School Year Programs 2023-24

Edison Sailing Center features one-design sailboats that have deep roots in both Florida as well as sailing history: the Optimist Dinghy (designed by Clark Mills – Clark Mills Boat Works –  Clearwater, FL), the Laser or ILCA 4 & ILCA 6, and the 420 so named for its length of 4.2meters (13.9 feet). All three classes of boats are recognized internationally and afford sailors a solid foundation for learn-to-sail, intermediate and experienced skill levels.

Students who participate in programs at the Edison Sailing Center are provided with all of the equipment necessary to enjoy the water, thanks to private and public donations as well as grant funding. It is our belief that the cost of a boat and its equipment should not be a deterrent to welcoming students to experience the joy of sailing!

Shool Year Program FAQ'S

Who can participate?

The sailing center offers programs to meet most age groups, each of which is scheduled to meet the average cognitive and developmental levels of those groups:

MINNOWS: ages 5, 6 & 7
LEARN TO SAIL: ages 8-13
HIGH SCHOOL: ages 14-18

  • Students must be able to swim. Life jackets are required (and can be provided) at all times when near or on the water. Students should be comfortable in the water. Staff may request a Comfort Check of new sailors as a safety precaution.
  • Students must be able to see, hear and respond to verbal and non-verbal instructions on and off the water.
  • Students must be able to recover their capsized vessel in a controlled environment as well as in normal sailing conditions.
  • Students must be registered for the program(s) in which they plan to participate. Registration is completed through REGATTA NETWORK.
  • Sessions (except MINNOWS) are offered on Saturdays. Students who participate in other team or individual sports that meet/compete on Saturdays may encounter scheduling conflicts, depending on the sport’s season schedule. 

What are the Costs?

Edison Sailing Center is a 501(c)3 corporation, not for profit, that relies on tuition, donations, volunteers, and community assistance to support programs. Fees include use of the boat and equipment for the session(s) the student is registered to attend.

MINNOWS: 4 week sessions, $200 per session
LEARN TO SAIL: 6 week sessions, $250 per session
HIGH SCHOOL SAILING: 10 week sessions, $250 per session

When and Where are Programs Held?

Complete information regarding day/date and time for each session can be found in the registration system and as follows:

MINNOWS: Mondays, 3:30-5:00 PM
LEARN TO SAIL: Saturdays, 9:00 AM – Noon
HIGH SCHOOL SAILING: Saturdays, 9:00 AM – Noon

All sessions are taught at the Edison Sailing Center, 13001 N. Cleveland Avenue in North Shore Park, just over the US 41 bridge from downtown Fort Myers. 

What is Expected of the Parents and Sailors?

Parents and Sailors play a vital role in a community-based sailing center. It is virtuallyimpossible to operate successful programs without the input and support of families.

Some of the ways families can help include:

  • Partnering with Staff to insure a team approach to your child’s success and enjoyment.
  • Reminding your sailor to bring any needed items including a reusable water bottle to sailing each week.
  • Informing coaches/instructors and staff of any changes to your child’s routine or health.
  • Volunteering for lite work days around the sailing center
  • Assisting with community outreach events and/or scrimmages with other sailing organizations.
  • Students who need to meet the 100 Community Service Hours requirement for Bright Futures can volunteer at the sailing center in supervised activities.

Can parents learn how to sail or operate a powerboat?

The sailing center is primarily a youth training facility but when instructors are available, we are happy to offer adult powerboat instruction (individually or in small groups). Our primary sailboats used for adult sailing were destroyed in Hurricane Ian. We hope to be able to offer adult sailing later in the fall of 2023. 

Can We Rent Boats?

The sailing center will offer Family Days or Community Outreach events during which families are welcome to sail with their children or take a boat out independently, once staff has determined your ability to rig, troubleshoot and sail the boat on your own. We do not rent boats.