Community Sailing New Orleans provides an inclusive and accessible environment where people of all abilities and their families are welcome.

Our fleet and facilities are purposely designed to accommodate all ranges of physical and developmental abilities.

We train the Southeast Louisiana Special Olympics Sailing Team and offer adaptive sailing clinics throughout the year in conjunction with our community partners, including Lighthouse Louisiana, Beignet Fest Foundation, and others.

Adaptive Sailing Clinics

We offer clinics for youth and adults who have intellectual, developmental, and/or physical disabilities. These clinics are typically held in partnership with community organizations. There are numerous opportunities to help overcome adversity through therapeutic sailing.

Students have fun while learning how to sail and experience increased self-confidence, the camaraderie of teamwork, and improved leadership skills. Community organizations can schedule individual dates or reserve multiple sessions by contacting us.

“Sailing opened up new adventures for my son, an autistic 15-year-old, making his closed world a bit wider in scope than before this unique experience.”

– Sensory Friendly Summer Camp Parent 2023

Special Olympics Sailing

Special Olympics Sailing is a unified sport in which youth and adult athletes practice and compete in a variety of sailboats. Athletes learn basic nomenclature, boat handling, and the art of sailboat racing. Community Sailing New Orleans is the proud home of Southeast Louisiana’s first Special Olympics Sailing Team.

If you know of an athlete who is interested in participating, please contact us at 504-233-3292 or [email protected]. There is no cost for Special Olympics athletes, but space is limited.

Our New 2024 Fall Season dates will be announced in the summer.

Special Olympics Sailing Athlete

“He talks about it all week, and he wants to go back so I know that he’s really happy. I’m incredibly grateful.”

– Finn’s mother

Finn has been a member of Community Sailing New Orleans Special Olympics Sailing program since it began in 2021. He trains weekly with his teammates at the sailing center. Last year Finn also attended our first Sensory-Friendly Summer Camp for tweens and teens with autism. Finn is a freshman New Harmony High School in its Diverse Learners program. As an example of our caring and inclusive community, at the beginning of the school year, our team reached out to another student at New Harmony who is part of the Crew to Captain program and asked her to keep an eye out for Finn. She responded, “of course!”

Veteran Sailing

Oscar J. Tolmas Veteran Sailing Program

The Oscar J. Tolmas Veteran Sailing Program is provided free of charge to active military members and veterans who served in our armed forces, thanks to support from the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust. Participants learn the fundamentals of sailing as well as basic nomenclature, safety, knots, rigging, steering, how sails work, and the rules of the road. During each session, participants meet on Saturday and Sunday mornings for three weeks.

Our facilities and fleet of boats can accommodate veterans with disabilities or mobility challenges. We provide specialized equipment, instruction, and support to enable veterans of all abilities to participate in sailing and enjoy the benefits of being on the water.

We also offer sailing clinics throughout the year in conjunction with our community partners who work and serve veterans, including the New Orleans VA and Bastion Community of Resilience.

Who: Active and Retired members of the US Military.

Requirements: No sailing experience required.

Cost: This program is free, thanks to the support of the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust.

When: Each session of this program is a total of 6 classes. Classes are from 9-11am on Saturdays and Sundays over a three-week period.

Where: Community Sailing New Orleans, 101 N. Roadway, New Orleans, LA 70124

What to Bring: Please be sure to wear or bring appropriate clothing, including closed-toed shoes, sun protection (sunglasses, hats, sunscreen), a rain jacket, and a water bottle. We will provide life preservers for each participant. You are more than welcome to bring your own as long as it is US Coast Guard approved.

How to Register: Register on our calendar by clicking the link below or call 504-233-3292.

“I’ve sat out here for 60 years on the wall looking at sailboats and never dreamed it was possible for me to be sitting in a boat and enjoying it. I suffer from PTSD, but while I’m out there on the water, I have no outside interference coming in. It’s just a calmness, you know, you’re like in your own world.

I’ve lived here all my life. I swim off the wall, I’ve fished off the wall, for years I watched the sailboats going. And as I was sitting on the dock, I have a picture and I was just saying, look at me now. I’m on the water looking at the people sitting on the land. It’s really peaceful, and I advise anyone to put your fears away and just come out and enjoy.”

– Harold
VA Sailing Clinic Participant

If you’re interested in any of our programs, email [email protected] or call 504-233-3292.