Summer Sailing for Kids

With Memorial Weekend behind us, summer has all but arrived. With it comes family vacations, trips to the beach, picnics in the park and the all-too-real possibility that your kids could get bored. Luckily, if you’re keen on introducing your children to sailing at a young age, community programs abound to transform their summer from average to adventurous. From Optis to windsurfers, there are
Author:
Publish date:
SUMMERSAILING.interior1

With Memorial Weekend behind us, summer has all but arrived. With it comes family vacations, trips to the beach, picnics in the park and the all-too-real possibility that your kids could get bored. Luckily, if you’re keen on introducing your children to sailing at a young age, community programs abound to transform their summer from average to adventurous. From Optis to windsurfers, there are sailing centers around the country that educate kids both on and off the water.

These clubs represent some of the best sailing instruction in metropolitan areas, but for parents of future sailors, we also recommend checking out your local yacht club.

California

SUMMERSAILING.interior2

The Lake Merritt Boating Center out of Oakland teaches children as young as seven how to sail, kayak, windsurf, row and even dragonboat! During the week, younger and less experienced campers may learn how to chart the lake in pedal boats and kayaks, while older sailors race in Optis, Hobies or Sunfish. In addition, a tall ships camp and a keelboat camp take junior sailors out of dinghies and into big boat sailing in the San Francisco Bay. A key perk for parents: both early morning and after-program care are available.

Wisconsin

The Geneva Lake Sailing School operates out of Lake Geneva Yacht Club, one of the country’s most renowned clubs and a hub for Midwestern sailing. Over the course of seven summer sessions, children as young as four can learn to sail on an inland lake in Optis, 420s, O’pen Bics, windsurfers and even Sonars. Experienced sailors, ages 12 to 18, can also learn to trim spinnakers and manipulate the trapeze.

Texas

Texan sailors are lucky enough to have youth sailing programs available year-round, but the number of sailing programs doubles in the summer. At the Austin Yacht Club, sailors as young as four start their sailing careers in Optis and Picos, while older children experience Lasers and FJs, all in preparation for events associated with the Texas Sailing Association. A key perk for parents: Wednesday and Thursday nights feature informal racing programs for those sailors who hope to race with their children.

Florida

Home of the Orange Bowl Youth Regatta, Coral Reef Yacht Club is as established as they come in the world of Miami sailing. But many parents may not realize that youth sailing programs are open to children of non-members as well. With a focus on racing tactics, more experienced racers learn fleet racing as well as team racing skills, while every sailor learns how to both single-hand and double-hand Optis and 420s. A key perk for children: on-water time includes ample amount of play time in the pool.

Massachusetts

In Boston, Courageous Sailing Center’s summer youth sailing courses operate by lottery registration for a reason. With a fleet of over 60 boats, the not-for-profit serves over 1000 area youth between the ages of 8 and 18 for free. While all education is focused around sailing and being on the water, the program also emphasizes team-building, environmental awareness and community. Key perk for parents: did we mention it’s free?

Related

7261ab1f-6891-424f-a22f-14c946c08ba8

Gear: Fusion Panel-Stereo

Plug & Play StereoIt can be a real pain to install a marine stereo inside a boat, what with the tiresome business of running cables through cramped spaces and finding somewhere sensible to locate the speakers. The audiophiles at Fusion thought about this and came up with the ...read more

00-2019BestBoatsPromo-04

Best Boats 2019

Some years ago, the book Aak to Zumbra catalogued—and celebrated—the incredible diversity of watercraft that has evolved over the centuries, a diversity that remains evident to this day in the 11 winners comprising the “Class of 2019” in SAIL’s Best Boats contest. Indeed, it ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGuaranteed result What you see on the end of this halyard isn’t a beautiful Flemish Eye worked by a rigger, but it will make a big difference when you have to “mouse” a line through the mast. If the ...read more

dometicadler-700x

How to: Upgrading Your Icebox

The time has come when the prospect of cold drinks and long-term food storage has you thinking about upgrading your icebox to DC-powered refrigeration. Duncan Kent has been there and done that, and has some adviceFresh food must be kept at a refrigerated temperature of 40 degrees ...read more

Jet-in-Belize

Cruising: Evolution of a Dream

There’s a time to go cruising and a time to stop. As Chris DiCroce found, you don’t always get to choose those timesAlbert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, ...read more

01a-rosemary-anchored-at-Qooqqut,-inland-from-Nuuk

Cruising: A Passage to Greenland

When a former winner of the Whitbread Round the World Race invites you to sail the Northwest Passage, there is only one sensible answer. No.More adventurous types might disagree, but they weren’t the ones facing frostbite of the lungs or the possibility of having the yacht’s hull ...read more