As one of the oldest and MOST well-respected sailing SUMMER CAMPS FOR TEENAGERS in the world, AQ has been offering sailing as a core component of our educational summer adventure camps for over 40 years.

Whether a novice or seasoned sailor, you will advance your sailing skills on the world’s most beautiful waters under the guidance of ActionQuest’s incredible staff.

Our licensed, certified instructors teach internationally-recognized sailing courses through IYT (International Yacht Training) during any of our sailing focused camps.

Many of our staff were once AQ students when they were teenagers, so they can relate to the power of adventure and discovery while under sail. Our international summer camps for teens give you a sailing experience that you’ll never forget.

All of our adventure summer sailing camps for teenagers include some time spent living aboard a yacht and most are run full-time aboard one of our ActionQuest vessels. This is a core component of any AQ experience. Beyond the fun, living and learning aboard a yacht offers a perfect environment to develop leadership and communication skills, as there is nothing contrived about teamwork when working together as part of a tight-knit crew.

Based on your experience, we can teach the following sailing courses…

IYT Introductory Sailing Skills

The IYT Introductory Sailing Skills Course is designed for students with limited previous experience with the goal of providing a well-rounded, introductory knowledge for crewing a sailing vessel (monohull or catamaran) up to 50-ft in inland or coastal waters <5 miles offshore during daylight hours in moderate wind and sea conditions. Hopefully, candidates will enjoy the experience and progress to higher-level sailing courses.

During the class, you’ll learn about the following:

  • Nautical terminology
  • Personal and boat safety equipment
  • Equipment & handling skills
  • Basic ropework
  • Basic sail handling
  • Man-overboard procedures
  • Anchors, anchoring & running aground
  • Compasses navigation & buoyage

IYT International Crew

The IYT International Crew course is a certificate of excellence for those candidates who wish to train to become active crew members on a power or sailing yacht up to 78 ft, in coastal waters up to 20 miles offshore, in daylight hours and fair conditions. It is the level of competence that someone needs either when acting as a watchkeeping crew or skipper of a small yacht in protected waters in calm conditions.

In addition to the skills listed in the Introductory Sailing Skills Course, you’ll learn about the following

  • Passage planning & weather
  • Advanced rope work
  • Navigation, rules of the road
  • Collision regulations
  • Vessel handling under power & sail
  • Vessel equipment and instruments
  • Engine checks and maintenance
  • Dinghy handling under power

IYT VHF Operator

The IYT VHF Radio Communications course is designed to ensure a thorough understanding of the entire spectrum of maritime radio communications for recreational and professional boating. It is intended for all marine environments and follows international standards. Students of this sailing camp will learn how onboard radios and handheld radios, EPIRBs, SARTs, AIS and DSC-enabled radios, are used effectively in marine communications.

AQ Advanced Sailing Certification

This is a certificate specially crafted by AQ sailing camp for teenagers and is designed for students with previous experience who wish to develop those skills needed to eventually take command of their own yacht within a flotilla. The theory and practical modules in this sailing summer camp are aimed at increasing a students’ nautical knowledge sufficiently to be a watchkeeper on board a bareboat yacht, or a flotilla skipper in fair weather, in daylight hours within sight of land.

Our sailing camps for teenagers have always been grounded in experiential education. Students have a greater feeling of accomplishment from having completed things themselves. In addition, self-reliance and confidence soar from achieving new skills and certifications.

Whether coastal cruising between the idyllic islands of the British Virgin Islands or even setting out on a transatlantic passage, there is no room for passengers aboard.

Rotating through every role aboard the vessel, both on deck and below deck, ActionQuest sailing camp students become experienced crewmembers by journey’s end.

Because with ActionQuest, every location that we drop anchor is a destination our students helped to reach.

Sailing and instruction is naturally a huge part of our summer camps for teens. AQ is an International Yacht Training (IYT) Partner School. On our overnight sailing camp, we teach sailing through the IYT International Yachting Passport global scheme, a modular training program designed to develop skills from beginner through to the professional level.

Depending on previous experience, students have the opportunity to work toward sailing certifications that include Introductory Sailing Skills, International Crew, VHF Operator, and AQ Advanced Certifications.

Some of our international summer camps for teens are more sailing intensive than others so please read through the individual program descriptions for more information or call our Florida office on +1.941.924.6789.

AQ is an IYT Partner School

“ActionQuest was truly an amazing experience for me. It taught me the importance of working as one group even though we are all very different people. I'll never forget the lessons I learned or the people I met while at ActionQuest.”


“Wow. I've been begging my parents to let me come here for years. I had no idea that ActionQuest would impact my life as much as it did. I feel like a whole new person. Living on a boat with 15 strangers was the experience of a lifetime. I have made 15 new friends for life. Thank you ActionQuest.”


“Thank you, AQ for an amazing 3 weeks in the BVI. I have learned that being on the water is something I need in my life. All the staff are amazing and are people that I can look up to and aspire to be. The skills I have gained are unbelievable and I have grown so much both in my skills and as a person.”


Follow the experience

Watch a 3-part series as our 21-day British Virgin Islands program unfolds

Ready to start your adventure?