Sailing School Frequently Asked Questions

What is the schedule for sailing school, can we register for just one week?
Sailing School runs for 8 weeks from late June through mid-August. The program is divided into 2 four week sessions, but students are not limited to signing up for those 4 or 8 weeks. While the program is best enjoyed by participating in one or both sessions from start to finish, students may sign up for any weeks .


What should my child wear to Sailing School?

Students should come to Sailing School with sun block applied and a bathing suit under a dry-wick or rash guard shirt suitable for getting wet and quick dry shorts. Please do not send your children in cotton clothing. Wet cotton clothing does not dry quickly and tends to cause the child to be cold. Closed toe shoes like Keens, Lands End water shoes or Crocks (with the back strap on) are a must to protect their toes. Students may not wear flip-flops or have bare feet at any time. Sunglasses and a hat are also a plus.

The most important and necessary item is a US Coast Guard approved life jacket. All students are required to have their life jacket when they arrive at the Club.  Many life jackets look alike, so please make sure your child's name is clearly marked on his or hers.

Where are some good places to purchase sailing gear?


Sturgis Boatworks (Hyannis)
West Marine (Braintree and other locations)
Nauset Sports (Orleans)


APS (Annapolis Performance Sailing)
Team One Newport


Note: Dry wick shirts are often available at Ocean State Job Lot, Target, TJ Maxx, etc.


Where do I look for notification of class cancellations or early dismissal due to weather?

Class is held regardless of weather unless parents are notified by email.


Swim Tests

At the end of the first day of Sailing School, all new students must take a swim test. The swim test requires that a sailor, without a life jacket, swim approximately 30 feet, tread water for one minute and float on his or her back. New students should bring a towel and a change of clothes on the first day of class.


Where can I park at the club? 

Parking is at a premium around the Club. There are a few parking spots on the side Club side of Champlain Road between Port Fortune Lane and the Club. If you have a town beach-parking sticker you can park on the grass lot across from the club next to the Harbor Master’s storage garage. There are also some open spots at the parking lot next to the Harbor Master’s Building.  Please avoid parking where you see cones. These designated reserved parking spaces and/or pick up and drop off areas.

We encourage members and students to ride bikes to the club. We have several bike racks on the beach below the bluff next to the ARC building. Please help us keep the beach clear of bikes by using the racks. Don't forget a helmet!


What Types of Boats are sailed during Sailing School? 

The Sailing School uses Sprites, Optis, 420s, O'Pen BICS and Day Sailers during classes. The Club provides sailors with boats. Private boat ownership is not necessary at Stage Harbor, though some students do keep privately owned boats at the Club to use for classes, races and recreational sailing.


How do I sign my child or myself up for private lessons?

Private lessons are available to members and their children, but are not a necessary part of the sailing school experience. The Sailing School curriculum covers all of the necessary material and provides opportunities for students to practice their skills in order to advance to the next level. However, if you are interested in scheduling private lessons for yourself or your child, please follow these steps:

  1.    Approach an instructor that you know or your child has connected with in class OR consult with the Program Director or Head Instructor
  2.    Make arrangements with the instructor to schedule a lesson for a mutually convenient time (please keep in mind that all instructors report to work at 9:00am)
  3.    Sign a private lesson waiver, which will be provided by the instructor
  4.    Plan to be at the Club during your child's lesson. An adult must be present on shore in a case of an emergency


Can our family friend/cousin join my child for sailing school one day?

Due to space constraints we do not allow guests to attend class. You are welcome to bring visitors by to observe the beginning or end of class; however, an adult should accompany any minors.


Why don't you have the "answers" to the advancement qualifications written down somewhere?

All students (children and adults alike) have different learning styles. We believe that our sailing curriculum should be accessible to all. Therefore, our instructors use a variety of methods to teach the knots, parts, terms and knowledge that students need to advance within our program. We believe that giving students a list of definitions and diagrams of parts would defeat the purpose of attending sailing school! To this end, please let us know of any information about you child's learning profile that would be helpful for us to best understand your child's approach to learning. Our instructors are trained to differentiate their instruction based on the needs of individual students.


Do we need to let you know if our child will be absent from Sailing School? 

It is important that your child checks in at the beginning of each class, but it is not necessary to report an absence.