Thanks for a wonderful sailing adventure in the BVI! It really was a wonderful group of folks and I learned a lot.
114-Cruising Catamaran in British Virgin Islands – February 2023
I did want to tell you that I had a very good chartering experience this weekend and was able to get my boat to the fuel dock and into the slip seamlessly thanks to your good instruction!!! Feeling victorious!!!!
Sailing was awesome too. I ❤️ the Apostles!
I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed the class, I learned so much it is unbelievable. I think the jibing was the best part though. Thought the heave-to and MOB exercises were very helpful as well.
BTW, I really like the way you teach. No matter how dumb I felt for not knowing some basic (and not so basic) things your approach made me feel not-so dumb for not knowing. Your teaching method has both an easy-going & reassuring vibe.
I am very pleased with my choice of sailing schools!
101 in Duluth – 2021
Hi Captain Joan,
Lynn and I just completed circumnavigating the DelMarVa peninsula on a 39′ Corbin. Lynn and I felt well trained and used our chart-plotting skills, checked the bilge, and did many of the other things you taught us. We had a great trip and wanted to thank you for your ASA 103/104 instruction in the BVI as it contributed to our enjoyment of this trip so much.
Hope you are well and would love to hear what you have been up to.
This has been an outstanding learning opportunity and a fantastic sailing experience all around. Thank you!
103/104 on Lake Superior – September 2020
I just wanted to say thank you for your help tonight. You were kind, patient, and truly helpful and I so appreciate you and your services.
I would love to be connected with anyone who might want a sailing partner as you mentioned towards the end of the lesson.
Private lesson on his Capri 14 – June 2020
Thanks Joan! I have been sailing like mad since our class on my 23 Oday when I can. I use so many of the skills I learned from the courses that I can’t even list them all! I really appreciate you and the classes I took. Take care and thanks again!
ASA 101, 103, 104 student – 2019
Hi Joan, Me and Alecia had such a good time yesterday. Thank you so much. We look forward to taking more classes with you. 🙂 Thank you again!
Sailing Discovery 2-hour course – September 2019
It was a great two days of sailing in Duluth. Learned so much and can’t wait to use my new learned skills.
Attached is my form for the BVI’s in 2020. I look forward to the adventure and learning.
Joan, thank you for a great experience this last weekend. I loved the way I was stretched out of my comfort zone!
Have a great summer!
Basic Keelboat Instructor Clinic with Joan – May 2019
Thanks for being such a great teacher, sailing mentor and sailing career council. I look forward to more and greater sailing adventures.
ASA 105 Coastal Navigation – November 2018
Thanks for a great class! It was very educational and enjoyable.
ASA 103 on 34′ Catalina on St. Croix River – July 2018
Thank you so much for teaching our class. It was a wonderful experience and I’m very excited to learn more.
I thoroughly enjoyed our 3 day check-out this week. Even though I’ve been sailing 50 years, I learned a lot that will make future cruises and charters safer and better for all aboard. You do a marvelous job at teaching the many skills needed to run a boat.
Jim in Duluth, MN
ASA 101 & 103 Test-Out, and ASA 104 on his 38′ Catalina on Lake Superior, Duluth – June 2018
Hi Joan: just want to thank you for a fun and informative class. I’m really missing being on the boat with you and the other students. I can’t wait to get on my 23’ O’day and refine the skills you taught me. I will definitely sign up for another class next June.
Basic Keelboat course – June 2018
Thank you for a wonderful sailing class! Jane and Conrad and I all had a great sense of accomplishment as well as a lot of fun.
A couple of things…I have been meaning to reply to you to say thanks again for the awesome class in Bayfield last month! I learned a lot from both textbooks but most from sailing and discussing the many questions a beginning great lake sailor has. I wish I could be in the ASA 106 class next week but my schedule is too crazy.
4-day ASA 103/104 course with Joan – July 2017
The 103/104 courses were challenging and educative. We really appreciated how you personalized the learning to make it relevant to each of your students, and adeptly administered to each of our personalities in an inclusive manner. Your sailing history and personal accounts complimented the course content and made it memorable and pertinent. Thank you for sharing your history, knowledge, and skill with us. We will confidently recommend your instruction to others.
Thanks so much for leading us in the intensive Small Boat Instructor Training course this summer. It was indeed intense, and in a good way. It was much more than I expected, with a thorough review and expansion of sailing skills communicated in a personal style that is firm and challenging while at the same time builds confidence with warm and friendly encouragement. The amount of experience you have with students of all ages was plainly evident as you reviewed with us the approaches for teaching the range of students we will encounter, from grade school kids to seniors. But most of all, I appreciate how you embody the joy of sailing. Even with the exhausting schedule, each day I began and ended the day with more eagerness to get back out on the water and try more of what we were learning. Even now as the winter weather comes in, I can’t wait for the spring and the opportunity to get out again and to pass on what I have learned, both the skills and the enthusiasm, to new sailors.
Thank you Joan for all you have done. It was a great experience taking this class and I appreciated your professionalism and attention to detail in how you taught this class. I also enjoyed my class mates company. Thanks to you all.
Instructor Qualification Clinic ASA 201 – May 2022
All that I can say is “Thank you!”
While tired today I feel energized after the weekend, and appreciate all that you do. I also realize how much I miss sailing more frequently and would be happy to help if you ever needed it.
Thank you again,
ASA 104 on Lake Superior – June 2021
Joan hello. Just wanted to thank you for the class. You’re an awesome instructor and a nice person! I learned a ton. My confidence level is lifted a few notches- so merci bien!
ASA 118 Docking Endorsement course on St. Croix River – September 2020
It was a real pleasure to meet you and have the opportunity to learn under your tutelage. The last four days were wonderful. You really are a wonderful instructor.
Thank You for everything I learned this past week.
I am now looking at the 105 class. Did you say it would be “on line”?
Thank You again
ASA 103/104 Bareboat charter certification course on Lake Superior with Joan – August 2020
Thank you so much Joan, it was a wealth of knowledge. I’m excited to get to my boat this weekend and practice what I have learned! It was also great getting to know you better, you made the experience awesome and I can’t wait to continue taking lessons with you!
…… what a fantastic experience your sailing school was. I’m still in awe of all of us and what we accomplished. And in awe of what a fantastic teacher and skipper you are. I hope we get to do more together.
The class was really delightful, I know that I learned a great deal. Our sailing group have already been discussing the next stage lessons in the British Virgin Islands.
Basic Keelboat with Joan – August 2017
I just wanted to let you know that my wife and I enjoyed our sailing experience.
I wrote up a little blog post about it with pictures which you can see here.
Thanks for the experience!
I’ve been meaning to write and thank you for a great sailing lesson experience. Both Matt and I were impressed by the breadth of your knowledge, diligence and teaching skills. I look forward to seeing you soon to take that gol dern test.
ASA 101 & ASA 103 on their 28′ Spirit in Bayfield, Wi with Joan – July 2014
Thank you again for wonderful classes! I enjoyed them and learned so much. You are a gifted teacher!
ASA Small Boat Instructor course with Joan in Nagano, Japan – July 2013
I was just thinking about the docking class in July and wanted to tell you how much I feel I have benefited as a sailor because of it. I feel much more confident now about approaching and departing a dock. You might recall that I planned to charter “Rainbow” for the NLSC Barkers’ Island trip. On the trip, we pulled into a marina just inside the Lift Bridge and docked at a straight dock. When we left, we sprang the bow, just as you taught. Very cool!
Joan, thank you so much for your help yesterday. Your expertise and teaching are unparalleled. We both feel so much better after your instruction.
Thanks again from Candace & me for the great sailing lessons last week….we both learned a lot and feel much more at ease with our boat on the water. I thought that you were a very good, patient, but firm teacher and appreciated your insights into our boat and how we were handling it.
We wish you the best for the rest of the summer classes and for your continuing work to attract more people to sailing.
Thank you so much for your kindness, patience and professionalism. I intend to continue to gain Sailing experience. I will keep your email and hope our paths cross again.
Just back from Abaco, Bahamas, where I spent 5 days on a 36 monohull with one friend. We had a super time, with warm weather, no crowds, and plenty of wind….. Mis-read some markings (actually, a couple of marks were missing) and we ran aground on a falling tide, so we got some experience with kedging off. All-in-all, an excellent trip. …
So many of the things that you taught me during our “refresher course” came in handy, in particular:
-Practice turning the boat under motor
-Amounts of sail to use under different weather conditions
-Heaving to when we needed a break from the action
-Marking the anchor chain, and taking along gardening gloves to handle chain
We would love to take the racing course next summer. Please keep us on your mailing list.
I had a great time and learned so much about the principles of docking. I am grateful that I could be taught by you. Thank you.. It was a great class and I highly recommend it to anyone.. thank you for your commitment and dedication to teaching us to be better sailors.
Thanks again for the sailing lesson. Jerry and I agree that we learned a lot, and had a lot of fun too. I am now determined to get my sailboat down to the Cities next summer.
I had another great time learning from you and lm looking forward to the next course. Everyone I have met in sailing so far have been such decent humans that it really fills my heart. Thank you for teaching such a wonderful art.
Thanks again for everything,
ASA 103/104 with Joan on Lake Superior – July 2022
One might say I’m a product of the academic interstate: Duke, Miami, Michigan, Harvard, Intermountain Health, IHI. I have had instructors, mentors, and professors. Joan, you are among the best, if not the best, teacher I have ever had. It’s not just your cognitive and technical skills that amaze but your kindness and humility. I lost count of the many times you said. “Thank you”.
I’m not sure how much further I’ll take my training, but before I sign up for the next step I need to nail down my knowledge base. I sail once a week which challenges me every time but I’m improving and learning.
Thanks for everything.
ASA 103/104 with Joan on Lake Superior – September 2021
I was sailing this weekend and I remarked on how much I have learned from you! So many things, including the preventer, jibing properly, hoisting sail, steering a course, docking, safety, all kinds of things! …thank you for making such a big difference in my enjoyment of sailing. It really has been life changing!
I had the boat heeled at 20-30degrees Sunday in a decent breeze and my girlfriend said “wow, you were always nervous when it heeled this much now you are searching out the wind”! I am very grateful for the knowledge and skills you imparted on me. Thank YOU!
Thanks much and thanks again for everything, it’s been a real treat going through these courses with you 🙂
…..Patricia, Max and I are having a wonderful time learning to sail and we cannot thank you enough for your calm demeanor, thoughtfulness and expert instruction. We never realized how much fun sailing could be – we’re anxious to take the Basic Cruising ASA-103 course and very happy you’ll be our instructor.
See you this Saturday. I hope we have some good wind behind our sails.
Take Care, DR
I have to say the quality of Sail Away Sailing School (You and Claudia) has been top notch.
ASA 101/103/104 with Claudia and Joan – July 2015
I want to thank you for such an incredible experience this past weekend. I have thoroughly enjoyed starting the journey of learning how to sail. You are a phenomenal teacher and the amount of patience you have is quite remarkable.
ASA 101 with Joan, July 2013
We had an awesome time with you this weekend. Ryan and I both learned a lot! I hope we get to go sailing with you again soon. You are definitely a great source of knowledge and experience that we can learn from.
ASA 103 & 104 on their 38′ Beneteau on Lake Superior
What I was not prepared for was our instructor, Captain Joan Gilmore. Captain Joan is one of ASA’s best sailing instructors bar none and now I know why. Captain Joan put us through paces reminiscent of my military boot camp days. I think Captain Joan was a drill sergeant in a previous life. To say the least Captain Joan is one of the best instructors I’ve ever known. We knew about our catamaran from top to bottom and inside and out. We could handle those twin screws and snug that cat up to the dock as if we had been sailing a lifetime. I was thoroughly impressed with Joan’s teaching style and will always be grateful for instruction under her watchful eye.
Thanks again for the amazing experience of learning to sail. Even now after we are done I almost don’t even believe it was real. I had such an amazing time and learned so much from you from techniques and terminology to tips and advice. I really appreciate all of your patience during class and making it a wonderful experience for me and the rest of our group. Thanks again for introducing me into this new world of sailing. I’m look forward to many, many years of sailing based on everything we learned in this first class. Hopefully I’ll see you at the race on the 13th and if not, happy sailing in the future!
Thanks for the excellent instruction. We both learned and enjoyed the time on the water. I look forward to owning my own sailboat and learning to do cruising.
The class was great. I learned a lot and Chris is a very clear, encouraging instructor. Thank you!
Chris did a great job, the weather was perfect and we had the added bonus of no speed boat noise due to the high water levels. I would be interested in finding out more information about future classes.
Claudia was an excellent teacher, I definitely learned a lot. We’ll absolutely need to do a match race!
As someone who started to sail later in life, I’m glad that I found the Sail Away Sailing School/Upper Minnetonka Sailing School. Captain Joan and the other certified instructors are truly expert sailors and teachers who enjoy sharing their passion for sailing with students of all ages. The sailing curriculum at the Sail Away Sailing School/Upper Minnetonka Sailing School is based on proven educational objectives of the American Sailing Association, and the instructors emphasize safety, theoretical knowledge of boat handling and sailing conditions, and most importantly, on-the-water performance, in making the sport of sailing accessible to all students. From Lake Minnetonka to the crystal blue waters of the British Virgin Islands, the Sail Away Sailing School/Upper Minnetonka Sailing School makes sailing, racing, and cruising safe and fun!