There are courses to help racers move up in the standings, courses that teach the skills needed for chartering or overnight passages, and even courses where students learn celestial navigation and passagemaking while sailing offshore with an instructor.
Most sailing schools are affiliated with an umbrella organization that issues certification. The web sites of these umbrella groups have links to schools in regions all across the U.S. and the world.
Umbrella Organizations and Certifying Authorities
American Sailing Association
The American Sailing Association sets standards for sailing schools, instructors and students. Sailors and aspiring sailors can choose from over 150 ASA sailing schools, sailing clubs and charter companies throughout North America and the Caribbean.
Canadian Sailing Association
Over 400 member clubs, sailing schools and camps across Canada. The CYA offers recognized courses for both children and adults, with special programs tailored to the needs of youth, women and sailors with disabilities.
International Sailing School Association
Learn to sail or windsurf at one of 3,500 schools worldwide, and lay down the foundation of personal skills in a lifestyle sport. A million people a year take their sailing and windsurfing holidays at an ISSA sailing school.
International Yachtmaster Training
MCA and US Coastguard courses for professional crew and the serious recreational yachtsman
Royal Yachting Association
Training for all levels of experience and ability. Courses are run at Royal Yachting Association recognized schools and clubs.
The U.S. national sailing authority offers keelboat certification through affiliated schools, also powerboat and instructor certification.