Students learn at different rates and in different ways. Sailing and kayaking are both very physical and add to that the sailing is also a highly conceptual sport. Some students grasp the practical side quickly (while the theory eludes them). For others it is just the opposite. Students also retain information very differently. Most students who have completed just one sailing session as a Seaman or Mate, continue to solidify their sailing skills by remaining in those classes until they have mastered the requisite skills. This is particularly true of students who are only sailing for a few weeks each season. The kayaking program is a morning program.
Safety, Swimming, and Age Pre-Requisites
Safety is first and foremost in the minds of the instructors. All children under the age of 18 participating in any youth program must pass a swim test which will be held at the start of each session. The test involves a swim of 25 yards and treading water for 5 minutes.
Lifejackets/PFD’s will be worn at all times when students are on the docks or in boats. The Community Sailing Center has PFD’s available for all dinghy classes. Little Guppies must provide their own. The Guppy swim test is with life jacket on, swim 15 yards and tread water for 2 minutes.
Guppies (ages 5-7) 9-12:00 or 12:30-3:30 daily
This class is designed as an introductory, “hands on” class. The focus is on helping kids feel comfortable in and around boats. Lots of activities will be intermingled with an introduction to kayaking (we have mini kayaks), perhaps learning to row a boat (a challenge for most Guppies due to size etc.), some pond science, basic sailing rules of the road, an opportunity to sail in a boat with an instructor, all with the goal of FUN! Guppies are mentored by the Kayaking class on Wednesdays. Must be able to pass a simple swim test with personal flotation device (PFD) on, and have their own PFD.
Seamen (ages 7 ½ (mature) – 11) 9-12:00 daily
This class is for students who may have little or no prior experience, in small sailboats. The Seaman class offers sailors a fun learning environment. These classes cover the fundamentals: how to rig, de-rig, care for the boats and equipment, capsize recovery, understanding the wind, and how to tack and gibe with skill while building responsibility, independence, confidence, teamwork and sportsmanship. These classes are taught using Bugs. Sailors will often remain in this class until basic requirements are met.
Mates (ages 12-18) 9–12:00 daily
This class is for sailors who may have little or no experience on the water, in sailboats, or they do not have a history of organized instruction experience in small boats. We cover the fundamentals: how to rig, de-rig, care for their boats and equipment, capsize recovery, understanding the wind, and how to tack and gibe with skill. Sailors are introduced to the different points of sail, and basic “rules of the road” and sail trim for all conditions while building responsibility, independence, confidence, teamwork and sportsmanship. These classes are taught using FJ’s (Flying Juniors). Sailors will often remain in this class until basic requirements are met.
Ensigns (ages 7–11) 12:30-3:30 daily
This class is for sailors who have successfully completed the Seaman class or its equivalent. It builds on the basics with an emphasis on boat handling and boat care. Sailors learn the finer points of boat handling, including sail theory, and upwind and downwind sailing. There is an emphasis on developing confidence for sailing alone. It offers sailors a fun learning environment while nurturing building responsibility, independence, confidence, teamwork and sportsmanship. Other topics can include, introduction to advanced boat handling, and boat prep. Students will sail Bugs and Optis. These classes are from 12:30-3:30pm daily.
NEW Mariners (ages 8-11) 12:30- 3:30 daily
Pre-requisite: Completion of skills in the intermediate Ensign class or its equivalent.
This program focuses on creating competent, confident sailors. Students will be introduced to both small and larger double-handed boats, work on increasing upwind and downwind skills, use of telltales, recognizing the basic Rules of Sailing and Racing, holding their boat in one position, understanding sail adjustments and their purpose and hiking and sailing in bigger breeze while building responsibility, independence, confidence, teamwork and sportsmanship. Mariners who express interest in racing and who demonstrate advanced skills may be asked to travel with the racing team to a MIRC (Maine Interclub Racing Circuit) on a Wednesday, an all day affair. These sailors are ones who also show interest in racing and becoming part of MSST Racing part of the Junior Racing Team.
Skippers (ages 12-18) 12:30-3:30 daily
This class builds on the basics with students learning more advanced boat handling maneuvers, rig tuning, sail controls, upwind and downwind sailing. There is an emphasis on developing confidence for sailing alone. Sailors are expected to be able to rig their boat on their own while building responsibility, independence, confidence, teamwork and sportsmanship. These classes are taught using FJ’s and 420’s. Sailors who express interest in racing and who demonstrate advanced skills may be invited to travel with the racing team to a MIRC (Maine Interclub Racing Circuit) on a Wednesday, an all-day affair. These sailors are ones who also show interest in racing and becoming part of MSST Racing.
MSST (Junior Racing Team) (ages 12-18) 12:30-3:30 with full day on Wednesday and extended hours on additional days. Pre-requisite: Completion of skills in Skippers class or its equivalent.
This program is designed for experienced sailors interested in developing and refining racing skills. The focus is on mastering starting techniques, controlling boat speed, boat handling, upwind and downwind tactics in various boats. This class is open to sailors who have successfully mastered previous levels of skills and have demonstrated advanced sailing skills in any condition. Travel to weekly MIRC’s, clinics is part of this class. Advanced MSST sailors will travel to Junior Olympics, Marblehead Jr. Race Week, and several other regattas throughout the summer. Boats used will be singlehanded, double-handed and triple-handed. (i.e. Lasers, Bytes, FJ, 420, Lightning, Snipe etc.) Sailors are expected to be rigged by 12:45.
Kayaking Program (ages 8 – 18, age 8 by Jan 1st, 2017)
This class is designed to introduce and increase paddling skills in kayaks. Paddlers will learn to use correct strokes, proper paddling posture, rescue techniques, wet exits and re-entry. Games, lake exploration and other fun activities are embedded in this program, while building responsibility, independence, confidence, teamwork and sportsmanship. Kayakers mentor the Guppies with their kayaks on Wednesdays.
Adult lessons, a six hour course, are on Saturdays. Lessons are divided into Shore School and On the Water Instruction.
Shore School takes place in the morning from 11-12. Session I is a Shore School which covers rigging, wind awareness, points of sail, self rescue. In the afternoon the on the water portion of the lesson takes place.
On the Water Instruction includes basic sailing instruction, covering general boating safety, tacking and jibing, leaving and returning to the dock.
Adults have busy lives and therefore can choose to divide their six hours across all open Saturdays. Shore School and On the Water Instruction can be completed over a period of available Saturdays. For example do Shore School one Saturday and finish the On the Water Instruction another Saturday.
All adult sessions are $150 for six hours of instruction. When you have completed the course you will be eligible to rent sailboats on Saturdays. There is a damage deposit, fee and rental agreement for all rentals.