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).


  • Molie M

    After complete two courses and having a variety of instructors, I can safely say, this is place to go if you want to learn to sail. The fleet is equally diverse and exciting. The office staff does a great job of getting you plugged into the sailing community. Fantastic group of folks!

  • John Kratochvil, Oregon

    I would like to compliment Stan Lander for his coaching, counseling and teaching Heavy Weather Offshore Sailing. Stan was very accommodating to all of the student's interests and shared his many years of insight on handling the boat in heavy seas. I would certainly recommend Stan and this course to sheltered waters sailors. My confidence in handling a boat of this size was certainly enhanced by the experience.

  • 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.

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Modern Sailing School & Club

2310 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA 94965

415-331-8250 / 800-995-1668

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