To ensure the safety of our Members, guests, sailboats and others, Minneapolis Sailing Center uses a wind speed rating system.  Our rating system is unique to our program and regardless of prior certifications received elsewhere, every member must receive a rating with us. There are four wind speed ratings that are indicated by a corresponding flag color.  In order to check out a sailboat during Open Sailing, the skipper must be rated for that boat in the current wind speeds.


  • Light Wind:   Green Flag – 1-10 knots
  • Medium Wind:   Yellow Flag – 11-15 knots
  • Heavy Wind:   Red Flag – 16-20 knots
  • No Sailing:   Black Flag – 21+ knots

Check the Weather and Updates page for current flag color and to check on boat availability.  If you have questions on the current conditions call the Boathouse (612-822-8328).

how to earn a wind rating

  1. Take a class: Successfully complete one of our educational courses or private lessons. Our beginning classes grant a green flag rating for that particular boat.  Completing an intermediate class earns a yellow rating and an advanced/racing class grants red flag rating. New members are not required to take our classes to be evaluated, but they are encouraged for newer sailors or those who have not sailed in years.
  2. Get evaluated: Be evaluated to show your sailing skills for a particular boat in at each wind speed level.  Click on Evaluation Form link below to see what is included in the evaluation.  Evaluations take about an hour and can be scheduled for weekends after Noon.  24 hour advance notice is preferred, however if additional dockmasters are available evaluations may be scheduled on the same day. 

During open sailing, members have access to the boat and wind condition for which they are rated.  A flag will be hung outside the boathouse showing the current flag conditions.  Members are encouraged to check the Weather and Updates page or call the Boathouse (612-822-8328) to check the current flag color and sailboat availability before coming down.