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Where your transformative sailing journey begins...

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Who we are...

Thank you for your interest in The Gratitude Sailing Institute. We are confident your interest in our school will grow as you explore our site and learn about what we believe, what we practice, and what sets us apart.

The sea is unforgiving. Schools touting that sailing skills can be mastered in a few short days are putting your life, and those that sail with you, at risk. Do not be fooled by these diploma mills offering two-day ASA 101 and 103 classes. This approach blatantly disregards American Sailing helm time standards, cutting recommended per-class sailing times by up to 50% for the sake of profit. Ultimately, it is the student that pays the price. Sailing and seamanship are skills that take a lifetime to learn, and excellent foundational skills are imperative. Every minute you spend at the helm under the tutelage of experienced Captains is absolutely critical.

The Gratitude Sailing Institute was established to fill this perilous void in sailing education: safety.

Our Instructors are the core of our enterprise. They are U.S. Coast Guard licensed, Merchant Marine Captains and Master Captains with advanced marine training. They understand the many moods and faces of the sea, and are passionate about sharing their knowledge. It is in their DNA. Gratitude Sailing's commitment to our students is a sailing experience built upon established seamanship practices, sound nautical education, and safe enjoyment of the sailing sport. That starts with longer classes than most schools offer, which translates directly to more helm time for each student on the water.

We believe you cannot be over prepared when it comes to sailing, and when it comes to safety, we practice what we preach. For Captains and students alike, each day begins with a thorough safety briefing, including a detailed assessment of weather conditions, charts, and consultation with our marine network resources before a single line is cast off from the dock. Our boats are maintained to the highest maritime standards.

Teamwork is an integral component of sailing. Our Instructors foster that spirit in each and every class. The Gratitude Sailing Institute also offers Executive Leadership and Team Building programs, with customizable curricula tailored to your organization's needs.

As you survey the broad range of sailing schools, we are certain you will discover for yourself the superior educational excellence offered by The Gratitude Sailing Institute. Whether your goal is achieving American Sailing certifications, corporate team building, or just fulfilling a lifelong dream of sailing the seas, we look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

Surf's up!


Francis X. (“Frank”) McKee
Founder, The Gratitude Sailing Institute
Licensed U.S. Coast Guard Master Captain
Chief Instructor

Unedited student testimonial regarding Captain Frank McKee:
“The ASA 103 course that my wife and I took was outstanding! You have a real gem in Captain Frank McKee. His knowledge, experience, approach, and attitude are second to none. This professional mariner ensured that every one of us not only learned the topics of ASA 103, but that we also left with additional skills or knowledge particular to our own situations. He obviously loves what he does, and it shows in the way he tailored his instruction to our different needs and goals. While the sailing instruction was nothing short of exceptional, I learned just as much about leadership and teamwork during our four days on the water with Captain Frank. The students came to this class with widely varying experience and learning styles; he accommodated them all. Thanks for another great course.” - Jeff R.