Welcome to Block Island
Community Sailing!

Founded and run by long time Island sailing enthusiasts, BICS is dedicated to making the sport of sailing fun, available, and affordable to everyone.

Book a Sailing Charter Here.

BICS is a member based organization, open to everyone, with a low annual membership fee, which will allow members the unlimited use of our boats, along with member discounts for sailing lessons, and US Sailing certification courses for boating safety, keel boat sailing, coastal navigation, and race committee member certification. BICS promotes sailing with low cost programs to enable prospective sailors to experience the joy and excitement of the sport and more experienced sailors to sharpen their skills and receive certification of their sailing proficiency leading to the award of a US Sailing “International Proficiency Certificate” which is your passport to leasing a bareboat charter anywhere in the world with you, as the charter captain. All our programs are open to non-members, but not at the member discount.


BICS offers many programs designed to bring the joy of sailing to everyone from beginner sailor to expert racer. All our staff are US Sailing Certified Sailing Instructors.
  • Lessons: Group and individual lessons are available to all, and to BICS members at a discounted rate.
  • US Sailing Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising, Bareboat Cruising and Coastal Navigation Certification Courses available.
  • On shore activities such as US Sailing clinics for sailing technique, boating safety, racing, coastal navigation, and race committee qualification.
  • On the water activities including Racing, Family Sailing, Women’s Sailing, and Cruising.
  • BICS enters our boats in regional racing events such as BI Race Week, Off Soundings, and ECSA regional regattas.
  • Off Season events such as a Caribbean sailing charter for our Members and their families.
  • Support of other Island organizations such as the New Shoreham Recreation Department, The Committee for the Great Salt Pond, The Block Island Yacht Club, and The Block Island Maritime Institute for their programs which share our mission.

" Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

Mark Twain


Sign up for BICS Membership for the 2024 Season!

Gift memberships and lesson plans are available

Sign Up
Block Island 2024 Sailing Events Calendar
Published by Block Island Community Sailing
Event Class Host Club/Sponsor Dates
BICS/BIYC Summer Sailing Kickoff Event
All BIYC, BICS, National Hotel May 25, 5-7pm
Off Soundings Club Spring Series PHRF OS Off Soundings Club, ECSA June 7-8
BICS Thurs Night Sailing PHRF BICS June 27 - Sept 5
Mary D Fund Benefit Regatta PHRF OS BICS July 13
BICS / SHYC Offshore Regatta PHRF OS BICS,SHYC, ECSA Aug 10
BIYC Around the Island Pursuit Race
SHYC B.I.G. Jack Watch Hill to BI Regatta PHRF OS SHYC Sept 7
BICS Annual Member Awards Picnic PHRF BICS Sept 7
Off Soundings Club Fall Series PHRF OS Off Soundings Sept 13-14
Cliff Mitchell Mem Columbus Day Regatta PHRF OS Newport YC Oct 12

Note: All events will be Pandemic compliant. All BICS and Off Soundings events are sailed under the PHRF Class Rules of the Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association.

To join ECSA to get your PHRF Certificate go to: www.ecsa.net (LINK)


  • BIYC: Block Island Yacht Club
  • BICS: Block Island Community Sailing, Inc.
  • ECSA: Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association
  • SHYC: Stonington Harbor Yacht Club
  • PHRF: Performance Handicap Racing Fleet
  • PHRF OS: PHRF + Offshore Regs
  • come join us for summer fun


    BICS is a member-based organization, open to everyone, and with a single low annual membership fee, our members can participate in the unlimited use of our boats, along with member discounts for sailing lessons, and racing, boating safety, and race committee certification clinics.

    Members get monthly email updates during the sailing season and our BICS quarterly newsletter by Email year-round. Members are invited to participate in all the BICS activities including, cookouts, family sails, and racing events like Block Island Race Week, Off Soundings, Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association events, and the “Around Block Island pursuit Race” where members get first choice on crew opportunity lists.

    BICS offers discounted memberships for BIYC Members and Scholarships for eligible applicants.

    Sign Up


    BICS offers a comprehensive program of sailing lessons with US Sailing Certified Keelboat and Cruising Instructors with the goal of building the sailing knowledge, proficiency, and confidence needed for our students to get checked out in our boats so they can take their friends and family sailing without an instructor onboard.

    BICS offers the US Sailing “Basic Keelboat”, “Basic Cruising”,” Bareboat Cruising”, and “Coastal Navigation” Courses in larger boats (not dinghys) specifically to each of our student’s sailing ability with inexpensive group lessons for beginner and intermediate sailors, and private lessons for any level of experience.

    Our students who complete the Basic Cruising, and Bareboat Cruising courses are eligible to apply to US Sailing for their International Proficiency Certificate which is their passport to chartering a sailing vessel without a professional captain and crew almost anywhere in the world.

    A brief description of each course follows:

    The Basic Keelboat graduate will have successfully demonstrated the ability to responsibly skipper and crew a simple day sailing keelboat in familiar waters in light to moderate wind and sea conditions. This course is taught in two five lesson segments over a period of five days.

    For a detailed course description, see:
    Basic Keelboat – US Sailing Learn to Sail – Beginner Sailing

    The Basic Cruising graduate will have successfully demonstrated the ability to responsibly skipper and crew an auxiliary powered cruising sailboat, during daylight hours, within sight of land in moderate wind and sea conditions. This course is taught in conjunction with the Bareboat Cruising Course described below.

    BICS offers Basic Cruising courses this winter while under way on a fabulous one-week family cruise / sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands. See link below.

    For a detailed course description, see:
    Basic Cruising – US Sailing Learn to Sail – Beginner Sailing

    This course is designed to provide the prospective bareboat charter skipper with the knowledge and confidence to qualify to lease a bareboat for charter in US, the Caribbean or the Mediterranean with US Sailing Basic Cruising and Bareboat Charter Proficiency Certification. The Course covers all the material in the US Sailing Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising course curriculum including planning a cruise, provisioning, cruising boat systems, (engine, galley, sanitation, and rigging) weather forecasting, coastal navigation, sailing in light and heavy weather, docking, anchoring, and emergency procedures.

    The Course includes one day of classroom instruction and three days “under way” to a nearby cruising destination like Mystic CT and back to our base on Block Island. Prerequisite: US Sailing Basic Keelboat Course.

    BICS offers Basic Cruising courses this winter while under way on a fabulous one-week family cruise / sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands. See link below.

    For a detailed course description, see:
    Bareboat Cruising – US Sailing Learn to Sail – Beginner Sailing

    If you are an experienced sailor, you may also challenge a course to achieve the desired level. The US Sailing Keelboat Certification System is a series of sailing levels based on the natural progression of experience from day sailing to cruising and then extended passage making.

    A certification candidate may, with previous experience and competency, challenge the required prerequisite levels by completing the written and practical examinations for each required level. Essentially, you will be taken for an on-the-water check out for the highest level of certification you are challenging. Pass the practical and then take the exams for the appropriate certification levels. BICS offers a “Challenge a Course” certification for all the above courses, to experienced sailors in a single day of the applicant demonstrating their proficiency and passing the US Sailing written test examinations.

    Call BICS to make an appointment to Challenge a Course.

    Bareboat Cruising Course Book Sailing Lessons Online 2024 Winter Sailing

    Book a Sailing Charter

    BICS Now Offers Afternoon or Sunset Family Cruises:
    Join us for a terrific afternoon or evening sailing experience with your family and friends on our Cape Dory 28 “Mischief” which has the room to comfortably take 6 guests out for a scenic sail on Block Island Sound. Mischief has a full galley and head, and we welcome our guests to bring their own snacks like a cheese board or chips and dip. We will also provide an ice box to chill your favorite beverages.
    We use the Old Port Launch Service to bring our guests out to Mischief from their launch dock at the New Harbor Boat Basin.
    Your cruising charter skipper is Capt. Henry duPont who has 40 years of sailboat cruising experience and is a USCG Licensed Master Captain.
    Call for more information or book your sailing adventure on our website at www.sailbi.org Book Your Sailing Charter (Scroll to Cape Dory Private Cruise Offerings )
    Two ½ hour sailing charter cost: $250.00
    Contact Us:
    BI Community Sailing
    Web: www.sailbi.org
    (401) 741-5136 | Email: info@sailbi.org


    There are great reasons to donate to Block Island Community Sailing including:

    • BICS is a true Community Benefit Program founded to make the sport of sailing available and affordable to Island residents and visitors who would not otherwise get to experience the joy and excitement of the sport.
    • BICS is committed to engage the Island youth sailors with affordable programs which will allow our youth to embrace the sport and also get to experience their heritage as residents of an Island who relied on sailing for transportation and commerce for hundreds of years.
    • BICS works with other organizations, such as the Town of New Shoreham Recreation Department to offer special sailing programs to Camp Mohegan students and we also have special programs for Women, Seniors, and other groups as part of our community benefit mission.

    Please help support our programs! BICS is a nonprofit, educational, community benefit sailing organization which is eligible for charitable donations under IRS 501 (C), (3)

    You can donate to support a specific program or donate to support all our programs here!

    Donate Today!

    About US

    BICS is an educational, nonprofit, tax exempt, organization incorporated in the State of Rhode Island, dedicated to make sailing available and affordable to everyone. We are a 501, (C), (3) charitable, tax exempt organization.

    Our Mission

    The mission of Block Island Community Sailing is to make the sport of sailing accessible and affordable to everyone, especially women and senior sailors. We promote an accessible and welcoming environment that encourages learning, volunteerism, and community spirit.

    Our Goals
    • To teach sailing, seamanship, and fair play in competitive sailing.
    • To make sailboats available to qualified sailors for recreational sailing or racing at the lowest cost possible.
    • To help raise the environmental awareness of Block Island’s Great Salt Pond and its surrounding waters.
    • To provide the “joy of sailing” experience to diverse groups including: youth sailing, women’s sailing, senior sailing, minority groups, and for the disabled or handicapped.
    • To provide an environment which fosters competitive sailing which will put Block Island on the map as a regional center for sailing excellence.
    Director Bios