Lake Erie School FAQs

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What time do classes begin?
Instant Bareboater® and Advanced classes begin at 4:00 PM. All other classes on Lake Erie start at 10:00 AM. Please plan to arrive about 15 minutes before your class.
What time do classes end?
Instant Bareboater® and Advanced classes end at approximately 2:00 PM. All other classes on Lake Erie end at about 4:00 PM. Exact end times can vary with weather, class size and host of other factors?
We sail on a Catalina 36 named "Panacea", a Catalina 30  named "Windependent" and a Sonar 23 named "Thrill Ride". Please check your final confirmation package (the one containing your books) to see which of the boats you will be sailing.
Where are the classes held on Lake Erie?
Our sailing base on Lake Erie is Battery Park Marina in downtown Sandusky, OH. You will find directions here:
How do I find the boats when I get to the marina?
Our boats are located just outside the marina office and the marina staff will direct you (look for the Fair Wind Sailing School burgees).
What should I bring with me?
Most students bring too much with them for the trip. You should try to pack lightly, but be sure to bring the following:
  • Sun protection – You will be out in the sun all day, so be sure to the bring the proper protection. Wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are highly recommended
  • Sailing gloves to protect your hands for the line work
  • Boat friendly shoes (white or light soles, no heels, comfortable)
  • Sailing text books
  • Clothing – Temperatures can change rapidly on the lake, so we need to be prepared for a range of conditions. We recommend getting a good forecast before packing, then add 10 degrees to the forecast high and subtract 10 degrees from the forecast low. Bring the right clothing to be comfortable in all those temperatures ranges. You should also bring light weight rain proof protection, full foul weather gear is not necessary. Finally, lease pack in a duffle, backpack or other collapsible bag (see below)
Will the class be cancelled if the weather is bad?
We do not sail in dangerous conditions and classes are cancelled if there is sustained dangerous weather. Fortunately, this rarely happens on the lakes in summer, so classes are rarely cancelled. Normally, we get only short periods of bad weather and it is usually not dangerous at all. During these periods we complete the classroom portions of the sailing lessons, tie knots, and take our exams. We do also sail in rain, if it is not too heavy and not dangerous.
Are gratuities expected by Captains?
Of course gratuities are at your discretion, however, it is customary to tip your Captain 10-15% if the class is properly completed. In cases of outstanding efforts, it is not unusual to see tips as high as 15-20%.
What should I do to get ready for the classes before I arrive?
Study! Highly recommended to read the text.  Pay particular attention the rules of the road, boat systems, terminology and man over board procedures. 

Get ready to have fun!!


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