The Cal Sailing Club is a non-profit, volunteer-run sailing and windsurfing club that offers lessons, recreation, and free programs for the general public and for summer programs. Members get lessons and, after achieving ratings, use of the club's fleet of 26 dinghies, 6 keelboats and 80 windsurfing boards including novice, intermediate, and advanced designs. Located on the south side of the Berkeley Marina, CSC's major activity is teaching sailing and windsurfing safety.
The club's programs for the general public and organized groups include Introductory Sails, land sailing school (in cooperation with the Nature Center and the Pegasus Project), summer sailing for youth groups including Berkeley and Albany YMCA's and Berkeley Youth Alternatives, windsurfing seminars, lectures, and clinics. These services are provided by club volunteers.
Membership dues and volunteer work provide access to lessons and recreational use of the club's equipment. There are no charges for lessons or use of equipment. Members have to pass rating tests and contribute work in order to achieve ratings. Qualified members can bring non-member friends out sailing as their guests.
The Cal Sailing Club is not part of the University of California. The UC Aquatic Center, which occupies the site immediately to the east of CSC, is a separate facility run by Cal Adventures and the University of California.
Open To The Public
Membership is open to the public. The Club is open all year, from noon to sunset on weekdays and from 9:00 AM to sunset on weekends. Instruction, maintenance, and administration are all done by volunteer members.
Minors (under 18) are encouraged to join when they and their parents feel that they are ready to sail and windsurf at CSC without any special supervision. All minor memberships are subject to approval by the CSC Executive Committee. Parents of new minor members must be thoroughly familiar with the club and the conditions their children will face. Children younger than five are not permitted in CSC boats.
Open House: Introductory Sails
Introductory Sails for this sailing season are listed here.
This is a great way for anyone to learn about boating safety, discover the joy of sailing and CSC. Children must be at least five years old and accompanied by a parent or guardian. Arrive between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM, wear warm, waterproof clothing, strap on eyeglasses or sunglasses, leave electronic gear behind, and bring a change of clothes in case you get wet!
The fee for a three-month membership is $120 ($99 for students and senior citizens). A discounted annual membership is available for $375. Members can take unlimited lessons and once they have ratings can take out boats and sailboards without limit. There is a two-hour work requirement every three months for all active regular members. Most of the CSC's active members find that they enjoy participating in various activities to the extent that they donate many more hours of their time. The nature of your work contribution is almost entirely up to you. The Club always needs people to be instructors, to help with (and learn) boat maintenance, and to assist with administration and publicity jobs.
All membership signups and renewals are processed through this website. If you are joining as a new member, please do that here on this website, preferrably from home--we have computers at the club, but they get too busy on weekends. If you are renewing, please log into your account and click on Memberships.
Once youi've become familiar with CSC, you can sign up family members with our minor and family memberships, with special approval. Parents of minor members must fill out medical and liability waiver forms. The club does not provide supervision, hazard screening, or environment specifically for children (UCAC is the place for this, next door to CSC). Family memberships are available only to those related as parent/guardian and children.
Sailing and Windsurfing Lessons are the club's most important activity. Club members teach other club members everything from which end goes first to the finest points of sail trim. Beginning sailing lessons are held every Monday and Thursday afternoon and Saturday mornings; beginning windsurf lessons every Saturday and Sunday morning. For more information, see the lessons page for Sailing or Windsurfing.
Cruises: Occasional scheduled keelboat day cruises for destinations such as Angel Island, Sausalito, Pier 39 in San Francisco, the Oakland Estuary, and Point San Pablo. On most cruises, any member can sign up in advance to be part of the crew, and can also sign up one non-member as a guest. No CSC rating or lessons are required to participate in a keelboat cruise. Cruising Skippers can also arrange to use the boats for private cruises.
Racing: Dinghy races are held most Sunday mornings from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, alternating use of our Bahia and JY15 fleets. Any CSC member can crew, but only members with a Junior Skipper rating or higher who have passed the Racing Rules Test can skipper.
Informal dinghy races, using an abbreviated set of rules, are held spring through fall on Thursday evenings using our JY15 fleet. Arrive by 5:30 PM to rig the boats.
During the summer months, CSC cosponsors a weekly racing series with the Berkeley Yacht Club. When Daylight Savings Time is in effect, there is a race almost every Friday night. A number of members also own their own racing yachts, and there is usually a demand for crew at all experience levels. Some CSC members have even found crew spots on boats sailing to Mexico, Hawaii, and the South Pacific as an indirect result of their involvement in the Club.
For more detailed information please go to the Racing page.
CSC's Boats & Sailboards
Check out our fleet. We have Sail Boats, both smaller diinghies and keelboats, along with instructional programs for each of them. Same for Wind Surf boards. We even have some kayaks and stand-up paddle-boards for member use, although we do not have an instructional program for them.
The CSC Rating System
San Francisco Bay is a challenging and exciting place to sail. It is well known for strong wind, big waves, and cold water! Although the CSC dock is partially protected, most of the sailing area is exposed to the full force of the Bay's wind and waves. Sailing in these conditions requires considerable skill and experience, and as a result the tests which must be passed to achieve various qualification ratings in CSC are quite rigorous compared with those of most other sailing programs. The major features of the rating system are outlined under "Sailboat Rating System" and "Windsurfer Rating System."
Windsurfer Storage Lockers
Cal Sailing Club maintains a total of 59 storage lockers on the premises for windsurfing boards and sails. Associate membership in the Club, for a fee of $400 per year ($600 for two larger lockers), is available to the general public and entitles the Associate Member to store personal windsurfing equipment in an assigned storage locker anytime throughout the year. This allows immediate access to one of the most popular windsurfing areas in the Bay.
Contact the Windsurfing locker chair for more information.
The Cal Sailing Club, as a non-profit charitable and educational organization, is tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). The club is also a registered California charity.
How Do We Do It?
The Cal Sailing Club's programs are designed to provide minimum cost access to educational and recreational sailing facilities. The cost of participating is far below the cost of taking lessons or renting boats from a commercial sailing school. We are able to operate at such a low cost primarily because all the instruction, maintenance, and administration is performed by unpaid volunteer members. The only exception is the "Dayleader", a work-study student assigned to CSC who is paid jointly by the Club and the federal work-study program. If you are a student with a work-study grant and an interest in sailing, you should talk to us about working as a Dayleader. Contact the Port Captain for employment opportunities.
The Cal Sailing Club also replaces its equipment at less frequent intervals than commercial operations. The boats are strong, safe, and functional, but will not win any beauty contests.