How much does it cost to become a member of the Downtown Sailing Center (DSC)?

The cost of an annual membership varies by membership level. The only cost is the annual membership – there are no initiation fees, rental fees or any other hidden fees. We do ask members to volunteer for our work parties, dates set for members and DSC staff to work together to maintain the boats and the facilities. This sweat equity program is the best way to keep costs down…and it’s fun!

What is the refund policy?

The DSC will give you a 100% refund if you have not participated in DSC activities or events. If you are taking a class, YOU MUST notify us at least 72 hours before the scheduled class to get a refund.

How do I choose a membership level?

The social membership is a promotional membership to receive e-mail announcements, including newsletters, invitations to parties, open houses and Friday evening socials. This is a great way to meet our members, get a tour and go for a sail in the harbor!

Most new members join at crew level and sign up for one session of classes. As a crew member, you have unlimited access to all DSC events and activities. Our adult education courses are designed to teach people to crew our boats, as well as to become familiar with the policies and procedures of the DSC. They are designed to help you develop into a skipper. To become a skipper, you must go through a skipper check-out and orientation with DSC staff.

How much does a crew membership and adult education class cost?

When you join the DSC and register for a class at the same time, your crew membership is discounted to $150. A class costs $200, so the total cost to you for an annual membership and a class is $350.

May I join the DSC as a crew member now and sign up for a class later?

Sure, the cost of a class is $200.

If I join as a crew member now, will I have to pay the entire price for a skipper membership later?

If you decide to upgrade your membership in the same season, the full amount that you already paid toward membership is credited toward that upgrade. For example: if you pay $245 for a crew membership, and you upgrade to a J/22 skipper membership, which costs $670, you only have to pay the difference of $425. In addition, a skipper membership is reduced by 50 percent after August 1, after which it costs $90 to upgrade from crew to J22/Sonar skipper. However, if you become a skipper after August 1, you must check out as a skipper again at the beginning of the next season.

I think that I am qualified to join as a J/22/Sonar skipper. Do you offer a refresher class?

Yes, if you join as a skipper member, you may take an Intermediate Sailing class at no extra charge. However, you must indicate that you want to take a class on your application. Of course, you will still have to go through a skipper check-out and orientation. You may also participate in a skipper refresher course early in the season. We encourage new members who want to be – and are qualified to be – skippers to take advantage of both the free session of classes and the skipper refresher course. These will familiarize you with DSC policies, procedures, terminology, etc. and sailing in the Inner Harbor.

What is a skipper check-out?

This is an on-the-water skills test in which prospective skippers demonstrate a checklist of required skills. All skippers must pass a check-out to become skipper. These check-outs are scheduled independently with DSC staff. The cost of your first skipper checkout is covered in your membership fee. If you need to do additional skipper checkouts, you must pay $25 per checkout to cover the cost of having a staff member available.

What is a skipper orientation?

A skipper orientation takes about 45 minutes and covers all the policies and responsibilities of being a skipper. This annual orientation is mandatory for ALL skippers, new and returning. Skippers cannot reserve a boat until they attend orientation. A skipper orientation is scheduled each spring before the season begins.

If I become a skipper, when may I reserve a boat?

Usually, some boats will always be available for reservation on weekday evenings and weekends. Occasionally there will be recreational activities to work around, but we try to leave enough boats free to meet the needs of our skippers.

In general, skippers may reserve boats for four hours. After four hours, the crew is usually ready for a break. Our J/22/Sonar skippers use an online reservation system to conveniently reserve boats. The Impulse skippers work on a first-come, first-served system.

If I am joining halfway through the year do I still have to pay the full membership cost?

Yes. All of our memberships are for the calendar year (January 1-December 31). The only exceptions are skipper memberships, which are discounted by 50% after August 1.

I am still not sure that I will enjoy sailing. How can I try it out?

Come to one of our open houses and go for a free sail:

  • Sunday, April 29, noon-2pm
  • Sunday, May 13, 10-noon
  • Sunday, June 10, 10-noon
  • Sunday, July 8, 10-noon

You may also join as a social member for only $75 and join us for our monthly Friday socials. You will meet many other members, see the facilities and go for an evening sail before the party under the pavilion. If you catch the sailing bug, the full $75 you pay for the social membership will be applied to a higher membership level.


The Downtown Sailing Center is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit community sailing center.
Located at The Baltimore Museum of Industry
Photography donated by Andy Herbick Photography, and others.