Newport Beach, California
Billy Black
If you’d like to become a certified sailor while vacationing in Southern California, you’ll want to check out the NEWPORT BEACH SAILING SCHOOL, which offers a variety of lessons on luxurious, modern sailboats. Founded in 2005 by Chris Jester, the school caters to busy adults who want to learn to sail on their own time. With its fleet of 20- to 45-foot sailboats, the school offers individuals, couples and families the chance to earn certifications from the American Sailing Association (ASA) and to enjoy a unique vacation all at the same time. The school’s courses, taught by dedicated and experienced instructors, range from three to seven days and include basic keelboat sailing, basic coastal cruising, bareboat cruising, advanced coastal cruising and catamaran sailing.

“A lot of people want to get something out of their vacation, learning and earning their certification,” Jester says. “It fulfills the need to constantly learn as an adult, and it also gives people a chance to relax.”

The school also offers a popular seven-day, Learn to Sail vacation — a live-aboard course that certifies students up to the bareboat or the ASA 104 level and culminates in a sailing trip to Catalina Island. Once certified at this level, students can charter their own boats throughout the world and feel comfortable with their sailing skills.

“When you earn a certification, it’s good for a lifetime,” Jester explains. “Sailing is something you can do for life.”