Getting Schooled by North Cove Sailing

Last week my son and I went on an exciting sailing adventure with North Cove Sailing. Ever since I moved to NY I’ve been intrigued by all of the big boats and sail boats that are constantly moving around the Hudson. Of course I understand the purpose of the commuter boats and the big tourist dinner cruises and such, but I didn’t know much about sail boats until now.

North Cove Sailing has 12 identical boats. You can reserve a boat for a group outing with a skipper which is what we did.  Additionally, adults who have passed sailing school requirements are allowed to take the boats out on their own.

Whenever we watch the sail boats from land, we typically just see the part where the sails are up and they seem to be gliding along the water and having the best time. However, now I know there are several steps to get to this point.

North Cove Sailing is located just behind Brookfield Place at the “north cove”.  We met with our skippers and my son and his friend immediately were instructed to secure their life jackets. The adults are kept on the boat. We walked along the deck which was rocking from the water and stepped into our sail boat which was ready and waiting for us!

Once we were all situated our skipper called her contact for clearance (you can’t just take off) and we were told we needed to wait for a bit. Well we waited and waited and then we saw the reason for our delay. An enormous yacht was trying to make it’s way to the dock so we just sat patiently and waited.

During our wait, Meg, one of our wonderful skippers dived right in with nautical terms and started to teach the boys (and moms) the different terms for all the parts of the sailboat. We learned and were able to identify the stern, hull, aft and starboard (or Starbucks as my son joked). We were quizzed several times and everyone finally got it!

The sailboat has a small engine that allows us travel quickly to open water where we were then able to get our sails up! Having seen many movies where the villain always seems to get knocked in the head by the moving parts, I made sure to keep my head down! Of course the skippers also made sure everyone was safe and not in harms way when we raised the sails.

In a matter of seconds the sails were up and we were sailing along the Hudson river! The boys were allowed to sail the boat and they were instructed to keep their eyes looking straight ahead. Once they looked from side to side the boat would quickly go the wrong way. Little movements are all you need to steer a sailboat. Our helpful skipper Morgan kept things in check and was excellent with the kids!

We were extremely lucky with a beautiful NYC late afternoon and the city backdrop is truly stunning when you are at a distance. Our sailing route took us over to the Statue of Liberty where we were able to see her up close and personal. I think anyone who is local or visiting NY can appreciate moments like these.

We also constantly passed larger boats, ferries, and yachts and waved to anyone who was willing! I learned that if your boat is running without an engine that it would have the right of way in the waters.

Overall it was such an amazing experience and I would recommend this for anyone with children 7 or older. We had such a fun time with our good friends from my strange family. The smile on my son’s face was as real as it gets and that says a lot! He had a great time and I know will never forget the time he went “sailing”. Up to 6 people are allowed on the boat not including the 2 skippers.

North Cove Sailing if offering a sailing school this summer M-F from 9AM-12PM and 1PM-4PM. Children ages 7-17 are welcome and no experience other than a good attitude is required!

To learn more about North Cove sailing please visit:

Happy Sailing!