Night Sailing




The Boston skyline is iconic, and along with many other cities, it truly transforms when it’s lit up at night. Put yourself on a sailboat, on peaceful Boston Harbor or out at sea and approaching a port at night after a long sail and the word “majestic” comes to mind. Seeing how familiar buoys and beacons look at night and learning new approaches to familiar skills is what our Night Sailing Course is all about. Designed for sailors with a foundation of basic navigation under their belt, Night Sailing welcomes sailors of an intermediate level or above.


Night sailing is offered on a variety of days:

  • A single evening, from 6:30 pm – 11:30 pm

Prerequisites- Any of the below

Practical skills covered in the course

  • Prepping proper gear (clothing, equipment such as binoculars, VHF, hand bearing compass, head lamp, etc.)
  • Safety Issues PFD, harness use, hyperthermia, COB in limited visibility
  • Boat preparation
  • Weather forecast, tides and currents and effect on route planning
  • Sail selection and settings
  • Night sailing techniques, rules of the road, proper sound signals, potential emergencies and appropriate response
  • Costal navigation and use of landmarks at night.  How to deal with light pollution


  • Plotting courses
  • Dead reckoning
  • Line of position (LOP) and fixes
  • Running fix
  • Light characteristics of aides to navigation (ATON)
  • Running lights on other vessels
  • Rules of the road (COLREG)
  • Navigation in limited visibility and use of AIS and char plotter and backing to paper chart
  • Route planning

Things to Note

Course work starts with a one hour session on land to review procedures and prep the boat. We aim to depart the dock at 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm with the goal of reaching Deer Island around 9:00 pm.  Route planning and weather will direct the class towards the Graves or Nantasket Roads Channel.  Students are advised to bring both food and drink along with proper layers for an evening of sailing.

Recommended Next Steps: