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First Sail

Step aboard and expand your horizons.

Explore the Elizabeth River with friends or family on a 2-hour introductory sail with an experienced instructor. Part of US Sailing’s First Sail Experience, learn the basics of sailing in a safe and relaxed setting. Enjoy Downtown Norfolk from a different viewpoint as you discover your passion for sailing. 

What You’ll Experience


Your First Sail experience will include water safety, parts of the boat, how to sail upwind and downwind, steering, tacking and jibing. This experience is 95% on the water, so each student will spend time learning and demonstrating each of the three main tasks aboard a Harbor 20 sailboat:

Trimming the mainsail
Trimming the jib
Steering with a tiller

First Sail faqs

  • First Sails are offered seasonally from April-October on select days/time throughout these months.
  • Looking for a different date? To request an additional date or time, please contact us 72 hours in advance.
  • We strive to have three students aboard: Single and double entries may be joined by others.
  • If you would like an individualized experience, you may purchase all three spaces to guarantee a one-on-one sail with an instructor.

We will make every attempt to reschedule your experience. However, if you need to cancel or reschedule for any reason, changes are subject to a $25 processing fee.

Refunds will be made according to the timeline below:

  • Cancellations made more than 4 weeks in advance of the scheduled start date of your sailing experience are entitled to a full refund minus the $25 processing fee.
  • Cancellations made less than 4 weeks and more than 1 week in advance of the scheduled start date are entitled to a 50% refund of the program fee minus the $25 processing fee.
  • Cancellations made less than 1 week in advance of the scheduled start date are non-refundable.

No refunds or discounts will be made for missed classes, vacation days or dismissal from the program.

  • We sail in the rain.
  • We do not sail in thunder and lightning.
  • We do not sail in high winds.