About Us

Since 1967, The Santa Barbara Sailing Center has been introducing people to the lifestyle and sport of sailing. We strive to enrich people’s lives by providing unique on-the-water experiences. We are proud to make boating easily accessible through our professional sailing instruction, skippered sailing charters, bareboat charters, club member activities, kayak & stand up paddle board excursions, powerboat rentals, and daily cruises along the pristine Santa Barbara coastline. Our mission is to encourage individuals of all ages and levels of experience to enjoy Santa Barbara from the water. We provide a spectacular platform and venue to instill amazing memories with events such as graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, proposals, weddings or just an excuse to get family and friends together. We have a comprehensive Corporate Team-building Program which enables companies, large and small, to participate in sail boat races (regattas) which provide a new experience for their employees to grow and develop their leadership skills. We also offer peaceful memorial services for families and loved ones.

The Santa Barbara Sailing Center has over forty boats in our fleet, as well as a large crew of certified instructors with impressive sailing resumes, knowledge and experiences. We have provided professional instruction since 1967 and are committed to upholding our high standard of education and safety. The Santa Barbara Sailing Center is one of the largest accredited American Sailing Association (ASA) schools in the nation, and we are proud to have been chosen as the American Sailing Association School of the Year for two consecutive years.

We invite you to join us on the water to experience your ultimate boating excursion.

Skip Abed Owner

Skip Abed, owner of The Santa Barbara Sailing Center, has lived in the area since 1989. He has worked at the Sailing Center since 1992 and purchased the business in 2000. Skip started sailing when he was four years old on an O’Day sailboat on Pleasant Bay in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Growing up, sailing became a passion for Skip due to the exposure he had travelling to different parts of the world with his family. This allowed him to sail in the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Caribbean Sea as well as the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. When Skip was 12 years old, he fell in love with chartering when he sailed from Rhodes, Greece along the Turkish coast for 10 days on a 61ft ketch. This is when he recognized that his passion for sailing could become a career. Skip enjoys sailing with his wife Jen and their two daughters, Hala and GiGi.

Snapshot of Skip Abed:

First boat owned: 11ft Topper.
Favorite boat owned: 1969 23ft STAR that I fully restored.
Favorite local anchorage: Santa Cruz Island, Coches Prietos.
What I love most about sailing: Getting friends and family together and enjoying quality time on the water.
Most memorable yachting experience: Leaving Nice, France Harbor to an offshore island and having lunch at a restaurant called Chez Frederique. Coming back, the Captain let Skip dock the 20 meter Leopard Sport in a Mediterranean tie between huge megayachts at the age of 14.
Destinations on my Bucket List: Taking my wife and children sailing in the Mediterranean along the Turkish coast.
The best decision I ever made: Turning down a job at Cantor Fitzgerald at the World Trade Center in 1991.
My first job: Bookkeeping at a construction site in Dubai.
My favorite indulgence: Food. I love cooking and eating and appreciate exceptional service.
My drink of choice is: Bottled still water.
My mentor: My father.
My prized possession: My company, The Santa Barbara Sailing Center.
My favorite sayings: “Very exciting!”, “What’s next?”