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When are We Open?

After closing for the season at the end of October 2023, we will open again from April 2024 through October 2024.

Where are We?

Take a breath of fresh air at one of Northern Virginia’s most popular parks while cruising in the sunshine!  While you are here,

Northern Virginia Sailing School location at Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge, Virginia

be sure to take a walk down Leesylvania State Park’s path along the shore to read about the park history and understand why our sailing school has such an iconic and historical significance here on the Potomac River.

Northern Virginia Sailing School is nestled at the marina in Leesylvania State Park, directly on the lower Potomac River in Woodbridge, Virginia.  We are less than an hour from Washington, DC, easily accessible from I-95.

What Do We Offer?

The sailing school has been operating at this location since 2010, graduating countless sailors in American Sailing certifications. There are sailboats available to rent for certified sailors, captains available to take out your group, and specialized classes for all levels of sailing expertise.  We even offer classes for new sailboat owners on their own vessels.  All sails are scheduled by appointment, using an online scheduler which is fast, flexible, and convenient.

What Do We Sail?

Our most popular sailboat, used for introductory lessons and rentals, are Catalina 22s with outboard motors.  Catalina 22s have tough fiberglass hulls, masthead sloop (with a main and head sail), and swing keels.  Considered a “Daysailer,” they are resilient and safe teaching boats requiring lots of hands-on rigging and steering.  In 1995, Catalina 22s were even entered into the American Sailing Hall of Fame. It continues in popularity to this day as the first boat of many new sailors.  Once the Catalina 22 is mastered, it is more intuitive to make the jump to bigger, live-aboard sailboats. We also have other similar-style popular sailboats brands that we use interchangeably for a varied sailing education, such as the Hunter and the San Juan.  

Our more advanced courses are held on a much larger Hunter 31 with full navigation equipment, inboard diesel motor, and all the gear needed to experience cruising on a live-aboard sailboat.

Who Are We?

We have a small crew of top-notch instructors with varied experience all over the world.  Our focus in education is quality, as we limit class sizes for optimum teaching.  Each of our instructors are committed to safety.  Click here to meet them!

What Sets Us Apart?

At Northern Virginia Sailing School, you can expect your American Sailing classes to be entirely on the water.  You can expect to have more time sailing, with a very quick motor past the breakers to the river.  You can expect to learn at your own pace and schedule, with classes available throughout the week and weekend for you to sign up as you are able.  

How to get started?

If you cannot wait to get started and are new to sailing, you can sign up for a Try Sail class, book a Cruise, or sign up for the American Sailing 101 course, Basic Keel Boat.  If you have sailed before and are certified, we offer Rentals on our Catalina 22s and advanced American Sailing certification courses such as:

ASA 102: Keelboat Sailing 2
ASA 103: Basic Coastal Cruising
ASA 104: Bareboat Cruising

We simply offer quality sailing with fantastic instruction.  Check out our reviews and facebook page – they speak for themselves:


 Our Sailing Community

Cover for Northern Virginia Sailing School - NVSS
Northern Virginia Sailing School - NVSS

Northern Virginia Sailing School – NVSS

Take a breath of fresh air at our school, nestled in Leesylvania State Park on the Potomac River.

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