Portland Sailing Center


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Course descriptions and prices

A Forest of Sails

Big boat classes

2017 Schedule


Portland Sailing Center is a sailing school on the Columbia River near Portland Airport. We teach sailing on ballasted keelboats from 22 to 24 feet in length. We also run a cruising boat, a Pearson 39-2, with students up in the Gorge and out on the ocean. We have been doing this for a long time, we're pretty good at it, and always looking for ways to get better.

The case for PSC:


PSC is at the center of the best sailing in Portland, at the widest and windiest point on the Columbia River. And being out at the end of Harbor 1 Marina, our boats are mere seconds from the main stem of this great waterway. Heck, we can and do often sail right up to our docks!


PSC is by PDX, off N.E. Marine Drive, near 33rd. We are NOT on Hayden Island, so getting to us any time of day is relatively easy. This makes our evening classes (April through August) viable for most people because you don't have to do that I-5 grind up to the Interstate Bridge. You can't beat evenings on the river.


The Columbia River is great place to learn to sail, but only PSC is specifically crafted to exploit the variety of winds, currents, weather, challenges, and access to the Columbia River Gorge and Pacific Ocean. Our textbook, A Forest of Sails, is locally produced for this purpose, and students say it is a great read. And don't expect any quickies at PSC. Lessons are spread out typically over several weeks. This is a great pace for learning, and students see a variety of conditions.


PSC is not conscripted to a national franchise. We were. For too many years our students had to pay exhorbitant dues, buy dreary generic books (one for every class!), and in return were bombarded with sales promotions and received little faux diplomas in sticker books that are not respected in the industry. Read The certificate hustle.


PSC is a pure sailing school, nothing more, nothing less. We have neither membership contracts nor boats to sell you. All we do is teach sailing, and we do it on boats, in the wind, not in a classroom or on a screen.

If you have ever taught a subject you know teaching has no one path to success, especially when your daily topic–in our case, the speed and direction of wind–is prone to change without your consent. Thus our task is never boring, and we are always finding ways to make our classes more useful and fun.


We rent boats to current and recent students. Getting out on your own is great fun and the best way to advance your skills, so we try to make it convenient. Our fleet is small but well maintained, and has excellent sails and motors.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates do not require pre-payment. We'll send you a simple document to print and fill out as you like. Payment is due when the recipient starts class. This way there is no risk or obligation. Just email Cliff at the address at the bottom of every page.

See Sailing Courses for more information. Email to the address below or call the office at 503-281-6529 to ask questions or sign up.


© Portland Sailing Center (*)