Before you sail, please be aware of these things:

Sailing When Commercial Vessels are Present

DC Sail members, volunteer instructors and staff must stay clear of and give way to commercial vessels at all times. They pose a serious safety risk to our boats and our members. Sailors must:

a) hug the Hains Point side of the channel while passing the slips of the Odyssey and the Spirit of Washington

b) give way at least 10 boat lengths to commercial vessels while they are cruising along the channel

Docking and Rigging Checklist and Rules


  • Check to make sure all required safety equipment is on the boat
  • Sails and halyards attached
  • Jib sheets guided through blocks with figure-8 knot at the ends
  • Main sheet uncleated
  • Centerboard lowered
  • Tiller fitted into rudder


  • If the WIND IS COMING ACROSS the Flying Scot docks, that is DOWN the Channel, and if you are comfortable with the departure maneuver, you sail out of the slip under JIB AND MAIN. Check with the Waterfront Manager or Dock Manager on duty.
  • Under ANY OTHER WIND DIRECTION, you will be towed out using the following procedure:
    • Guide bow of boat to edge of dock pointing out towards the Washington Channel
    • Proceed under tow from inflatable
    • Once towed to the middle of the channel, steer boat upwind (inflatable will continue to tow you)
    • Once upwind, raise main sail
    • Raise jib sail
    • Proceed under sail
    • Bring spring, bow, and stern lines into boat


  • If the WIND IS COMING ACROSS the Flying Scot docks, that is DOWN the Channel, you can sail in under JIB AND MAIN.
  • If the WIND IS COMING FROM ANY OTHER DIRECTION, you TAKE DOWN THE MAIN in the Channel UPWIND! and sail in under the JIB ONLY.
  • If you are uncomfortable with the landing maneuver, hail the DC Sail Dock Manager prior to your approach, and you will be towed in using the following procedure:
    • Sail in middle of Washington Channel until staff member brings inflatable aside your boat
    • Stay clear of all large powerboats such as The Odyssey, Sequoia and Spirit of Washington
    • Position boat into the direction of the wind
    • First, lower jib while staff member begins to push-tow
    • Lower main sail (Don’t get it wet!)
    • Steer boat into the marina while under push-tow
    • Maneuver boat into the furthest available slip
    • Center and secure boat in slip with two bow, two stern, and at least one spring line
    • De-rig boat


  • Center boat in slip with 2 bow lines, 2 stern lines, and one spring line
  • Roll Jib
  • Fold Main at second batten and roll. Secure to boom with at least 2 sail ties
  • Boom is in boom crutch
  • Main sheet is coiled and out of the bilge
  • Centerboard raised
  • Tiller is secured with bungee cord
  • If this is the last rental of the day, cover boat with boat cover
  • Sign in VHF radio
  • Report any problems with the boat


DC Sail will close if wind conditions render sailing our boats dangerous. The same holds true for thunderstorms and lightning. Learn More >>

Make an Online Payment   ·   DC Sail Calendar   ·   Book a Rental   ·   Stay Connected

DC Sail is the community sailing program of National Maritime Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Business Mailing Address: 600 Water Street SW, Unit 9-16, Washington, DC 20024
Diamond Teague Park Piers Waterfront Address: 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
The Wharf/Gangplank Marina Waterfront Address: 600 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
Telephone: (202) 547-1250 · Email: Traci Mead, Director of Business Operations - 
© Copyright 2000-2019. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software