South Whidbey Yacht Club

More Information


Beginning Sailing students have no prior sailing experience. However, students in this class must be comfortable around the water. They must feel confident that if a boat should capsize they can stay afloat for 5 minutes or more. They should have sufficient mobility to move about in the boat and react quickly in some situations.

Intermediate Sailing students will have completed enough beginning classes or the equivalent practical time at the tiller to feel comfortable on their own in a small sailboat, with the abilities to launch, sail and land.

Equipment & Supplies

Beginning Sailing students will use a 12-foot sailing pram called a SF Pelican and will sail with another student and with an instructor onboard until comfortable on their own. 

Intermediate Sailing students will also sail in Pelicans with another student and may have the opportunity to sail in Lido 14s or other similar boats. (Lidos are more tippy, and a wet suit or dry suit might be desired for them.)

All participants should bring the following:

  • a properly fitting PFD (Personal Flotation Device) or life jacket
  • a bag with a change of clothes (remains on shore in case of a capsize. The Pelican is a sturdy little boat built to sail safely on San Francisco Bay and doesn’t tip over easily, but it can capsize, so it’s always good to be prepared.)
  • a towel
  • a reusable, non-glass water bottle
  • sunscreen
  • hat
  • sunglasses
  • any other personal items 
  • rubber garden boots would be nice, but sneakers or shoes that can get wet will do as well. No open toe shoes or sandals please.

Staff and Course

Our head instructors are US Sailing certified and will be assisted by experienced dinghy sailors. Sufficient staff will be on hand to ensure that all students can improve their own personal skill set.

Beginning Sailing: Beginners will be provided with the US Sailing textbook “Learn Sailing Right! Beginning Sailing“. The course will cover safety on the water, sailboat nomenclature, wind awareness, rigging, and sailing basics, leaving and returning to the shore, rules of the road, etiquette and maybe a few sailor’s knots. Our priorities are safety, then fun, then learning.

Intermediate Sailing: Students will be provided with US Sailing’s “Learn Sailing Right! Intermediate Sailing“. The course will focus on improving skills and comfort in boat handling, learning sail shape and controls, rules of the road and small boat racing techniques in a fun, safe, and nonthreatening class.


Participants should bring a properly fitting Coast Guard-approved life jacket (a few will be available at the site). 

  • We require that participants and staff wear their life jackets at all times when on the water
  • Instructors in motorized safety boats will accompany and protect participants who are sailing
  • Instructors will teach sun protection, proper clothing, maintaining body temperature, capsize recovery and rules of the road.


Registration for 2024 classes will be available through South Whidbey Parks & Recreation Mid-April, 2024.

Forms will also be available at the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation Building.

Registration will be accepted up until the date classes begin provided that space is available. Each class is limited so early registration is encouraged to ensure admission and facilitate scheduling. Since these are two-person boats, couples and partners are encouraged. 

**SWYC members can deduct $50 from the registration fee; mention to the registrar that you are a club member when registering.  To qualify for a South Whidbey Yacht Club member discount, members must be in good standing before June 1 of the current year.

To note: South Whidbey Parks & Recreation will maintain a waiting list. We reserve the right to cancel or combine classes depending on enrollment.