Instructional Programs

The Eckerd College Waterfront Program offers instruction in a variety of watersports to participants of all ages.

The Eckerd College Waterfront Program, one of the most comprehensive collegiate programs in the U. S., offers instruction in a variety of watersports to participants of all ages, from children to seniors. Types of classes offered throughout the academic year include adult classes in Sailing at all levels, from Beginning on Small Boats to Advanced on Keelboats, Windsurfing, and special clinics designed for groups wishing to focus on Team Building, Communications, etc.. Camps for children and teens are offered during the Summer. Located at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, the school provides the perfect environment for learning watersports on beautiful Boca Ciega Bay!

Classes at the Waterfront Program have been in existence for more than 47 years. Through those years we have introduced thousands of children and adults to the wonderful world of watersports. We look forward to meeting you and your family and providing you with an exciting and unforgettable experience!

  • For their safety, all students must be able to swim.
  • As we all know, the weather in Florida may be unpredictable at times so classes are held rain or shine! If the weather makes on-water practice impractical, students will participate in classroom instruction and other land activities.
  • Make-up sessions are not offered.
  • Wallace Boathouse
  • Outdoor Classrooms
  • Picnic/Seating Area
  • Snack Bar & Ship Store
  • Multiple Docks
  • Activities Center
  • Classrooms Equipped for Multi-Media Instruction
  • Restroom Facilities
  • Weather Tracking System
  • All watersports equipment and instructional supplies provided.
  • Life Jackets provided- Always worn when on the water and on the docks.
  • Each class supervised by instructor in safety boat.
  • Classes taught on the keelboats have an instructor aboard each boat.
  • All boats equipped with required safety gear.
  • All instructors certified in CPR and First Aid.

The full payment for each class must be submitted with a completed application form. Payment is required to reserve a space in a class.

Once we receive your application and payment, we will send you written confirmation and provide more specific details about the logistics of the program. Please keep your confirmation letter and bring it with you on the first day of class. If you do not receive confirmation within 2 weeks of registration, call us to confirm that we have received your application and payment.

Along with your confirmation letter and logistics information, a liability release and medical form will be sent. These forms must be completed and received by our office prior to the class beginning. Participants will not be able to participate if we do not have these forms on file. We are not able to accept faxed copies of liability releases.

Make checks payable to Eckerd College. Credit Cards are accepted in person in the Waterfront Office.

Please arrive 15 minutes early on the first day of class so we can complete your registration process.

No refunds or credits are issued if you cancel or change a class on or after the first day of the class, regardless of the reason.

Eckerd College reserves the right to cancel classes that have not met the minimum enrollment. If we cancel a class, your payment will be fully refunded.

Requests for full refunds due to injury or illness that occur prior to the beginning of a class must be accompanied by a physician’s written verification of date and type of injury or illness. This verification must be received no later than one week after the missed class.


Download the Waterfront’s Instructional Program Offerings for Spring 2022.

Introduction to Kayaking

Ages 16 and Above

Kayaking has become a very popular activity. It’s great exercise and it is an exciting way to enjoy the serenity of the water and get close enough to watch marine life without disturbing the environment. We use a “sit on top” style of sea kayak that is stable and easy to learn on, and we begin with basic paddling techniques, self-rescue, and maneuvering through courses in Frenchman’s Creek. The group then sets out to explore Boca Ciega Bay, with local beaches and islands that provide a haven for birds and other types of marine life.

Class Schedule

Scheduled on basis of interest.

Class Fee $50

Advanced Kayaking

Ages 16 and Above

This class is for those who have mastered the basics of kayaking and wish to explore even more exciting locations in the local area. Each day is spent in a different area, which may include Fort DeSoto, Weedon Island, Terra Ceia Bay, etc., offering a variety of marine life and surroundings to see and experience. Participants explore these different destinations following marked kayaking trails or exploring new areas as a group. Destinations for each session are indicated in the schedule. Kayaks and equipment are provided, as well as transportation to the kayaking site.

Class Schedule

Scheduled on basis of interest.

Class Fee $100


Ages 17 and Above

Windsurfing combines the fun of sailing and surfing to form a unique sport! Participants stand on the surf type board, move the entire sail, and catch the wind to propel themselves across the water. In this class, we start by teaching the basics on a land simulator and then move to the protected waters of Frenchman’s Creek.  Individuals improve at this fascinating sport at different rates and the instructors will offer advice and remove the tethers at appropriate skill levels. This class will be a hit if you’ve never tried windsurfing before or you’ve mastered the basics and want to improve. Come join the fun!

Class Schedule

Session 1          February 26 & 27Saturday & Sunday10 a.m.-4 p.m. (1 hr. Lunch)
Session 2April 9 & 10Saturday & Sunday10 a.m.-4 p.m. (1 hr. Lunch)

Eckerd Students Free; Eckerd Faculty, Staff – $40; General Public – $100

Introduction to Sailing for EC Students - Small Boats

Available Only to Eckerd Community
This class is designed for the active sailor and is taught on our new 14′ RS Quest Sailboats. With two persons per boat, each participant gets the opportunity to steer the boat as the skipper and control the jib sail as the crew. The class begins in the protected waters of Frenchman’s Creek and then, followed by the instructor’s chase boat, the students are sent to the more open waters of Boca Ciega Bay where they can take advantage of a larger sailing area and steadier winds. These boats are fast and there’s nothing more exciting than pumping a dinghy onto a full plane, skimming across the water, and hanging on for dear life!

Class Schedule

Session 1          February 12 & 13Saturday & Sunday10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (1 hour lunch)
Session 2April 2 & 3Saturday & Sunday10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)
Session 3April 30 & May 1Saturday & Sunday10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)

Eckerd Students Free; Eckerd Faculty, Staff – $50

Beginning Sailing - Keelboats

Ages 18 and Above

If you are a novice or small boat sailor who wants to step up to a large keelboat, sign up for this class! Students are taught on a 26′ Colgate. The program covers the basic theory and terminology of sailing, rigging, fundamentals of keelboat handling, sail adjustment and maneuvers, with a continuing emphasis on weather and safety. Overboard recovery, rules of the road, and local knowledge chart reading will be introduced. This introductory class is the first step in gaining confidence aboard a larger sailboat.

Class Schedule

Session 1          TBASaturday & Sunday9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)

EC Students – $75; EC Faculty, Staff – $100; General Public – $295

Advanced Sailing - Keelboats

Ages 18 and Above

Continuing the keelboat sailing techniques from Beginning Sailing on Keelboats, this class is taught aboard the Colgate 26, the most modern purpose built sailing trainer. Safety and weather are emphasized. More advanced sailing practice includes speed control, close quarters handling and sailing in higher winds. Students who successfully complete this course will feel comfortable with skippering a keelboat during daylight hours in the local area.

Class Schedule



Session 1          TBASaturday & Sunday9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)
Session 2          TBASaturday & Sunday9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)

EC Students $75: EC Faculty, Staff – $100; General Public – $325