Lake sailing in KC? Yes.

Despite being landlocked, there’s plenty of summer sailing to be had in the greater Kansas City area, and local sailing enthusiasts are eager to pass along their knowledge. Check out some of the ways you can learn to skipper your own rig.

Jacomo Sailing Club

Founded in 1958, a year before Lake Jacomo was completed, the Jacomo Sailing Club was the brainchild of a group of men who met at Kelly’s bar in Westport and planned its formation even though the lake wasn’t set to open for two more years.

More than sixty years later, the sailing club is still going strong. Lake Jacomo is near Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs in Jackson County. Along with regattas, the club offers several learn-to-sail courses throughout the spring and summer for those who think they might want to set sail. As a “nonprofit organization, education is the backbone of what we do,” states the club’s mission statement.

There’s Intro to Sailing for true beginners, where skills taught include rigging, launching, sailing upwind and downwind, starting and stopping, right-of-way and docking. The on-the-water training solidifies skills, with one instructor and two to three students per boat. Learn to Sail is for students who have some sailing experience: Sailors spend most of class time sailing around the lake.

“Through both recreational sailing and racing, we are proud to continue the legacy of the Jacomo Sailing Club,” states the Jacomo Sailing Club board.

Paradise Point Yacht Club

“Yacht club” may conjure up images of ascots and pristine white pants, but the folks at Smithville Lake’s Paradise Point Yacht Club say that’s not them.

Located about a dozen miles Northeast of MCI airport, Paradise Point Yacht Club at Smithville Lake offers sailing lessons through the Paradise Point Yacht Club as well as the Park Hill High School Adult Education Program.

Enrollment opens in May for a three-week course in June that includes classroom and on-the-water instruction. The program is designed for adults eighteen years and older with no sailing experience, as well as returning “rusty” sailors.

The program teaches water safety, basic sailing terminology, principles of sailing, right-of-way rules, weather issues and boat handling. Class consists of six hours of classroom instruction and twelve hours of on-the-water instruction. 

Perry Yacht Club

Perry Lake, located between Topeka and Lawrence, has a reputation as one of the best places to sail in the region, with lots of water, great wind, few powerboats and a great group of sailors.

Along with hosting regattas, the Perry Yacht Club conducts youth and adult sailing lessons for all ages and abilities. There is the four-day Zero to Hero Sailing Day Camp for adults, the One-Day Sailing Class for beginners, and the Weekend Basic Keelboat Class for those looking for advanced sailing techniques, and private lessons—which can include you and your friends and be as serious, or not-serious, as you like.

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