Sailing on the Potomac

Sailing Club of Washington

One of the great things about life in Alexandria VA is the proximity to two public marinas: one at Belle Haven and the other at Potowmack Landing north of Old Town. I have always wanted to sail, and yesterday Julie surprised me by signing us up for a social sail with the Sailing Club of Washington.


The Sailing Club of Washington is a group of over 400 people that includes a mixture of folks who have never sailed but want to learn and old salts who’ve been sailing for years along with those who simply enjoy socializing with other sailing enthusiasts. The Sailing Club of Washington (SCOW) is a 501(c)(7) organization (a social club) that was originally chartered on July 12, 1966 “to provide the membership thereof with the opportunity and instrumentalities to become expert in the art of sailing for their individual and mutual education, benefit and enjoyment.”

Tango II on the water

This boat used to be a club boat, but it’s owned by a member who still shares it with the club. The Sailing Club has six boats:

  • four 19′ Flying Scots;
  • two 25′ Catalinas

The boats are kept at the Washington Sailing Marina just south of National Airport. SCOW offers classes, individual use of our boats, club sponsored activities and a place for sailors in the D.C. area to come together and enjoy the sport and recreation of sailing.

Jules on the way to the boat.

We were excited as we prepared to board the vessel. It was a short walk along the dock and then we boarded.

at the dock at Sailing Club

National Airport is visible behind us. The winds were light and steady, perfect for beginners.

sailing on the Potomac

There were several other vessels nearby, most were sailors but there were a few flat-bottom fishermen out as well.

Will Nesbitt

After we were underway, the skipper let me man the tiller! What fun! I had to make sure that we caught the right wind, without hitting posts or other boats.

I'm at the tiller on the Potomac

Julie snapped a couple of pictures of me having a blast.

Preparing to tack

Eventually the sun started to set and it was time to head back to port.


What a great club! I can’t endorse this activity enough. The fees are reasonable, the company was pleasant. And I really like sailing.

Sunset on the Potomac

We’ll be back another day.

If you’re looking for a home near the marina, you might consider some of the following communities:

Properties in Potowmack Crossing


Will Nesbitt About the AuthorWill Nesbitt is the principal broker of Nesbitt Realty and maintains Condo Alexandria. Will specializes in condos, townhouses and single family residences in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Crystal City, and Kingstowne. Will resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Alexandria VA in Fairfax County.

Will Nesbitt

View posts by Will Nesbitt
Will is the principal broker of Nesbitt Realty and Condo Alexandria. He is licensed in anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but focuses on those communities found in and around Alexandria, Arlington, Mount Vernon and Springfield/Franconia. Will has been involved in real estate management, sales and investment for more than twenty years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. While in the army, he studied Russian at Monterey's Defense Language Institute. He is also a "veteran of the dotcom wars" and built most of the sites associated with Will currently resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Old Town, overlooking New Alexandria. He is a former president of the Mount Vernon Youth Athletic Association and founded the Alexandria Fun with Friends Group. Will is the author of BattlestorM, a tabletop fantasy game, which was published by Ral Partha Publishing in the late '90's, and Arthur's Realm, a boardgame available at the Gamecrafter.