Heartland Introduction to Sailing Classes:

Intro to Sailing I

Set sail for fun. Whether you envision relaxation or adventure, you can choose how you wan to enjoy recreational sailing. in a classroom setting, you'll learn the basic sailing terminology, how to set up a small sailboat, how to steer a sailboat and how a boat sails upwind and downwind. ideal for new sailors, this introductory class is being held in cooperation with the Clinton Lake Sailing Association using their fleet of small sailboats at the Clinton Lake Marina.

Intro to Sailing II

This sailing class will help you practice and gain sailing experience. In this 2-week class you will learn and apply the sailing skills covered in Introduction to Sailing I and build your confidence and ability to sail. This is an on the Water program with plenty of time to practice your new sailing skills. This class is been held in cooperation with e Clinton Lake Sailing Association using their fleet of small sail boats at Clinton Lake Marina

First Sail Experience

CLSA is a proud US Sailing First Sail location.  Interested in learning how to sail, but not sure if you are ready for a full commitment?  Take the First Sail Experience (link: and see first-hand why sailing is most exhilarating activities on earth.   This unique on-the-water opportunity is designed to provide a memorable experience that will motivate newcomers to continue sailing. 

Participants will learn with an instructor in a keelboat provided by CLSA members.   Additionally, all First Sail Experience participants will have access to Basic Keelboat Online (link:, a US Sailing online training course designed to prepare beginners for their first time on the water.   This two-hour lesson is free.   Visit the CLSA calendar for upcoming First Sail dates and signup links.   

Learning within our Club

Learning to Race

If you have ever thought about racing your boat but were not sure about rules/the start/being in someone's way we encourage you come to a racing orientation before a club race(TBA).  We will cover the basic rules at the start, the marks and the finish and strategies for enjoying the race. 

If you would like to crew on a racing sailboat, CLSA members are available and interested in sharing their experiences and expertise. On any given race day you are likely to find an opportunity to crew with someone.  

Bring your boat down and try out a race, or try out a race course and watch a race.

Club Boats

We have a small fleet of boats available to club members. Access to these boats requires club certification to assure that you have certain minimal skills required for safety.

Learning outside the Club

Mid Illini Sail and Power Squadron

        Sailing Principals
           This is a c
lass offered by the Mid Illini Sail and Power Squadron in October.

Private Lessons

CLSA member Bill Vokac is often found teaching and encouraging sailing on Wednesday evenings.  He also offers private lessons to put you on the fast track. Interested? Start here at SailNow.

Power Squadron

Certifications for Seamanship, Piloting and Sail training through the power squadron (Gerry Christman)

US Coast Guard Auxiliary

The Auxiliary has an active presence at Clinton Lake - boating safety courses, seminars on sailing, courses, which allow you to build credentials. ContactJeff Poundstone, or click here to access some on-line lessons.


Take a CPR course:

Water Safety

Sailing instruction

American Sailing Association

US Sailing:

Schools and information specifically for women:


Books and DVDs

US Sailing resources:

ASA extensive sailing links:

ASA textbook links:

Getting Started in Sailboat Racing by Adam Cort

The Rules in Practice by Bryan Willils - This book is excellent for learning the rules of racing

Winning in One-Designs by Dave Perry

Sailboat Racing with Greg Fisher by Tom Hubbell - This is the best book I've seen for learning one design dinghy racing esp Flying Scots

Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing throught 2012 by Dave Perry

Positioning, The Logic of Sailboat Racing by Stuart H. Walker - This is an advanced text and suitable for the experienced racer