About Us


Doris Colgate, President of Offshore Sailing School, founded the National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA) in 1990. The mission of the association was to provide opportunities for women to learn and enhance their sailing skills and have fun and meet others at the same time. The mission has not changed. Our programs, such as the Take the Helm® conferences and our hands-on workshops, such as the Diesel Engine Workshop with Mack Boring and the Introduction to Navigation on board the Mystic Whaler have provided the opportunity for thousands of women to do just that. NWSA a program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation.


To enrich the lives of women and girls
through education and access to the sport of sailing

  • developing educational programs and venues for women;

  • acting as the informational clearinghouse for women who sail’

  • enhancing the life experiences of women through sailing; and

  • supporting individuals and organizations that involve women in sailing


In 1996, AdventureSail®, a mentoring program for at-risk girls ages 9 to 14, was introduced and has been a resounding success. You can tell by the smiles on their faces at the day’s conclusion.. Nearly 3,000 girls have participated with their mentors since then, with many long-term mentoring relationships formed. Life skills such as leadership, responsibility, teamwork, environmental stewardship, respect for authority and the importance of education are stressed to help these girls grow to successful adults. Our goal is to continue to reach out to new areas of the country to bring AdventureSail® into their lives. We offer Scholarships to sailing and would like to expand that to marine biology and local youth programs as part of this rewarding program. Click here for a listing of AdventureSail® locations.


All of our programs are made possible by local and event sponsorship and enthusiastic volunteers. Corporate sponsorship and individual donations are our only source of regular income. Contributions to the Women’s Sailing Foundation are tax deductible.

For Tax-deductible contributions click on the "Donate" button below. This will take you to a secure PayPal Site. You will be given the opportunity to make a tax-deductible contribution by either Credit Card or PayPal toward the WSF general fund and we will use it were it is needed most.  You may also visit the AdventureSail® and Scholarship pages to donate to a specific program.

If you do not want to make an online payment please make check payable to WSF for your contribution and mail to Women's Sailing Foundation, c/o Scottie Robinson, Treasurer, 4 Turtle Back Road ,Essex, MA 01929


BOARD OF DIRECTORS                                                    

(click on the names of each board member for more info)

Beth Burlingame Kim Lyons
Val Cook Linda Newland
Susan Epstein Scottie Robinson
  Joyce Hersh Cheryl Steiner
Gail Hine Joan Thayer
Debbie Huntsman  


Betsy Alison

Susan Altmann

Janet Baxter

Bernadette Bernon

Doris Colgate

Nancy Erley

Sally Helme

JJ Fetter

Linda Lindquist-Bishop

Barbara Marrett

Kristan McClintock

Sheila McCurdy-Brown

Dawn Riley

Vicki Call Sodaro