Learn to Sail Right Here in Arizona!

The O'Pen Bics were available for test drives, recruiting juniors to the February class in these exciting new boats. Photo: Phil Freedman
O’Pen Bics, performance boats for
young teens. Photo: Phil Freedman

Yes, it’s true. You or your kids can learn to sail right here in the desert. The Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) offers classes set up for fun—with maximum time on the water. A little classroom, a lot of boat. Soon you’re scooting across Tempe Town Lake powered by nothing but the wind. What a kick!

ASF is a nonprofit 501c3 organization run by volunteers, primarily AYC members, who share their passion for sailing with others. The classes use ASF boats and are taught by instructors certified by US Sailing. Interested in becoming an instructor? See Main Menu >Sailing Classes > Become an ASF Instructor

ASF Education Programs:

Adult Classes

Beginning Sailing – for first time and novice sailors.

Powerboat Handling – US Sailing course for power boaters

Introduction to Sailboat Racing – Racing basics that will get you going—fast!

Junior Sailing

Kids’ Introduction to Sailing for first time and young sailors to build confidence on the water. Students accepted as young as eight years old.

MORE Junior Sailing – A class for students who have built confidence in an Opti and are ready for more sailing skills and more types of boats.

High School Sailing – An after-school program for fun, learning, and a bit of competition.

When you sign up for a kids’ class, you’ll be guided through the sign-up process, including a medical questionnaire and legal release. If there are questions on the medical release that you cannot answer, indicate that in the blank with a “DK.AYC Members may be able to receive a $50 scholarship for a child to attend an ASF Junior class. Fill out this form, attach a written paragraph or drawing and return it to the AYC Commodore for consideration.

Opti drifting on a sunny afternoon. Photo: Mike Ferring
Opti drifting on a sunny afternoon. Photo: Mike Ferring

Learning to Sail: For the kids it can begin with a Junior Introduction class and progress all the way to competing internationally in sailboat races. Several of our kids have done exactly that. For adults, get started sailing with our Beginning Sailing class, where you spend more time on the water than you do in a classroom (but you’ll still get all the necessary theory and jargon in the classroom).

ASF Boats: ASF has a fleet of instructional boats kept in the marina at Tempe Town Lake, including Optis, O’Pen Bics, Capri 14.2s, and Lasers. There are two powered support boats and at least one is always on the lake during every class. We have a core of volunteer US Sailing-certified sailing instructors and US Sailing-certified powerboat instructors (to teach powerboating and to drive the safety boats).

Support the ASF: Naturally, a nonprofit program of this scope needs contributions and we welcome yours, including via boat donations. If you have a boat (of any kind in seaworthy condition) or boat trailer, consider donating it to ASF and receiving a 501(c)(3) charitable donation receipt for your taxes. Or simply contribute money. For more information, please see our donate page.

QUESTIONS??? Call or text (480) 269-2699 or send an email to

Mission Statement

The Arizona Sailing Foundation, Inc., will provide fun, safe, community based education in the art of sailing on a nondiscriminatory basis. The Arizona Sailing Foundation, Inc. admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.