Portland Sailing Center is a sailing school on the Columbia River near Portland Airport. If you really want to learn to sail or simply want to "take a sailing class," our Basic classes fit the bill. Casual students have fun and learn a lot without commiting gobs of time. Students bound for the San Juan Islands, the Sea of Cortez or beyond will find endless possibilities in the depth of our staff (all Coast Guard licensed Masters), textbook, cirriculum, and commitment.
PSC is the only local school that is not conscripted to a nationally franchised curriculum. Ours is the only program that is specifically crafted to extract real-world sailing lessons from the gifts of the Columbia River. Learning how to sail is much easier when working from a curriculum and textbook that reflect what students actually see and experience.
PSC has no memberships to offer and no boats to sell you. All we do is teach sailing. And if you think you need a piece of paper from a national sailing franchise, click here.
PSC's Basic program is offered in one, two or three parts, depending on the needs of the individual. The fifteen hours of Basic 1 are mostly on the water and have no scheduled lecture time, though we review textbook exercises in the classroom (unless the winds are especially fair!). Some students choose to repeat Basic 1 at the discounted "revisited" rate. Others are drawn to Basic 2 which puts students on a boat on their own, tethered to an instructor only by a VHF radio. Some students jump directly from Basic 1 to the big boat classes.
There is really no such thing as "intermediate" or "advanced" sailing, there is just doing basic sailing better and better! There are, however, different boats and purposes, such as racing, voyaging, and cruising. If bareboat chartering or ocean voyaging is in your future PSC has big boat and navigation classes to get you started. We have been sailing in the Gorge and over the Columbia River Bar since the eighties, and frequently sponsor bareboat trips to the Sea of Cortez or the Carribean Sea.
Our location within Harbor 1 Marina (3307 NE Marine Drive) is easily accessible any time or day, and because our docks are on the main stem of the river our students spend more time sailing and less time in the harbor.
Lessons are spread out over multiple days, ideally seperated by at least one day. We know this is superior for learning. Students see a variety of wind conditions and have time to absorb material between classes. Sorry, no quickie programs at PSC. Class schedules are flexible. Not only can we find a schedule for almost anyone, we can also find the wind! Our evening classes are especially productive, and are gilded with the pleasures of evenings on the river.
Sailboat rentals are available to qualified current or past students.