88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Milwaukee Community Sailing Center

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Learning to sail doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars.  In fact, just about anyone can afford sailing lessons in Milwaukee.

It surprised us, too.

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center offers hands-on sailing lessons for less than the cost of renting a pontoon boat for the weekend.  For $300 a year, you can become a member and gain access to its 70-boat fleet.

But to get started, the center offers entry-level classes to aspiring skippers.  Professional instructors spend one-on-one time with students, both in the classroom and on the water.  The beginner course takes only two weeks to complete and costs about $150.  The center provides students with a textbook and all the supplies they need to begin.

After completing each class, students are certified to sail in various wind speeds.  They then can check out boats for free and sail during daylight hours.

Established in 1979, the MCSC ranks in the nation's top ten, according to C.E.O. Margaret Jaberg.  And she says it is the only non-profit sailing center of its caliber on the Great Lakes.

Classes are wrapping up for the season, but the center offers indoor winter classes on knot tying, weather systems, and Lake Michigan's ecology.  To connect with the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, visit its official website or call (414) 277-9094.