Watersports Classes

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 Introductory 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 50 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!

Classes

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

Windsurfing

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

No Windsurfing this Fall! Please be patient as we train our new instructors and check back in the Spring for that semester’s class schedule.

Please find pricing and sign-up information below according to your status

Introduction to Sailing for EC Community - 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

SessionsDatesDaysTimes
Session 1          October 29-30Saturday & Sunday10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)
Session 2          November 19-20Saturday & Sunday10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)
Session 3    December 3-4Saturday & Sunday10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)

Please find pricing and sign-up information below according to your status

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

SessionsDatesDaysTimes
Session 1          November 5-6Saturday & Sunday10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)

Please find pricing and sign-up information below according to your status

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

SessionsDatesDaysTimes
Session 1          October 8-9Saturday & Sunday10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (1 hour lunch)

Please find pricing and sign-up information below according to your status

All Watersports Classes are free for current Eckerd students. A $20 cash deposit is required at sign-up to secure your spot, but will be returned to you upon completion of the course.

Student sign-ups for Watersports Classes open the Sunday before the scheduled session.

Please stop by the Waterfront Office during normal business hours to reserve your space.

Sign-ups for Watersports Classes are open to Faculty and Staff starting the Monday before the scheduled session, allowing Students priority. Please call the Waterfront Office to confirm class availability.

You may stop by the Waterfront Office during normal business hours to reserve your space. Exact Cash payments (we cannot provide change) or Credit Card payments are accepted in person in the Office.

Pricing

Windsurfing – $50.00

Introduction to Sailing – $50.00

Beginning Keelboat – $100.00

Advanced Keelboat – $100.00

Sign-ups for Watersports Classes are open to Eckerd College Alumni and ASPEC members the Monday before the scheduled session, allowing Students priority. Please call the Waterfront Office to confirm class availability.

You may stop by the Waterfront Office during normal business hours to reserve your space. Exact Cash payments (we cannot provide change) or Credit Card payments are accepted in person in the Office. If you are unable to pay in person, please contact the Office to make other arrangements.

Pricing

Windsurfing – $50.00

Introduction to Sailing – $50.00

Beginning Keelboat – $100.00

Advanced Keelboat – $100.00

Download the General Public Watersports Class Application

Sign-ups for Watersports Classes are open to the General Public starting the Tuesday before the scheduled session, allowing the Eckerd College Community priority. Please call the Waterfront Office to confirm class availability.

In the event there is availability, please complete the above application and return it to the Waterfront Office in person or to wfprograms@eckerd.edu via email.

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

Exact Cash payments (we cannot provide change) or Credit Card payments are accepted in person in the Waterfront Office. If you are unable to pay in person, please contact the Office to make other arrangements.

Please arrive 15 minutes early on the first day of class to complete a liability waiver.

Pricing

Windsurfing – $100.00

Beginning Keelboat – $295.00

Advanced Keelboat – $325.00

Cancellations & Refunds

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.

You may cancel with a partial refund before 5pm Thursday before the class. The remaining 50% is non-refundable.

If you change a class (date or type) within one week of the first day of class, 50% of your payment will be credited to your new selection. The remaining 50% is non-refundable.

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.

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.

Equipment & Safety

For their safety, all students must be able to swim.

All students must wear proper footwear at all times, both on land and on the water. Flip flops are not acceptable. Water shoes or sports sandals with Velcro straps are recommended.

All watersports equipment and instructional supplies provided.

All students must wear their provided life jackets while 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.

Facilities

Wallace Boathouse
Outdoor Classrooms
Picnic/Seating Area
Multiple Docks
Activities Center
Classrooms Equipped for Multi-Media Instruction
Restroom Facilities
Weather Tracking System