Courageous Sailing transforms lives through sailing programs that inspire learning, personal growth and leadership.
Courageous Sailing is a community that embraces sailing as a platform for life-long learning, personal growth and leadership; a center of sailing excellence committed to removing barriers to access for all Boston youth, the public and people with physical and intellectual challenges.
Courageous Sailing was established in 1987 as a 501(c)(3) by the late South Boston sailing enthusiast Harry McDonough. It was Harry’s dream to use sailing to build character and camaraderie among Boston children from all economic and ethnic backgrounds. For 25 years, we have continued to grow and deliver our mission to transform children’s lives through sailing programs that inspire learning, personal growth and leadership. In Harry’s words, “Every child's perspective is improved 50-yards off-shore.”
Courageous is now a nationally recognized year-round educational center for community sailing and youth development. Courageous offers Boston-area youth free and low-cost out-of-school-time programs in sailing, environmental education, job skills development, and leadership training. In 2011 we were honored to be named one of the top 10 community sailing programs nationwide by both US Sailing and Sail Magazine.
How Courageous Got Its Name
The America's Cup 12 meter "Courageous" once lived at Pier 4 in the Navy Yard. This two-time America's Cup winner lent its name to Courageous Sailing in the late 1980s. The boat now resides at the Museum of Yachting in Newport, Rhode Island, where it has been restored and is still being raced.
Our Partners in Community Service
Courageous is proud to partner with many like-minded nonprofit organizations. During our longstanding relationship with Special Olympics of Massachusetts, Courageous has hosted the Special Olympics Summer Games, and continues to be a host training venue for Special Olympics athletes two days each week. We have another close partnership with The Carroll Center for the Blind, whose pioneering Sail Blind program has called Courageous a home base for two decades. With the Carrol Center, Courageous has been host to national blind sailing regattas, the annual Harry McDonough Regatta for the Blind, and weekly Sail Blind racing and recreational practice sessions. Courageous is also home base for the Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston's annual Adventure Sail program for inner-city girls, an event that has drawn hundreds of women and girls into the sport of sailing. In recent years we have been developing new and exciting relationships with Boston Family Boatbuilding, Boston Afterschool and Beyond, and the Boston Public Schools.