AGES 18-25 | ECHO
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THE BVI & Leeward Islands, CARIBBEAN

A Learn-To-Sail Vacation for Young Adults

AGES 18-25 | hosted by Sail Caribbean


  • SUMMER 2024: May 29 - June 11
  • 14 Days
  • 101 / 103 / 104 / 105 / 106

Sail Caribbean stands as a pioneering organization offering dynamic sailing programs tailored for teenagers and young adults. With a passion for sailing and a commitment to holistic growth, they provide transformative experiences that go beyond teaching nautical skills. Their expertly crafted adventures blend leadership development, environmental awareness, cultural immersion, and sheer excitement, fostering resilient, confident, and globally-minded individuals.

During the 14-day Echo Program, students will progress quickly through sailing basics and learn advanced skills (such as coastal and offshore navigation, anchoring/docking, boat systems, and sea safety) with the guidance of senior staff.

The Sailing

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to embark on an unforgettable journey through the stunning British Virgin Islands and the captivating Leeward Islands with Sail Caribbean’s Echo Program – this immersive experience is designed to cultivate teamwork and leadership through the art of advanced sailing. Students will find themselves at home aboard 50-foot monohulls, taking charge and swiftly progressing from fundamental sailing techniques to mastering advanced skills. From coastal and offshore navigation to anchoring, docking, and ensuring the boat’s smooth operation, participants will be guided by the seasoned staff of Sail Caribbean.

The adventure begins in the sheltered waters of the BVI, where students will refine their skills on smaller 26’ keelboats, surrounded by the beauty of this paradise. Midway through the program, an exhilarating overnight passage to the Dutch Caribbean awaits, leading to explorations of St. Barth’s, St. Maarten, and Saba. Here, students will immerse themselves in rich cultures, absorb enthralling histories, and witness breathtaking wildlife against captivating vistas.

Amidst island expeditions, students will engage in daily reflection sessions, contemplating personal growth and leadership development. Practical drills, interactive lessons, and peer group training form the backbone of Sail Caribbean’s True Course curriculum. Through this, students gain deeper insights into group dynamics, conflict resolution, and effective leadership principles.

The Echo Program

FOR AGES 18-25

Sail Caribbean’s transformative Echo Program is designed for college-age students looking to further their leadership skills and teamwork abilities through the challenge of open ocean sailing.

Successful Echo completion qualifies students to participate in Sail Caribbean’s exclusive Mate-in-Training program, a hands-on opportunity that allows students to work alongside Sail Caribbean’s exceptional summer staff, applying honed skills in a real-world setting.

Sail Caribbean is not just about sailing; it’s about empowering the next generation through unforgettable journeys at sea. Join us for two weeks of unparalleled adventure, learning, and personal growth in one of the world’s most breathtaking destinations.


During this 2 week adventure, students (paired with other individuals within their age group) will take charge of their new “home” – a modern 50-foot monohull sailboat. Keelboat lessons will take place on a 26′ Colgate.


This Summer 2024 Caribbean Echo Program, hosted by Sail Caribbean, offers the opportunity to earn the following Certifications :

· ASA 101 | Basic Keelboat Certification
· ASA 103 | Basic Coastal Cruising
· ASA 104 | Bareboat Cruising
· ASA 105 | Coastal Navigation
· ASA 106 | Coastal Cruising

*If students want to earn their ASA 105 and 106, they must have already earned their 101-104 or start with their 104.

Students will Learn :

✓ Hands-on advanced sailing and seamanship training
✓ Leadership development in an experiential learning environment
✓ Exploration of the history and cultures of the Leeward Islands
✓ Plan and execute an overnight sailing passage as a crew

Completion of Sail Caribbean’s Echo Program qualifies students to participate in a future Mate-in-Training program. Similar to an internship at sea for rising college sophomores (or gap year equivalent) with dynamic leadership abilities, this program provides the opportunity to shadow and be mentored by qualified staff and have a direct impact on other students’ personal growth.

Optional scuba certifications include:

· PADI Discover Scuba Diving
· PADI Recreational Diving (for those already certified)

*All divers must have their own diving insurance (or be covered by our Trip Mate insurance policy, which does not exclude diving). 

Day 1

For most students, the first day usually starts very early in the morning at the airport. When you finally arrive at either St. Thomas or Beef Island’s airport, you’ll be met by our staff and guided through customs. After the hustle and bustle of immigration, everyone heads to our home base at Hodges Creek Marina. That night is spent meeting your Captain and everyone else on the program. The first boat meeting will be over a delicious local meal to set the course for the rest of your adventures. That first night, you’ll participate in several activities and games to meet and get to know the rest of the crew, as well as set expectations for the journey ahead.

Days 2-4

The day will start with intensive instruction about the parts of the boat and a safety briefing. You’ll be anxious to get off the docks and out into the Sir Francis Drake Channel and down to Norman Island. Once underway, you’ll learn sail raising and about the different points of sails.

After arriving at Norman Island, you can snorkel the caves from Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island and explore the many coral reefs there. That night, you will get a real feel for what it takes to live onboard when, after dinner, you learn about the daily cleaning regimen. Most students find some time to gaze up at the endless night sky before heading into a well-earned night of rest. 

The next few days will be spent honing your sailing skills in the protected waters of the BVI. Each day will bring a different sailing exercise and countless lessons on the safety and seamanship requirements of open-ocean sailing. You will also spend time in our performance keelboats (Colgate 26’s) and 50 ft monohulls working on optional ASA certifications.

Day 5

By the end of the first week, you will feel like your 50-ft sloop is your new home. Everyone will learn how to give and receive constructive feedback by debriefing the day during boat meetings each night. You will all become more of a crew as you’re forced to overcome difficulties and challenges – like recovering a practice man overboard or reefing the sails while underway.   

Before making the passage down-island, there will be a stop in the North Sound to reprovision and allow for a well-needed beach day at the world-famous Bitter End Yacht Club. Everyone will gather that evening for a jovial dinner ashore, similar to the first night but now as a worthy crew instead of wary strangers. 

Days 6-10

Following a long night’s passage, bathed in the breathtaking hues of a spectacular sunrise, students will find themselves finally arriving in Sint Maarten. This marks a well-deserved respite from the challenges of being at sea for an extended period. As students disembark from the boats, there’s a palpable sense of relief and excitement in the air, the promise of adventure beckoning them ashore. With the boats securely anchored, the students will embark on a journey to explore the island’s captivating history, immersing themselves in its vibrant culture and heritage.

The following day, the seafaring adventure continues as the boats set course for St. Eustatius. This leg of the journey promises even more historical wonders as the students embark on a hike to the renowned Fort de Windt. Nestled amidst lush landscapes and steeped in centuries of stories, this fortress stands as a testament to the island’s rich and storied past. As they ascend its walls, a sense of awe and reverence will wash over the students, connecting them to the history that has shaped these islands. This expedition isn’t just about sailing; it’s about discovering the cultural treasures and natural beauty that the Caribbean has to offer, leaving a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to partake in this unforgettable journey.

Days 11-14

The last few days of the program are spent exploring the Dutch island of Saba with its mystical cloud mountains and rainforests. Take time to hike up the old volcano and enjoy the panoramic views. The evenings will be full of stories and jokes between the crew trying to take advantage of their last few days together. 

The downwind passage back to the BVI is much more relaxed as students exercise their newfound skills in open-ocean sailing. After arriving back in the BVI, there is a well-deserved day at Scrub Island catching up on sleep and enjoying the waterslide.

The following day, the boats set course back to base at Hodges Creek, where they will share one last memorable meal as a group before embarking on their separate journeys home the next day. The evening carries a sense of serenity and contemplation as friends prepare to bid farewell, knowing that they will soon part ways. While the program may conclude the following day, the adventures, bonds, and cherished memories will continue to thrive in the hearts and narratives of both former crew members and newfound friends.

*Itineraries are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control.


It was a magical experience, it definitely opened my eyes to the world. Everyday when I woke up I had a beautiful view of the gorgeous mountains, the crystal clear water, and the blue sky. At night the stars were so clear that I could stay up hours watching them.
Eric Z, Age 13 | Weston, MA
Before I went to Sail Caribbean I wasn’t that adventurous, but Sail Caribbean allowed me to try new things that I never thought I would try. It was one of the best things I have ever experienced in my life. Sail Caribbean allowed me to become more adventurous, try new things, and explore the sea. I was able to find my passion for sailing and the water by hands-on and interactive learning.
Molly S, Age 16 | Charlotte, NC

I am far more responsible and grateful of everything I do. I now have more understanding of the definition of hard work pays off. It’s not about the reward, it’s about the experience and the journey.

Ryder P, Age 13 | Mill Valley, CA



All-Inclusive 14-Day “Echo Course” Summer Tuition :
$5595 per Student
*Covers all program expenses with the exception of : airfare,  transportation and any relevant departure fees, medical expenses, personal spending and optional snacks/meals ashore. Some Optional Courses may incur additional fees.

Course Includes :
Two Weeks Aboard a 50’ Monohaul Sailing Yacht, Provisions for all Meals enjoyed on Board, Instruction and Cost of Certifications Earned.

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