Swain Sailing School & Yacht Charters

Swain Sailing School & Yacht Charters

Swain Sailing School & Yacht Charters
4.5
About
Swain Sailing School & Charters is an accredited training facility of the foremost sailing associations in the US, offering sailing certification courses in Basic Keelboat (Learn to Sail), Live Aboard Cruising, Cruising Catamaran, Fast Track to Bareboating, Coastal Passage Making/Advanced Coastal Cruising, Coastal Navigation as well as customized courses in performance sailing and racing. Swain also offers the VHF- Marine Communications certification, Small Powerboat certification and the International Bareboat Skipper's Certification for both sailing and powerboating.
Road Town, British Virgin Islands

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles68 reviews
Excellent
56
Very good
7
Average
0
Poor
2
Terrible
3

D. Towe
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
My wife and I teamed up with another couple to charter a sailing catamaran in Tortola for a week. During this trip, I completed my ASA 104 and 114 certifications, partnering with Swan Sailing School. This was the single best vacation of my life, and Swan Sailing School was a critical component of that. The instruction from Evan was top notch. He had expertise with the boat, as well as the location. He allowed me to push myself outside my comfort level, while always maintaining a watchful eye on safety. We were able to experience more conditions in a week than I had experienced in over a year while under his instruction. He even proved an excellent guide as we all went ashore together to celebrate our days' victories! I wouldn't change a thing with Swan Sailing School. Gina and Evan were professional, courteous, and ensured that our experience was world class. You'll begin your relationship as strangers, but end it as friends.

End your search. You've found what you're looking for.
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sarah m
30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022 • Solo
Highly recommend! I booked the fast track to bareboat chartering (101, 103, 104). Ive taken a few sailing lessons prior to this trip but the week with Swain really built my confidence on the water. Evan was a phenomenal teacher and had a lot of patience for all of us who were just learning. You can tell that Evan has a passion for sailing and was eager to help us understand. Gina was very responsive to my emails/calls (I had some difficulty navigating ferry’s/covid protocols). You can tell that Swain is a family business because they go above and beyond to accommodate your needs - something you don’t get with most businesses these days! Evan even went back to the boat on the dingy to get me a towel when I wanted to jump off the barge bar at Willy T. I was also impressed with the condition of the boat (beneteau 40), my cabin was pretty big! I thought the price of the trip was very reasonable. I HAD A BLAST! Thank you Swain!!
Written January 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joshua A
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
We just finished our ASA 101, 103, 104, & 114 courses with Swain a week ago. Evan is an outstanding teacher and all around good guy. We went from knowing nothing to feeling confident operating a 40ft catamaran under power and developing a good sense and understanding of it under sail. I can’t speak highly enough about the Swain Sailing School. And they are a family owned business too, which is yet another reason to choose this fantastic sailing school! You won’t be disappointed.
Written April 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bill M
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
My wife and I are approaching retirement and have developed an interest in sailing as a way to travel and vacation in different parts of the world. After doing some research on the numerous ASA schools, we decided to go with Swain Sailing in the BVI. Their description of the Fast Track to Bareboating course sounded exactly like what we were looking for so we signed up for the course and began studying the text books. We arrived in Tortola prepared to take the exams, but they day before the course was scheduled to begin Gina Swain sent an email informing me that the first day of the ASA101 course had been cancelled because they didn’t have any instructors available. For those who aren’t aware, Swain advertises the ASA101 as a 2 day introduction to the basics of sailing and time is split between classroom and putting the concepts into practice on a IC24 keelboat. Gina assured me the ASA101 course could instead be taken on the larger live aboard boat the day before the 103/104 portion began. The following morning we arrived at the marina and waited for 6 hours for our instructor to arrive. When he did, we realized he was a independent local boat captain and not affiliated with Swain Sailing. After fueling the boat, we left the harbor at 4pm and returned at 6pm which condensed our 2 day ASA101 course to a 2 hour sail aboard a 45’ monohull with a self tacking jib.

The following morning we left on the ASA103/104 portion of the course and quickly noticed there were almost no chart plotting tools on board. No plotter, no parallel rules, no hand held compass and the only nautical chart on board didn’t include most of the destinations we were planning to sail to. The teaching style of our instructor was very much ‘hands off’ and when he heard I work in the aviation field, he asked me to teach my wife the navigation portion of the course (plotting a course, reading depth soundings, lat/long coordinates, measuring distance, lines of position, dead reckoning, etc.). We were also required to pay for fuel and water that was clearly listed as included items in the price of the course.

After completing the live aboard course for ASA103/104 we brokered our own boat through Swain and after spending 2 weeks in the BVI, I still haven’t met anyone from the Swain Sailing School. I tried contacting Gina Swain with my concerns, but she has refused to respond or acknowledge me.

If you’re just interested in taking a ride on a sailboat Swain may be an option, but to consider this a legitimate sailing school is a bit ridiculous. If you’re searching for a school that teaches the proper way to sail I would suggest looking elsewhere.
Written August 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
I recently completed a Catamaran class with Swain Sailing in the USVI and was so impressed that I immediately signed up for another week on the monohull course. The quality of the boats and instructors was superb. Scott Lister and Evan Swain were both knowledgeable and passionate about their work. I look forward to chartering with them in the future!
Written March 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Benjamen
Washington DC, DC13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I've been a passenger and occasional extra set of hands on sailboats for years, but was basically only doing what I was told, and even that, with limited confidence. So I wanted to take an introductory course to give me some necessary skills. I took the 101 class over two days and it was exactly what I needed. There was only one other person in the class, and he was starting a week-long course, with virtually no sailing experience. We both left with a great foundation from which to build. So whether you're a total newbie, or novice who wants to expand your skills, the 101 is great. I met the rest of the crew and saw the boat they're taking for the week-long course, and feel pretty confident that those are equally valuable.
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly C
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I highly recommend Swain Sailing. From the first email to the final exam my entire experience was beyond what i expected. I accomplished a life long goal of obtaining my skipper certification thanks to all the team at Swain. Our instructor Burton was just the best, knowledgeable, patient and and excellent teacher. I cannot wait to charter and obtain further certificates using the excellent team at Swain.
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JodiLM
Atlanta, GA4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
We had a fantastic week in BVI with Evan doing our ASA104. Evan was incredibly patient and is a wise and gifted instructor. He prepares you for the certification exam throughout your time sailing - in the best way, you don't even realize that you are learning both the practical piece but also what you need to know to pass the exam so you don't need to spend your time studying - just sailing. He was pleasant to be with the entire time, as were the other two students on the boat that we enjoyed meeting. Gina was wonderful helping us with all the arrangements. Will definitely sail again with this terrific family business.
Written November 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EddyUp
manhattan4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I had a great experience renting a 235 Beneteau for the day and sailing it with Evan. The boat was in great condition and Evan provided insightful guidance and instruction as we cruised over to the Bight on Norman Island for lunch. Also received first class treatment from Meagan during the reservation process. Thank you for a great day!! I will definitely be sailing with Swain again. Highly recommend!!!
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matteo
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
Great experience with our instructor Evan. We took 103,104, 114. Evan is a seasoned sailor and instructor that has extensive knowledgeable of charter boats. He showed us some great spots and made sailing and learning a blast. Highly recommend this family business for charter or instruction.
Written May 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Swain Sailing School & Yacht Charters - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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