How Much Do Sailing Lessons Cost?

Written by Shawn Buckles in Beginner Info

If you're new to sailing and want to learn the old-fashioned way, you need to take sailing lessons. But are they as expensive as people say? And what's a good deal?

How much do sailing lessons cost? The average cost of sailing lessons is about $24 an hour at most sailing schools. Prices in California range from $18 - $24. East Coast sailing lesson prices are above average, at about $30. Florida is cheaper, at $20. The price will differ depending on the type of school that you are going to and some other factors.

Many of the most prestigious sailing schools will cost more than the average dollar amount per hour and there may even be some special promotions that can bring the costs down from the average price at times.

Read on so that you can determine how much you should be paying for sailing lessons. The information will help you to get a good deal while still getting the quality lessons that you desire.

Sail instructor tows seven dinghies with a powerboat

Prices for Different Areas

Prices will differ for sailing school depending on where you live. It makes sense that some areas would be more expensive than others. There is a big difference between the cost of goods in California versus the cost of goods in Florida, for example.

Services and schooling are also impacted by these price differences. Prices are determined by data such as how much people make in the area and how much interest there is in sailing. Knowing this, you should try to look at several sailing schools in your area to get an average price where you are located.

Average U.S. price: $24 per hour

The average price for sailing lessons is clearly around $24 per hour on a nationwide level but it could be higher or lower in your area. You need to look at your schools in order to get accurate information. Sometimes there is even a big difference within the same state, depending on the location of the school.

Prices in California: $18 - $24 per hour

A good example of this is the difference in pricing between Northern California schools and Southern California schools. Schools located in Northern California have an average cost of $24 per hour when it comes to sailing lessons. Southern California has significantly lower prices and lessons are going to cost between $18 and $19 per hour.

East Coast price: up to $30 per hour

East Coast prices are significantly higher than normal due to certain economic factors. It is not uncommon for a sailing school on the east coast to cost $30 per hour or slightly more. Florida schools are less expensive, though, and generally cost around $20 per hour.

Depending on where you decide to go to receive your sailing lessons, you can expect to pay wildly different prices. This is why it is so hard to really give out an average sailing lessons cost number. Local sailing school costs really can differ so much that it is best for you to look into the situation in your own city.

It Matters When You Go

Weekends are more expensive

It is important to keep in mind that certain factors will impact the price of your schooling. If you are only capable of taking sailing classes on the weekend, then you can expect to pay out more money on average. Weekend sailing lessons are going to be quite popular and will be the most in-demand time period for the lessons.

… and weekday lessons are cheaper

If you can take sailing lessons during the weekdays instead, then you may be able to save yourself a little bit of money. When you are looking to keep your costs low, it makes sense to try to take advantage of this. Whether or not you will be able to take courses during the week will largely depend on your responsibilities, of course.

See what the sailing schools near you have to offer during the weekdays if you can. They may be able to work out a time for your sailing lessons that will fit in with your work schedule and other obligations. There is certainly no harm in asking for more information and the staff at the school will likely be more than happy to help you out.

You may be able to decrease the average price of sailing lessons by several dollars per hour if you can go during the week. This will depend on the area too, though. Some sailing schools may be so popular that they will not have a significantly different price variance between weekday and weekend enrollment.

Want to know how you can learn to sail for almost no money at all?
Here are 9 Ways to Learn to Sail for Practically Free

Cheapest Sailing School

If you are looking for the cheapest sailing school, then you should know that many good options are available in Southern California. The average price per hour for sailing lessons in Southern California is significantly lower than the national average. There are still many good sailing schools located in the region so this is a good opportunity for you.

So if you're planning on taking a holiday, maybe go there this year ...

Depending on how practical it is for you to go to Southern California, this may be a way for you to save some money. Being able to mitigate the potentially high cost of sailing lessons is a good thing. If you can sign up for a high-quality school that will not break the bank, then it is going to be worthwhile.

Price vs. Quality

Just keep in mind that cheap does not always mean good. You do not want to simply choose the least expensive school that you can find. Signing up for sailing lessons is important when you want to learn how to sail effectively.

It is possible to find a cheap sailing school that also offers top-notch sailing lessons. You just might have to do a bit of research first in order to determine how good they are. It will be worth your time to look into things further and you will be happy to save yourself a little bit of money.

No matter where you are located, there should be some budget-friendly sailing schools that you can contact. Some areas are going to be more expensive as a general rule but you can still try to find a school that offers the right mix of value and prestige. Do your best to see what is available in your area so that you can get the best sailing lessons at a reasonable price.

What Is a Fair Price and What Is Too Cheap?

It is going to be smart to try to find a school that offers you a fair price. You do not want to simply go to the school with the cheapest price available in most situations. Quality really does matter and you need to be able to feel confident that the school can teach you the necessary skills.

The best advice that I can give you is that if it seems like a school is offering a price that is too cheap, then that is likely a red flag. If you see a school that is charging a rate of only $18 per hour for sailing lessons, then that is quite a bit lower than the average number. You want to go to a school that offers a rate that is closer to the national average.

If you find a school that is giving out sailing lessons at a price of $24 an hour or close to it, and you have confidence in the sailing instructor there, then that is going to be a pretty good deal. You should be able to feel as though you will get the right sailing education at this school. They are not devaluing what they are offering but they are still keeping things in a reasonable price range.

Remember that an $18 per hour price may not be unusual for a specific area too. You want to try to determine the average cost for the area where you are attending sailing school. If the cost is on average $20 per hour in the area, then you will know what a fair price for sailing lessons will be in your city.

Check the reputation of the school

More so than worrying about the price, you may want to look into the reputation of the school. If you can dig up some information on the school, then it will give you a better idea of what they have to offer. Going into student reviews can be very useful when you are trying to gauge the quality of an institution.

Also, schools that have been around for a longer period of time have likely built up a good reputation. It takes a certain amount of business savvy and goodwill in the community to stay in business for a long time. A business that has longevity on its side is more likely to offer you a good learning experience.


Knowing the average price of sailing lessons should help you to figure out the right path to take. Taking sailing lessons is going to be a very exciting time for you. The thrill of sailing is something that will provide you with a lot of enjoyment and you can get the high-quality lessons that you deserve.

It should be possible to get a very good deal at a renowned sailing school. Trying to sign up for courses during the weekdays might be able to help to save you some money on costs. Also, you may want to consider bundling courses to save a bit of money and lower that hourly rate.

As long as you take the time to research the sailing schools in your area, you will be able to make an informed decision. Your sailing skills will grow and you will feel ready to get out on the water to have your own adventures.

How long does it take to learn how to sail? Learning the basics of sailing takes anywhere between 5 - 50 hours of practice. Most people are able to sail a boat themselves after 1-3 sailing lessons. However, like with any art, finetuning this skill set might take up to 10,000 hours.

Get Started (and Save Money)

I have written a detailed e-book that contains actionable step-by-step lesson plans for different budgets and situations. This book will save you hundreds of dollars, hours, and a headache. You can get it here. Please check it out. You will support our work, and more importantly: it will help you get started much quicker and cheaper.

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