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Sail Nauticus Membership

Become a Sail Nauticus member and join a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community brought together by a passion for sailing and our local waterfront. For new sailors and seasoned skippers, the membership program removes the stress of boat ownership and makes the joy and beauty of sailing in the Elizabeth River a reality for everyone. 

How Membership Works

  • Join today and explore your Sail Nauticus member perks for a full year!
  • Enjoy unlimited access to our fleet of Harbor 20 sailboats.
  • Bring family and friends sailing for free.
  • Participate in weekly social sails and seasonal racing series.
  • Register for instructor-led Skill Clinics for small-group practice.
  • Enroll in our Mentor Program to work towards Skipper level.
  • Receive 15% off our US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification & 25% off Nauticus Membership.


Racing Nights

Put your skills to the test at our
seasonal racing series!


Social Sails

Take part in weekly sails and enjoy potlucks with our members!


Skills Clinics

Expand on your skills to become
a Skipper level member!

Membership Fees

Crew and Skipper level memberships cost the same. Quarterly and Yearly payment plans are both an annual commitment.

Two-Week TrialQuarterlyYearly
Member Fees$25$120*$445*
*A one-time, $100 Initiation Fee is required from all new members

How to Join

A. Start as a Crew Member

Enjoy access to our weekly social sails, Skill Clinics, Mentor Program, and coordinate your next sail with a Skipper. Crew members must always have a Skipper in their boat.

Become a Skipper Member after passing our written/practical Skipper’s Test. This provides additional perks including the opportunity to skipper a boat during our racing series, plus reserve a boat any time during our open sailing hours – just be sure you have a guest or Crew Member with you.

To join, fill out the form below and expect to hear back in 1-2 business days to complete your transaction and onboarding process. Can’t wait? Call our office (757) 823-4242, to check if a staff member can assist you today.

B. Try a Two-Week Member Trial

Start your trial below and you’ll hear back from us by the next business day to register for our upcoming social sails. Your two-week window starts on the day we register all your sails – please be prepared give us the dates/names of all social sails you wish to attend. Two-Week Trial payment cannot go towards a Crew Membership.


Can I just show up to come sailing?

To guarantee you get sailing, please make have a sail scheduled with a Skipper, or sign up for one of our scheduled sails. Skippers, please make any boat reservations at least 2 hours in advance.

Are there any requirements for bringing guests?

Friends/family/coworkers, anyone is welcome to sail with you at no added cost. When you register for a social sail, include them in your reservation. If coordinating a sail with a Skipper, confirm with them whether they have room for your guest(s). The only programs strictly open to members-only include our Skill Clinic classes, and our Mentor Program available to all Crew members. Each participant must wear a life jacket when on the docks/boats, and signed our one-time waiver. We have life jackets for infants starting at 3 months old into adult.

How many people are allowed on a boat?

Each Harbor 20 sailboat can comfortably fit 1 Skipper with 3-4 Crew. We cannot fit more than 5 adults per boat.

Does Sail Nauticus stay open in the winter?

Yes! We are open all 12 months of the year for 7 days a week (exclusions apply), and adjust our sailing hours according to sunset times.

Can I join as Skipper if I feel qualified, and come take a boat out today?

No, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. All members must join as Crew level and come sailing a few times on our sailboats to become familiar with our Harbor 20s and safety procedures. After passing our required Skipper’s Test you can take a boat out yourself, as long as you have another person on the boat with you (guest or Crew level member).

How long does it take to reach Skipper level?

This all depends on how quickly you learn and how often you practice. We have had some members with no previous sailing knowledge reach Skipper level after just a few months due to their determination and time commitment to practicing.

What if I need to cancel my membership early?

Your membership is an annual commitment, regardless of your payment plan. If you need to cancel before this, your remaining payments will continue to support our Sail Nauticus Academy program – thank you!

Are there opportunities to serve as a sailing instructor?

Yes, please check out our current openings here, or contact us at

Is there a member handbook I can read?

Yes! You can download it here: Member Handbook

How do I get started sailing?

Crew: Sign up on our Event Calendar for our scheduled sails, coordinate a sail in our Facebook group, and check boat reservations that list they have room for extra crew. 

Skippers: Sign up on our Event Calendar for our scheduled sails, make a boat reservation at least 2 hours in advance, and post in our Facebook group if you’re looking for crew to sail with.

How do I cancel my sailing registration or boat reservation?

Please contact us at least two hours in advance to let us know you can no longer make it: or (757) 823-4242.

How can I prepare for the Skipper’s Test?

Yes, please check out our current openings here, or contact us at

Consider making a donation today to help support sailing education for our local, underserved youth.