• Explore. Learn. Sail! Low-cost, high-quality programs that connect city youth with Boston Harbor and Jamaica Pond. Youth Sailing
  • Sailing and rowing for kids, adults, and families on this beautiful pond located in the heart of Boston. Jamaica Pond
  • Support Courageous Kids

    As 2015 draws to a close, Courageous is celebrating a successful year of teaching sailing and more to Boston kids, and looking ahead to next year. Please consider supporting Courageous in our mission to provide high-quality summer learning opportunities for the kids who need them most by making a tax-deductible donation to our Annual Appeal before December 31. Read More
  • Leadership + Growth

    Through this 7-week summer job-training program, students make the transition from student to instructor, developing their abilities to teach, lead, and inspire the next generation of Courageous kids. Read More
  • Environmentalism at Courageous

    Courageous is wind powered, but we do more than just use natural energy sources. For the past several years, our young sailors have been learning about marine biology and ocean cleanup from our own Environmental Educators and award-winning partners. Read More
  • Awareness Campaign

    See our new awareness campaign made by Hill Holliday and Courageous board member, Joe Berkeley. The campaign captures the essence of the Courageous Sailing mission and its impact on Boston kids. Read More

Blind SailingAdaptive Sailing


Courageous is the largest organization of its kind in the Boston area to offer free sailing programs and activities to people with autism, developmental disabilities, blindness, and diabetes. These programs have produced regional, national and even world champions!  With Courageous, members of these populations (mostly youth and young adults), who regularly find themselves barred from sailing and similar activities, gain a variety of physical, social, and psychological benefits, many of which are unique to the experience of sailing itself. While sailing in majestic Boston Harbor, participants build skills in teamwork, physical coordination, self-reliance, abstract thought, and leadership as well as technical knowledge of a dynamic sport. These elements rarely coincide in other activities open to these groups.

At Courageous, the goal is not only to improve our existing opportunities for these groups, but to expand them as well. Courageous provides the special know-how, equipment, support, and understanding, while working to expand the breadth and depth of personnel training in these areas. In doing so, Courageous can continue to provide more and more people with blindness, diabetes, autism and other developmental disabilities with the opportunity to experience the unique joy and exhilaration of sailing.

Beyond offering the simple pleasures of the sport, the goals of Courageous Enabled Sailing programs are that our participants gain: (A) knowledge of sailing, the environment and leadership. (B) Intrapersonal strength, including self-confidence, self-esteem, well being and sense of adventure. For blind and developmentally disabled youth, taking the helm of a sailboat and navigating it is an incredibly empowering experience, one that instills pride, self-confidence, and a sense of capability. (C) Interpersonal skills, including teamwork, communications, conflict resolution, and sense of belonging. The experience of sailing with a crew and executing maneuvers as part of a team counteracts the feelings of isolation and loneliness that blind, developmentally disabled and autistic children are often subject to. (D) Close contact with and commitment to the natural environment of Boston Harbor. (E) Improved motor and coordination skills that the sport of sailing requires. (F) The calmness and confidence that sailing in such a beautiful locale instills in all those who do it, but that is most especially beneficial to autistic and other developmentally impaired individuals. The skills gained through our collaborative programs will remain with them long after they have stepped off the boat and become more closely connected to their families, classrooms, jobs, and communities.

The programs at Courageous primarily serve youth and young adults with disabilities ranging from intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism to blindness and insulin-dependent diabetes. We reach these populations through our partnerships with The Barton Center for Diabetes Education and their Summer Adventure Programs, Special Olympics of Massachusetts, The Carroll Center for the Blind and the Heart of Sailing Foundation.


Why We Keep Coming Back
Youth Program
During the summer of 2012, JB enrolled in the SLP program for the first time.  It also happened to be my first year of instructing, and it was safe to say that she was one of my most unique students.  If her constant curiosity for sailing or insistence on touching the water didn’t make her...
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Riding the Waves
Youth Program
One of the first days of Swim Sail Science! (SSS), I had a kid named Simon in my boat. He was wicked quiet and didn't seem too excited about sailing. That particular day, we were going out to the airport. The wind was pretty heavy and soon Simon wasn't feeling it anymore and became sea sic...
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More than a Sailing School
Youth Program
At Courageous, not every child wants to learn how to sail, but every child is given an opportunity to grow. One particular 9 year old, Maddox, is not as interested in learning how to sail. But he loves to be on boats, particularly standing on the bow of a Rhodes 19 and feeling the sea spra...
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How Blue Note came to Courageous
One of of my favorite stories of 2015 is the arrival of Blue Note.   A comfortable yet sprightly 30 footer in wonderful condition, Blue Note comes to us through the generosity of the family of Dr. Paul Blum, a remarkable scientist, Peace Corps volunteer, and Boston Harbor sailor.  Blue Not...
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Happy, Excited, and Free
Youth Program
For the past four years, I have had the privilege of working with students from Swim Sail Science, a program Courageous created in partnership with Boston Public Schools. The SSS program aims to serve students who are at risk of summer learning loss. These students continue their academic studies th...
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Pier 4, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA 02129



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