Newport Sailing Lessons: Raise the Sail, Take the Helm, Be the Crew

By Toby Ethington on June 21, 2024

Newport Sailing Lessons

Newport, RI – In bustling Newport Harbor, where tour boats abound, Newport Sailing Lessons stands out by offering hands-on sailing experiences without the need for long-term commitments. “People get interested in sailing but don’t have time for an entire week-long class. We get right on the water, giving a hands-on experience,” says Kate Richardson, the owner.

Newport Sailing Lessons offers sailing lessons, private charters, sunset sails and private sailing instruction.

Ideal for Families and Visitors

Newport Sailing Lessons

Newport Sailing Lessons primarily caters to families with middle school-aged children, couples, and girls’ trips. The business attracts visitors from surrounding areas, including Boston and New York, making it a perfect weekend activity.

What Sets Newport Sailing Lessons Apart

Unlike other sailing schools that require a significant time commitment, Newport Sailing Lessons provides a quick and engaging introduction to sailing. “We offer a more hands-on experience where people can drive the boat, raise the sail, and pull the lines,” Kate explains. This approach allows participants to get a true feel for sailing on a sportier boat with a tiller, which provides a more direct connection to the wind and water.

Furthermore, Newport Sailing Lessons operates as a “head boat,” meaning customers can pay per person rather than chartering the entire boat, making it more affordable for smaller groups.

Step Aboard Hope

The flagship of Newport Sailing Lessons is Hope, their cherished Pearson 30. With her classic design and spacious cockpit, Hope is perfect for learning to sail and can comfortably accommodate an entire family. Unlike smaller vessels used by many sailing schools, Hope’s thirty-foot length and nine-foot width offer ample space and comfort for up to six adults. The tiller steering allows for precise maneuvers, giving you a true feel for sailing.

A Journey from the Navy to Newport


Kate’s journey to founding Newport Sailing Lessons is deeply rooted in her naval background. A former Surface Warfare Officer with six years of active duty, she was stationed in San Diego and deployed three times. After leaving the Navy, she rediscovered her love for sailing while working on big schooners in Newport. “I got my captain’s license and started sailing privately,” she shares.

The transition was not without its challenges. After contracting Lyme disease and developing Bell’s palsy, Kate could no longer manage the 12-hour workdays required on schooners. Instead, she started her own business, leveraging her extensive experience and passion for sailing.

A Significant Rescue

One of the most significant events in Kate’s career occurred during her time in the Navy. While standing watch, she led the rescue of a civilian boat that was sinking nearby. “We safely recovered the people after their boat sank, thanks to our training and coordination,” she recalls. This experience underscored the importance of vigilance and teamwork while seafaring.

Embracing Newport

After spending nearly a decade in San Diego, Kate returned to Rhode Island, grateful for the natural beauty and rich sailing history of Newport. “I never expected to come back, but I’m glad I did. Newport has great restaurants, architecture, parks, and beaches. Returning was a significant step for me,” she says.

Community Involvement and Future Plans

While currently focused on getting her business up and running, Kate is looking to work with local charities and summer camps. “I want to offer sailing lessons to kids and collaborate with non-profits,” she explains.

Invitation to Experience Newport Sailing

For those visiting Newport, Kate recommends sailing as a way to connect with nature. “Sailing requires an understanding of the wind and tide. It’s a beautiful hobby and sport,” she says. Whether seeking a serene and relaxing sail or an exciting adventure, Newport Sailing Lessons offers a unique and memorable experience.

Special Offer for Military Personnel

Newport Sailing Lessons is proud to offer a special discount for current military personnel and veterans. Use the code HazeGray2024 when booking online to receive this discount as a token of our appreciation for your service.

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