They might not win the America's Cup, but meeting attendees can have a great time learning to sail — and come away with skills that can help them excel in the workplace.

The Offshore Sailing School (, integrates sailing lessons, exercises, and races into meeting and incentive programs. Sailing is a natural because it demands everyday business skills: communication, the ability to respond to changing conditions, and teamwork.

To help novices get their sea legs, the school uses specially designed teaching boats that won't capsize and allow instructors to take control. Teams of four or five take turns working the sails or skippering the 26-foot vessels out of several ports, among them Captiva Island, the Florida Keys, and St. Petersburg, Fla.; Tortola, the British Virgin Islands; Newport, R.I.; Chelsea Piers, N.Y.; and Stamford, Conn.

Doris Colgate, who co-owns the school with her husband, Steve, says corporate groups opt for an at-sea experience because it's not as physically daunting as other physical activities. “Anybody at any age can get on a sailboat.”