of windsurfing.This class will get students started windsurfing, and earn them their windsurf green rating. Students will start off with the basics in an on-shore simulator, and then progress to structured practice in the mooring field.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Windsurf Clinic
Prerequisite: Windsurf Green Rating
Duration: 2 hour
Class Size: 8

This class is a great stepping stone to Windsurf Yellow. Instructors will offer extra coaching and guidance for tacking and gybing, as well as helping students improve upwind sailing. This 2-hour clinic is intended to help you hone your windsurfing skills and prepare for Windsurf Yellow test. These will be tailored to the areas each student would like to work on, specifically focusing on tacking and gybing skills and upwind sailing.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Windsurf Skills
Prerequisite: Windsurf Yellow Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 8

This class is meant for proficient windsurfers who want to take the sport to the next level. Conditions permitting, instructors will teach advanced windsurfing including water starts and windsurfing in heavier wind. This 2-hour class helps students prepare for their Red tests. These will be tailored to the areas each student would like to work on. Students must have their Windsurf Yellow rating.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Windsurfing
Intro to Windsurf
Prerequisite: Verbal Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 8

Want to try something different? Windsurfing is a great way to branch out. This class will introduce you to our equipment and the basics of windsurfing.This class will get students started windsurfing, and earn them their windsurf green rating. Students will start off with the basics in an on-shore simulator, and then progress to structured practice in the mooring field.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Windsurf Clinic
Prerequisite: Windsurf Green Rating
Duration: 2 hour
Class Size: 8

This class is a great stepping stone to Windsurf Yellow. Instructors will offer extra coaching and guidance for tacking and gybing, as well as helping students improve upwind sailing. This 2-hour clinic is intended to help you hone your windsurfing skills and prepare for Windsurf Yellow test. These will be tailored to the areas each student would like to work on, specifically focusing on tacking and gybing skills and upwind sailing.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Windsurf Skills
Prerequisite: Windsurf Yellow Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 8

This class is meant for proficient windsurfers who want to take the sport to the next level. Conditions permitting, instructors will teach advanced windsurfing including water starts and windsurfing in heavier wind. This 2-hour class helps students prepare for their Red tests. These will be tailored to the areas each student would like to work on. Students must have their Windsurf Yellow rating.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Check Calendar
Kayak Class
Prerequisite: No Experience Required
Duration: 30 minutes
Class Size: 10

This kayak class covers all of the kayak rules and beginner skills required for your kayak rating, including safety information and best practices.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Stand-Up Paddleboarding Class
Prerequisite: No Experience Required
Duration: 1 hour
Class Size: 10

Stand-Up Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing watersports in the country, and this class will teach you to use CBI’s fleet of paddleboards out on the river. Beginning with basic safety instruction, you will also get to go on a guided paddle with your instructor, so that you can feel out the paddleboarding experience with supervision. Once you finish this 1 hour class, the Stand-Up Paddleboards will be yours to use during program hours.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Paddling
Kayak Class
Prerequisite: No Experience Required
Duration: 30 minutes
Class Size: 10

This kayak class covers all of the kayak rules and beginner skills required for your kayak rating, including safety information and best practices.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Stand-Up Paddleboarding Class
Prerequisite: No Experience Required
Duration: 1 hour
Class Size: 10

Stand-Up Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing watersports in the country, and this class will teach you to use CBI’s fleet of paddleboards out on the river. Beginning with basic safety instruction, you will also get to go on a guided paddle with your instructor, so that you can feel out the paddleboarding experience with supervision. Once you finish this 1 hour class, the Stand-Up Paddleboards will be yours to use during program hours.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Check Calendar
Learn to Race
Prerequisite: Mercury Yellow Rating (Jib Class Suggested)
Duration: 3 days, 90-minute chalk talks
Class Size: No Limit

Our Learn To Race class series is designed to demystify sailboat racing for the intermediate sailor with little or no racing experience. The course is taught in three 90-minute chalk talks — Intro to Racing, Basic Racing Rules, and Basic Racing Strategy.

While all three lessons are on land, the instructor will also provide details on several opportunities to put your new skills to the test on the water.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Novice Racing Clinics
Prerequisite: Have taken the Learn to Race class series
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: no limit

Tailored towards Learn-to-Race students and beginner racers, this companion clinic will help put new skills and knowledge from Intro to Racing into practice. Learn through practice starts, races with on-the-water support, and a debrief afterwards. Tiller Club members will help introduce first-time racers to the sport, directing them to understand the course, marks, and starting sequence in order to get around the course properly their first couple times.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Intermediate Race Practices
Prerequisite: Regualr CBI Racers with Mercury Red Ratings
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 16

Geared towards experienced racers, these on-water practices are run by Tiller Club volunteers. Each practice will include briefingdebrief, a structured practice environment, and on-water feedback. Drills vary per attendance and wind conditions with focus on improving boat speed, boat-handling, tactics, and other racing techniques in Mercuries.

Intro to Race Management
Prerequisite: Regualr CBI Racers with Mercury Red Ratings
Duration: 90 minutes
Class Size: 16

On-land class teaches competent racers to be better Race Committee. Focus on setting the course, communicating with racers, and following requirements to have an official, safe, fun race.

Racing Classes
Learn to Race
Prerequisite: Mercury Yellow Rating (Jib Class Suggested)
Duration: 3 days, 90-minute chalk talks
Class Size: No Limit

Our Learn To Race class series is designed to demystify sailboat racing for the intermediate sailor with little or no racing experience. The course is taught in three 90-minute chalk talks — Intro to Racing, Basic Racing Rules, and Basic Racing Strategy.

While all three lessons are on land, the instructor will also provide details on several opportunities to put your new skills to the test on the water.

Sign up in advance required via Online Member Portal

Novice Racing Clinics
Prerequisite: Have taken the Learn to Race class series
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: no limit

Tailored towards Learn-to-Race students and beginner racers, this companion clinic will help put new skills and knowledge from Intro to Racing into practice. Learn through practice starts, races with on-the-water support, and a debrief afterwards. Tiller Club members will help introduce first-time racers to the sport, directing them to understand the course, marks, and starting sequence in order to get around the course properly their first couple times.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Intermediate Race Practices
Prerequisite: Regualr CBI Racers with Mercury Red Ratings
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 16

Geared towards experienced racers, these on-water practices are run by Tiller Club volunteers. Each practice will include briefingdebrief, a structured practice environment, and on-water feedback. Drills vary per attendance and wind conditions with focus on improving boat speed, boat-handling, tactics, and other racing techniques in Mercuries.

Intro to Race Management
Prerequisite: Regualr CBI Racers with Mercury Red Ratings
Duration: 90 minutes
Class Size: 16

On-land class teaches competent racers to be better Race Committee. Focus on setting the course, communicating with racers, and following requirements to have an official, safe, fun race.

Check Calendar
Spinnaker
Prerequisite: Mercury Red
Duration: 2 hour
Class Size: 8

Want to take your sailing to the next level? This class is designed to teach the usage and safety of using a spinnaker. The class will cover rigging, hoisting, trimming, gybing, and lowering a spinnaker. Students will learn in Keel Mercuries.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Advanced 420
Prerequisite: 420 Green Rating
Duration: 2 hour
Class Size: 8

Eager to improve your 420 game? This class will work on the finer points of dinghy sailing to get you ready for the racecourse. Topics include roll tacks/gybes, sail controls, and weight placement.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Advanced Laser
Prerequisite: Laser Green Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 8 people

This class is designed to finesse your Laser sailing. The instructor will focus on boat speed and tuning, including roll tacks/gybes, sail control, and weight placement.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Specialty Classes
Spinnaker
Prerequisite: Mercury Red
Duration: 2 hour
Class Size: 8

Want to take your sailing to the next level? This class is designed to teach the usage and safety of using a spinnaker. The class will cover rigging, hoisting, trimming, gybing, and lowering a spinnaker. Students will learn in Keel Mercuries.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Advanced 420
Prerequisite: 420 Green Rating
Duration: 2 hour
Class Size: 8

Eager to improve your 420 game? This class will work on the finer points of dinghy sailing to get you ready for the racecourse. Topics include roll tacks/gybes, sail controls, and weight placement.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Advanced Laser
Prerequisite: Laser Green Rating
Duration: 2 hours
Class Size: 8 people

This class is designed to finesse your Laser sailing. The instructor will focus on boat speed and tuning, including roll tacks/gybes, sail control, and weight placement.

Sign up in advance is required through the Online Member Portal

Check Calendar