Introduction to Sailing | Online Course

Lifetime access
Rating is 4.94 (based on 122 reviews).

Learn How to Sail

Start your sailing journey with our comprehensive online Introduction to Sailing Course. Whether you're a complete beginner or seeking to refine your skills, this course is designed to equip you with the fundamental knowledge and techniques needed to start sailing confidently. From understanding the basics of sailboat anatomy to mastering essential sailing maneuvers and safety protocols, our expert-written course provides a structured and interactive learning experience.

Estimated Time: 4 hours
Price: $35  $27.50

If you're just getting started in sailing and want to dip your toes in, then this course is for you. We'll "show you the ropes" so to speak - but actually, we'll show you a lot more than just the ropes.

NauticEd’s Introduction to Sailing Course is designed to teach the fundamentals of sailing, including how sailboats work, how to sail, and important safety skills, all in an interactive online course format. Whether you're a beginner just starting or someone who wants to refresh their knowledge, this course is perfect for you. Upon completion of the course, your course is acknowledged on your free sailing resume.

This four-hour course covers all topics related to sailing, making it the perfect starting point for those with limited sailing experience. So, if you're ready to take the first step towards becoming a competent and confident sailor, enroll in the NauticEd Introduction to Sailing course today!

Topics covered in the online NauticEd Introduction to Sailing Course

  • Terminology and Communication
  • Directions
  • Parts of the Boat
  • Sailing the Boat
  • Raising and Lowering the Sails
  • The Rules of Giveway
  • Maneuvering under power
  • Knots
  • Anchoring
  • Navigation
  • Weather
  • Safety on Board


We guarantee both your satisfaction AND Lifetime access to any sailing course you buy from us!

More about this online Introduction to Sailing Course

  • Available immediately online
  • The Introduction to Sailing online sailing course teaches beginner sailors how to sail
  • Essential basic knowledge for sailing at the beginner level for keelboats 21 ft (6.5 m) and above
  • Contains interactive animations, high-quality photos, and graphics
  • This sailing course takes approximately 4 hours of total time to complete
  • Take as long as you need to complete
  • Return as many times as you like to review
  • Free eLogbook and sailing resume-building tool included
  • A prerequisite for the Basic Sailing Skills endorsement (optionally) if you're training on the water with a certified NauticEd instructor
  • View Introduction to Sailing Course excerpts
This is an ONLINE course and the test is immediately viewable in your browser window.

Some more complex topics like navigation and tides are left to our more advanced courses. But for now, the information covered here will give you everything you need to know to get out on the water with an instructor or friend/partner/spouse to get you going.

Instructor Grant Headifen
By Grant Headifen
NauticEd Global Director of Education


View Introduction to Sailing Course excerpt

Student Reviews

Lance C.
2024, 18 May. 02:55

I felt the course was thorough and well designed.

David J.
2024, 08 May. 19:09

It gave me a very comprehensive and informative introduction that left me feeling more confident

Timothy R.
2024, 05 May. 14:53

I found the animations helpful to the learning. I don't mind reading a book but the animated GIFs and the YouTube content with animations were helpful.

Tammy K.
2024, 09 Apr. 19:52

Educational, easy to understand and straight to the point.

Jason G.
2023, 21 Dec. 19:09

As someone who's never been on a sailboat but dreams of sailing one day, I embarked on the NauticEd Intro to Sailing course to build a solid foundation. My goal was to gather as much knowledge as possible before actually hitting the water for sailing lessons. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed my journey through this course. The way the content is organized and presented is not only coherent and well-structured but also strikes a perfect balance between simplicity and depth. For instance, I was fascinated by the detailed explanation of mast vs. boom furled mainsails and headsails, particularly how the presence or absence of battens affects them. The discussions about force vectors and their role in forward motion in different sailing scenarios were enlightening. The use of real images of sailing boats, coupled with interactive, labeled diagrams, brought a sense of realism to the course. This feature, in particular, made it easy to test and confirm my understanding, which I found very beneficial. The vignettes sprinkled throughout the course were a delightful touch, emphasizing key concepts in a fun and practical manner. Before this, I completed ASA's introductory online sailing course. While it was informative, I found it a bit too basic for my liking, leaving me with several unanswered questions. When I tried to expand my knowledge through sailing books, podcasts, and interviews, I realized there were many terms and concepts I just didn't understand. Thankfully, NauticEd's course filled in those gaps beautifully, covering essential topics like 'Reefing' and 'Heave-to', which were notably absent in ASA's course. It even taught me about wind vanes and how to read them - something I hadn't learned before. In summary, NauticEd's Intro to Sailing course was a game-changer for me. It's the perfect blend of engaging, informative, and practical learning for anyone aspiring to set sail.

Michael P.
2023, 11 Dec. 01:52

Nice short course to supplement but not confuse a new student as they approach their first time on the water.

Bill I.
2023, 24 Nov. 17:16

Breadth of subjects.

Eric F.
2023, 05 Oct. 14:23

Great basic information look forward to learning more.

Eric W.
2023, 09 May. 00:34

Comprehensive course but easy to understand while emphasizing the importance of repetition. Amazing instructors who take the time to make sure you comprehend the details. Great course.

Nick B.
2023, 24 Feb. 05:13

An excellent course to introduce the fundamentals of sailing. I would highly recommend this course.

Margaret-Anne L.
2023, 17 Feb. 22:25

Easy to understand and follow. Great visuals. Organized information and tests.

Jeffery R.
2022, 27 Oct. 21:05

Easy to follow Thorough Complete

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List Price: $35.00 Price: $27.50 You Save: $7.50 (21%)

Excerpt from the course

Expand Excerpt from the course

Types of Sails

Most likely, initially, you will be dealing with a headsail and a mainsail. The interactive image below shows both typical sails on a sailboat, the Mainsail and the Jib (aka headsail). The image also shows the attachment points to the sail - the head, the tack, and the clew for each of the sails. Tap on the letters to reveal the name - tap again to hide. Test yourself on what you can remember!


Collapse Excerpt from the course

Sea talk testimonials

The most professionally organized sailing training I've seen. The adaptation of combining e-learning with a practical experience based sailing certification is impressive. Well done!

Michael L, Student - Austin Texas

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