Who We Are

Since 1987, Courageous Sailing has made it possible for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to access and enjoy the water, the sport of sailing, and meaningful learning opportunities. We serve the community through lessons and memberships for adults, sailing for those with special needs, corporate teambuilding, and a thriving youth program utilizing sailing, the marine environment, and science education as platforms for social-emotional growth. Our mission: to transform lives through sailing programs that inspire learning, personal growth, and leadership.


Our work continues to be inspired by the words of Mark Lindsay, President of the Board of Directors and beloved member of the Courageous community, who died in 2019. In Mark’s words:

Courageous will be a national model for innovation and best practices in youth development. We will increase opportunity and reduce achievement gaps for youth from marginalized and low-income households. We will grow a diverse and inclusive community of youth from all backgrounds. We will extend this commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion to all levels of our organization, working to ensure that our leadership better reflects the communities we serve.* We will nurture and inspire our students’ academic achievement and social-emotional growth. We will build this on a foundation of sailing excellence, in which the acquisition of hard skills is tied necessarily and intentionally to broader outcomes. We will remain deeply rooted in a community of sailors, educators and supporters who embrace our mission, and whom we engage through year-round programming, memberships and courses. We will develop the leadership, infrastructure and financial capabilities to sustain this model long into the future.

*added by Governance Committee in 2023

Our Approach

Courageous has always been more than simply a sailing center. Ensuring equitable access to the sport we love and supporting the needs of the communities we serve have always been interwoven with our mission. From our members and racers, to our Special Olympics athletes and Adaptive Sailing Day participants, to the hundreds of young people in our summer and school-year sailing and STEM programs, the Courageous community is a welcoming, inclusive home away from home.

We remove barriers to participation by providing adaptive sailing opportunities for all ages, and a variety of supports for youth: free programming for those in need, school bus transportation, meals, on-site social workers, and summer and school-year academic enrichment programs offered in partnership with Boston Public Schools. Since its launch in 2012, 918 students have participated in Swim Sail Science, an intensive summer program geared towards students vulnerable to summer learning loss. In the past few years, we have also engaged students at two underresourced Boston Public schools through weekly STEM lessons with Courageous educators, allowing us to better support the needs of our school partners and the young people we serve.

Our programs continue to evolve in response to community need, but we still hold true to our founder’s belief that “Every child’s perspective is improved fifty yards offshore.”