Kenosha Community Sailing Center: Blue skies smilin’ on me

Kenosha Community Sailing Center: Blue skies smilin’ on me

The Kenosha Community Sailing Center is a nonprofit dedicated to teaching sailing, water safety, water conservation and increasing access to Lake Michigan. So with the warmer weather we decided to find out even more about the Kenosha Sailing Center as we sail ahead and chat it up with current board member Meryl Strichartz.

Tell us about your new locations
We will be operating our youth sailing programs and our recreational watercraft rentals off of the Great Lakes Yacht Sales dock.   Our teen and adult sailing programs will be out of Southport Marina.

How long has the sailing center existed?
We are a certified American Sailing Association school and are celebrating our 15th year anniversary .

What types of rentals do you offer?
We offer duck pedal boats, single, tandem and fishing kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and are eagerly awaiting water tricycles.

Are there adult and youth sailing lessons?
Yes, for youth ages 7-12 we offer our new “S’mores: Youth Sailing & More” program which are weekly, day-long camps that teach sailing in the harbor and so much more. We will be taking them kayaking, paddleboarding, playing games on the beach, and doing arts and crafts and STEM lessons. This new program is really designed to get kids having fun on the water.

For teens we have sailing courses in the afternoons including a course for Boy Scouts so they can earn their sailing badges.

For adults we offer introductory and intermediate evening sailing courses. And we also have a women’s only course, family sailing, private lessons and racing workshops.

What can we except from the sailing center this summer?
In addition to all of our new course offerings, the sailing center is working with many new corporate sponsors to do two large scale community outreach/fundraisers. The first is a Venetian Night with Great Lakes Yacht Sales in July and the second is a Pirate Party in August with Lakeshore Pedal Tours and Salon on Sixth. We have also formed a Wednesday night and Sunday morning racing series along with Our S’Mores: Youth Sailing and More daycamp will now offer early/late hours for working families.

How experienced does someone need to to be in order to sail?
You do not need to be experienced at all to learn how to sail.  Our purpose is to teach and transmit our love of sailing to others. We live on the shores of Lake Michigan and everyone should be connected to the water. We are lucky to have so much of it!

Is it necessary to make reservations to sail or take a lessons?
Yes, everything needs to be booked online at

What should someone wear and bring when they sail with the Kenosha Sailing Center?
We encourage people to dress appropriate to the weather, so use sunscreen, bring a hat, water, and sunglasses. We have life jackets and will teach people how to wear them properly.

What is the best time of day to go sailing?
Anytime! We usually teach the young ones sailing in the morning when there is enough of a breeze to fill their sails. Teens like the afternoons because they love the heat of the sun and adults tend to like the sunset.

How long have you been involved with the Kenosha Sailing Center?
I have been an active board member for five years. My family likes to sail and being part of the sailing center has allowed us to sail without making a larger commitment to owning a sailboat.

What made you get involved?
I got involved for the sailing opportunities but what has kept me involved is the emphasis on water safety and conservation.

What do you love about sailing?
I love all things water…sailing, swimming, fishing, snorkeling, cruising, and just wave watching. Sailing is special because one becomes so in tune with the wind and the water. It’s active and peaceful at once!

How do you sign up for sailing lessons?
It’s easy to sign up for any of our lessons, programs or rentals. Just go online to Our phone number is 262-997-9343 if people have questions.

For more info and sign up Kenoshasailing.orgFacebook • (262) 997-9343 • •

(This article first appeared in Vol 16. #2 2023 Go Downtown Kenosha Magazine)

Q&A by Donny Stancato
Photos by Donny Stancato & Visit Kenosha

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