Sailing Lessons and Sailing Club | Modern Sailing

About Modern Sailing

The Silver Fleet at Modern Sailing School and Club in Sausalito, CaliforniaModern Sailing is an award-winning school with locations in Sausalito and Berkeley

Since 1983, Modern Sailing has been introducing people to sailing from our headquarters in Sausalito, California. Even if you have never set foot on a boat, we can teach you everything you need to know. We ensure our students build a strong foundation in this rewarding and lifelong sport. Modern is dedicated to making your learning experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.
Our experienced and friendly instructors hold US Coast Guard Licenses and represent decades of sailing experience. They are award-winning instructors, world cruisers, and Coast Guard commanders who are American Sailing Association certified instructors. MSC's high standards have earned us accolades in the sailing community, including the American Sailing Association's School of the Year Award.
Unlike other sailing schools, we offer you the option to learn aboard our tiller-steered J/24 sportboats in Berkeley or on 30' to 32' cruising boats with wheel steering in either Berkeley or Sausalito.

Why is ASA Certification important?

Sailing is a performance-oriented activity. The American Sailing Association (ASA) and Modern Sailing School & Club are dedicated to recreational boating and safety through education and respected professional standards. These standards provide you with a path to progressively acquire sailing skills and ultimately certify proof of your knowledge and abilities. Each of our students is issued an ASA logbook, a reliable, internationally recognized means to document your instruction and sailing skills - your passport for chartering sailboats anywhere in the world.

Why is San Francisco Bay so famous for sailing?

For most of the year, as the climbing sun heats up the Central Valley, rising warm air forms a low-pressure area above land that draws in the much cooler, high-pressure air situated over the Pacific Ocean. As this cool air flows through the Golden Gate Strait and Central Bay (the area known as “the Slot,”) it condenses and accelerates, developing into the refreshing, steady and strong winds that San Francisco Bay is famous for. The phenomenon is very reliable and regular, especially during the spring, summer, and fall seasons, making the Bay a fantastic place to sail - we nearly always have wind at both of our Bay Area locations!

Also, most of the Bay's waters are sheltered from Pacific Ocean swell, allowing you to develop your skills in big wind without also having to tackle massive waves.

Welcome to Sausalito Sailing


Directly across the Bay from San Francisco lies a town steeped in sailing history. Sausalito has the highest concentration of marinas, boats, and marine businesses in all of Northern California and the boating culture here is second to none. Originally the home of the Miwok Indians, Sausalito was given its name, meaning Little Willow, in 1775 by Spanish Explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala.

There was a time when Sausalito was home to over 25 bawdy gambling casinos and bordellos. And, for more than a century, fully rigged sailing ships took shelter along her beautiful waterfront.

Visitors today have the opportunity to view some of the most historic classic yachts and sailing vessels in the world. Boutiques, streetside cafes, yacht clubs, fine restaurants, shops, galleries, elegant hotels, the nearby redwoods, beaches, and the famed wine country, all contribute to the friendly yet sophisticated charm of this lovely old bayside fishing village.

Our Sausalito marina is located close to the Golden Gate Bridge and "the Slot," the center of action in the Bay's famous wind patterns.

Welcome to Berkeley Sailing

Modern Sailing has a second location in the East Bay! Modern Sailing Berkeley is situated on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay, at the end of “the Slot.”  Our Berkeley Marina-based location offers the core ASA curriculum of ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing; ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising; ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising; and ASA 118, Docking Endorsement - with a twist! Unique to our Berkeley location, our fleet of nimble and sporty J/24s and J/80s provide you with the option of taking your courses on either the Sportboat or the Cruising Boat learning path. Whether you lean more towards laid-back cruising, spirited performance sailing, or a bit of both, the Berkeley location's wide variety of boats, courses, and clinics have been curated to maximize your fun and safety as you reach for your most inspired sailing goals. 

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  • Rolf Zingg

    Since many, many years, I had the dream to sail underneath the Golden Gate bridge. On October 14th last year, my dream became true. Thanks to our dear friend Aaron Fritz who made it possible and organized this cruise for us. With this adventure I was able to achieve one more milestone on my sailing career.

    Finally on the water, it was great! Full moon made the flows even stronger and it was like sailing in a washing machine.

    I did my sailing education in the English Channel, where the situation with the wind and flows is comparable to the San Francisco Bay. So I felt pretty much "at home" being on the helm in the Bay.

    I hope our skipper Stan Lander enjoyed this day cruise too. We, definitely did! It was an unforgettable experience for all of us.

    A very big thank you to all of you who made it possible, that my dream became reality! Also thank you for the MSC flag I got at the end of the day. It found it's place in my study, where I can see it daily.

  • John Boynton

    The class was terrific. I know you must get many compliments about your sailing instructors...But I must tell you that Robert is outstanding. Having taught SCUBA, I really appreciate the way he is so sensitive to all on board, dealing with each so well, knowing quickly their strengths and weaknesses making each feel special and cared for.

  • Danny Collins

    The office staff was very accommodating in meeting my availability.

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Modern Sailing School & Club

Contact Us

Modern Sailing School & Club

Sausalito Location
2310 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 331-8250 / (800) 995-1668

Berkeley Location
1 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 831-1800

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