A special welcome to all new and prospective members to Community Boating! 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. Below we’ll break down how to get your first rating and start sailing!
Who should sign up for Community Boating?
- People who want to learn a new hobby or skill
- People who enjoy outdoors activities
- People that are new to sailing and want to learn to sail
- Adults ages 18+ who can swim
I just bought my membership, now what?
Take the Beginner Sailing Classes and get your Mercury Green Rating.
- The first step is to attend an Orientation class. It usually lasts approximately 45 minutes and provides general information about our program and classes, as well as a brief tour of the facility.
- Then, attend a Rigging class that lasts approximately 2 hours and covers everything necessary to set up a boat to go sailing and put a boat away after a sail. After taking the class, you can take the Rigging Test at any time, which consists of rigging, furling, and derigging a boat on your own while being supervised by our dockstaff.
- Finally, the Shore School class lasts approximately 2 hours and is entirely on land in a classroom. This class covers all basic sailing theory, and is followed by the Verbal test, which consists of a dozen or so questions, administered verbally, regarding material from the class.
Click here for the class schedule. No advance sign-up is required for any of these beginner classes; simply show up on a day/time that is convenient for you. Classes will happen rain or shine (unless there is lightning, in which case Rigging class will be cancelled for safety). There are classes offered every single day of the week. On the weekends, some classes are offered multiple times a day. On average, it takes people two to three weeks to take all three classes. However, it is possible to complete all three classes in a weekend or even on one weekend day, if you are extremely motivated. Learn more about these classes on our Beginner Sailing Classes page.
Once you have passed the Rigging and Verbal tests, you will be granted your Mercury Green Rating, which permits you to sail a Mercury by yourself (or with another Mercury Green or higher rated member) in Green Flag, or light wind, conditions. You may also be allowed to sail in Yellow Flag (moderate) wind conditions per discretion of the dockmaster. Once you feel comfortable on the water, your next step is to sign up for on the water Mainsail classes.
How do I start sailing?
Once you have your Mercury Green Rating, simply bring your card to the dockhouse with a Mercury mainsail and we will check you out. If the wind is too strong (i.e. Yellow or Red Flag), the staff may require that you go sailing with someone more experienced.
We are open 7 days a week and open sailing is always available during our operating hours, weather permitting. Boats are available on a first-come-first-serve basis only; reservations are not accepted.
I already know how to sail! Do I really need to sit through these classes?
At CBI we’ll work with you in order to get you sailing at the level you’re most qualified for. Skipping some of the beginner classes and challenging a test for a rating is called Fast-Tracking. Click here to learn how to get started as an Experienced Sailor
I have more questions!
Feel free to email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to help.