We would like to thank you James for an extra ordinary experience. We expected to walk away with more skills to help us to be more confident to live on the ocean with our baby Sky. However we took away so much more, life skills, sailing skills, new friends not to mention all the laughs a good times.
We honestly could not recommend sailing virgins highly enough, it was an experience we could not of had anywhere else.
You had us from the moment we met!!!
Thank you for being so accommodating to our 3 month old baby Sky, it was so amazing to have you apart of her first sailing experience. Nothing was a problem and we felt so extremely comfortable and safe.
To watch you adapt everyday to her needs and bond with her was very special and will always be remembered.
Your calmness out at sea is beautiful Not to mention your experience and simple explanations that just make sense and so much easier to understand.
Learning with you was so much fun and such an adventure.
Thank you our new friend,
Tomas Candice & baby Sky.
Review by Ingemar Palasz3 months ago
Jack was the course instructor for my week. The trip was everything I hoped it would be and way way more. It was the perfect combination of hands on learning and fun in the sun/ nightlife on the islands.
I would recommend this course for any individual our couple that is serious about learning how to sail but also wants to have a vacation week in the BVI.
I know I got a great education because I've taken several continuing courses in the New England area and my instructors are always blown away by how advanced I got with just one week of courses with Sailing Virgins.
10/10 would do again!!!!
Review by FidesecalLaw4 months ago
I've just completed the beginner course with Sailing Virgins and James (the founder of the company) and maaaan, I'm so so happy I did!
a) James is a true legend! He's a great, laid-back teacher, very humble and extremely nice! Most of all, he's not only there for the curriculum (which he knows better than the back of his hand), he's also there for all sorts of fun! James will totally make sure you know everything you want to know and more AND have a blast learning it!
b) All of the course structure is very tailored to people actually taking it. As is the route - that's the adventure part - go where you want to go, do what you feel like doing - no hard boundaries as in traditional sailing schools. That was totally my vibe, as this is a fresh breath in the world of old and boring teaching models. I had absolutely no previous experience in sailing but loved every minute of it, thanks to the instructor and laid-back approach.
c) All the other SV employees I have come in contact with are great! There is a tutorial, or a blog post, or a phone call to answer any and all of your questions, and there's always someone to resolve your problem. Sailing Virgins is a client oriented company in the best sense of these words!
d) I, of course, totally recommend Sailing Virgins. Can't go wrong with these guys!
e) See "a)" - James IS a legend! I don't want to take away from other guys (that I haven't met), but most of my amazing experience is due to his personality and approach.
Review by Kimbley Erda4 months ago
Once in a lifetime experiences! Kirill was AWESOME. I couldn't have been happier with the experience. He was so knowledgeable about everything relating to sailing. We always felt like we were in great hands with him as the Captain. He was also incredibly fun. I'm definitely looking forward to joining another course in the future. Thank you!!
Review by Lancebins5 months ago
Absolutely awesome experience. I had James and Jack as instructors and they were amazing. Both have are extremely knowledgable and have a very positive way of teaching sailing skills. I learned so much about sailing and gained a lot of confidence in handling a 40ft boat in all sorts of different situations. The co-students I met were all fantastic people and the location we sailed in makes you speechless. Wherever you point your camera to it is a postcard shot. I will be back 100% sure.
Review by Shannan Izeta7 months ago
Sailing Virgins is a fantastic program - it is exactly what I had hoped it would be, and more. I learned a tremendous amount in one week (received my ASA 101 & 103 certifications), visited some stunningly beautiful islands and experienced memorable adventures along the way. It was a life changing experience for me and one that has inspired me to take stock of my priorities in life. Much of my wonderful experience I also attribute to having Kirill as my skipper. His knowledge and mastery were clear to me from the beginning, and he was also a very patient & even keel (no pun intended!) teacher who pushed me but always made me feel safe. I would go back tomorrow and do another week aboard Libby with him as captain.
Thank you for starting this company and giving people like me the opportunity to learn, explore and fall in love with all aspects of sailing. I look forward to doing another Island Adventure!
Review by OscarEmilio8 months ago
Me and my wife took a week for ASA 105 and 106 certification. We, not only got what we expected in terms of learning, but had a lot of fun.
Jack, our instructor, is a great guy. Excellent teacher but, most important, excellent person.
All went as scheduled, no hassles, no worries, all smooth.
Without a doubt in our minds, we recommend Sailing Virgins.
Review by Shax9 months ago
One of the best trips of my life. From the pre-course and arrival coordination (clear, concise but thorough), to getting to know the boat (Libbie, I love you) and stocking up (Yeti cooler!), everything was smooth. The instruction was amazing, Jack is incomparable as an instructor - giving us the theory and skills we needed to get behind the helm as soon as possible, then coaching us and letting us learn through doing. His steady demeanor and depth of knowledge gave me tons of confidence to step a bit outside my comfort zone (sailing off a mooring ball in a dense anchorage, or rafting the yacht up with The Yacht Week) and I learned more in a week than I thought possible. On top of that, we had amazing free diving, dinners, and one or two beers. I can't wait for another adventure with Sailing Virgins and I can't recommend it enough.
Review by Bradurin10 months ago
Where do I even start?!!!!
I had taken ASA 101, 103, and 104 in 2016 with a company from the Seattle area, and it was like night and day with the incredible experience I had with Sailing Virgins. I felt like I learned and retained so much more with my instructors Rupert Covell and Jack Karger. Every day was a new exciting challenge that put into motion what we read, and the stuff that didn't make was explained and demonstrated in an expert fashion. The group of students and instructors were all a younger and fun bunch that I got to learn and explore the beauty of the BVIs throughout the week with. I couldn't have asked for a better time.
On another note, I bought a yacht in Martinique with two other buddies with even less sailing experience, and we were able to make it to the BVIs for the course safety somehow. I feel SO much more comfortable handling my yacht now, and the tips from the instructors combined years of experience went well beyond the scope of the course and will help us in our future endeavors. Big thanks again from S/V Full Send Gents!!!
Review by Sheika10 months ago
We had the pleasure of James and Jack both instructing us through the performance cat course. The excitement they had for sailing and depth of knowledge was infectious. I had never taken a sailing course prior and this being my first time I felt overwhelmed initially but they had amazing patience and tailored the learning to a level I could manage. In the end I learned enough to feel confident moving forward that I someday could skipper on my own!
One of my favorite things about Sailing Virgins is the morning routine of breathing, exercise and meditation! I plan to sail again with them soon!
Review by Velmaris1 year ago
Just had an amazing adventure with Sailing Virgins.
I don't even remember how i found them but the vibe of the company from the webpage/insta/youtube was pretty spot on for the entire week. A relaxed, beautiful, learn-while-having-a-good-time and generally laid back experience is what I saw and it is exactly what I got. The boat always had good music on. There was also some exercise, meditation and breathing exercises in the morning if that's your thing. I personally found that enjoyable and a nice way to start the day and really relax on vacation.
I really got a good sense of the boat, and while James was fast to correct my errors, he let me learn from my mistakes and walked me through the areas where i was a little behind. I did a week with the 101/103 classes and I really feel like I wouldn't be intimidated to help crew a boat in the future.
From the get go, James, our instructor, was amazing. He was communicative and helpful in the booking process and called to talk to me on the phone and was clear about the expectations and needs to get me prepared for the trip. I'd never sailed before and he made sure I got the necessary information to succeed on this trip.
One of the things i loved about the trip is the ability for the group to make a decision and James to go along with it. If we didn't like what we were doing, we could do something else and it wasn't a big deal. Nothing seemed to be so strictly planned that we couldn't decide what we wanted to do as a group. There were definitely some rough plans regarding where we were going to teach skills and make progress towards our final destination but still enough room to be like 'hey lets go check out this island over there' or 'let's go freedive this wreck in the morning'. As someone who largely doesn't take structured trips, this was great.
The food on board was good and portions were generous. I was never hungry and James did a great job cooking. His wraps make for a legendary lunch. Although i'm not veggie, we did eat veggie on the boat the entire time. We had our fill of fish on land when we stopped by a few places for the night.
I'm already looking forward to doing another adventure with sailing virgins and looking to convince my wife to join me.
In summary, if you made it this far, just go book. They're legendary and you won't regret it.
Review by Getsemani Krsiak1 year ago
Absolutely brilliant and totally fun is what comes to mind when I reflect on my Sailing Virgins experience of a Lifetime. The Sailing Virgins beginner course I took was one in which pedagogy became alive in a conducive, friendly and welcoming environment. Captains Jack and James were excellent instructors who took the time to reinforce concepts taught daily. They both possess an amazing sense of humor that helped to create an atmosphere where learning could take place effortlessly. "Sailing is Wet". It wets your appetite for so much more. As I sit and write this review on land I am itching to get out on the water and have the winds blow me across the seas to someplace new and magical as was Saba on my Island Adventure Course. Sailing Virgins has helped me to have a greater appreciation an uttermost respect for the men and women in the maritime industry. I salute you Captains Jack and James wherever you may be around the world. Memories of my experience with Sailing Virgins will forever be etched in the deepest parts of my mind. Ever grateful to my friend Captain Mr. Robert Conner "Wait-Wait" for having recommended you to me. It was totally heartfelt as a Virgin Islander to be a part of such an amazing Sailing School as Sailing Virgins. Yours humbly Jason Callwood
Review by Rusimin Kätterer1 year ago
Just finished 2 weeks on Libertas with Sailing Virgins on their up island adventure sailing course. It feels like I just had the best dream, but it was all reality! If you want to learn how to sail, or improve your existing sailing skills, Sailing Virgins beautifully combines sailing instruction with daily adventures and fun. I learned a ton about sailing all while travelling around the Caribbean islands with my new friends. We saw whales breaching, swam with wild dolphins, hiked to waterfalls in the jungle, ate delicious food, sailed under the stars and moon, snorkelled with hundreds of fish, laughed a lot, and made so many memories. Sailing from Martinique to Saint Martin was very educational, learning about the local cultures and the differences between each island and brushing up on my french. James, Jack and Celine are all incredible people and I would recommend taking a course with them to anyone who loves to be on the water and has a heart for adventure. Time flies on the water so I would also recommend booking more time than you think you should. :) Just do it!
Review by Gnash1 year ago
The week I spent with Sailing Virgins in the BVI will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable weeks of my life. Jack and James are legends - hugely helpful from even before booking, and generously accommodating throughout. On the water they are extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of sailing, and are superb teachers. I left the week feeling completely with no doubt that I could bareboat charter in the BVI.
After dropping anchor, they also know how to have a great time, and are up for anything - from a quiet night on the boat under the stars to a rowdy beach bar dance party.
The bottom line - if you're a young man or woman looking to learn a TON about sailing and also have a phenomenal time while doing it, do not looking further. Sailing Virgins is the best there is, hands down. I really can't wait for my next week with these guys. Thanks a million.
Review by DentonB Nunzio1 year ago
I just earned my American Sailing Association (“ASA”) 101 & 103 certifications after spending a week with Sailing Virgins in Martinique. Although my expectations were high, this trip is in a league of its own. Our week consisted of sailing from town to town, snorkeling, exploring the local terrain, and eating fantastic food (both on board and on land). Our instructor for the week, Jack Karger, was an incredible teacher. His passion for sailing (and patience with us learning) was infectious and created a positive environment to have fun/learn. Overall, this isn’t simply a sailing school, but rather a sailing adventure. Every hour it seemed like I was living in a Hollywood-esque adventure that embodied the “sailing lifestyle,” which Sailing Virgins actively promotes. I would recommend Sailing Virgins to anyone wanting to sail, or even simply have an adventure! I promise Sailing Virgins will more than exceed your expectations.
Background: When picking a sailing school, I had a few requirements, I wanted: (i) a legitimate operation with a relatively new boat (knowing many schools had been damaged by recent Hurricanes), (ii) ASA certification, and (iii) a fun and adventures, but yet laid back atmosphere (compared to doing chalk talk onshore and sailing around a bay). Therefore, I literally called the ASA office in Los Angeles and asked for recommendations. They sent me a list of over twenty sailing schools in the Caribbean (the region I requested due to warm weather), and I literally researched them all. I narrowed the list down to Sailing Virgins and another school on a different island. Eventually, I picked Sailing Virgins largely due to James Kell’s willingness to answer all my questions about logistics, sailing curriculum, and the overarching itinerary. Every time I contacted James, he was kind and professional, and either emailed or called back within 24 hours. These quick responses let me know that Sailing Virgins was a reliable organization that truly cared about its customers, which is a conclusion that proved extremely accurate. Additionally, I was impressed by Sailing Virgin’s online reviews, many of which were recent and detailed.
The course itself is designed to teach students how to sail by traveling between locations. I found this method was extremely effective and fun. Even though I must’ve asked the same questions dozens of times, Jack was always eager to provide instruction. In addition to sailing techniques, During the trip you completely operate the boat’s mechanisms. You learn to manage the anchor, electrical units, water pump, engine, and even the dingy/tender. Even though the curriculum was comprehensive, we always had fun with every activity. We sailed around the island, snorkeled every day, and went ashore in the mornings and nights to explore each town and eat at local restaurants. On the last day, I took my ASA examinations and passed!
Overall, my experience with Sailing Virgins was amazing. I’ve already started convincing my friends to book their own trips with James and Jack. The entire week gave me a sense of the “sailing lifestyle,” which cannot be understated. Sailing Virgins is definitely an adventure-based sailing school, and will certainly exceed your expectations.
Review by Quel Annison1 year ago
Great week on the water! would recommend to anyone looking to learn how to sail!
Review by Joeee1 year ago
I couldn’t recommend Sailing Virgins enough for anyone who wants to learn to sail in a fun, relaxed and hands-on environment.
I was a complete novice who had never even been on a sailboat and I have to admit when I started going through the NauticEd courses online I felt a little in over my head, but the minute we got on the boat (Libby!) I was put at ease. I was really blown away by how much of the theoretical stuff fell into place once I was in a practical environment (thanks to Jack’s expert instruction of course!). I never in a million years expected that we would be at the helm (check me out using the lingo! 😉) on the very first day!
We were a pretty small group for the week, just one other person (also a beginner) and Jack, which meant lots of hands-on experience! The intensity and pace of the course was very much dictated by us and what we were looking to get out of the week which was great, and meant that we enjoyed the perfect balance of sailing instruction coupled with getting to explore the beautiful Caribbean. Some of the highlights of the week included snorkelling with sea turtles, hiking up Mont Pelee, anchoring in a different town every night, sunset dinners on the beach, some “champagne sailing”, and doing shots of local rum with other sailors we met along the way! And how could I forget…SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS!!! Definitely the highlight of the week (and probably of my life, let’s be honest!), it was such a spontaneous and magical encounter, definitely one that I’ll never forget! 😃 I’ve done a lot of backpacking and as an avid traveller one of my other favourite things about the week was getting to explore the island from a flipped perspective - arriving into a new place by boat each evening with a view of the whole town and landscape.
You can tell that Jack and James eat, sleep and breathe sailing, and their passion and enthusiasm for sailing as both a sport and a lifestyle is contagious! With Sailing Virgins, they have created an experience that is adventurous, fun and relaxed whilst still being super professional. They have somehow managed to turn a world that can sometimes feels a little exclusive and inaccessible into something super welcoming and unassuming!
Whilst I was initially attracted to the travel and adventure aspect of the course I think after this week I’ve definitely caught the sailing bug and I’ll 100% be coming back for Ex-week! It was such a pleasure to meet you Jack, James and Celine and all the other skippers we met along the way, make sure you get in touch if you’re ever headed to Ireland! 😃
Review by Concilia1 year ago
Take everything you thought this trip would be and throw it out the window. Sailing Virgins is more than that! More adventurous, more intense, more fun! It’s hard for me to sit here and collect my thoughts on my experience because there were so many amazing things that happened over the course of the week. First and foremost, James and Jack are LEGENDS! Two of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve met. Their passion and knowledge about sailing is extraordinary. But what’s even more extraordinary is their passion for teaching their students about sailing. While completing the NauticEd course online prior to the trip, it sometimes felt overwhelming and there were concepts that didn’t quite click. I’m so glad that I didn’t give up on it though, because once we were out on the water James and Jack were able to take the theory that NauticEd had laid the foundation for and put it in to practical use.
On our course, the “Up Island Adventure”, we sailed from St. Martin to the British Virgin Islands, by way of Saba. Sailing Virgins will take you to the most beautiful places! I’m still in awe of Saba, what I can only describe as a beautiful utopian village on a 3,000ft mountain that comes screaming out of the ocean. But getting to beautiful places doesn’t always come easy. If it did, everyone would be doing it! Parts of our trip were intense, in the best thrill seeking, adventurous way possible. Who knew that on my second day sailing ever we would be undertaking a 19-hour sail. James and Jack have confidence in their students to complete trips like this, and with their instruction it seems as if anything is possible. I had no sailing experience before this trip and I’m still surprised at how much I learned in just one week! Even if you’re an experienced sailor, Sailing Virgins has something to teach you.
Other than learning how to sail, for me one of the best things about Sailing Virgins was connecting with other like-minded people. People who want to experience adventure and see the world in a different way. There’s an immediate connection with everyone else on the boat because you’re all invested in the learning experience, and they all want to push the limits a little bit to make it an adventure you’ll never forget. I left Sailing Virgins with five new friends and a ton of stories! If you have any doubt in your mind about taking this course, DO IT! Join the fun and make some memories you’ll never forget.
I can never say it enough, thank you James, Jack, and Celine! Hope to sail with you all again soon.
Review by CPPlus1 year ago
Jack was an incredible coach. His passion for the sport was obvious from day 1 and bleeds through into every lesson he imparted upon his crew each day. Being able to so rapidly turn our NauticEd theory into practice through Jack`s instruction was the most rewarding part of the course. It's also worth mentioning the aspect of the course that is likely unique to Sailing Virgins which is Jacks preference for sailing to new adventures. The course was not just about sailing, but also coupled with epic snorkeling, swimming with sea turtles, cliff jumping, exploring volcanic ruins, and plenty of local French dining. Enjoying everything each days new locaiton has to offer is what sailing is all about! I would not hesitate recommending to anyone to join the Sailing Virgins family on their next adventure.
Review by Martintownend1 year ago
Spending three weeks onboard Libby and not just learning how to sail and develop confidence in boat handling but taking in the breathtaking scenery, amazing people from all over the world and local experience of the islands made this trip unforgettable.
Jack and James are incredible instructors who are letting you be part of their passion for sailing and create a hands on learning experience. From the first moment on, Jack shows his confidence in you and after a while trusts you with full control. We were able to get the boat ready, lift the anchor or sail off a mooring buoy, set the sails and get on the way to the next destination. We explored new places each day and the thrive for adventure made us discover true gems in the Western Indies. I started my adventure snorkeling underwater sculptures and each day provided me with a new memory like seeing the happiness of the local people on our shore visits, walking along the most beautiful beaches, swimming with turtles and eating incredible Caribbean food.
I got to know the art of enjoying the journey in combination with learning how to sail. I am more than grateful to be part of the Sailing Virgins family!
Review by Phipa1 year ago
Sailing Virgins is unreal — worth every penny and more. You will learn to sail, explore new places each day and night, and meet legendary people from all over the world all in one trip. The passion for sailing aboard Libertas is contagious no matter your skill level — and the best part is that YOU will be sailing the boat. In my two weeks on course, Jack and James entrusted us full control over the navigation, the helm and the sails. There is no better way to quickly develop confidence in boat handling. Epic.
I would highly recommend Sailing Virgins to anyone in their 20s and 30s looking for a full-on adventure mixed with an unparalleled sailing instructing experience.
The full story:
I went to sailing camp for years when I was younger but never found the dedication to keep up with it. Since I was a teenager, I always wanted a second chance to replicate those experiences but always found myself stopping short out of fear that if I hadn’t learned it now, it was too late. Cue Sailing Virgins. In some magical way, it felt like I was able to turn back the clock and learn to sail with the same freedom and humility as I did when I was a kid. Except this time around, we were able to explore new countries together, see the world from a different perspective and make new lifelong friends.
I had the unbelievable opportunity to spend two weeks on course with Jack and James, and couldn’t have been more impressed. More specifically, I was blown away by their ability to tailor the instruction each week of the course to the needs of the students on board.
The first week, I was on course with fellow sailing beginners. We needed basic introductions/refreshers and spent most of the week on knots, reading charts, docking and basic sailing maneuvers. The second week, however, I was joined by two full fledged sailors looking to fine tune their already proficient resumes. Sailing Virgins immediately rose to the task, and it was incredible to see how seamlessly they evolved the course to the next level. Thankfully for my own ego, they managed to beautifully transition my rookie abilities into a higher level of sailing within just one week. I felt completely comfortable with the loftier concepts and am confident that my sailing is the better for it.
My initial motivation to book with Sailing Virgins was to experience a sweet vacation and hopefully pick up a few tricks of the trade to become more useful crew on a boat. Having now completed the course, I can now see a glide path to becoming a skipper. I would never have dreamed it was possible if it weren’t for the positive vibes and genuine encouragement from Sailing Virgins.
Whether you are a newcomer to sailing but have an adventurous spirit and want to pick up a new life skill, or a seasoned charterer looking to fine tune your sailing ways, Sailing Virgins is the right place for you!
Review by Sassylou Derrow1 year ago
Recently finished a weeklong sailing course from Martinique to St. Vincent! This was essentially my first sailing experience, so it was awesome to go from zero practicable skills to contributing crew member. We covered all aspects of sailing and got to hammer away at many of them- from passage planning to tacking to parking.
Additionally, the week was an absolute blast. Hell of an adventure through the Caribbean with some awesome people. James and Jack are fantastic sailors and great guys leading the charge. Will definitely be back on another trip!
Review by Ehsun2 years ago
I had an excellent week with Sailing Virgins with James as our captain. I learned a ton and feel very confident in day sailing. I would recommend Sailing Virgins to anybody interested in sailing.
Review by Octavius GardnerwasGroarke2 years ago
This trip was incredible. The experience with James and Sailing Virgins was better than I expected. Don't live vicariously through me, make your own experience.
I found Sailing Virgins online looking for a combination of active vacation, sailing instruction, and immersion in world culture. I’m a mixed gas diver, skydiver, skier, and hiker; James and Sailing Virgins exceeded my expectations for an active vacation and delivered a world class experience in Martinique. They were incredibly responsive and worked with me to understand my skill level and schedule me for the right course. I recommend using the Sailing Virgins website as a resource to prepare for the trip and get up to speed on packing lists, travel, travel insurance, and sailing instruction. I booked my own travel to Martinique based on arrival recommendations from Sailing Virgins and met with James in Le Marin, Martinique.
Libertas is a great boat. Onboard and underway we found a healthy balance between meals onboard and dinner ashore. We sailed up the west coast of Martinique, stopping in some amazing coastal towns with some hidden gems for dinner. French Creole restaurants with quality that you would expect to find in Paris, London, or Manhattan but very quaint and low key.
James and Sailing Virgins are extremely professional sailors as well as patient instructors that integrate you in a crew experience. I’ve lived in the Pacific area for about eight years and traveled around the world. I will tell anyone, to include my best friends, they should learn to sail with Sailing Virgins and take the opportunity to experience their own adventure.
Review by Radwa2 years ago
I completed two sailing courses with Sailing Virgins this summer (June/July 2017). I came in with little sailing experience and can't recommend Sailing Virgins enough. I loved how Sailing Virgins takes a new approach to sailing by combining great instruction with full-on adventure. Furthermore, they tailor to a younger crowd which is different from any other school I came across. If you've always wanted to learn how to sail, these guys are totally the way to go.