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) non-profit in a joint effort between the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the late South Boston sailing enthusiast Harry McDonough. Courageous Sailing has since grown into a dynamic, multi-faceted educational facility serving over 1,000 at-risk and disadvantaged children each year. Through the organization’s Courage Curriculum, young sailors develop essential leadership competencies in personal responsibility, communication, problem-solving, teamwork and stewardship. Demand for Courageous Sailing’s programs is at a record high with close to two-thirds (600) of the eager young children who attempt to register for our summer program being turned away due to a lack of sufficient capacity.
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.
Courageous prides itself on being a leader in community service. Courageous has hosted the Special Olympics Summer Games and has been consistently involved in training Special Olympics athletes. Courageous also has an ongoing partnership with The Carroll Center for the Blind, which holds national blind sailing competitions as well as weekly Sail Blind races at Courageous. In addition, Courageous serves as a venue for local high school sailing team practices, as well as Women's Keel Boat and Mass Bay elimination events. Courageous has also partnered with Adventure Sail through the Big and Little Sisters organization, an event that has drawn hundreds of women and girls into the sport of sailing.
A True Public/Private Partnership
Courageous' success has captured the imagination and sponsorship of small and large Boston companies as well as hundreds of paying adult members. Corporations support Courageous' activities through the Courageous Challenge and Corporate Sponsorships, while individuals can contribute by simply becoming a member or attending exciting fundraising events such as Make-A-Mark and the College Bowl. The generous and enthusiastic contributions made by these organizations and individuals are vital to the continued growth and success of Courageous.
Courageous has also found other ways to leverage its success and appeal. In 1998, the Center sponsored the first of several co-fundraising regattas with the American Cancer Society. Our staff and venue helped them raise over $70,000 for a cure. The center continues to look for ways to help other charities while bringing the benefits of sailing to more and more children and adults.