Why Charleston Sailing School & Yacht Charters?
Charleston Sailing School is the only operation in South Carolina offering ASA certifications, Bareboat Charters, Power Boat Rentals, and Yacht Management. Charleston Harbor and its tributaries offer beautiful, but challenging conditions guaranteed to make you a better sailor. With 6ft of tidal range, up to 3kts of current, and a busy commercial port, students are forced to make decisions and react constantly. Each one of our captains have undergone rigorous instructor training only after thousands of sea miles have passed under their keels. Our fleet of yachts available for training and charter is impeccably maintained, and constantly upgraded. Our location, coupled with world class instructors and pristine yachts has allowed Charleston Sailing School to create the best training and charter options anywhere in the world!

What is the American Sailing Association?
The American Sailing Association is an association of sailing schools, charter companies, and professional yachtsmen who have come together to create a curriculum of internationally recognized recreational sailing certifications. Once certified through the 104-Bareboat Chartering course students can charter yachts anywhere in the world without the additional aid and cost of having a captain.

Where do we go?
We sail out of the Charleston City Marina on the Ashley River. The protected waters of Charleston Harbor offer great opportunities for daysailing. The Cooper and Wando Rivers provide excellent inland destinations, and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway flows right through our front yard with easy access to points north or south.  The Atlantic Ocean is just 4 miles from our docks. We can be in open water in a matter of minutes cruising along the Carolina coastline. Georgetown, Bull’s Bay, Folly Beach, Kiawah, Edisto, Beaufort, Hilton Head, and Savannah are all regular ports of call for us.

What other charges are there?
South Carolina Sales and Use tax is 8.5% and will be added to every class, charter, and rental. Yacht services are excluded. Bareboat charters, rentals, and multi-day private yacht charters will be held responsible for the cost of fuel as well. Parking is at the Charleston City Marina is not included.

How many people will be on the boat?
Sailing School – 101 and 103 classes will have maximum of 4 students. For advanced level courses and liveaboard training there will only be one student per cabin (2-3 max).
Private Yacht Charters – We are legally allowed to carry 6 paying customers while underway on all of our yachts. We cannot accept more than 6 passengers for any reason. If you have a large party please consider chartering multiple yachts.
Bareboat Charters/Rentals – Each of our yachts has a maximum passenger limit determined by us, the USCG, and/or our insurance company and is indicated on our website. No, we will not break that limit under any circumstance. Please don’t ask.

What amenities does City Marina provide?
The Charleston City Marina was voted Marina of the Year in 2006 in a nationwide poll. There is a restaurant/bar, convenience store, and wine/abc store all on the premises. A courtesy shuttle is available that will drop off and pick up our guests at many locations downtown during business hours. The bathhouse and laundry facilities are very well maintained, and routinely cleaned. Wireless internet is provided throughout the marina for your convenience. We have travelled far and wide searching for the right spot and have yet to find a better place to do business.

Is alcohol allowed aboard?
ASA Classes – Drinking is not permitted during class hours.  Alcohol is not provided but is allowed aboard after class hours for live-aboard students.
Private Yacht Charters – Guests are welcome to bring wine, beer, and spirits aboard to enjoy responsibly while underway. Please refrain from bringing glass bottles or bring cups to avoid accidents.
Bareboat Charters/Rentals – The designated captain is strictly prohibited from operating any of our vessels while intoxicated. Passengers may enjoy alcohol responsibly.

What kind of food is provided during the liveaboard courses?
Good food is a part of the program. We work very hard to make sure you are not disappointed. Shopping will be done on the first day of class, and your yacht will be restocked periodically throughout the week.  Provisioning is done based on an agreed upon menu. We encourage you to send us a grocery list in advance if you have specific requests.

What type of accommodations are provided?
Accommodations are provided during liveaboard programs and while taking the 104, 105 and 106 courses. Each student is guaranteed a private cabin at night.  All linens, pillows, blankets, towels, and common toiletries will be aboard when you arrive, and your beds will be made with fresh sheets. All of our yachts are equipped with dockside heat/ac and each yacht has a full galley, and cookware available for your use. A stereo and TV/DVD are standard entertainment aboard, and a comfortable salon and cockpit area are inviting after a hard day at sea.

What is a typical class day? Do we get some free time?
Class times run from 9:30am to 5:30pm daily with some adjustments made for wind, weather, and tides. Each day will be a combination of classroom presentation and on-water training. There will be a lunch break around noon each day. Expect to arrive back to the dock between 5-6pm each afternoon, unless staying at anchor. Evenings are dedicated to self-study or relaxation. Students are free to venture into town for shoreside exploration and world-renowned fine dining.

Do I need to study before the class starts?
Yes, course material is included in the course fee and is mailed to you upon registration. A thorough study of the material in advance is required to get the most out of the course.

What airport should I fly into?
Charleston International Airport (CHS) is about 10miles from the marina. From there you can take the taxi or Uber to Downtown Charleston.

What kind of things do I need to bring on my cruise?

  • Clothing appropriate for the season
  • Lightweight long sleeve shirt for sun protection
  • Jeans or pair of long pants for shoreside expeditions
  • Sweatshirt or warm pullover for cool nights
  • White soled shoes or deck shoes
  • Foul weather gear (i.e. rain gear)
  • Sunscreen and Bug Spray
  • Hats and sunglasses with a strap
  • Sailing gloves
  • Personal toiletries, such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc…
  • ASA Textbooks, ASA logbook, notebook, pencils, and navigation tools
  • Camera/Video Camera and Film
  • Dramamine, Bonine or other motion sickness medication
  • Personal medications (vessels are equipped with standard first aid kits)