Class Descriptions

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


    • We are thrilled to have hired a new Program Director for this summer season and welcoming back many favorite instructors who have been with the program for years.
    • HYC has moved to a new registration software, so please plan to complete a new registration profile for your family.
    • Classes will be offered in 2 week sessions to maximize skill development and group cohesion:
      • Session 1: June 24 – July 3 (no class July 4-5, price adjusted)
      • Session 2: July 8 – July 19
      • Session 3: July 22 – August 2
      • Session 4: August 5 – August 16
    • Our Introductory Guppies classes will be three days a week in a small class format. Classes will be capped at 8 sailors. We are keeping the class size small to maximize safety, and allow for more individual time. We are looking to build up the confidence of your youth sailor!

    • We are offering “Sonar Cruising” class in the afternoons, for sailors ages 13-17 who want to focus on “cruising” rather than racing These sailors may also wish to keep the Sonar fun going on Wednesday nights as part of the HYC cruising fleet summer series as a crew.

    • Our newest program for sailors 9-13 is Opti Green Fleet for afternoon Opti skill development.  This is separate from Opti Race Team which holds a regatta component. The Opti Green Fleet is for sailors age 9-13 who want to extend their Sailing skills and develop toward racing. It is recommended to take concurrently with Recruits, to build skills faster with full day programming. No minimum session, although 2 or more strongly encouraged.

    • Our Advanced Training Group is for sailors who have mastered safe maneuvering upwind and downwind of a 420 sailboat to move onto advanced skills of using spinnakers and trapezes.  If you have questions if your child is ready for ATG at the time of registration, please reach out to our director or registration coordinator.

    • Opti and 420 Race Teams are run for 2-week sessions, afternoons Monday – Friday, by invitation from our Sailing Program Director – please reach out to the Sailing Registration Coordinator if you have questions about Race Team.  We strongly encourage Race Team members to commit to at least 2 sessions of Race Team for regatta participation, skipper/crew consistency, and skill development.


    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 6-8 year old students. Guppies must have completed Kindergarten to be appropriate for sailing programs.  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.  For sailors who want to extend skills into the racing realm, they can move to Opti Race Team, Advanced Training Group (ATG) or 420 Race Team.  For sailors that want to develop toward cruising and navigation skills, our Sonar PM program is the right speed for you.

    Class Descriptions

    Guppies Class:

    This introduction to sailing class is for 6-8 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 have completed Kindergarten or equivalent to be appropriate for Guppies.

    3-days/week, 2 week sessions: Exact WeekDays TBD – 8:30am – 11:30am

    $300/2 weeks

    Recruits Class:

    Recruits is designed as an intro to single-handed dinghies. Students will start off double-handed and work up to single-handing in Optimist dinghies or Sonar keelboats as a group when appropriate for the weather. These sailors are usually age 8-11 (exceptions subject to prior approval). No prior sailing experience is required.

    Monday-Friday, 2 week sessions – 8:30am – 11:30am 

    $385/2 weeks

    Mates Class – moved to afternoon programming:

    Mates at HYC are graduates of the Recruits class – and considered intermediate sailors based on either skill, weight, or age.  Most Mates are age 10-15; and is designed as an intro to double-handed dinghies and for students who aren’t as interested in racing. 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.

    Monday-Friday, 2 week sessions – 12:30pm – 4:30pm 

    $385/2 weeks

    Advanced Training Group (ATG) Class – now offered in the morning: 

    The ATG class serves as a bridge between sailing and racing and is designed for Experienced Mates and Opti racers that want to extend their sailing skills through spinnakers, trapeze, sonars.  These intermediate sailors have mastered the Mates curriculum to confidently and safely sail a 420 both upwind and downwind and have the desire to race but need a boost of confidence and practice with specific skills, including trapeze work and use of spinnakers. 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.

    Monday-Friday, 2 week sessions – 8:30 am– 11:30am 

    $400/2 weeks

    Sonar Cruise Class (ages 13-17):

    Must have “graduated” from Mates (on basis of skill). Students will be taught skills in seamanship and navigation. Students will also be given the opportunity to participate in the Wednesday Night Series.

    This is an option for sailors enrolled in AM programs who want to extend for a full day.  Please ADD Lunch Bunch coverage to your enrollment if this is your sailing plan.

    Monday-Friday, 2 week sessions – 12:30 pm – 4:30pm 

    $400/2 weeks

    Optimist Green Fleet:

    The Opti Green Fleet is for sailors age 9-13 who want to extend their Sailing skills and develop toward racing. It is recommended to take concurrently with Recruits or Mates, to build skills faster with full day programming. No minimum session, although 2 or more strongly encouraged.

    Monday-Friday, 2 week sessions – 12:30 pm – 4:30pm 

    $400/2 weeks

    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 as other away regattas in New England. Opti Race Team is broken into two-week sessions. Minimum commitment is one four week session. Please contact the Sailing Program Director   if interested in Opti Race Team.

    Monday–Friday – 2 week sessions, with multiple sessions *strongly* encouraged – 12:30 pm – 4:30pm 

    $425/2 weeks

     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.  When committing to the race team, sailors are strongly encouraged to sign up for as many weeks as possible. Minimum commitment is one four week session.

    Monday–Friday – 2 week sessions, with multiple sessions *strongly* encouraged, can also do AM + PM.

    AM $425/2 weeks 8:30 pm – 11:30pm + lunch bunch

    PM $425/2 weeks 12:30 pm – 4:30pm



    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! 

    Discounts are available for multiple session/signups across family members.

    If you would like to inquire about Scholarship, please contact

    Check out our 2019 season slideshow here!

    Check out our 2020 season slideshow here!