General Information Safety @ Sea Fun Stuff Resources

 

Learn to sail on the beautiful San Francisco Bay

 
  • Fully licensed captain
  • 30-bart Sabre sailboat
  • Relaxed, low-key instruction
  • Great prices

Enjoy easy sailing lessons on the 30-bart Sabre Excalibur (or on your boat). Classes comprise 4-6 students and are tailored to meet your individual needs after we cover the basics. Classes last two to four days, and workshops are typically 4-6 hours. The captain holds a US Coast Guard Masters 100 GT with Near Coastal to 100 nm license with sailing and towing endorsements.

Please email with any questions.

Customer comments

  There are many places around the Bay to learn about sailing or sharpen your skills, but Sailnow and Jonathan Ganz is in a special category. Jonathan focuses on all the proper fundamentals and builds these into as advanced a sailing session as you can handle. Jonathan has a US Coast Guard license (100GT) and an encyclopedic knowledge of boats and the bay.

My wife and I have been sailing for many years but decided to spent a day on the water with Jonathan to sharpen our docking and anchoring skills. I have completed a US Sailing bareboat certification class and done a couple weeklong trips in the Caribbean, but wanted to practice close-quarters maneuvers, docks and anchors. After acquainting us with all aspects of his (well-maintained) boat, Jonathan took us out and gave us a good day of practice and instruction. We anchored for lunch, navigated the docks and marina, and got lots of practice with docking, propwalk, dock lines, etc.

I would recommend Sailnow and Jonathan for any level of sailor who wants to learn more. There may be many choices for people who can teach you the basics, but only someone like Jonathan and Sailnow can help you build your skills up to become a truly serious sailor.

Philip

My wife and I and another couple got a 2-day sail lesson with Jonathan.

Jonathan was very very knowledgeable, fun and really let us all participate in sailing the boat. He let all of us take the helm, trim sails and even dock the boat. It was a lot of fun and I would recommend it to anyone who wanted to take a basic sailing lesson.

Chris

Rates

  • Summer rates start April 1 and end December 1
  • Winter rates start December 1 and end March 31
Note: Not all lessons and workshops have winter rates.

To get the winter rate, you need to book and pay prior to April 1.

Lessons
Quick Links

Get to know sailing

This is a hands-on, one-day lesson that will introduce you to the basics of sailing, lasting approx. six hours. We'll cover the following items.

The cost is $185/person, two-person minimum, six-person maximum. No previous experience needed.

There are typically fewer classes during the winter months. Let me know if you have specific dates in mind.

Fill out the form or email me for more information and to sign up. If you have any questions, please ask!

I strongly suggest you get a copy of either ASA Sailing Fundamentals or USSailing Basic Cruising books. (Please ask me first before purchasing either of these books.)

Basic Cruising Class

This is a two-day class, approx. six hours each day. We'll cover the following items.

  • Sail dynamics, including balance, Center of Effort, Center of Lateral Resistance, Weather and Lee Helm
  • Basic Rules of the Road for Sail and Power
  • Lights at Night (running and anchor)
  • Knots to live by, including the bowline, coiling and heaving, cleat hitch, reef, sheet bend, rolling hitch, figure eight and monkey fist, and the round turn and two half hitches
  • Reefing, when, why, and how
  • General navigation and buoyage
  • Tides and currents, including the concept of set and drift
  • Big boat electrical systems, including AC/DC and bilge pump operation
  • Head operation
  • Engine tour
  • VHF radio procedures, including Mayday, Pan Pan, Securite
  • Safety equipment and USCG requirements
  • Docking and using the engine and prop-walk, including back-and-fill and how to back up in a straight line.
  • General boat handling skills, including hoisting, reefing underway, sail trim, tacking and jibing review, points of sail, and heaving to
  • Crew Overboard (COB)
  • Anchoring

The cost is $245/person, two-person minimum, six-person maximum. Mimimum requirement is previous sailing experience or knowing which end of the boat usually goes first.

There are typically fewer classes during the winter months. Let me know if you have specific dates in mind.

Fill out the form or email me for more information and to sign up. If you have any questions, please ask!

I strongly suggest you get a copy of either ASA Sailing Fundamentals or USSailing Basic Cruising books. (Please ask me first before purchasing either of these books.)

In addition, you should review the handout prior to class.

Night time Crew Overboard Workshop

One of the most dangerous things that can happen on sailboat is someone falling off the boat. And, as a result, the COB drills are part of a standard lesson plan. Even more dangerous is falling off at night, yet this is hardly ever planned for beyond the admonition to not fall off the boat.

In this workshop, we'll practice retrieving a target at night. We'll explore the traditional Figure Eight (or Quick Turn) maneuver and the LifeSling recovery technique. The workshop will have approximately three hours underway, plus some dock time discussion.

The cost is $175/person, two-person minimum, four-person maximum. Minimum requirement is previous sailing experience. There are several upcoming classes.

Fill out the form or email me for more information and to sign up. If you have any questions, please ask!

Day time Crew Overboard Workshop

One of the most dangerous things that can happen on sailboat is someone falling off the boat. And, as a result, the COB drills are part of a standard lesson plan. But, we all need more practice

In this workshop, we'll practice retrieving a target in moderate wind conditions, which are typically higher in the afternoon. This is beyond what we usually cover in the regular basic cruising class. We'll explore the traditional Figure Eight (or Quick Turn) maneuver and the LifeSling recovery technique. The workshop will have approximately four to five hours underway, plus some dock time discussion.

The cost is $175/person, two-person minimum, four-person maximum. Minimum requirement is previous sailing experience. There are several upcoming classes.

Fill out the form or email me for more information and to sign up. If you have any questions, please ask!

Night time Cruising Workshop

It's not all about danger and being careful; It's a also about having a great time while sailing safely at night. Different from the Night time cruise, this is a hands-on class.

We'll cover the essentials, such as:

  • Night time navigation aids
  • Local knowledge, landmarks, and hazards
  • Recognizing other vessels

And, we'll have a nice cruise, taking in the sights and the restaurant smells, all in about three hours (or more), depending on the conditions.

The cost is $175/person, two-person minimum, four-person maximum.

Fill out the form or email me for more information and to sign up. If you have any questions, please ask!

Heavy Weather Sailing Workshop

Heavy weather can be the norm rather than the exception on the SF bay. Be prepared to handle winds over 25 kts. The class is approximately four hours, depending on conditions.

The cost is $245/person, two-person minimum, four-person maximum. Minimum requirement is previous sailing experience.

The general curricula for the workshop is:

  • Boat preparation for weather (discussion and practical)
  • A review of what drives a boat
  • Basic reefing techniques (while under sail)
  • Heaving to
  • Docking issues

Fill out the form or email me for more information and to sign up. If you have any questions, please ask!

Docking and Boat-handling Workshop

Docking and general boat handling is one of the most challenging skills to learn as a new sailor. Sailboats with a single prop handle a lot differently than a powerboat with a single prop. This workshop gives you the skill and confidence to get your (or someone else's) boat in and out of a slip with the minimum amount of hassle and stress. In addition, you'll learn how to turn the boat around in the absolute minimum amount of space (typically not much more than its own length) and maneuver in tight/close quarters.

The cost is $175/person, two-person minimum, four-person maximum.

The general curricula for the workshop is:

  • Basic theory (including understanding prop-walk)
  • Boat and line preparation
  • Formulating a backup plan
  • Line handling techniques (including spring lines)
  • Stern-to and bow-to techniques
  • Inboard engine techniques
  • Logical crew assignments
  • Cast off and docking practice

Team Building!

This is an ongoing, full half-day event (six hours) that will give you and your team an excellent opportunity to build group cohesiveness in the typically challenging North San Francisco Bay environment.

Upon request, this event can include a sunset sail.

The cost is $195/person, two-person minimum, six-persons maximum. No sailing experience is required!

Fill out the form or email me for more information and to sign up. If you have any questions, please ask!

Fill out the form or email me for more information and to sign up. If you have any questions, please ask!

Deposit requirements

Please note that a deposit is required to hold your reservation. You should still contact me first regarding the specific lesson and you will be placed on the list. Sending in a deposit without first signing up means that I'll be one step closer to retirement. ;-)

I'll let you know the specifics of the deposit amount after we settle on the date.

You can now send in your deposit online with a Visa or Mastercard! If you'd like to do this, click on the following button. This is a secure transaction.

Here's how it works...
  1. Click on the PayPal logo.
  2. Enter the amount of the payment.
  3. Log in to your PayPal account.
  4. Click the Send money to friends and family tab.
If you'd rather send me a check, let me know and I'll tell you how.

Canceling or not showing up

If you need to cancel, please let me know at least two weeks in advance. (I'd prefer even more notice, if possible.) Anything less will mean that you'll possibly lose your deposit. Emergencies come up. Let me know if that happens. If I cancel (for whatever reason), I will refund your deposit. Light rain doesn't necessarily mean the lesson is cancelled, so please show up or call me and let me decide.

I may have to postpone the class due to special circumstances. Depending on your situation, I may offer a refund of some or all of your deposit.