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.
Courageous is fortunate to have a fleet of over 50 sailboats ranging from our International Class Laser & 420 dinghies to our full-size cruising boats. Our core Learn to Sail, day-sailing and one-design fleet consists of 27 Rhodes 19s. For more advanced one-design racing and performance sailing we have our 8 J/22s. See below for more information on each type of boat.
Rhodes 19s (27)
The Rhodes 19 is a 19 foot (6 m) long sailboat, designed by Philip Rhodes and originally manufactured by O'Day. Currently, the Rhodes 19 is built by Stuart Marine Corp. To date, approximately 3500 of the boats have been built. Available with either a fixed keel or with a retractable centerboard, it is used primarily as a day sailer or for one-design racing. All of the Courageous Rhodes 19s are fixed keel. The Rhodes 19 is still actively raced throughout the United States, with active fleets in many Massachusetts locations.
The J/22 is a 22 foot keel sailboat designed by J boats. It is actively raced in yacht clubs in the United States and Europe. The J/22 has a comfortable self-bailing cockpit with 7 ft. long seats and room for 4 people in the cabin to escape the rain or cold. J/22 is built for safety with buoyancy tanks and offshore hatches. Her 700 lb. lead keel lowers the center of gravity, creating nearly 1700 foot pounds of righting moment at 90 degrees of heel.
Length overall 22.5 ft (6.98 m)
Waterline length 19.0 ft (5.8 m)
Beam 8.0 ft (2.45 m)
Draft 3.8 ft (1.18 m)
Displacement 1790 lb (812 kg)
Lead keel 700 lb (318 kg)
Upwind sail area :223 ft² (22 m²)
Spinnaker area: :345 ft² (34 m²)
There are over 1,600 J/22's now sailing in 65 active fleets in eighteen countries on three continents. Recognized by the ISAF, the International J/22 Class Association promotes activities and regattas worldwide. There is a very active class web site and association newsletters. For class racing, sails are restricted to only a main, small jib and spinnaker with total crew weight at 605 lb.
The International 420 Class Dinghy is a monohull planing dinghy with centreboard, bermuda rig and centre sheeting. It is designed for a crew of two. The name describes the overall length of the boat in centimeters (the boat is exactly 4.2 meters long). The International 420 was designed by Andre Cornu in the 1960s as a general purpose two sail, transom sheeted, non-trapeze dinghy, with modest easily handled sail plan. The hull's seaworthyness and stability at speed proved to be better than most of its contemporaries, and this together with its modest sail area make it fun to sail in heavy weather and thus an excelent youth trainer, qualities that lead to its adoption for that role by the RYA in the mid 1970's.
Thanks to the generosity of the Courageous Community, we acquired a fleet of 12 brand-new Lasers in 2010, complete with Full, Radial, and 4.7 Rigs. The International Laser Class sailboat, is a popular single-handed, one-design class of small sailing dinghy. The design, by Bruce Kirby, emphasizes simplicity and performance. Now manufactured by Laser Performance, the Laser is one of the most popular single-handed dinghies in the world. As of 2011, there are more than 250,000 boats worldwide. A commonly cited reason for its popularity is that it is robust, simple to rig and sail. The Laser also provides very competitive racing due to the very tight class association controls which eliminate differences in hull, sails and equipment.
Ranger 23s (2)
The Ranger 23 was the first US boat to be specifically designed to the Quarter Ton Rule (MORC). Gary Mull’ s design proved to be a fast and able club racer and a good small coastal cruiser. It was produced with both tall and short rigs. At 3,394 lbs. , it carried 264 sq ft of sail. Gary Mull, said that “the intention was to produce a little ship capable of sailing anywhere in the world safely and swiftly.” The first boat was build in 1971 and the last in 1977 (739 total).
The Ranger 23 is probably the best sailboat in its size range ever built. This 1971 design has served its owners well through the years and is still sailing strong. The boat was made famous as the central character in the movie "The Dove" about young Robin Lee Graham’s solo circumnavigation. (note: Dove was a 24 ft. Lapworth design built about 1960 - the movie used a R23).