“I started Sound Sailing in 1986 to help you get involved in sailing through an innovative instruction and membership program. Our instruction is based on a simple concept—in 20 to 30 hours you will be out sailing my boats by yourself, so we damn well better do a good job! The membership program uses boats I enjoy sailing myself.”
—Martin van Breems, founder and owner
Sound Sailing Center is based in Norwalk, Connecticut on beautiful Long Island Sound. Our fleet operates up to Maine in the summer and down to the Caribbean in the winter. From our dock, you can be out sailing in the Norwalk Islands in under five minutes which are easy to explore with our smaller boats. Within a five hour sail you will discover hundreds of harbors ranging from the exquisite Thimble Islands to historic Oyster Bay. Enjoy drinks or a meal while looking out over the fleet at the Sunset Grill, conveniently located next door. Historic South Norwalk, featuring many bars and restaurants, the Maritime Museum and Aquarium, and plenty of shopping is only a short drive away. We are open Monday thru Friday year round and weekends during the season.
Our teaching methods are hands on, on the water, with fewer students than most other schools. We never have more than three students per instructor in our Intro, Basic Keelboat, or Basic Cruising classes. We know your time is valuable. Our boats and teaching methods are uniquely designed so as to allow you to sail singlehanded after taking Basic Keelboat, which helps you gain confidence quickly. We strongly encourage new sailors to become competent with daysailers, before moving on to larger boats. Small boat experience is the fastest and best way to become a competent sailor. Although many schools promote a package program that has you sailing larger boats in a week, you will be a better sailor and enjoy sailing more if you practice with daysailers.
Rentals and Charters: Our fleet is diverse, ranging from classic boats like the Ensigns, to our flagship, Hanse 400. In general, we look for good sailing qualities and strong construction. We buy boats we like!
Naturally, every mainsail in our fleet has a Dutchman Sail Flaking System, along with other gear like roller furling jibs that allows you to get out sailing in a few minutes, even if singlehanded. Ensigns have electric motors, so even starting the engine is simple. Charters are multiday rentals, for taking extended trips on our larger boats. Rentals and Charters are available if a boat does not have full membership. If you will be taking out our boats less than 4 times a year, rentals or charters are the way to go.
Membership Use Program
This program allows 7-8 members to share useage of one of our boats. Sound Sailing Center handles all the maintenance. Unlike other membership, timeshare, or fractional use programs, we offer far more flexibility combined with expert, on site staff, in a diverse fleet from our 2006 Hanse 400, to our affordable and fun Ensigns. Members can use any boat in our fleet smaller than the one they have signed up for. With multiple locations, including one Pearson 37 located in Mystic, CT and exchange privledges at the Boston Sailing Center, it’s no surprise that we have more experienced sailors in our program than any other membership arrangement we know of.
For many, the dream of owning your own yacht has a powerful pull. We can help make this a reality, through our brokerage or new yacht sales division. With over 25 years of yacht sales and service experience, we can offer expert advice. If you are after a used or brokerage yacht, we will start off with a broad variety of vessels that should be of interest, then refine the search as your preferences become clear. We also will do a mini survey and bring along our moisture meter, so as to rule out obvious problem boats before you spend $20+ per foot on a survey. We’ll work with you to establish a reasonable offer, locate the best surveyor, and be there for all the many questions you’ll have. Since the commission is shared between the listing and selling broker, you will not pay extra for our superb service.
Sound Sailing Center is pleased to be part of the Southern New England Yacht Dealers Association, who have joined together to offer a unique boat show where you can not only view a variety of boats, but also go for a test sail. Email Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-981-3590 for more info.
Martin van Breems is the head of Sound Sailing and President of MVB Inc., manufacturer of Dutchman Sailboat Hardware, makers of the Dutchman Sail Flaking System. Martin is a lifelong sailor with many offshore passages and has sailed one of the most difficult competitions in the world, a single-handed race from Plymouth, England, to Newport, R.I. He came in second in his division. Almost 70% of the participants dropped out due to difficult conditions. Read the entire story at J Boats.
Martin started as a service manager and head of sales for Van Breems Holland Yachts, importer for the Dutch built Contest Yachts which was founded by Martin’s father, Arie van Breems. Arie was a key person in the sailboat business from the late 50’s to the 80’s, responsible for such boats as the Block Island 40.The history of the early fiberglass boats is recounted in Dan Spurr’s excellent boat ‘Heart of Glass’.