Welcome to Shearwater University

Shearwater University is a small, private, non-accredited university that is centered on the maritime and natural world of the Salish Sea.  We are a true university in the sense that we have several schools, each focusing on a different branch of knowledge.  Yet they are all linked through common purpose of growing our boating skills and deepening our understanding of, and connection with, this spectacular northwest environment.


The two-part mission of Shearwater University is to:

1) Provide a place where boaters of all levels of experience can come to expand their skills and knowledge, and to increase the safety of themselves and others enjoying the Salish Sea

2) Provide learning opportunities that deepen our connection to the natural world of the Salish Sea and surrounding areas.

The Shearwater University Schools

School of Sailing


The Shearwater School of Sailing offers a wide range of classes for beginners to seasoned mariners, from short evening classes to full programs.

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School of Kayaking


The Shearwater School of Kayaking can introduce you to the sport with a focus on safety.  Or it can refine and your paddling skills through advanced classes.

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School of Navigation


Whether piloting a large sail or power boat through the islands, or a small kayak or rowboat, all mariners rely on navigation skills.  Explore our navigation offerings.

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School of Raven's Backyard

Raven’s Backyard

In the School of Raven’s Backyard, we use our boating and wilderness skills to help us deepen our relationship with the natural world.

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The Mountain and the Sea are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock