Tiller & Kites - The only International Yacht Training school in Arizona and US Sailing ‘First Sail’ Center.

Few sports and activities can offer what sailing does for the mind, body and soul. It can be all-out hard-core racing, or a quiet and relaxed weekend with friends and family - and you can do it all on the same boat. Sailing is also equally demanding and rewarding on both the body and the brain. Best of all, it does not take a special skill or talent, age, size, weight or gender. Anyone can learn how to master a sailboat, be it a dinghy or a larger keelboat.

"You sail boats in the desert?" is a common question. The answer is "Why yes! Yes I do!". We are fortunate enough to have a spectacular venue at Lake Pleasant and Pleasant Harbor. Easily accessible from anywhere in metro Phoenix, Lake Pleasant provides a stunning backdrop as well as interesting and varied conditions. Fresh air and sunshine is pretty much a constant.

Tiller and Kites is not your typical or traditional sailing school. We are an International Yacht Training accredited school (with over 200 schools in more than 50 countries) and we also teach 'location specific' sailing. If your goal is to learn and master Lake Pleasant or your sights are set on chartering a larger boat anywhere in the world, we can get you there. We also have the largest and most diverse fleet of boats in Arizona. From dinghys to J/24 racing keelboats, NACRA High Performance catamarans to Catalina 25 cruising boats - there is a boat for you.

More than once we have heard new sailors lament that they took such-and-such course or class and really did not learn anything, or did not get the chance to truly sail the boat. That does not happen here. You set your goals at the beginning of each specific class and shool is over when you have achieved them. We believe the the Three C's - a good sailor at any level is: Capabile, Confident and Competent.

Our students have included a lady who hand built several boats, but did not know how to sail. Today, she has mastered the J/24 and sails it like she owns it! Then there is the 22 year old ASU graduate who wants to sail around the world. We put him through an apprentice program, had him rebuild an old boat from scratch and now he is off on the first leg of his adventure.

To find out more and start your sailing adventure, please use the contact page. We always reply to any inquiries quickly and in full.

Sail On!
Victor Felice

J/24 FLEET 183

J/24 FLEET 183 is the newest J/24 fleet and is based at Lake Pleasant, Peoria, Arizona. Fleet 183 will host its own events and regattas as well as working with the California and Texas districts. Most importantly, Tiller and Kites owns several J/24s that will be made available for “arrive and sail”. In AZ, that means bring flip flops, sunscreen and your own sails if you want to. All Tiller and Kites J/24 boats are prepared to nearly identical specifications and within the class rules.


FLYING TIGER 10M – Did you know… SeaScoutShip3500 and Tiller and Kites have the tallest, fastest race boat on Lake Pleasant? Our Flying Tiger 10M (USA33) raced in its first event with a new, mixed crew and finished first in the Spin Fleet. With a PHRF rating of 54, she is fast! Contact us to find out how you can organize a Flying Tiger Experience.

US Sailing

US Sailing First Sail - Tiller and Kites is a US Sailing First Sail center. Sailing is the perfect activity for anyone who enjoys water sports and outdoor recreation. Sailing can be exciting or relaxing. You can compete in racing or take a leisurely sail with family and friends. Regardless of age, ability or limitation, sailing has something for everyone. Try Sailing with us!

Sail 48 Arizona

Sail48 Arizona - Sail48 is a Tiller and Kites initiative bringing together the best of Arizona sailing and watersports. Take a look at some of the superb entities and what they have to offer.


Follow the adventures of Bradley Cladianos - from a student/apprentice at Tiller are Kites to an 'Around the World' sailor.

Did you know…?

Tiller and Kites is the newest Authorized Tohatsu Outboard Motors dealer at Pleasant Harbor (Lake Pleasant). From 2.5 to 9.9hp, Tohatsu has the perfect portable outboard motor for your sailboat – including the 5hp propane model that is perfect for the Arizona heat. Visit our Tohatsu page on the main menu.

Did you know…?

Sea Scout Ship 3500 is based at Tiller and Kites at Lake Pleasant. Youth aged 14 to 21 will have access to an incredible Sea Scout program with a large fleet of boats as well as a vast knowledge base. Contact us to join!

Did you know…?

As of April 2018 the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary at Lake Pleasant has a new home and land base. When operating at the lake, the USCG-Aux is now stationed at Tiller and Kites and have full use and access to our facility.

our advantages


Learning HOW things work on a boat is not that hard. Understanding WHY and how to use that knowledge gets you closer to the true art of sailing.


There may be more ways than one to get from A to B. Efficient and intelligent techniques gets you there safer, quicker and comfortably. Learn how.


Achieved through repetition and time on the water - at the helm, trimming, on the bow. Learn every aspect of mastering and commanding a sailboat with confidence and safety always in mind.