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Youth Learn to Sail

About the program:

  Ages 8-17 can learn the art and fun of sailing! Designed to teach sailing basics and beyond. When registering, please indicate experience level. Instruction is customized to the student! Beginning students each have their own Optimist Dinghy, sized just for young sailors: 8 foot long wooden sailing prams that are lightweight, safe and stable. These craft are so easy to operate that they are the world-wide choice of junior sailing programs. More advanced sailors will sail in the new Open Bics, Club 420s or Lasers.

Each session will have sections determined by size and experience:

  1. Opti Newbie (ages 8, 9 or 10 & has never sailed)

  2. Opti Returning (ages 8, 9 or 10, & has attended at least 1 TACS Learn to sail previously)

  3. BIC Dinghies (ages 10, 11 or 12 & has attended 2 or more sessions or with Program Director's approval)

  4. Laser 4.7 New Sailors (ages 11+ & has attended an Opti session and under age 13 or age 11 and over, not attended a TACS learn to Sail session)

  5. Laser 4.7 Returning Sailors (ages 11+ & has attended 2 or more TACS Learn to Sail sessions)

  6. 420's (ages 12 and over & has sailed Laser for at least 2 session or with Program Director's approval)



  In a fun-filled stimulating environment, this program builds:

1. self-esteem

2. personal confidence

3. responsibility

4. teamwork skills

5. Additionally- it gets our kids looking up from their devices!

Water Safety


  Students will be asked to demonstrate that they can swim with the aid of their life jackets (this is really to demonstrate that they are comfortable in the water while wearing life jackets). While Traverse Area Community Sailing has a limited number of life jackets for use, students are encouraged to provide their own for better fit and regular use after the class. We will sail in the rain so clothing appropriate to the weather should be provided. We require closed toe shoes (tennis shoes, boat shoes, crocs, anything that encloses and protect the student feet). Towels, a water bottle, a change of dry clothes and snacks are often appropriate.

AM Half Day(9am - noon)  PM Half Day(1-4pm)  


For cost information please click on Registration.


2024 Program Schedule is linked above and below on our Registration page.



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