Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 9:49 pm | Fair 43º


Sailing Center Has Had Wind at Its Back for 50 Years

Established in 1967, the Santa Barbara Sailing Center is celebrating 50 years of getting sailors out on the water daily and enjoying the beauty of Santa Barbara.

Owner Skip Abed has worked on the docks at the Sailing Center for 25 years and owned the business for 17 years.

Little did Abed know, when he was attending Dunn School in Santa Ynez in 1989 and opted to participate in a school sailing trip to the Channel Islands that the sailing company organizing that outing would one day become his own.

Having started boating in Cape Cod at age 4, Abed jumped at the opportunity of a sailing adventure. After that five-day trip to the Channel Islands, he decided to apply for a job at the Sailing Center; this is when his dream started to unfold.

The owner at the time was a casual guy, with a shoe box as his cash drawer. Abed would come to work every day thinking of ways he could improve the customer experience.

After eight years working on the docks, Abed offered to buy the business. It wasn’t without a lot of preparation and support from his family that made his dream come true at the young age of 26.

On April 1, 2000, Abed became the Sailing Center's new owner, and now celebrates 17 years, with his wife Jen and daughters Hala and GiGi.

There is nothing that makes Abed prouder than to stand on the docks and look out at the water every day, and feel thankful for the passion he has been able to make into a career. His passion is contagious to everyone around him.

The Sailing Center has come a long way in 50 years, and looks forward to continuing to provide a platform for sailors to fulfill their dreams and create memories on the water.

— Jen Abed for Santa Barbara Sailing Center.

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