Carolina Mainsheet School of Sailing - About

Serving Central and Eastern North Carolina for over 10 years, Carolina Mainsheet School of Sailing was founded upon the belief that, "A bad day of sailing is better than a good day at the office."  Our school adheres to the highest professional standards set forth by the American Sailing Association, so you know you're in the most capable hands when you get out on the water. While students come from as far away as Atlanta, Charlotte, Norfolk, Richmond, Washington DC and even the Jersey Shores, the school is dedicated to making the sport of Sailing accessible, affordable and convenient for landlocked enthusiasts in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area of North Carolina.


Carolina Mainsheet is an American Sailing Association Affiliate School teaching adult basic and advanced courses from beginning sailing small boats on lakes to keel boats from 23' to 38' on the coastal waters of the Neuse River and Pamlco Sound. Even better, since we want you to be able to safely find your way about the open waters, we offer some of the best education in coastal navigation, chart reading and DEAD reckoning for sailors and power boaters. And best of all, we're right in your own backyard with beginning courses at Jordan Lake and a stone's throw away with advanced sailing and navigation courses in beautiful, historic New Bern.


So you don't know how to sail but your dream is to buy a 40-footer, live on it and sail it to the BVI or just hop a plane and charter a 40-footer down there. Maybe your dream is a little more laid back and you'd simply just like sailing a small trailerable on a wonderful lake wherever you may find one. Whatever your dream about sailing....pursuing it starts right here at Carolina Mainsheet School of Sailing. 


We'll teach you the basics upon which you can build your dreams (large or small) and enjoy a lifetime of thrills and adventures as a safe and competent skipper. And by the way....The American Sailing Association Certifications you earn are recognized and respected around the world because of their high standards. But at Carolina Mainsheet, we've taken it to another level. Not only do we teach sailing beyond ASA specifications, you'll notice that we have prerequisites for our courses that ASA does not require. 


When you review our course offerings, we want you to see them as a serious educational curriculum and not just a selection of beans and chips on a grocery store shelf. Our curriculum is thoughtfully designed with prerequisites thoughtfully placed along the way so you will have all the training and experience you deserve before you move on to the next ASA course. Wherever your dreams and your "bucket list" lead you, Carolina Mainsheet is here to help make you journey the thrill of a lifetime.


Come on. It's time for fun. No more putting it off. Let's get started...


Welcome Aboard.


Now let's go Sailing,








Carolina Mainsheet School of Sailing an Affiliate Member

Since 2006

Welcome to Carolina Mainsheet School of Sailing

Captain Bill Rathbun, Licensed USCG oupv
Member: American Sailing Association
Basic Small Boat, Basic Keelboat, Coastal Cruising, Bareboat Charter and Coastal Navigation Certified
Fifty-Year Veteran: Boating and Sailing


​Born in Chicago on Lake Michigan and raised in Tidewater Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay, Captain Bill holds Master's Degrees in Industrial Design and Fine Arts. He worked in product development for over 40 years and has taught in the College of Design at North Carolina State University and the School of Art at East Carolina University. Sailing is his passion. Indeed, he loves teaching others how to have fun on the water while they learn the craft of proper seamanship, great sailing skills and safe boating practices.

About Captain Bill

Capt Bill