International Sailing School

Providing lessons, club rentals, moorings and fun!
Located on Mallett's Bay in Colchester, Vermont

Let's Sail!

The International Sailing School offers lessons, club membership and boat access, and moorings on Mallet's Bay of famed Lake Champlain in Vermont. We offer residents of Vermont and Canada convenient access to sailing opportunities.

The International Sailing School has the distinction of being one of the first sailing centers to come aboard with the American Sailing Association in 1984, and won school of the year award in 2009. Thousands have discovered the sport of sailing with our two and five day instructional programs.  The Vermont season runs from early May thru the end of September.  Located at 511 West Lakeshore Drive in Colchester, Vermont, the facility is nestled between the majestic Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks of upper New York State on Lake Champlain.  Crystal clear, fresh water and panoramic vistas sweep the Lake Champlain valley region creating a sailors paradise.

Curriculum has grown to over twenty different courses for the beginning to advanced sailor.  Two and five day programs are the norm at ISS and kids courses, liveaboard cruising courses, spinnaker and catamaran workshops are just a sampling.  Keelboat rentals, sunset cruises and sailing day trips are available for the short term visitor as are customized private lessons.  The ISS prides itself on many unique distinctions. The 3:1 student/instructor ratio provides for plenty of one to one interaction and ISS customizes and tailors it's curriculum to meet each sailor's needs.  A very high percentage of on board repetitious drilling allows students to learn by doing.  There is no wasted access time and ISS has the advantage of sailing grounds that are protected as well as open.

Many graduates choose to join our International Sailing Club after course completion.  Our fleet has grown substantially over the years.  Members can sail everyday without owning a boat aboard a fleet of thirty sailing craft ranging in size from 13 to 32 feet.  From dinghies to cruisers; we have an assortment of membership options - racing only, beach boat only as well as weekly and monthly memberships.  Rates vary as per membership, but are extremely attractive when compared to boat ownership expense.  The inclusive activities in conjunction with the club are endless, such as our Wednesday night racing series, fall series, sunset cruises, instructional workshops and monthly barbeques.  We also seem to specialize in match-making; as five couples have met and "tide the knot" as a result of our club social atmosphere.

The Owner "Neptune"

Affectionately known as "Neptune", ISS Vermont programs are managed by owner/director Robin Doyle. She grew up on the water in Essex, Connecticut and was taught to sail by her father, Don Doyle, at the age of six. He was an International 14 dinghy racer who sailed against the likes of George O'Day, Bruce Kirby and Stuart Walker. Robin was incredibly fortunate to have such a mentor and grew up in the Long Island Sound racing environment.  She headed north to attend the University of Vermont in the late seventies and fell in love with the state and Lake Champlain.  After graduation in 1981; she started out as an instructor; then director; and eventually purchased the Vermont operation from founders, Paul Ravenna and John Landry in 1987.

Robin grew up in the Long Island Sound racing environment. An avid one-design racer and blue water cruiser; Robin has logged thousands of hours and miles of sailing and teaching experience. Her degree in education from the University of Vermont and life-long obsession for the sport of sailing reflects the challenging curriculum, the exceptionally high level of instructor ability, and her welcoming enthusiasm for the new or experienced sailor.

The Lake and Area

Lake Champlain was discovered in 1609 by Samuel De Champlain, who also founded Quebec and Montreal.  The lake offers more than fifty islands with secluded coves for safe harbor and 120 miles of pristine sailing grounds. It's widest point in Burlington is ten miles across and is 392 feet at it's deepest off Thompson's Point in Charlotte.  The lake was an integral invasion route from the north for the British during the Revolutionary War and many battles were fought along it's waterways.  The St. Lawrence Seaway & Richelieu River connect the lake to the North Atlantic and the New York Barge Canal System to the south connects us to the Hudson River and New York City. 

The cold, fresh water of Lake Champlain has proved to be a perfect preservation environment for revolutionary era gunboats, horse propelled ferries, canal barges, schooners and steamboats.  Art Cohn, founder of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, has discovered a huge number of wrecks beneath it's surface.  Several sites are available to the public to dive on and explore these amazing historical artifacts.  A visit to the Maritime Museum and the Shelburne Museum should be on everyone's must see list.  A variety of other historical sites and cultural activities and regional festivities take place during the summer months.  These include the Hot Air Balloon Festival, the Jazz Festival, Bass Fishing Tournaments and the Champlain Valley Fair & Exposition to name just a few. 

Appreciation for aesthetic value abounds in the Green Mountain State.  Quaint country villages and rambling farm scenery symbolize New England at it's best. Vermont's largest city, Burlington, is just minutes away offering a microcosm of cultural diversity.  Fine shops and dining opportunities abound and the Burlington Bike Path along the waterfront offers spectacular views and more than ten miles of biking heaven.  Other diversions for the outdoor enthusiast include kayaking, hiking, mountain biking and a fishery that's been named the best in North America by the top bass anglers in the country!!  Since all ISS programs include a free week of sailing privileges following your course; clients typically take advantage of an organized vacation experience.  An assortment of accommodations to please any traveler include:  campgrounds, waterfront cottages, moderately priced motels and deluxe resorts.