Why Fair Wind
Fair Wind offers the following advantages:
The Best Instructors
Top instructors make a biggest impact in learning and retention. That is why we have the most rigorous instructor requirements in the industry. Fair Wind's instructors must meet our industry leading standards on sailing skill, teaching ability, customer care and yacht maintenance. Plus, they are interesting and fun to sail with -- no grumpy guys here. While most instructor candidates can't meet these demanding standards, those who rise to the top are the best in the business. That is why Fair Wind has more Instructor of The Year Winners than any other sailing school...And don't worry about those who fail our requirements, they land work at our competitors!
The Best Instruction
We use the ICSO curriculum -- the newest and most comprehensive curriculum available. The ICSO program was designed by sailors to prepare adults to become bareboat charterers. The benchmarks were developed by sailors, not some California bureaucrat, with the inputs of major charter companies and cruisers. The skill requirements were developed by the charter industry, not some committee trying to sell text books, and the sailing lessons focus on the skills and knowledge you need to know, not archaic and confusing jargon. That is a great start, but for us, the curriculum only begins with the text. From there, we use our experience to augment the provided information, assuring that every student, at every level, learns as much as possible. But let's face it, you can' t learn to sail from a book; adults learn by doing. The ICSO program provides the greatest amount of sailing practice -- more than of any other major certification program. Our classes maximize sailing time so you really learn how to sail the boat. Our goal is to not just have you manage the boat with an instructor on board, but to have you retain the skill and knowledge so you can do it alone when you are home or chartering.
We also recognize the importance of getting quality time with the instructor. That's why we have an instructor on every boat, unlike the "sailing factories". In addition, we keep class sizes small -- typically 2-3 and never more than 4 or 5. This combination assures you the maximum time learning, experiencing, and sailing.
The Best Boats
We simply have great boats. The boats we have are the boats you want charter and buy. More importantly, we own our boats. This means we can perfectly equip them for sail training and maintain them the way we want to. Other schools borrow boats from charter companies, fractional companies or private owners and must lobby boat owners the boat's owners to properly equip the boats for teaching and maintain the boats well. Not here, at Fair Wind our boats are equipped and maintained with the primary purpose of teaching.
In the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, we feature boats like Catalina, Island Packet and C&C. These boats are all generously equipped and comfortable for the local conditions on the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes.
In the Virgin Islands, our focus is on cruising and preparation for bareboat chartering, so we have the best cruising boats made -- Dufuor, Leopard and Bavaria. These boats are the right boats for Caribbean conditions and all are used in large charter fleets in the Virgin Islands. Both of our Leopard models were Cruising Boat of the Year Winners. The Bavaria is fast and stable and perfect for the trade winds.
The Best Locations
We operate November - July out of Sailing Heaven -- the Virgin Islands. Our St. Thomas location is ideal to maximize your trip and take advantage of the best of both the US and British Virgin Islands. Sailing simply doesn't get any better than this!
During summer, we operate on the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay too. Our sailing base on the western Lake Erie provides excellent sailing conditions -- open waters, little traffic and warm water. In addition, we have easy access to the Mid-West's most popular cruising destinations -- the Lake Erie Islands and Cedar Point. We also operate out of Jefferson Beach Marina on Lake St Clair in Metro-Detroit.
We now have two locations on the Chesapeake Bay with our newest base in the US sailing capital of Annapolis and our Eastern Shore base on Worton Creek Both locations provide ideal settings with Eagles overhead and blue point crabs down below and excellent sailing. From here, we have easy access to some of the Bay's best ports of call, including: St Michael's, Annapolis and Baltimore's Inner Harbor and much, much more...
The Fair Wind Commitment To Excellence
No other school offers Fair Wind's commitment to excellence. We are dedicated to sailing and sharing our love of sailing with you -- and we want you to have as much fun on your yacht as we have on ours. Part of our commitment is the Fair Wind Guarantee. If you do not pass the certification after completing our training, we will work with you -- as long as you like -- until you do pass for no extra charge.
Join us and we're sure you will agree: