top of page

Top 10 MWR Sailing Programs & Rentals

Summertime is here! What better way to cool off than to take to the seas.  Did you know MWR sailing centers and marinas offer water sport rentals and sailing lessons?  You can find programs for the beginner, intermediate and advanced level sailor – even offering fun and exciting youth camps.  Please be sure before making plans to contact the marina directly.  Climb aboard and set sail!**

1) Kaneohe Bay MCB, HI

Website: Marina & Outdoor Recreation & Equipment Center, C-808-254-7666.

Sailboat Rentals*:

Topper: Small sailing dinghy used extensively in our youth sailing classes. The Topper is great for polishing up on your sailing skills without worrying about having “too much boat.” Capacity is 2 youth, or 1 adult and 1 youth. Laser: Small sailing dinghy with a very powerful rig. This boat is fast and should only be taken out by sailors with some familiarity with her handling characteristics. Capacity is 1 person. American 18: A very stable, forgiving, and easy boat to sail. They are very roomy as well. Capacity is 6 people.

Sailboat Rentals are first come, first served.  Patrons are able to reserve ahead of time in a four-hour block.

*Sailing licenses are required for renting. Adult and Youth Sailing Licensing Programs are available. Please call for information and prices.

2) JB Pearl Harbor/Hickam, HI

Website: Hickam Harbor Marina Website: Rainbow Bay Marina Hickam Harbor Marina, C-808-449-5215 Rainbow Bay Marina, C-808-784-0167

Hickam Harbor Marina:

R-19 Open Ocean Certification – Rhodes-19 watercraft is available for open ocean trips to patrons certified with a Diamond Head checkout from Hickam Harbor Marina. Prerequisites for this activity requires patrons to receive their “R-19 Qualification Card” plus 10-hours of R-19 rental at Hickam Harbor to qualify to sign up for the “R-19 Open Ocean Certification.” Qualified patrons are eligible to sign up for a 4-hour open ocean check out to Diamond Head from Hickam Harbor Marina with a certified instructor.

Marina Check-outs for Experienced Sailors – Instructors will inform patrons of the rules and regulations of the marinas.  Includes a review of the rental policies and safety procedures.  Once the course is complete patrons will be provided with a qualification card from the marina.  Patrons holding a certification from Rainbow Bay Marina will be required to have an orientation before renting at Hickam Harbor.  All qualifications will be determined by a marina sailing instructor’s evaluation.

Sailing classes available include Start Sailing Right (ages 16+), After School Sailing Classes (ages 9-15), Keiki After School Intro to Sailing (ages 8 & 9), and Private Sailing Instruction.  Rental equipment includes single and double kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards and windsurfing boards.  3 boats are available per 2-hour time blocks.

See website for more scheduled activities.

Rainbow Bay Marina:  

Marina Check-outs for Experienced Sailors – Instructors will inform patrons of the rules and regulations of marinas. Includes a review of rental policies and safety procedures. Once the course is completed, patrons will be provided with a qualification card from the marina. Patrons holding a certification from Hickam Harbor Marina will be required to have an orientation before renting at Rainbow Bay Marina. All qualifications will be determined by a marina sailing instructor’s evaluation.

Sunset Regattas – Enjoy Rhodes-19 sailboat races each week along with other qualified sailors. Open to all eligible personnel with an R-19 qualification card. All boats must be dockside 30 minutes prior to sunset.

Sailing lessons available (ages 10-17, 18+, family/group, and private instruction), see website for details.  Due to limited quantities, early sign-ups are recommended.

Starting 1 July, both Hickam and Rainbow Bay Marina will take pre-scheduled reservations only for sailboat rentals.  Reservations can be made by calling the Hickam Harbor Marina office (808-449-5215, reservations for both areas) and making a pre-paid reservation up to 5 days ahead of the desired date.  Patrons must possess a current sailing check-out card (within the past 365 days).

3) Camp Lejeune, NC

Website: Gottschalk Marina, C-910-451-8307 New River Marina, C-910-449-6578

Sailboat & Water Sport Rentals:

Single & double kayaks, canoes, stand-up fishing and paddleboards, Sunfish Sailboat, American 14.6 Sailboat, Com-Pac 19, Jon Boat, 14′-16′ fishing skiffs and Pontoon boats ranging from 20′-24′. 

A Float Plan must be filed with the Marina when renting the following: Sunfish, American 14.6, and Com-Pac 19 sailboats; pontoon boats.

• Non-Motorized Watercraft – patrons must be 16 years of age or older • Motorized Watercraft – patrons must be 18 years or older and have completed a boating safety course • Sunfish and American 14.6 Sailboat – patrons must be 16 years or older and have a sailing certificate • Com-Pac 19 Sailboats – patrons must be 18 years or older, have completed a boating safety course, and have a sailing certificate

Sailing classes available.  Visit website for more details.

4) Naval Station Norfolk, VA

Website: Navy MWR Naval Station Norfolk Naval Sailing Center & Marina, C-757-444-2918

Sailboat & Water Sport Rentals:

The Sailing Center and Marina is a great place to enjoy recreational boating and fishing. Patrons can learn to sail, kayak, rent boats and fishing gear, and enjoy a relaxing time on the water. The Sailing Center offers boating classes for adults and summer camps for children as well as a wide array of rental boats including kayaks and paddleboards, powerboats for fishing and water skiing, and a fleet of over 50 sailboats from dinghies to cruising keelboats.

Qualifications are required for rentals. Contact the Sailing Center for details.

Sailing Courses:

Basic Keelboat Course: instructors cover an array of topics in this introductory 16-hour course, learning to sail a 26-foot keelboat.  Basic Cruising Course: This course is designed to introduce keelboat sailors to cruising.  Topics include maneuvering under power, docking, anchoring, onboard systems, advanced sail trim, tacking angles, and balance.  Small Boat Course: Learn the basics of sailing aboard small sailboats in this 16-hour course.  Participants are actively behind the helm and crewing a 13-foot 420.  Instruction includes an orientation of boat and rigging, boat handling, maneuvering to the dock, and rules of the road.  First Sail: Perfect for those who are uncertain about committing to a full program, this 2-hour leisurely sail will introduce newcomers to all the possibilities of sailing.

See website for full details.

5) Annapolis Naval Station, MD

Website: Carr Creek Marina, C-410-293-3731/2058

Sailing & Water Sport Rentals: 

The Marina rents canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, powerboats and sailboats. The sailing fleet includes 22- and 24-foot sailboats, and Catalina 25- and 30-foot rentals. Powerboats include 15- and 17-foot whalers. Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) can be rented for 1/2 day; full day; a weekend or by the week. 4-person JON Boat w/ Trolling Motor (includes a PFD for each person) can be rented by the hour or day.

Qualifications are required for rentals. Contact marina for details.

Sailing Lessons:

Basic Keelboat Sailing Course classes start in May. Reservations are required. Successful completion earns a Skipper “B” qualification card. This is a popular course and a waiting list is maintained throughout the year. This course is available to authorized MWR customers, ages 16 or older. Lessons include course materials. Payment is due at least 30 days prior to the scheduled class. There is no refund for cancellation within 5 days of course commencement unless unusual circumstances apply. Application is available on website.

Call the Marina for current season fees.

6) Naval Station Great Lakes, IL

Website: Great Lakes Marina, C-847-688-5417/6978

Sailing & Water Sport Rentals: 

The Great Lakes Marina, located on beautiful Lake Michigan, is the perfect spot for boating, sailing, kayaking and fishing. The Marina also offers a 33-foot Tiara charter boat with an experienced captain for fishing trips. Sailboat rentals offered include Escape Solsa 8′, American 14′, Rhodes 19′, and Colgate 26′. Jon Boats ranging from 12- to 18-foot and Catamarans are also available.

Qualifications are required for rentals. Contact marina for details.

Sailing Lessons:

Basic Sailing Course-Mate A, Intermediate Sailing Course-Skipper B, Junior Sailing Camps and Keelboat sailing courses are offered seasonally. Contact marina for current schedules, requirements and fees.

7) Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, DC

Website: Capitol Cove Marina, C-202-767-5424/9136

Sailing & Water Sport Rentals:

Located along the Potomac River, the marina offers a wide array of rentals including a 15’ Hunter Sailboat, 18.5’ Precision, 20- and 24-foot Pontoon boats, Jon Boats, knee boards, SUP paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and Hobie kayaks. Renter must be 18 years or older and present Safety Certificate from free online course. Orientation classes are available.

Contact marina or visit the website for schedules and fees.

8) San Diego Naval Base, CA

Website: Fiddler’s Cove Marina Fiddler’s Cove Marina, C-619-522-8680/8681

Sailing & Water Sport Rentals:

Located along the scenic Silver Strand Highway just south of NAB. The marina offers single or double kayaks, SUP paddleboards, canoes, and sailboat rentals to include an 8′ Bug, 14′ Laser,  14′ Weta Trimaran, Catalina Capri 16.5K, Catalina Capri 22 and Catalina 250 as well as Boston Whaler motorboats that hold up to four adults.

Sailing Lessons:

Two-day adult sailing classes are offered most weekends. Pre-registration is recommended as classes can fill up quickly. Registration includes boat rental, instruction and textbooks. On completion of the course, participants receive a Navy Qualification Card. Offers Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Sailing Lessons.

All patrons must have the applicable sailing qualifications for each rental.  Contact marina or visit the website for more information.

9) Newport Naval Station, RI

Website: Coasters Harbor Island Marina, C-401-841-3283

Sailing & Water Sport Rentals:

Coasters Harbor Island Marina offers sailing and powerboating classes to authorized patrons, ages 18 and older. Rhodes and Shields sailboats as well as powerboats may be rented with an appropriate qualification card; kayaks and paddleboards may be rented, no qualification card needed.

Sailing Lessons and Powerboat Courses: 

Basic Keelboat Sailing, a two-week course, consists of one classroom session and seven on-the-water classes in a Rhodes 19.  Qualification for a US Sailing Basic Keelboat certification is based on demonstrated skills and knowledge.  Students must complete a US Sailing online course and pass the US Sailing written exam proctored by MWR.  Powerboat Handling Program is an 8-hour program that consists of a classroom session and on-the-water instruction.  Participants who complete this course will be qualified to rent an 18-foot Maritime Skiff.

Contact marina or visit website for course schedules, registration and fee information.

10) Pensacola Naval Station, FL

Website: Bayou Grande Marina, C-850-452-4152

Sailing & Water Sport Rentals:

Bayou Grande Marina offers a variety of rentals including single and double kayaks, canoes, SUP paddleboards, beginner 14′ Sunfish and Laser sailboats, intermediate 18′ Hunter sailboats, advanced 19′ Flying Scott and 22′ Catalina rentals.

Sailing Lessons:  

Sailing courses are offered for beginner, intermediate and advanced sailor qualifications April-September. Youth boating camps are also offered seasonally June-August.

Contact marina or visit website for course schedules, registration and fee information.

So what are you waiting for?  Get out and enjoy the summer sunshine and ocean breeze on the seas!

And, if you’re looking for a place to get away, don’t forget your copy of our RV, Camping & Getaways Guide!

**Please note: Due to the impact of COVID 19 on travel, we encourage people to always plan trips in accordance with the guidance provided by government and health officials.

National Park Alternatives

This article is shared with you by, your premier source for temporary Military LodgingMilitary Space-A Travel, Military RV Camping and Military Travel information.


bottom of page