Close up of a sail on a boat

Premier Sailing School

Learn to sail while in residence at the Tides Inn. Recognized as Virginia’s top sailing school near the Chesapeake Bay, Premier Sailing has earned its reputation by offering top quality instruction in a safe and fun environment. Guests are invited to learn how to sail a Catalina 27 or a J24 and will receive their US Sailing Basic Keelboat certificate. Through the program, you will become more comfortable with steering a sailboat and trimming the sails, as well as learning how to pick up a man overboard, dock with confidence and learn all the essential terminology.

Sailing for Families

Families have an amazing opportunity to learn to sail together through Premier Sailing. Learn as a group in one large boat or individually in a smaller boat. It’s a wonderful family experience to cherish. Alternatively, parents can choose to take a keelboat course while the kids take a small boat course.

Skippered Charter

Book a sailboat with a skipper for a three-hour sail or a full day at sea. Sit back and enjoy the quiet swish and exhilaration of sailing while taking in views of the Chesapeake wildlife and local area. Grab-and-go items from Fish Hawk Oyster Bar make for the perfect meal while out on the sea.

Boat Smarts

Perfect for all ages, this on-the-land boating workshop will teach you nautical terminology, useful knots and many other basics to make you look like a pro on your next boating excursion. Adult guests will enjoy a glass of wine from Sommelier.

Offered 5:30-6:30pm on Wednesdays in the Maker Space, $65 per person

Simply Sailing

Enjoy an early evening sail out on the scenic Rappahannock River, take a turn at the helm and watch the ospreys fish as you sail past their nests. Includes water and snacks.

Offered spring, summer and fall months from 5-7pm on Thursdays and 1:30-3:30pm on Saturdays, $150 per person


Aboard their own kid-size boats, your child will delight in sailing class tailored just for them. This private class for children aged seven to 17, and group size will be two to five children.

Offered in summer months from 3:30-5:30pm on Thursdays, $125 per person

Private sailing lessons are available from our expert instructors each day. Please contact to book our sailing experiences.

Arabella Denvir

Arabella Denvir’s loves for sailing is explained by the fact that she is fourth generation of a family of sailors and boat designers from West Cork in Ireland. As a student, she enjoyed success in intercollegiate racing in Ireland and England, and in more recent years, match racing on the Women’s Match racing circuit in the USA. She also owned and cruised classic yachts in England in the 1980s. She has been teaching sailing professionally for many years now, and with her husband, founded Premier Sailing at the Tides Inn in 1998. Arabella passes on her love for sailing through her teaching, particularly to children experience the thrill of sailing at a young age.