Sail Fast!

Become “Boat Smart”

Posted by George Stevens on Fri, Mar 06, 2015 @ 09:40 PM


education and training

Learning the basics of boat operation and safety is best done before your first trip to the marina or launch ramp. In fact, a number of states require powerboat operators to take a boating education course and carry a license or certificate proving successful course completion any time they're underway.

Resources for You!

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary was established by Congress in 1939, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is Semper Paratus(Always Ready).

US Power Squadron was organized in 1914, USPS is a non profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has worked to provide quality service, savings, and representation to the boating community since 1966. The BoatUS Foundation is the only FREE online safety course developed specifically for individual states.

Safely Moored is a professional, hands-on boating instruction, safety training, yacht management, dockside services & Yacht Sales in South Florida.

US POWERBOATING™ is the nation's leading, on-the-water organization, offering courses for powerboat operators and is an affiliate of US SAILING, the national governing body for the sport of sailing.

The Recreational Powerboating Association™ (RPBA™) is the leading authority for hands-on powerboat instruction, powerboat certification & powerboat schools in the United States.

The American Sailing Association (ASA) is the oldest and largest keelboat certification authority in the United States, with 300 affiliated sailing schools worldwide.

The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States.

The US Sailing Keelboat Certification System is a cooperative effort among sailing schools, charter companies, the sailing industry, and US Sailing volunteers and staff.

Tags: Belle Haven Marina, Potomac River sailing, boating safety, Alexandria Virginia, Boat US, Mariner Sailing School, sailing lessons for children, Sailing Instructors

Belle Haven Marina Schedules Celebration of Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day, June 8th, 2013 (9am – 12 pm)

Posted by George Stevens on Thu, May 30, 2013 @ 11:58 AM

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Alexandria, VA.June 8th, 2013 (9am – 12 pm).


As part of a nationwide observance, Belle Haven Marina is celebrating Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day on June 8th, 2013 from 9am till noon.

“Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day is a celebration of boating,” said Belle Haven Marina’s President, George Stevens. “As families search for fun outdoor activities that everyone can enjoy we want to encourage them to give boating a try. Existing boaters are always ready to celebrate with a day on the water, but on this day we ask them to bring a non-boater out to share the experience. We hope you will visit Belle Haven Marina, learn about your boating, and enjoy the events we have planned.”


Belle Haven Marina’s Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day activities include:


ü      Free 30 minute canoe and kayak rentals

ü      Free 45 minute sailing lessons, 4 per boat with an instructor

ü      Free 30 minute standup paddle board rentals


Participants should register by June 5th by calling the marina (703) 768-0018


"Now, more then ever, Americans need outdoor, safe, family-friendly ways to spend their leisure time. Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day introduces boating as just such an activity and reminds our existing customers and our community that Belle Haven Marina is a local, environmentally-friendly, beautiful gateway to on-the-water fun."


Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day is produced by the Association of Marina Industries, and Discover Boating. For more information, visit


Belle Haven Marina / Mariner Sailing School


Tags: Belle Haven Marina, Learn to Sail, Potomac River sailing, boating safety, Clean Marina, Mariner Sailing School

3 tips on sailing the Potomac River

Posted by George Stevens on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 @ 10:57 PM

In the DC area, we are fortunate to have a relatively slow moving river that offers sailing opportunities without having to drive an hour or more on weekends. There is nothing better than being out on the water 20 minutes after leaving downtown DC. While convenient, the Potomac River doesn't have the wide open sailing areas found on the Chesapeake. You won't have a 4 mile beam reach but you're on the water cruising. So what do you need to know?

The Potomac is tidal - When there is a good breeze, tide is a minor consideration unless you are racing. However, in light winds, knowing the tides will dictate your course and time to turn around. There are tide charts available online as well as pocket tide charts at West Marine. River sailors should always be factoring in the tide.

Current can be a factor -  April rains and tropical depressions can create significant currents on the river. Currents will be strongest north of the Wilson Bridge where the river is narrow. Along with the current, be on the lookout for debris coming down the river. During the dry summer months, the current is minimal.

Winds - We monitor NOAA Tidal Potomac Key Bridge to Indianhead for our predicted winds. If Annapolis is getting 12-14 knots, we get 10-12 on the river. South of the Wilson Bridge, the river widens considerably and the winds are usually more consistent.



Potomac River sailing

Get Started!

Tags: Potomac River sailing, currents and tides, NOAA