the highest rated sailing school in minnesota

It's never too late to learn

You're just four sessions away from your American Sailing Association Certification.

ASA 101

Start from the beginning, with no experience necessary

ASA 103 & 104

Take the next step, and perfect your skills for liveaboard cruising

ASA – 106

Ready for the big leagues? Learn everything needed for off-shore, long-range crusing on a long-haul, 60 mile voyage across Lake Superior

Additional Courses

All 100 level ASA courses are available, as well as ASA-200 courses, Instructor Qualification.

Looking to start sailing with no experience necessary? Sign up for ASA-101: Basic Keelboat

Newsflash: Capt. Joan Gilmore named 2020 Outstanding Instructor by ASA

We set the standard in Adult Sailing Instruction.
Adult Courses from Beginner to Professional

Sail Away Sailing School, LLC takes pride in excellent customer service, conducting classes, cruises and coaching in Minnesota, the Great Lakes, and Caribbean. Lead instructor is Captain Joan GiImore, who holds a master’s degree in adult learning styles. She has conducted research and presents seminars on how adults learn. She has been an Instructor Evaluator for ASA since 2000, training Small Boat through Advanced Coastal Cruising instructors in the U.S., Japan and Caribbean. The former ASA Education Coordinator now serves on three non-profit sailing boards and writes articles for Sailing and other national magazines.

  • USCG Licensed Captains

    Minimum 10 years' experience for each instructor

  • World Wide experience

    Experience in Minnesota, Florida Coast, Great Lakes, and Caribbean

  • Sailboat Owners

    All of our Instructors own a private vessel. Sailing is not a part time job for us. It is our life.

  • Specialists in instructing adults

    In addition to all Instructors being experts in Adult Learning techniques, Captain Joan Gilmore has her Masters Degree in Adult Learning

Our instructors

Certified with the experience to back it up.
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Joan Gilmore

USCG Certified 100 Ton Captain
Lead instructor, Captain Joan GiImore, holds a master’s degree in adult learning styles. She has been an Instructor Evaluator for ASA since 2000, and loves instructing all skill levels. Joan holds a USCG 100 Ton Captain License
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Byron Toole

ASA Certified Instructor
US Navy, Retired; Byron has been teaching small boat sailing to High School JROTC cadets since 2008, and is an ASA Certified Small Boat and Basic Keelboat instructor. Byron is also a US Navy Sailing Association certified Sailing Program Director
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Jay Biggs

USCG Certified Captain
Born and raised in California, Jay has sailed the Apostle Islands, Caribbean, Greece, Turkey, Thailand, Italy, Croatia, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Tahiti and the U.S. Jay holds a U. S. Coast Guard 50-Ton Master’s license. Jay’s 30′ sailboat is slipped on Lake Pepin.
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Jeff Tam

ASA Certified Instructor
A former racer, Jeff has built and refurbished a number of daysailers. He has cruised the waters of Lake Superior, Gulf of Mexico, the East Coast, and French Polynesia. He currently sails a 1965 Pearson Ensign on Lake Minnetonka.


Unsolicited feedback and emails from our students to Captain Joan

Congrats Capt. Joan Gilmore: ASA 2020 Outstanding Instructor

ASA has selected the Outstanding Instructors of the Year for 2020. This award honors the top 1% percent of all active status ASA Instructors as determined by Instructor Surveys that are submitted by their students.

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