In compliance with the State of Illinois orders and guidelines, recreational boating has been deemed safe to resume with restrictions. Please help us keep the sailing beach safe by adhering to the new guidelines and modified operations.
New Guidelines and Modified Operations:
- Until further notice, Wilmette Park District rental equipment will not be available for rent.
- Boating is permitted in groups of no more than two (2) persons. No exceptions.
- While interacting with staff or fellow patrons, please practice social distancing of six feet (6ft.). If social distancing is not possible, wear a face covering or mask.
- Please note, sailing is at your own risk. There will be no rescue or assistance service. Sailing staff will watch the water and call the Coast Guard as needed.
- Guests are not permitted on the sailing beach, previously purchased 2020 guest passes will be refunded.
- Vehicle access and sailing staff hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
We will be monitoring state and local guidance daily for any changes to these restrictions. As soon as the situation improves, we will expand sailing beach operations to allow guests, rentals, rescue service, and public access to the sailing beach as able.
Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. Please direct all questions or concerns to:
Katy Bradford, Assistant Lakefront Manager
Staff & Contact Info
General Information (Lakeview Center):
Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
During Sailing Season
Assistant Lakefront Manager
Not a sailor? Do your children want to learn to sail? Need a refresher course? Our knowledgeable sailing staff offers private, semi private and group lessons. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate sailor, we have what you need to get out and have a great experience on Lake Michigan. Lessons begin in June with sessions running through mid August. Lessons are taught on Sunfish and Hobie Cats.
Group Sailing Lessons
Sailing is a lifelong recreational activity and it is easy to learn! Best of all, SAILING IS FUN! Beginning students will learn the basics of sailing from how to rig a boat, basic safety on the water, knots and sailing terms. We will get out on Lake Michigan; learn boat handling techniques, tacking, capsizing and recovery. Intermediate classes are for those who have a solid knowledge of sailing. These students will polish their previously learned skills and boat handling techniques.
Sunfish boats are used for instruction. A swimming test will be given at the start of each session. Participants must be able to swim 50 feet. All participants will wear lifejackets while on the water. Classes will meet regardless of weather and there are no make-up classes. Sailing instructors reserve the right to move students to the appropriate level. Each class is limited to 12 students. Each session consists of eight lessons.
Private and Small Group Sailing Lessons
Learn to sail at a time that suits your schedule. Beginning students will learn the basics of sailing from how to rig a boat, basic safety on the water, knots and sailing terms. Students will get out on Lake Michigan, learn boat handling techniques, tacking, capsizing and recovery. Intermediate sailors can expect to gain more boat handling techniques.
Private and small group lessons are taught in four 60 minute lessons--both on land and on water. All participants must be able to swim 50 feet. Consult the sailing supervisor if circumstances require exception to this rule. Lessons can be taught on Sunfish sailboats, Hobie Waves or Hobie Getaways. Small group lessons can accommodate up to three people.
We will contact you to arrange lesson times and the boat type you prefer, or you may contact the Sailing Beach at 847-256-9662 to arrange lessons.
* Please note: Until further notice, Wilmette Park District rental equipment will not be available for rent.
Our Wilmette Park District fleet of Sunfish, Hobie Waves and Hobie Getaways are available for rental whenever the boats are not being used for instruction. Single and double kayaks, along with stand up paddle boards, are also available for rental. Sailors may rent boats when their experience matches weather conditions on the day of rental. Staff is on hand to help sailors evaluate their skills and to assess weather conditions. Interested persons with no experience on the waters should consider our beginner's instructional program before renting boats. For safety, staff reserves the right to refuse rentals at anytime.
Weekdays: After 3 p.m. (in by 7 p.m.)
Saturday-Sunday: 9:30 a.m. - 6:15 p.m. (in by 7:15 p.m.)
Reservations and Payment
Reservations may be made at 847/256-9662, not more than 48 hours in advance. Reservations for weekend times may be made at 9 a.m., Thursday (for Saturday) and Friday (for Sunday). All non-refundable rental fees are paid immediately before the rental. A government-issued ID must be presented at the time of rental. MasterCard, Visa, and Discover are accepted for sailing lessons and rental fees.
Weekday Rates Weekends & Holiday Rates Hobie Getaways $63/hour / $80/2hrs $83/hr / $100/2hrs Hobie Waves $51/hr / $68/2hrs $71/hr / $88/2hrs Sunfish $40/hr / $57/2hrs $50/hr / $67/2hrs Single Seat Kayak $40/hr / $57/2hrs $50/hr / $67/2hrs Double Seat Kayak $50/hr / $68/2hrs $60/hr / $78/2hrs Stand Up Paddle Boards $25/hr $35/hr