Steve Matles | Modern Sailing

Steve Matles


You’ve got to really love sailing when you launch your first boat in the “mud puddles” of Oklahoma reservoirs. It was a 19-foot Flying Scot, a daysailer that followed him from Tulsa, to Galveston, and finally to Lake Tahoe where he turned it in for a 28-foot Lancer, spending many days sailing the High Sierra lake.

At 10, he got the sailing bug as a summer camper on one of the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota. Before moving west, Steve’s log book registered cruises on Lake Superior (from Duluth to the Madeline Islands), the British Virgin Islands, Dry Tortugas, Florida and Galveston Bay.

In 1981 Steve moved to Reno where he began sailing Lake Tahoe. While Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places in the world, it has its sailing challenges. The wind doesn’t blow from any particular direction because of the mountain peaks, and wind speeds vary from 0 to 25 kts within a few minutes. 

Steve began to teach sailing informally when his kids were young, but in 2012 he officially became an ASA instructor, obtaining his Captain’s license shortly thereafter. In 2016 his job as a hospital safety officer brought him to the Bay Area where one of the first things he did was explore opportunities to continue his love of the sport. That’s when he discovered Modern Sailing and it wasn’t long before he took on instructing Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising and Coastal Navigation.

As a professional Safety Officer, Steve not only teaches sailing techniques, but emphasizes the need for safety in all aspects of sailing. Steve lives in San Rafael and works for a nearby hospital. He and his wife, Marty, have two grown children and a corgi named “Gus” (who’s not so crazy about sailing).


  • Danny Collins

    The office staff was very accommodating in meeting my availability.

  • Steve Hood, Basic Coastal Cruising

    I would definitely recommend Modern Sailing to anyone who is interested in learning to sail the right way.

  • 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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Modern Sailing School & Club

2310 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA 94965

415-331-8250 / 800-995-1668

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