Mindy Oppenheim | Modern Sailing

Mindy Oppenheim


Captain Mindy's sailing story starts with “how a nice Jewish girl from Miami Beach ended up in the middle of the Cuban (Marielito) boat lift in 1979.”  Mindy graduated college essentially homeless, except for her brother’s couch, and had this great idea to go to the Miami River, bilge out a half-sunken 32 ft. sailboat, and get towed to a very funky Watson Island Marina right across from the Port of Miami. 

Luckily the Siddhartha in Search of Nirvana had no sails, no engine, and never left the dock during all the boat lift excitement. Mindy spent the summer re-ribbing, fiber glassing, itching, and loving every minute of it. Her mom would come to the docks with her lounge chair and tell everyone passing by “this is my daughters’ yacht!” After the boat lift, Watson Island became a very dangerous place. Mindy gave Siddhartha away to a refugee family and moved back to her college town, Tallahassee.

Mindy's first job was as a vocational counselor at a Goodwill where someone donated a Sunfish. She sailed the Little Mama all over the Keys, Florida Panhandle and eventually in various lakes in and around Richmond Virginia. When she moved to San Francisco in the 90’s Mindy inherited a friend’s Ranger 23’ and began to earn certifications at OCSC (now Modern Sailing Berkeley).  After several years of sailing the LisaLisaLisa, her partner came home one day and said, “I’m going to law school,” to which Mindy replied, “I’m getting a bigger boat.”

In 2004, Mindy fell in love with Tanagra, a 37’ Furia (built in Barcelona). She kept her in Miami for a couple of years before bringing her home to the SF Bay, conveniently before Hurricane Wilma.

In 2007, Mindy earned her USCG Captain’s License at Modern Sailing and and worked as a Basic Keelboat instructor and charter boat captain for a couple of years. Since 2022, she is back at Modern Sailing sharing her love of the water, boats, sailing, and our beautiful San Francisco Bay.

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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.

    Rolf Zingg
  • Danny Collins

    The office staff was very accommodating in meeting my availability.

  • Ray Arceneaux

    The vessel was clean and in fine condition - very nice boat for training, well-equipped.

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Modern Sailing School & Club

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

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