Maritime Education and Experiences in the Sonoran Desert

That is correct, sailing in the desert.  At first you may scratch your head, but when you realize how many sailors from Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Pacific Northwest, California, and so on, have moved to Arizona, the wealth of knowledge is so vast and deep, it makes perfect sense.  Growing up on the water sailing, surfing, and fishing taught us how to solve problems and make decisions in the here-and-now, and we all want the same for our children, so here we are, a full-fledged maritime program offering education and experiences surrounded by mountains and saguaros.  All of our out of town guests leave thinking this is a pretty neat place, and we can't agree more.

We offer a wide range of boating and on-the-water experiences for all members of our community.  Some of our programs are fee based, others are not.  Those which are not are paid for by the fee based programs and by community sponsors who value the effort we give towards our youth and those in need of peace and quiet for a day.

We set out to build programs which are accessible, both financially and physically, by all members of our community, and that is exactly what we have done.  Our two large sailboats and our three largest motorboats are all accessible by a wide range of disabilities.  We are extremely proud of what we have built and our offerings, but if you don't see something which fits your specific needs, please call us.  If it is possible, we'll find a way to do it.

Community Focused Programs

Whether you have been sailing or boating your entire life or if this will be your first time, we have a program and a community for you.  Following IYT's recreational courses, you will get instruction on what you need to know to operate various types of boats on lakes and coastal waters.  If it is blue water experiences you seek, we will find a way to get you there, but walking before you run, you will be better off if you know the following first...

Apart from these, we also conduct week-long camps during spring, summer, and fall breaks during the school year.  As different schools have different breaks, our camp dates vary, so please contact us with your specific dates.

Yachts at Sailing Regatta in the Wind Through the Waves
Young Couple and Men on a Boat

Sea Scout Ship 3500

In early 2018, this is where it all started for us.  We grew quickly with energetic and engaged Scouts looking for the next adventure.  Then, in early March 2020, we went dormant for quite a long time.  We all know the story.  Some may have walked from the time and effort spent, but that's not who we are.  Over the past year and half, along with our own Ship 3500 Scouts, we have set sail with numerous other Troops from both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, introducing their kids and Adult Leaders to the many wonderful facets of sailing.

Our two 37' Catalina sailboats can accommodate up to ten Scouts and two Adult Leaders and when you get two boats on the water at the same time the racing begins!

Pleasant Harbor Interscholastic Sailing Association Junior High, High School, and Collegiate Programs

Following the same education as provided in our Community Programs, these programs focus more specifically on racing. Simply sailing, a.k.a. cruising, and racing are two similar, yet very different animals. When cruising, you need to know all aspects of sailing. Racing takes all of your knowledge and puts it in the here-and-now; racing is sailing with speed and purpose of action and thought. It is competition, sail shape, VMG (velocity made good..., don't worry, we'll teach you), wind shifts, rules, penalties, and course management (which is a fancy term for a real-world and immediate use of geometry) to name a few.

Along with the competition, it is friendship, teammates, team problem solving, trophies, travel, and much, much more.

To have a team at your junior high school you need one person, and to have a team at your high school you need only two people..., that's it, one and two. We are in the process of contacting schools from Buckeye to Anthem to Gilbert, so if your school has not yet been contacted, please let us know and we will do so immediately.

Our interscholastic sailing program will bring together our entire Valley, and hopefully State. All the boats and safety gear will be provided, so please do not let any idea of cost be a deterrent for you participating. It is our goal to provide our youth with life skills for the next steps in their lives. We teach kids - WTK - and we will teach every kid who approaches us, it's what we do.

Take a look at our 2023-2024 Academic Year calendar.

Our fleets...

  • International Etchells (Fleet of 8)
  • J-24 (Fleet of 6)
  • CFJ (Fleet of 6)
  • C-15 (Fleet of 8)
  • Olson 30 (Fleet of 2)
  • RS Tera (Targeting 8 by fall 2023)
Programs - schools image