Maine Coast sailing expeditions explore the rugged shoreline, intricate rivers and granite, spruce-covered islands of the eastern seaboard’s wildest region.
This journey is an opportunity for those seeking a new challenge in a unique marine environment and a collaborative team setting. Our 30-foot open sailboat serves as both home and learning community. In a phased teaching progression, Instructors will introduce beginning, intermediate and advanced skills in chart and compass navigation, small boat seamanship, weather observation and anchoring. Regular group discussions allow for reflection on each day’s progress and ensure that leadership and onboard responsibilities are shared so that every crew member is integral to planning the next day. Through living and working closely together, you will practice more than seamanship. The habits learned and strengthened through this sailing expedition will serve you for whatever challenge is next.
NOTE: Outward Bound strongly recommends that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 and up to date as defined by the CDC prior to arriving to their course start. For all open enrollment courses beginning on or after April 15, 2023, Outward Bound will no longer require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For questions regarding this policy please see this page or call us at 866-467-7651.
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
JOIN WAITLIST Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist positions become available. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. A $500 deposit is required. This $500 deposit includes a $150 non-refundable application fee and a $350 tuition payment. The $350 tuition payment is refundable only if you cancel your waitlist application or if an open position does not become available. If a position does become available, the applicant will be applied to the open position and the Application and Cancellation Policies of the Regional Outward Bound School will be followed, including forfeiture of the $500 deposit if you cancel 90 days or less prior to the course start date.
Waitlist applicants are encouraged to complete all required admissions documents while awaiting an open position. Positions may become available up to two weeks prior to the course start date. Applicants may only apply to one course. We recommend applying to a course with open positions instead of a course that is accepting waitlist applications. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
COURSE IS FULL When a course has reached maximum capacity, meaning all spots and the three waitlist spots are occupied, a course will read “Course Is Full.” This means applications are no longer being accepted.
CLOSED As a course nears its start date, the availability status may read “Closed.” In this event, a course roster has been finalized and applications are no longer being accepted or processed.
Travel to course; welcome, equipment issue and check, introductions
Sailing expedition, including skills training and practice, navigation, natural history and ecosystem exploration
Personal Challenge Event, equipment clean-up and de-issue, depart for airport.
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from your daily responsibilities, and face new challenges? Adventure is calling! Outward Bound’s Classic expeditions for adults are designed to help you hit the reset button by breaking your routines and radically changing your surroundings. This is an opportunity to build new skills and remind yourself (or discover for the first time) what it feels like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon, or feel the rush of whitewater. Put some “firsts” in front of you and you’ll find that the moments of unexpected discovery linger long after you return home.
Build skills, form connections: Meet like-minded peers and make connections as you work through priorities and adventures together, learn outdoor skills at the hands of expert Instructors, and earn every good night’s sleep.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Re-discover your inner strength, renew your natural leadership abilities and practice adapting to new environments. Tap in to your trust and compassion as you tackle obstacles with a support crew standing beside you.
Demonstrate mastery: As you awaken your wilderness skills and dig deep to rise to the physical and mental challenges, the bulk of the expedition’s leadership and decision-making responsibilities transfer from the Instructor to the crew. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both individually and together.
What you’ll learn: By allowing yourself to focus beyond daily responsibilities and obligations, you’ll master more difficult skills and open yourself up to new directions and opportunities you never thought possible. You’ll find clarity in the life changes you’re facing, you’ll uncover inspiration in the wilderness, and you’ll renew your sense of adventure to take on the next challenge in front of you.
Return home with newly expanded wilderness abilities, an energized outlook, a rekindled allowance of empathy into situations and relationships and an eye toward the future.
Traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, the group will live closely together using only wind and oars to power their way. As they rotate responsibilities during this expedition, students learn the crafts of maneuvering under sail, coastal navigation, rowing and living aboard a small open boat. At night, students sleep on deck under a tarp, taking turns at anchor watch under brilliant night skies.
On this course, students:
Learn to navigate using a map or a chart and a compass to arrive accurately at the day’s destination over mountains and across open water.
Adjust sails properly for sailing at different angles to the wind, and execute sailing maneuvers like tacking and jibing, which turn the boat through the wind
Move the boat under oar power, coordinating all of the rowers' movements so that the oars splash as one, precisely maneuvering in and out of secluded anchorages
Set a pace of hiking that covers each day’s miles and gets everyone through together, an integral part of the team
Live (cook, eat, sleep, work and learn) with the group in the backcountry, contributing energy and ideas, sharing tasks and responsibilities and relying on each other.
The granite that made the Maine coast famous as a source of building material a century ago now provides the setting for some outstanding rock climbing or rappelling from the sea cliffs. Students learn to use climbing equipment, tie knots, climb and belay each other, while Instructors provide overall supervision of the site. Climbing hones and develops balance, coordination, flexibility, and grace on the rock. Climbing will present many individual challenges for the group, while the team must work together to set systems up, communicate clearly and support each other throughout the climb.
Rock climbing on sailing courses is dependent on the weather.
Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government or social service agencies. While in the wilderness, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Recreate Responsibly ethics throughout the expedition.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition to give students quiet time to reflect on the Outward Bound experience. With the basics of food and equipment, and with safety a top priority, students will take some time away from the group to be alone at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first parts of the course. Often located along beautiful lake shorelines or peaceful rivers, Solo sites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing, or just thinking and resting as they process lessons learned and focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course. On courses longer than three weeks, Solo is up to 72 hours long.
Most adults find it hard to get away. Our lives are so busy, often filled with pressures and expectations, that it’s difficult to find time to do things for ourselves. Our one-week adult courses are the perfect opportunity to unplug, get a fresh perspective, step out of your routines and challenge yourself in new ways, discover new strengths and forge new friendships. No previous experience is necessary—all wilderness skills are taught from the beginning. You will only need to be physically fit and motivated to live, learn, and work in a team. The expedition may only last a week, but the strength of the experience will be with you for a lifetime.
As you learn sailing and seamanship techniques, you will find you are practicing the essential skills and habits that help you prepare for new challenges at work, college, home and in your community. The expedition encourages you:
to remain engaged and present, giving every challenge your best effort, even when the goal seems beyond your reach.
to form a team and focus on the team effort. It takes an entire crew to sail or row the boat well and the boat performs best when everyone is working together.
to share responsibilities, communicate and lead. In addition to the challenges of moving the boat, living together aboard this small vessel requires commitment to the support of crewmates and community as a whole. Leadership roles are shared within the group and responsibilities rotate each day.
to find reserves of tenacity and compassion. Sailing courses are designed to expand and stretch your limits so that every expedition is a true accomplishment and a memorable journey.
The coast of Maine, with its intricate and indented shoreline, is a unique segment of the North Atlantic seaboard. It is renown among sailors for its picturesque beauty, iconic lighthouses, abundant bays and harbors, rocky islands and quiet coves. The Outward Bound course area covers nearly 200 miles of the Maine coast, with countless rivers, bays,and islands to explore. The rocky, spruce-covered islands are the summits of a prehistoric mountain range and generations of inhabitants have made their livelihoods here. Evidence left behind on the islands reveals the historic presence of indigenous Abenaki camps, pre-colonial fishing communities, post-colonial timber and farming operations and early 20th century granite quarries. Cold, nutrient-rich waters flow from the Canadian Maritimes and make the Gulf of Maine home to a wide range of sea birds, seals, porpoises and whales.
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.