OWSA offers a variety of classes for sailors of all levels. Our courses cover sailing basics, motoring, docking and anchoring, racing, cruising, and introduction to spinnaker handling. OWSA’s experienced instructors create a supportive atmosphere where women can learn to sail, become confident and competent, and establish friendships while experiencing sailing teamwork. Join us for hands-on fun in a supportive learning environment.

Registration is now open for 2017 classes! 

Please note the 101 Basic Sailing class is full.

Click "Add to Cart" on individual classes below to register. Classes fill up fast - don't wait until the last minute to sign up. For a brochure of all classes, download the OWSA Education brochure.  

For more information or questions, send an email to  

Waitlists: If a class you want is full, you can send an email to and ask to be put on the Wait List.  In the event someone CANCELs out of the class, the person on the top of the Wait List will be notified and given the opportunity to sign up and pay for the class.  Please supply the following information on your email to the Class Registrar: Name, Address, email Address, Mobile Phone Number, whether you are an OWSA member or not.

Refund Policy: Life Happens - if something comes up and you need to cancel your registration, please do so at least 21 days before the start of class.  Otherwise, we cannot issue a refund to you.  Send an email to to request refund.

101 Sailing Basics (Women Only)


Tuesdays, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28, March 7, 14, & 21.
6:30 - 9:30pm
1425 N. Marine Drive, Suite A, Portland, OR 97217

Learn or review the basics of sailing in a fun and supportive classroom atmosphere. This 7-class course explores terminology, knots, points of sail, weather, tides, boat maneuvering, basic navigation rules and charting Each week's topics culminate in a final charted mock cruise. Plan to attend each class.  You and your crew mates use and share your knowledge to plan, share and mock-sail a multi-day cruise atop a paper chart, tacking and jibing an itty bitty sailboat to lovely destinations! Includes Basic Keelboat text by US Sailing. Optional Saturday Sails!
Fee: $150 

THIS CLASS IS FULL. Update 2/2/17: 3 people on the waitlist. 

Class full or product out of stock

102 Basic Sailing Short Course (Women Only)


Mondays, March 20, 27, April 3, and 10.
6:30 - 9:30pm
1425 N. Marine Drive -Suite A, Portland OR 97217

This is simply a condensed version of the 101 Basic Sailing course. It takes place in four sessions instead of seven sessions.
Four evening classroom sessions provide an overview of the skills and knowledge needed to enhance your next sailing experience. This sailing short course introduces you to the boat, the water and the wind. Class includes Basic Keelboat text by US Sailing. Topics include sailing terms, keelboat parts, and points of sail, maneuvering, safety, knot tying, rules of the road, and crewing. There will be an optional Saturday Sail.

Fee:  $100 

Registration closes March 12th, 2017. No walk-ins.

Class full or product out of stock

103 Cool Maneuvers (Women Only)


April 18 & 19, 6:30 - 9:30pm
1425 N. Marine Drive -Suite A, Portland OR 97217
April 22 On-the-water Practical, noon to approximately 4:00pm (location TBA)

Learn the skills you need to get the boat out of the marina. This two-night class prepares you for driving a sailboat, setting an anchor, docking, using VHF and understanding water and wind influences on a boat. When you've completed both nights of class, sign up in class for the optional Maneuvering Practical (on-the-water) scheduled for Saturday, April 22. Prerequisite: Any basic sailing class or instructor approval. Includes Basic Cruising text by US Sailing.
Chalkboard dates: April 18th & 19th (must attend both classes to participate in the on-the-water practicum on April 22nd).
Fee: $120 


104 Spinnaker Handling Basics (Co-Ed)


Saturday, April 15; 9:00am - 3:30pm
1425 N. Marine Drive -Suite A, Portland OR 97217

This comprehensive course provides an introduction to spinnaker handling. It includes terminology, sets, drops, jibes, trimming and sailing angles for both symmetrical and asymmetrical (including cruising) sails. The morning session is in the classroom followed by dockside sail-handling in the afternoon. 

Prerequisite: Basic sailing knowledge and terminology recommended.
Fee: $80 

Registration closes April 10th, 2017. No walk-ins. Sign up early. This class fills up fast!


105 Racing Tactics (Co-ed)

Monday, May 15; 6:30pm
North Sails Oregon, 7304 NE MLK Jr Blvd

Prepare for the racing season with this look at winning strategies and tactics for Columbia River sailors. Caleb Borcher, professional sailor and America’s Cup veteran who grew up sailing on the Columbia, will share his insights.

Admission is free, but you need to register to attend.

Registration closes May 9th, 2017.
For information contact:


106 Women's Basic Racing Clinic (Women Only)


Chalkboard Session: Monday, May 22, 6:30 - 9:00pm at North Sails Oregon, 7304 NE MLK Jr Blvd
Racing: Mondays, June 5, 12, & 19 on the Columbia River - race begins at 6:00pm
Regatta: Saturday June 24 - time TBA

Intermediate level course designed to give women with solid, basic sailing skills an opportunity to learn and race with an all-women crew. The course stresses the 2015 Racing Rules of Sailing and how they are applied to racing tactics. Participants will be asked to document their previous sailing experience to help with crew placement and to facilitate the learning experience. Class begins with one evening Chalkboard session May 22 and continues Mondays in June with on-the-water clinics and racing. Class members participate in the OWSA Women’s Regatta on June 24th, 2017. 

Fee:  $65 
Registration closes May 15th, 2017. Mentors, PLEASE DO NOT register here (you pay no fee). Contact for more details.


107 Women's Cruising Class (Women Only)


Orientation: Thursday, June 1, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Classes: Saturdays, June 10 & 17, 9:00am - 1:00pm | TBD

Learn the basics for over-nighting on the river in this student-led class. Through small group investigation, this interactive class covers safety, provisioning, radio operation, navigation, and other issues related to cruising. Students may practice what they've learned in an optional fun-filled weekend cruise. (Cruise depends on demand and boat availability.) Includes Bareboat Cruising text by US Sailing. 

Fee: $70, plus shared expenses with class and skipper (+/- $50). Registration closes May 27th, 2017. No walk-ins.


109 The Next Step - Beyond the Basics (Women Only)


Thursdays, April 6, 13, 20, 27; 6:00-8:00pm
Saturday, April 29, TBA
1425 N. Marine Drive -Suite A, Portland OR 97217

Update 4/3/17: If you registered for this class, you will receive a refund.

Learn rigging in depth and study hull, keel & rudder designs and impact to boat handling. Practice hands-on rigging. Discuss hank-on vs. roller furling, travelers, back-stays and more. Everything you need to know about sails - sail selection, jib and mainsail controls. Optimizing sail trim - fine tuning sail shape for various conditions. We will review safety and rules so you understand what you need to know to keep you & your crew safe on the water. We will learn how to optimize sail trim on the water. You will have the opportunity to practice what you learned on a sailboat.

Fee:  $90  

Class full or product out of stock

Regatta Registration


Saturday, June 24 - 1:00pm Columbia River

Competitive women sailors test their racing skills against one another in this one-day regatta with up to three races scheduled. No on-the-water registrations accepted. For information contact:

NOTICE: Boats and crew who registered for the 106 Women's Basic Racing Clinic are entered in the regatta as part of the Racing Clinic and DO NOT NEED TO REGISTER for this Regatta.

Fee: $28
Registration closes June 20th, 2017.