Why Choose OCSC?
OCSC Sailing is located in the heart of San Francisco Bay, directly across the Bay from the Golden Gate Bridge, in the Berkeley Marina. Our location is unique in that it allows you to be sailing in minutes in one the world’s premier sailing venues, in the best wind it has to offer. The high winds, tides, and marine activity on San Francisco Bay make it a challenging yet rewarding location to learn to sail, and it is often said that if you can learn to sail here, you can sail almost anywhere. And, you have all of the Central Bay’s wonderful sailing destinations to explore!
The OCSC campus includes three docks in the Berkeley Marina, a clubroom, pro shop, several classrooms, outdoor patio and picnic areas, and a fleet service building. Our fleet of 50 instruction and charter boats are all conveniently located within a few steps of the main building. The upstairs clubroom overlooks San Francisco Bay, with views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and the city of San Francisco, making it a wonderful place for students and members to gather, and an ideal facility for special events, lectures, seminars, and other activities. Two large, well-equipped classrooms are available for classroom instruction. The pro shop is located in the main office and provides everything needed for beginning to advanced sailors, including gloves, foul weather gear, boots, hats, knives, navigation equipment, and books.
OCSC has over 50 professionally-maintained boats in the charter fleet, ranging in size from 24’ to 82’. Our fleet offers everything from training boats to sport boats to large yachts ideal for extended overnight cruises. Our basic training boat is the J24. Designed as a racing boat, the J/24 is fast, responsive and safe. We have a wide range of boats over 30 feet including a 52' Santa Cruz and a 54' catamaran. Click here to see the complete OCSC fleet.
OCSC’s course curriculum exceeds the standards outlined by US Sailing. While you’re here for class, we’ll keep you out on the water as much as possible so that you can develop the skills you’ll need to sail out on the challenging San Francisco Bay. There will be no more than a couple of hours spent in the classroom. You’ll then come back for included free study halls in Seamanship and Navigation, which you can attend as your schedule allows. In these, you’ll gain more in-depth knowledge on topics like right-of-way rules, aids to navigation, chart reading, knots, boat equipment, and much more -- all additional material that’s not part of your actual certifications gained here with us but will help you become a confident and safe skipper on the Bay.
Our guarantee goes beyond mere satisfaction. We not only guarantee that students will enjoy their training, we also guarantee that if they do not certify within the course, we will commit to them as much additional training as they need to get certified over a three-month period. In other words, with high standards, and a commitment to confidence, it’s common for folks to need more practice. If you do, you’ll have 60 days to enjoy instruction at no additional cost! To qualify for this guarantee at the Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising level, membership is required.
Our low student: teacher ratio ensures that you get just the right amount of hands-on experience. Basic Keelboat and Basic Cruising classes have a maximum of three students and one instructor per boat. While there will sometimes be less, there will never be more. Bareboat Cruising is aboard larger boats and allows up to four students and one instructor. There are fewer students per class at OCSC Sailing than other sailing schools where beginning classes contain four, five or even six students per instructor.
OCSC delivers the highest standard of instruction, sailing from the best location on San Francisco Bay, on an exceptionally well-maintained fleet. The combination of OCSC’s high standards and the consistently fresh breeze in our training venue sets you up for success in your sailing endeavors worldwide. In addition, our low student-to-instructor ratio and course guarantee mean that you will get the most out of each and every course you take with us. Membership with OCSC’s unique sailing club provides you with access to the charter fleet, the ability to connect with other qualified sailors through our online Crew List, and a host of social and sailing-related activities.
Our instructors hold U.S. Coast Guard captain licenses, US Sailing instructor certifications, are CPR- and First Aid-certified, and all have extensive sailing experience. In addition, OCSC instructors are hired only after a rigorous selection process in which approximately only one in every ten candidates is hired to be an OCSC instructor. We also have the largest number of instructor trainers and master instructor trainers on staff in the country.
Our Customer Service
You’ll be met in the front office by a team of smiling faces who are there to help answer any questions you may have about OCSC courses, membership, chartering or any of our other services. We’re open seven days a week from 8 am - 5 pm, so come by and say hello!
Our Fleet Service Department
Our fleet service department works seven days a week to professionally maintain the yachts in OCSC’s fleet so that they’re always ready to sail when you are!
Our Commitments: The Environment, Our Community, Your Experience
OCSC is committed to making a difference in the world that we live in and has a guiding policy to use our resources for the greatest impact in both our local community and also where we travel overseas. We focus our giving in two specific areas: the fragile ocean environment and disadvantaged children's access to swimming and boating.
We’re also here to help connect you with the community of sailors at OCSC and, while you're here with us, will strive to make sure that you're always having fun, staying safe and growing as a sailor.
The OCSC crew list is an online email exchange that our members use daily to find both crewmembers and skippers to sail with. Everyone benefits by sharing the work, cost, and fun of sailing among a group of qualified sailors. Our members connect with each other directly to put their crew together and then split the cost of the charter appropriately, making OCSC the most affordable way to go sailing on a variety of high quality boats.
Parties and Social Events
There’s always something going on at OCSC -- barbeques, Wednesday Night sails, crew parties, sign up to sail events, photo exhibits, bagel breakfasts… You can count on us to fill your social calendar and help get you connected with other folks in the club!
On-the-Water is Our Priority
We’re here to help you get out sailing as much as possible! From our online services to one- on-one support when you need it, OCSC helps its members find crew and enjoy the sport to their maximum potential.
When you learn to sail with OCSC, you'll find that we're genuinely interested in your hopes and dreams. We're here as your friends and we'll be down to earth, sincere and authentic as we help you achieve your sailing goals. And, we're a lot of fun too :)