Class Descriptions

  • Thank you for your interest in the Harraseeket Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program!

    Check out our 2019 season slideshow here!

    Check out our 2020 season slideshow here!

    *2021 SEASON AT-A-GLANCE* 

    • Weekly classes will be offered between June 21, 2021 and August 13, 2021.

    • We have restricted the number of sailors in each session and program to ensure we can offer adequate distancing.  There is a possibility as COVID-19 guidelines change and staffing gets in place that we can expand this capacity, so please add yourself to a wait list if the week you’d like to sail is already full.
    • We will likely have staggered drop-off and pick-up times that differ for Race Teams and Beginner/Intermediate programs.  As we finalize our staffing and traffic flow for 2021, we will be publishing a full day schedule for participants which includes this information.
    • We offer full-day weekly classes for our Beginner/Intermediate classes (Recruits, Mates, & Advanced Training Group) – Monday-Friday.

    • Opti and 420 Race Teams are both full-day classes, by invitation from our Sailing Program Director – Monday through Friday.

    • Our sailing curriculum offers everything from learn-to-sail classes for beginners to racing instruction on both optimists and 420 sailboats. We utilize sailing to help our students grow in confidence, self-reliance, and to foster problem-solving skills they need in their everyday lives. Sailing provides our students the opportunity to work both independently and as a team. We believe that these team-building skills we teach on the water are not only critical for sailing – they are critical for life!

    Our curriculum begins with Guppies, a short introductory evening class for 5-7 year old students. Once students reach their 8th birthday, they are eligible for our day-time beginner class – Recruits. Sailors who have tackled beginning sailing topics then move to our intermediate Mates class. After graduating from Mates, students can either join our Opti race team or our Advanced Training Group depending on instructor approval and your child’s interests!  Last stop on our curriculum is our 420 Race Team! Descriptions of each class are below.

    Class Descriptions

    Guppies Class: This introduction to sailing class is for 5-7 year olds.  The class is very hands-on, allowing young sailors to gain comfort on the water. The sailing will be done in Optimist dinghies, 420 dinghies, and Sonar sailboats. The class will have many games and lots of fun!  Sailors must be able to pass a swim test in order to participate.

    Two sessions during the summer – each 4 weeks long.

    Session dates and times TBD!

    Adult Class: An introduction to sailing in 420 dinghies and Sonars for men and women who are new to sailing or want to learn more in a friendly and fun environment.

    Two sessions during the summer- each 4 weeks long.

    Session dates and times TBD!

    Recruits Class:

    Recruits is our Beginner sailing class at HYC. They are the youngest members of our full-day youth program, usually age 8-11 (exceptions subject to prior approval). No prior sailing experience is required. Recruits sail Optimist dinghies and Sonar keelboats! To sail an Optimist, 110-115 lbs is the upper limit.

    Monday-Friday– Full-day 

    Mates Class:

    Mates at HYC are graduates of the Recruits class – and considered intermediate sailors. Most Mates are age 10-15; exceptions considered depending on experience! The Mates program solidifies and extends the skills and knowledge learned as Recruits. The sailors build confidence through experience. They learn sailing rules and the basics of navigation. Mates are introduced to a variety of sailing games and drills to continually hone their skills. Mates sail RAD 420s, which are 420s with slightly smaller main sails. A sailor should ideally be at least 100 lbs to sail a 420.

    Monday-Friday– Full-day

    Advanced Training Group (ATG) Class: 

    The ATG class serves as a bridge between sailing and racing.  These intermediate sailors have tackled the Mates curriculum and have the desire to race but need a boost of confidence and practice with specific skills. The Mate who has mastered most skills but who sees the future as a “cruiser”, rather than a “racer” might also be a good fit for this class and can boost the sailor’s skill set. ATG sails 420s, a sailor needs to be at least 100 lbs to sail a 420.

    Monday-Friday– Full-day

    Optimist Race Team:

    The Opti Race Team is for sailors age 10-15 who are motivated to learn the art of racing. The Optimist is a small single-handed dinghy specifically designed for the young sailor. The boat-handling and tactical skills learned through the program will be the foundation for their future racing careers. The sailors will compete in local optimist regattas as well other away regattas in New England. Opti Race Team is broken into two four week sessions. Minimum commitment is one four week session, additional weeks are encouraged. Please contact the Sailing Program Director   if interested in Opti Race Team.

    For more information please click here!

    Monday–Friday – Full Day 

     420 Race Team:

    The 420 Race Team is a logical next step for students who have grown out of the optimist dinghy and are looking to continue to improve their boat handling & tactical skills. A 420 is a double-handed dinghy that is raced competitively by junior sailing programs, as well as many high school & collegiate sailing programs. A sailor needs to be at least 100 lbs to sail a 420. When committing to the race team, sailors are strongly encouraged to sign up for as many weeks as possible. There is a 5 week minimum.

    Monday–Friday – Full Day 

    All race team members are encouraged to participate in ‘away’ regattas at other yacht clubs.  These events are fun – and a great way to grow friendships and improve your sailing skills. **Regatta participation is required for race team program enrollment.

    The HYC staff members work with parents to facilitate travel, help sailors transport their boats and equipment, and they provide on the water coaching at each regatta.

    When planning for away regattas, please be aware that there will be additional fees (e.g. food & lodging), and that parents are expected to care for their children with respect to food, travel, lodging, etc. For students to participate in ‘away’ regattas – parental chaperones and volunteers are needed to ensure safety, success, and FUN! 

    For more information please click here!


    2020 Schedule: Subject to Change in 2021

    Daily Schedule Mates & ATG

    NOTE: Sailors will generally be on the water from 9 am-12 pm and 1-4 pm. Sailors will not be available for dismissal during these times. If your sailor needs to leave early, please plan on picking up between 12 & 1.

    9 am  – Drop off

    9 am – 12:15 pm – Morning Class

    12:15 – 1 pm– Lunch

    1 – 3:45 pm – Afternoon Class

    4 pm – Prompt pick-up time


    Daily Schedule Opti & 420 Race Teams

    NOTE: Sailors will generally be on the water from 9 am-12 pm and 1-4 pm. Sailors will not be available for dismissal during these times. If your sailor needs to leave early, please plan on picking up between 12 & 1.

    8:15 am  – Drop off

    8:15 am – 11 am – Morning Class

    11 am – 11:45 am– Lunch

    11:45 am – 3:15 pm – Afternoon Class

    3:30 pm – Prompt pick-up time