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).

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Esther C

    I took ASA 101 with them recently. They have the best customer service I've ever seen! I mistyped my address when I signed up online so didn't receive the textbook. I called and the lady immediately sent me another copy! Everyone at the club is super friendly.

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Modern Sailing School & Club

2310 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA 94965

415-331-8250 / 800-995-1668

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