Nockamixon Sailing School

Common Questions

Why should I learn how to sail on Lake Nockamixon?
Lake Nockamixon is an ideal place to learn to sail. The 1450 acre lake is approximately 6.5 miles long and has a marina with 648 slips. The water is clean and safe. Since engines above 20 HP are not allowed on Lake Nockamixon, sailors can focus on learning to sail without having to worry about jet skis or large power boats. There is a large community of both cruising and racing sailors who enjoy Lake Nockamixon. Winds average around 10 MPH throughout the year, providing sailors with some of the best sailing conditions available anywhere. Winds on the Lake can be shifty and gusty at times so students learn quickly how to adjust to challenging and changing conditions. Waves on Lake Nockamixon are seldom above one foot so motion sickness is nearly nonexistent. The lessons learned on Lake Nockamixon transfer well to other bodies of water. Sailors who learned to sail on Lake Nockamixon have gone on to sail in other bodies of water all over the world.
How much should I tip the instructor?
Some students give more but a gratuity of 15-20% of course fees is typical. Cash is appreciated.
Do I get my money back if I have to cancel a class? Do students get their money back if the school has to cancel a class?
It is very rare for us to cancel a class. However, if we cancel a class due to weather or boat problems or a captain being sick etc. then students can reschedule or receive a full refund minus the cost of the course materials. If we have a problem with the boat that is repaired during the class and then the class goes forward and we are still able to accomplish the requirements for the class then no refund is given.

Full payment is due when students sign up for classes. If a student cancels an on the water class or a classroom class, then we will refund half of their payment minus the cost of the course materials if they cancel 30 days or more prior to the class start date. No refund will be given if a student cancels with less than 30 daysí notice. Course materials cannot be returned for refund even if in new condition.

No refunds are given for ASA105 or 107 home studies.
Is tobacco allowed on our sailboat?
We do not permit smoking on our sailboat. We also do not allow chewing tobacco on our yacht.
Is it possible that I will have a different instructor than the one indicated when I signed up?
Although most classes go forward with the instructor listed on the schedule page of our website we reserve the right to change the instructor at any time. This is necessary sometimes due to illness, death in the family, scheduling conflicts, etc.
What happens if the boat breaks down during the class?
It is rare to have significant boat problems but it is possible. Learning to deal with issues on the boat is normal and part of sailing. Our experience has been that so long as the class goes forward students welcome the challenges provided by problems on the boat. For example if a fitting breaks, the captain and students may need to stop and fix it using spares on board our vessel. The class would then continue on as normal after the repair is completed successfully. Other examples could be given but in general as long as the class goes forward and we have time to complete all the skills required in the ASA standard no refund would be given.
We will eat lunch on the boat. Students should bring a bag lunch and plenty of water or soft drinks. No alcohol is allowed.
Do we need to bring lunch?
Students typically wear shorts and either T shirts or polo style shirts. Please bring a hat, boat shoes (no dark soles that might mark up the deck), sun tan lotion, and and sun glasses.
What is appropriate attire?
ASA101 and ASA103 classes go from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM both days.
What are the class hours?
Our schedule page is not sophisticated enough to indicate whether a particular class is available. Please select the class date you want and contact Captain Mike Brown at 215-499-0335 or at to confirm availability.
Are all of the dates shown on the schedule page calendar available?
Our program is an adult program so children need to fit into a class where the other students will all be adults. This requires that the child be genuinely interested and mature. Prior to the class they need to read a 120 page book and focus on nothing but sailing for two 6 hour days from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. There may be some students who could meet these requirements at a younger age but without knowing a specific child we have set a minimum age of 16 for our sailing classes. If you think your child who is younger than 16 years old is an exception and could fit into an adult program please let us know. In most cases however we feet that students younger than 16 years of age should take the class with their parent or parents also taking the class with them.
What is the minimum age for students?
We require all students and instructors to wear an approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) during every sailing class. This requirement exists to ensure student safety and is also required by our insurance carrier.
Do I have to wear a Personal Flotation Device during my sailing class?
Safety is our primary concern in all our sailing classes.

If there is a tropical storm or hurricane, the class will be cancelled.

If there is constant all day wind speed of 20 mph or higher, then the class will be cancelled.

If it is going to rain hard all-day then the class will be canceled.

We cancel one class each season on average due to all possible reasons including weather so the possibility of us cancelling a class is very low.

If we cancel a class, students can either reschedule the class or receive a full refund minus the cost of the course materials.

Other weather matters:

If there is lightning nearby, then we will come back into the slip and go over course material until the lightning passes and then go back out when it has passed by.

If the apparent wind speed is less than 20 mph with gusts in the low 20s, then we would likely go forward depending on how often the gusts happen. This would be decided by the captain/instructor who is on the scene.

Wind speed typically changes throughout the day so we might decide to work on course materials, knot tying, rules of the Road etc. until the wind slows up, if the wind is heavy, or speeds up, if the wind is light, and then go forward.

An all-day hard rain is not that common. If it is a drizzly rain, then the class would go forward. Much more likely, it might rain for an hour and then stop. Students should bring rain gear to all classes in case it rains.
What happens if there is too much wind to sail or bad weather?
Group Sailing Courses and Prices
How to Sign Up
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Group Sailing Class Schedule
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Practice Sailing Programs
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Common Questions
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Captain In You Sailing Schools, Inc.
Private Sailing Courses and Prices
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Corporate Team Building Program
Become an ASA Sailing Instructor
Please see the Location page of our website to see a list of places to stay and places to dine while you are in the area taking your sailing classes. Lake Nockamixon and the surrounding area is a great place to visit and some students make a nice getaway out of their sailing classes.
What hotels, motels, and B & B Inns do you recommend and what are the best restaurants near Lake Nockamixon?
A PA Fish and Boat Commission Safe Boating Certificate is only required to operate boats powered by motors greater than 25 HP. Lake Nockamixon does not allow any outboard engines above 20 HP. Therefore a Boating Safety Education Certificates is not required per say to operate a sailboat on Lake Nockamixon. We believe that boating safety is very important however and teach both State and Federal boating safety requirements in all of our sailing classes. You can also get the PA Boating handbook for free at and can get a PA Fish and Boat Commission Safe Boating Certificate on line from many sources.
Is a Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commissionís Safe Boating Certificate required to sail on Lake Nockamixon?