Sailing School Policies & Paperwork


The following forms are available for download. We can also mail these to you upon request.

Student Release & Indemnification Form – required of all students

Sailing School Application – required of all students so that our instructors can get to know you and your background a little better.

Sailing School Arrival Info – detailed directions on how to find us, what to bring and more.

Making A Sailing School Reservation

1. Call the Great Lakes Sailing Co. (formerly Bay Breeze) office (231) 941-0535 to check availability.
2. A confirmation deposit for each student will reserve your spot on board.  Deposit amounts are $400 for courses of 4 days or more, $200 for courses of 2-3 days.   We prefer checks and accept most major credit cards. We will hold your spot for 7 days to allow time for a check to arrive in the mail.
3. We’ll send your student packet in the mail after your deposit has been received (text book(s) and other study material).
4. Complete the Student Application and mail, fax or email it to us at your earliest convenience
5. Download the Arrival Information as its very helpful to plan for your class.
6. The Student Release & Indemnification Form is required before you board the boat for class.
7. All forms can be downloaded or we can mail them to you. After completing the forms, mail, fax or email back to the Great Lakes Sailing office.
8. The balance is due  30 days before you start class

Sailing School Cancellation Policy

In our short but very busy sailing season, sailing school spots are in high demand.  Please keep in mind that we do not refund deposits or balances for Sailing School courses but will try our best to work with you.

We understand that “life happens”.  And this is why we highly recommend that you look into a trip insurance policy.  Trip insurance can be very cheap and very helpful when “life happens”.

Cancellation MORE THAN 30 DAYS prior to class start date:

  • No refund is available, but we can transfer your payment towards another course this season or the following season.
  • Not rescheduling this season or the following season will result in the forfeiture of the deposit and/or balance payment.
  • If you reschedule your course and have to cancel a second time, your deposit and/or balance will be forfeited.
  • If you cannot reschedule we will try our best to rebook your spot.  If we can rebook your spot we will refund your deposit and/or balance payments less a 10% rebooking fee.

Cancellation LESS THAN 30 DAYS prior to class start date:

  • No refund will be available.
  • If we can rebook your spot we will refund your deposit and/or balance payments less a 10% rebooking fee.


  • We do not consider inclement weather a reason for canceling or rescheduling a sailing school course. The courses are comprised of group study, dockside, below decks and on-the-water instruction.  The instructors consider the weather forecast and design the class around it.  As policy, we will not sail in any conditions we deem to be dangerous such as lightening, thunder, and excessively high winds.  But keep in mind that dangerous weather conditions move out of the area as quickly as they came in which is why our classes are rarely affected by them.

We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance in the event you should have to cancel.

Live-Aboards for 101 and 103 Courses

Students are welcome to stay aboard each evening for the 101 and 103 courses. The boat will return dockside each afternoon around 4-5pm and thats when the live-aboard experience starts. We make both cabins available for sleeping which means you may not have the boat privately during the live-aboard experience (unless you’ve booked it privately). You do not have to share a bunk with a stranger! But another student (individual or couple) may occupy the other double bunk on the boat in the other cabin. We will try our best to accommodate students overnight on other empty boats to give students their privacy but cannot guarantee a private live-aboard boat during the class (unless you’ve booked the boat for private lessons).

Live-Aboards for 104, 104/105, 106 and Catamaran Courses

You will be away from the Great Lakes Sailing Co. docks for the duration of your course which is why we recommend packing wisely. The Captain/Instructor has the authority to assign staterooms as he sees best. Couples may get the larger staterooms, etc. Some berths (beds) are not located in private staterooms and are open to the boats layout.

Tipping the Captain / Instructor

It’s also customary, but not required, to tip your Captain/Instructor after a course if you feel he or she did a great job instructing.  Just like any service industry job, they make the extra effort to deliver a great service.  And if you feel they did, a tip is always greatly appreciated!

The Care and Feeding of your Captain / Instructor

For intermediate and advanced courses where you will be away from our docks during the duration of the course, students are responsible for including the Captain / Instructor into the meal plans.  When provisioning the boat with groceries, the Captains should be factored into meals.  If the group decides to eat ashore, it is customary that the students split the cost of the Captain’s meal.   It’s never a problem if you’d like to go ashore and have a meal on your own but just make sure the Captain has food aboard to prepare a meal for himself (and don’t forget to fill his water dish!)