Santana Sailing courses and instruction is rated 4.6 of 5 stars by students

The Highest-Rated Sailing School in Southern California

Professional and personalized instruction – rated 4.96 / 5 stars by sailing students

Sailing American National Standards Certification

Santana Sailing is recognized by NauticEd International Sailing Education as meeting the American National Standards.

Training You Can Trust

Students learn to sail through our fully accredited sailing education program, a program that prepares you to be a competent sailor. And as you progress, your learning is accelerated by instructors with decades of knowledge and experience. Rest assured that our training program adheres to the U.S. Coast Guard’s American National Standards for sailing training. Our Certifications and Licenses are recognized by yacht chartering companies around the world.

Personalized Sailing Instruction

Santana Sailing’s unique approach is personalized training tailored to your individual sailing goals. The coursework begins online with NauticEd’s ‘best in class’ online knowledge and theory courses, and then we get on-the-water to learn and practice skills with hands-on training – and have fun! This approach allows students to learn knowledge and theory at their own pace while maximizing time and experience with on-the-water training. View the Student Guide »

Expert Training

Here’s what people are saying about sailing lessons with Santana Sailing

“Marc may quite possibly be the best instructor I’ve ever experienced. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable about sailing, boating, and the theory behind it all, he’s incredibly skilled at laying everything out in a clear and concise way, and being able to put things in a way that is easy to understand, take away, and use in the future. I swear I’ve learned more in his classes in a very short time than I’ve ever learned from any other teacher, in any other class, ever in my life. He’s always upbeat and willing to answer any question you might throw at him with a well thought out and knowledgeable answer based on real life experience. All that, and his classes are amazingly fun too! I’ve taken some of his classes three or more times just because of him and the cool people I meet on our adventures.

Because of Marc, I currently own my own boat and am working on sailing it around the world. I would not have the knowledge to take on a challenge like that were it not for him. Thanks Marc!!” – Jimmy C.  Read Santana Sailing’s student reviews »

Learn to Sail – Beginner Courses

There are several options to get started in sailing, from a basic skills introduction to crew to learning to skipper a small keelboat. Contact Santana Sailing to discuss your goals and the best way to get started!

Get started today with 2 Free online courses and a Free Sailor’s Toolkit, compliments of Santana Sailing. Learn basic sail trim and navigational “Rules of the Road”, and receive a free eLogbook and additional resources.

Large Sailboat, Near Coastal & Bareboat Courses

Sailing large sailboats, whether a bareboat charter on a sailing vacation or sailing your own large boat, near coastal and for multiple days requires many skills beyond local sailing. Santana Sailing offers comprehensive training to prepare you to sail and charter anywhere in the world on keelboats and luxurious sailing catamarans. Optionally, Marc can assess you for the International Sailing License & Credentials (SLC) – accepted by Port Authorities worldwide.

Contact Santana Sailing to discuss how to qualify for large sailboats or a bareboat charter on a sailing vacation.

Sailing Adventures & International Licensing

Go on a Sail Training Adventure – cruises and flotillas in the Channel Islands and Sea of Cortez. International Licensing available.
The Ultimate Sailing Adventure

Join us on the Sea of Cortez Sailing Flotilla in 2024. Space is limited, learn more and sign up today!

Certification & Standards

NauticEd is the leading international and fastest growing North American sailing and boating education company with a mission to educate and train competent sailors. NauticEd is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as conforming to the American National Standard for sailing training and assessment. NauticEd’s sailing license exceeds the United Nations (UNE) resolution 40 ICC competence standards for yacht charter and is accepted by port authorities worldwide.

Fully Accredited NauticEd Training & Certification

NauticEd 21st-Century-Sailing-Education

NauticEd’s mission is to educate and train competent sailors. Sailing competence requires a mix of knowledge, skills and experience. Once achieved, competence means a sailor will keep the crew safe, have more fun, and be empowered with the confidence to sail beyond visible horizons and personal boundaries. NauticEd programs exceed all U.S. and international recreational sailing standards. NauticEd courses conform to U.S. Coast Guard EDU-3, NASBLA verified third-party assessment, and exceed United Nations (UNE) Resolution 40 competence standards. Learn more about NauticEd »

We’ll Help You Reach Your Sailing Goals!

Our students are interested in exploring the world of sailing, from day sailing to cruising the world, and everything in between. Some want to be a competent mate for their sailing partner. Some want to take family and friends for day sails. Many want to gain the knowledge and skill to charter a boat for a weekend at Catalina, and others need their SLC Mediterranean Sailing License to charter in the Mediterranean. Some are acquiring their first small sailboat or stepping up to a larger monohull, and still others and prepping for that huge catamaran they want to charter in the Caribbean. And many experienced sailors want to tune their skills in specific areas. In the end, it’s all about gaining the confidence and competence to fulfill your sailing dreams.

Many of our students come to us not knowing what they don’t know. When they learn they can voyage to distant shores, anchor in a secluded cove, manage the boat, the crew, and even handle heavy weather, it feels like a little bit of magic is taking place. See our blog on The Best Way to Become a Better Sailor for a taste of how we can help.

Long Beach is the ideal Southern California sail-training venue. It’s windier, closer to Catalina, and at a better wind angle than any other SoCal harbor. Plus, we have the advantage of miles of open water for training without the congestion of the kayaks, paddle boards, Duffys and party boats. It’s simply the best place to learn.

If you want to get somewhere in the world of sailing, even if you’re not sure exactly where that is, see our sailing classes below and find out what the possibilities are. Then contact us for more info. We’re committed to helping you get from where you are to where you want to be.

Marc Hughston
Chief Instructor

“Marc is a squared away sailor who immediately instills a sense of capability and confidence in his clients. One knows that the voyage will be successful. no matter what conditions prevail or what Mother Nature brings. All done with a cheerful, professional demeanor but never a sense of superiority. Would sail with him anywhere anytime as client or crew.”

– Ned T., Student

Which course is right for you?

Santana Sailing's instruction focuses on goal-based competence -  aligning our instruction with your sailing goals and experience. We do NOT offer "zero-to-hero" or require unneeded courses like many other schools. Instead, Santana Sailing's courses are designed to train competent sailors, based on their prior experience, to the highest training standards in the U.S. And the approach works well - read our student reviews >

You can start with any course below based on your goals and if you have the experience or prior training for that course. Select a course below for more information, and certainly contact us with questions or to discuss which course is best for you.

Contact us to get started

Fill out the form below or contact us directly at or 949-939-8123 to register, for more information, or to learn which is the best program for you.

Contact Us

*Santana Sailing is the Highest-Rated sailing school based on real-time student reviews. Each instructor and course review is independently verified as an authentic student by NauticEd. Or rather “Trust through verification” – don’t take our word for it, see what our students have to say.

Read Santana Sailing’s student reviews »