Modern Sailing and Inspire Sailing to Merge - Announcement and FAQ | Modern Sailing

Modern Sailing and Inspire Sailing to Merge - Announcement and FAQ

If you're a Dual Site member or know someone who is, you may have heard that on Friday, January 6, we announced to Inspire Sailing clients that Inspire Sailing and Modern Sailing will be merging. 

We believe that this merger means great things for the Bay Area sailing community. Sausalito members will continue to enjoy the same benefits of membership as before and gain Berkeley membership privileges as of March 1.

Whether you love performance sailing and racing, recreational sportboat sailing, the cruising boat lifestyle, or all three, the merger will streamline and ease your access to explore a wide range of enriching sailing experiences on both sides of the Bay.

Below, find a copy of the announcement, FAQ, and merger timeline that was sent out to the Inspire Sailing mailing list.


Merger Announcement

Ahoy, Sailor! Happy New Year!

We have some big news to share about our plans to help get you on the water in the years ahead. After careful deliberation, we’ve determined that the best way to provide an exceptional sailing school and club experience to is to merge Inspire Sailing in Berkeley with Modern Sailing in Sausalito. Our combined vision is to build the best sailing school and club in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one of the best in the world.

What is in it for you?

  • More sailing courses with seamless product offerings on both sides of the Bay
  • Single log-in to view charter boat availability on both sides of the Bay
  • Single calendar view for Berkeley and Sausalito instructional programs
  • Broader base of members for crew list and Club Sail activities
  • Sharpen your sailing skills by sailing out of different marinas
  • Access a bigger fleet with a variety of boats to choose from – sportboats, cruising boats, and catamarans
  • You no longer pay the higher monthly dues for a Dual Site Membership - a single membership fee now covers both sites

Here’s the plan. 

We will fully merge Inspire Sailing with Modern Sailing School & Club. The merged entity will be named Modern Sailing. Inspire Sailing's signage, website, and outbound marketing will all be converted to Modern Sailing in the first quarter of 2023.

We will expand Modern Sailing's booking and client management system, Mindbody, to include both the Sausalito and Berkeley sites. This will allow a single log-in for all clients so they can easily book boats, Courses, and Clinics on both sides of the Bay.

We will convert our Berkeley school from US Sailing to the American Sailing Association (ASA) certification system. This promotes cross-site educational activity by easing the portability of clients and instructors from one site to another. We have developed certification pathways for our clients to easily convert from US Sailing to ASA.

As of March 1, 2023:

All events scheduled with Inspire Sailing and all items purchased from Inspire Sailing will be transferred to the systems of the merged entity. There will be no impact to existing enrollments and charter bookings.

  • If you are already Fleet Rated to sail at Berkeley and/or Sausalito, the merger will not impact your ability to sail with us.
  • Current One Site members at Berkeley and Sausalito will be upgraded to All Site benefits with no change in current monthly membership dues.
  • Current Dual Site members’ monthly dues will be reduced to $50/month individual, $65 partner.
  • The monthly dues for all new memberships (initiated after March 1) will be $65/month for Individual and $80 for Partner Memberships.
  • The $500 Membership Initiation Fee will remain the same and will include membership benefits at both locations.

We've put a lot of thought into ensuring this change is a positive one. We have come up with simple and free ways for members who have started with US Sailing to convert to ASA. US Sailing courses will continue to be offered for a limited time, based on customer demand. To address additional questions you may have, we have created a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) document. Of course, we encourage you to call or come by to discuss your situation and how we can make sure your sailing needs are taken care of through the transition. 

Leigh Hunt
President and CEO
Modern Sailing, Inspire Sailing

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Merger FAQ

Q: What’s the big news?

A: Inspire Sailing is merging with Modern Sailing in the first quarter of 2023. We are converging our two reservation systems to one system to enable a single log-in for cross-Bay visibility of classes and charters. We are also transitioning the Berkeley school from US Sailing to American Sailing Association affiliation.

Q: Why is Inspire Sailing merging with Modern Sailing?

A: After careful deliberation, we’ve determined that the best way to provide outstanding sailing experiences is to merge Inspire Sailing with Modern Sailing. Our combined vision is to build the best sailing school and club in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one of the best in the world.

What is in it for you?

  • More sailing courses with seamless product offerings on both sides of the Bay
  • Single log-in to view charter boat availability on both sides of the Bay
  • Single calendar view for Berkeley and Sausalito instructional programs
  • Broader base of members for Crew List and Club Sail activities
  • Sharpen your sailing skills by sailing out of different marinas
  • Access a bigger fleet with a wider variety of boats to choose from – sportboats, cruising boats, and even catamarans

Q: What happens to payments made to Inspire for upcoming courses and clinics?

A: All activities planned with Inspire Sailing will go ahead as planned. All purchases made with Inspire Sailing will be transferred to Modern Sailing.

Q: How will this affect membership rates and benefits?

A: As of March 1, 2023:

  • Current One Site members at Berkeley and Sausalito will be upgraded to All Site benefits with no change in current monthly membership dues
  • Dual Site Membership monthly dues will be reduced to $50/month individual, $65 partner
  • All new memberships (initiated after March 1) will be $65/month Individual and $80 for Partner Memberships
  • The $500 Membership Initiation Fee will remain the same and will include membership benefits at both locations

Q: How will this impact my membership dues payments?

A: February membership dues will be billed through Rechub and show the biller as “Inspire Sailing,” as they are today. March membership dues will be billed through Mindbody and show the biller as “Modern Sailing.” Credit cards will be transitioned to the new system without any extra effort on your part.

Q: Will Berkeley still be teaching courses on the tiller boats, and will tiller boats still be available for charter in Berkeley?

A: In 2023 the new combined entity, Modern Sailing, will operate two “Learn to Sail” tracks, both providing ASA certifications:

  • Sportboat Track = ASA 101 and 103 taught on tiller-steered sportboats like the J/24 and J/80
  • Cruising Boat Track = ASA 101 and 103 taught on wheel-steered cruising boats like the Catalina 30
  • Berkeley will teach both tracks, while Sausalito will continue to be focused on the Cruising Boat Track.
  • Clients will be able to get Fleet Rated on vessels other than their primary track via various clinics like “Upgrade to Silver” or “Upgrade to Sportboat.”
  • We will continue to maintain the Sportboat fleet in Berkeley. We will also continue to offer instruction, charters, and a race program on Sportboats.

Q: What happens if I'm part-way through the US Sailing certification course series? Will I lose any of the time or money I’ve invested so far? How will my classes change going forward? Do I need to recertify in ASA?

A: If you have already started your sailing education via a US Sailing course at Inspire Sailing, you will be converted to the ASA certification when you do your next course. Modern Sailing will cover the cost of the initial membership with ASA (typically included in an ASA 101) and the certification costs for any conversions. Upon completion of your course, you will be awarded the ASA Certifications for the equivalent courses you have already completed with US Sailing.

I have completed... My next course will be... Upon completion, I will receive...
US Sailing Basic Keelboat
(Sportboat Track)
ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising (Sportboat Track) ASA 101 and 103 certifications and Sportboat Fleet Rating
US Sailing Basic Cruising (Sportboat Track) ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising (Sportboat Track) OR* Upgrade to Silver Fleet Clinic
+ ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising (Cruising Boat Track)
ASA 101, 103, and 104 certifications and Silver/Gold/Platinum Fleet Rating


*At some point in 2023, we will stop offering the 4-day US Sailing Bareboat Cruising (BBC) format currently offered at Inspire Sailing and convert to the 3-Day ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising course currently offered at Modern Sailing Sausalito. At that time, Sportboat Track students will need to complete the Upgrade to Silver Fleet Clinic as a part of their 6 on-the-water days in preparation for ASA 104.

Modern Sailing may offer a limited number of US Sailing BC and BBC courses through 2023 to enable students to complete their US Sailing Certifications to the BBC level. This option will be dependent on client demand.

Q: If I have already been checked out to sail at Berkeley or Sausalito, do I need to do another checkout?

A: No. We will retain the Fleet Rating and Site Ratings you have already established.

Q: What is a Fleet Rating?

A: Your Fleet Rating specifies the class of boat you are eligible to charter. Fleet Ratings include:

  • Basic: Not yet eligible to charter
  • Sportboat: J/24 and J/80s (Berkeley)
  • Silver: 30-32' Wheel-steered sailboats
  • Gold: 32-37' Wheel-steered sailboats
  • Platinum: 38’+ Wheel-steered sailboats
  • Catamaran: Catamarans

Q: How do I get a Fleet Rating?

A: There are several ways to achieve a Fleet Rating.

  • By taking courses with us. For example, the Sportboat Fleet Rating is granted once you have completed US Sailing Basic Cruising at Inspire or ASA 103 on the Sportboat Track with Modern Sailing.
  • By completing an Upgrade Clinic. For example, “Upgrade to Gold” is specifically designed to help our members move up from the Silver Fleet to Gold Fleet vessels.
  • Sailors who were certified at other schools or have previous experience can also obtain a Fleet Rating through a Fleet Rating Checkout. During a checkout, your instructor verifies that you possess the essential skills for that class of boat.

Q: What is a Site Rating?

A:  Your Site Rating specifies the Modern Sailing location(s) where you are Fleet Rated to charter boats. The Site Ratings are Berkeley, Sausalito, and All Sites. Site Ratings are also granted along with a Fleet Rating for the location where you complete a Fleet Rating Checkout

Q: How do I get a Site Rating?

A: Site Ratings are granted when you complete a certification course at that site. For example, when you complete ASA 103 in Berkeley, you get a Berkeley Site Rating along with your Silver Fleet Rating.

Q: How do I get a second Site Rating?

A: Once you have a Fleet Rating and Site Rating for one location, you just need to take a Site Orientation Sail at the other location to obtain your second Site Rating.

A Site Orientation Sail is an on-the-water session with an instructor to review the local sailing conditions and docking scenarios that are unique to the site. Orientation Sail prices have been reduced to $100 for members. A Site Orientation Sail for the second site is complimentary - no additional charge - after you take ASA 103 at either location. Clients who have participated in other on-the-water activities at both sites may have the requirement for an Orientation Sail waived. Check with us about your situation.

Q: With the elimination of Dual Site Memberships, can I now charter freely out of either site?

A: The sailing and docking environments in Berkeley and Sausalito each present their own unique challenges. Modern Sailing will require all members to complete a Site Orientation Sail before chartering out of a location that is new to them.

Q: I'm US Sailing BBC certified and just want to charter boats.  Can I still do that without “converting” to ASA?

A: Absolutely. The change in our sailing certification system does not affect your ability to charter. You will retain the same Fleet Ratings that you have today.

Q: Will this affect the quality or educational standards of my future sailing courses?

A: No. The conversion of our Sportboat courses from US Sailing to ASA will use the same vessels, the same syllabus, will have the same instructional time, and often will be taught by the same instructors who previously taught our US Sailing courses. The rigorous standards of Inspire and Modern Sailing schools will be continued through this transition.

Q. I completed an ASA course in Berkeley on a Catalina 30. Does this transition affect me?

A: No. You have already received an ASA certification, so this transition will not affect you.

Q: Will this make it easier for me to take courses in Sausalito?

A: Yes. Since you will be converted to the ASA certification system, you will have the necessary prerequisites for future courses in either Sausalito or Berkeley. Sausalito has several courses not yet offered in Berkeley that are attractive to our more experienced clients:

  • ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran
  • ASA 105, Coastal Navigation
  • ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising
  • ASA 105/106, Coastal Navigation & Advanced Coastal Cruising Combination Course

Q: Will this change the makeup of the fleet?

A: Modern Sailing will continue to build the fleet in Berkeley. We will be working to modernize our Sportboat fleet as well as broaden our cruising boat offerings.

Q: How long will I have to finish in the US Sailing Track, if I choose to do so?

A: Modern Sailing may offer a limited number of US Sailing BC and BBC courses through 2023 to enable students to complete their US Sailing Certifications to the BBC level. This option will be dependent on client demand.

Q: What will it cost (time/money) to transition my certifications from US Sailing to ASA?

A: For most students, this transition will be achieved at no additional cost and no additional time. The transition occurs when you complete your next course in the series. For students who already hold US Sailing BBC certification, there are two possible conversion paths:

  1. Convert to ASA when completing ASA 114, Catamaran Cruising or ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising. (This conversion option requires students to complete the ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising written exam prior to the ASA 114 or ASA 106 course.)
  2. Completion of standalone US Sailing Bareboat Cruising to ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising certification conversion. This conversion option requires students to complete the ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising written exam and an on-the-water session with an instructor.

Members who completed US Sailing Bareboat Cruising at Inspire Sailing will not be required to undergo another on-the-water session with an instructor.

Q: Why are the booking systems converging?

A: Combining our booking platforms provides the simplest way for our clients to access the fleet and all sailing opportunities on both sides of the Bay. Purchases made at either location can easily be applied to events at both sites.

Q: Which reservation system should I use to book classes and charters?

A: Rechub will continue to serve Berkeley courses and charters until March 1, 2023. As of March 1, all Berkeley courses and charters will be booked through Mindbody. Rechub users will be provided a login profile on Mindbody if they don’t already have one. We are available to help you learn how to navigate through Mindbody. The Member Resources page on the Modern Sailing website, under the “Website & Account How To’s” category, offers some guidance for common tasks in Mindbody.

Do you have questions about the merger not covered in this FAQ? Please give us a call at (415) 331-8250 or send us an email. We’re happy to help.

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Merger Timeline at a Glance

For those who are looking to understand what changes to look forward to over the next few months with the Inspire and Modern Sailing merger, we thought it might be helpful to provide a simple, at a glance timeline of events. For more details, see our Merger Announcement and Merger FAQ posts.

January 

  • 1/6: Merger Announcement to Inspire Sailing Clients, FAQ posted to blog. 
  • 1/11: Second announcement via the Wednesday general newsletter email to Inspire Sailing mailing list. 
  • 1/12: Merger Announcement via the Thursday general newsletter to Modern Sailing mailing list, FAQ posted.
  • 1/17: Berkeley Orientation Sail for Sausalito members to receive a Site Rating for chartering out of Berkeley. (Only $100, $50 off for Modern Club Skippers, FREE for new ASA 103 Graduates.)
  • 1/19: Berkeley and Sausalito will receive a single weekly newsletter email on Thursdays for the combined sites from this day forward.
  • 1/19: All new News & Events and Member Resources articles will be posted to the Modernsailing.com website only. The InspireSailing.com blog will be updated minimally as necessary. 
  • 1/22: Sausalito Orientation Sail for Berkeley members to receive a Site Rating for chartering out of Sausalito. (Only $100 / FREE for new ASA 103 Graduates.)
  • 1/29: Berkeley Orientation Sail (waitlist).
  • Through February 28, Inspire Sailing and Modern Sailing members can take advantage of our ongoing offer for a 1-month Complimentary Upgrade to Dual Site Membership.

February

  • 2/1: Membership dues are billed as usual through Rechub. The biller will show as “Inspire Sailing.”
  • The process of converting the Inspire Sailing signage and brand to Modern Sailing will be ongoing through the end of the first quarter.

March

  • 3/1:
    • Membership dues are billed through Mindbody and show the biller as “Modern Sailing.”
    • All Courses, Clinics, and Charters for both locations will now be booked through Mindbody. (Rechub will be decommissioned.)
    • Current One Site members at Berkeley and Sausalito will convert to All Site benefits with no change in monthly dues.
    • Current Dual Site Membership monthly dues will be reduced to $50/mo Individual and $65/mo for a Partners Membership.
    • The monthly membership dues for all new memberships (initiated after March 1) will be $65/mo Individual and $80/mo partners.
  • 3/4: Berkeley Orientation Sail (Only $100, $50 off for Modern Club Skippers, FREE for new ASA 103 Graduates.)

Do you have questions about the Inspire Sailing/Modern Sailing merger? Please feel free to contact our friendly office team at (415) 331-8250 or office@modernsailing.com.

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Testimonials

  • John Kipping

    The meeting room was quite adequate and the location most convenient, but the course outline and instruction were outstanding. Modern Sailing is fortunate to have such a well organized instructor in Mr. Stan Lander who teaches very well from a rich professional background. Mr. Lander was generous with his time and patiently in helping students who needed more attention or time in understanding various aspects of the curriculum.

  • Warren Leiden, Member

    I try to get out on the water every week: out the Gate, around Angel, up Raccoon - I love it all. After 18 years as a member of OCSC in Berkeley, I learned to sail the bigger boats at Modern by taking ASA 103 and 104. My ASA 104 instructor Dave Russell was terrific. Also, Captain Bill Moreland has been very generous in giving informal advice whenever I’ve asked him. Thanks to Bill, I no longer have any anxiety about docking!

  • 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.

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2310 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA 94965

415-331-8250 / 800-995-1668

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